Re: Gel batteries, solar panels and inverter - an experience
Scott SV Tengah
Your setup sounds perfect for your intended use! I agree with your prioritization, too.
And if you ever decide to go lithium, all you really need to do is buy Victron smart lithium batteries and add a ve.bus BMS. Can you run the washing machine? I can't remember who, but another Amel could not run their washing machine with a 3kw inverter, which was surprising.
We went through a lot of brain damage with our dinghy too. We have the CL310 with a 20hp 4 stroke Suzuki. The dinghy will fit, albeit not perfectly, on the davits. A 340 would be better for the davits but we always keep the dinghy on the aft deck on passage and sized it to fit perfectly on the deck so we're happy we got the 310. Some will optimize for davit use and in that case, they should get a 340.
By the way, definitely change your davit fall (aka lifting lines) to dyneema if you haven't already. Very easy to do and makes them so much nicer to use. Don't pay Simpson 4000gbp or whatever they want for the "conversion kit" - you can do it yourself for much cheaper.
Regarding Danny's concerns about arches and weather, I've attached a photo of our arch shortly after we installed it and here are a few situations we've found ourselves in since then:
- 45 knots in the Gulf of Lyon with short and steep breaking waves
- Mid November passage from Virginia, though the Gulf Stream, to the Caribbean, with up to 60 knot winds
- A very unpleasant 2800nm upwind/up current passage from Hawaii to French Polynesia. A fellow Amel owner felt the passage tough enough that he had his rigging inspected afterwards. A non-Amel lost their mast and another boat had their keel come loose.
I haven't been in hurricane force winds, but given what we've experienced so far and given my risk tolerance, the benefits are definitely worth it. Of course, by saying that, we're going to have it ripped off the next time we go on passage!
2007 A54 #69