Check out products such as Mast Boot Tape or Universal Mast
Boot available at West Marine. Or, for a more temporary fix, try
heavy-duty Rescue Tape. Be sure to follow the instructions; it’s
different from the sticky tapes to which you may be accustomed.
Wind Generator Affecting Autopilot?
The Raymarine autopilot on my 33 footer has worked well for
five years. I installed an aft-mounted wind generator and now my
autopilot won’t calibrate. I’ve replaced the flux compass with the
same results. I plan to re-route my power wires from the generator
to the batteries to keep them as far from the compass as possible.
Will it help to twist the power cables? — Douglas Hall
John Adey: Absolutely! Close-proximity cables, especially originating from a DC motor such as your wind generator, can carry
a huge amount of magnetic distortion; wind generators normally
have a very strong magnet in their motors. The National Marine
Electronics Association (NMEA) publishes installation standards
that discuss this very arrangement, noting that any electrical conductors run near the compass should be twisted. Because of the
amount of interference that this wind generator may cause, I can’t
guarantee this will take care of the problem entirely. Your original
thought is my recommendation as well; your boat is only 33 feet,
so relocating your power cables or your compass, whichever is
more practical, may also do the trick.
Connecting Two Solar Panels
Can I connect two solar panels (135-watt and 65-watt)
to the same 30-amp controller? — James Hanson
( 9 balls)
• Protect Boat,
Dock & Lines
• No Hardware
• Use Existing Lines
BoatUS-Seaworthy & Practical Sailor (July 08)
Now in use by the
United States Navy!
John Adey: The key here is the capacity of the controller and
the capacity of the wire you’re using. Converting watts to amps
(watts/voltage=amperage) at 12 volts gives us 16. 7 amps from
your panels, which is less than the capacity of your controller. So,
yes, you can connect the additional panel as long as the maximum
output doesn’t exceed the controller capacity. That said, ensure
that the associated wiring is able to handle the amperage as well.
See ABYC Standard E- 11 (AC & DC Electrical Systems on Boats,
specifically table VI A.) You can access the standards on a five-day
free-trial basis at www.abycinc.org/rulefinder/freedemo.cfm) The
standards have “ampacity” tables that will tell you how many amps
you can put through a given conductor. In this case I’d err on the
side of caution and size the wire for 30 amps (future expansion)
and size the fuses for 150 percent of the amperage currently used
( 16. 7 X 150% = 25.05 or 25 amp fuse/breaker). Also, check with
the manufacturer of the panels to insure that using the two on
the same circuit and controller won’t result in one dampening the
output of the other.
Contact these three experts
at the BoatU.S. Ask The Experts
site at www.BoatUS.com/Ask
where you’ll also find hundreds of questions and expert
answers already archived, with
new questions and answers
uploaded regularly by our
team. Online, you’ll also find
Get In Touch With Our Experts
11 other experts in different
fields, ready to help. From your
questions, we’ll select a few
of the most generally interesting for use in future magazine
We look forward to hearing
from you. The best part? This
service is free to members.
Swim Platforms Inc. is the world leader in
aftermarket fiberglass swim platforms.
A platform will enhance the value and enjoyment
of your boat. You will appreciate the safety
and pleasure to your family, friends and pets.
Visit our website and submit your request
for a beautiful swim platform. u w a o
Our experienced crew is ready to
build your new swim platform.