As we discussed a couple of weeks ago, Cochise is quite a vessel. I took tons of pictures and Steve Dashew was kind to walk me through the boat and point out the many interesting details that he incorporated into this 78-foot FPB. To review the previous post, take a look at: http://bit.ly/Ultimate_FPB_1.
Here I am going to present the many details that are most interesting. Perhaps they can be of value on your own boat? We will cover some of the engine room details in the next post.
The 24-volt solar arrays on Cochise provide plenty of electricity to keep the boat going. In cloudy days, they can produce 350 amps, while in the tropics they can top 750 amps per day. Being careful with load management, the boat uses about 400 amps per day at anchor, excluding air conditioning. Steve says all of these systems, refrigeration, and freezers keep a fairly significant load on, which he considers the "overhead" of his many systems. The fixed mounted solar arrays lose about 30-percent efficiency due to shading.
The boat's batteries have a capacity of 1,620 amp/hours. A seasoned veteran cruiser, Dashew now feels wet batteries are a better choice for cruising boats than AGM, gel, or other technologies. It is easy to monitor a wet cell battery with a hydrometer, which can't be done with sealed batteries. And heat can easily end the useful life of gel and AGM batteries. He fully embraces modern technology, but not when it comes to batteries.
There is so much cool thinking that went into this design and I am glad we could spend time so I could share it with you. Please subscribe with your email so we can let you know of the next post. Thanks and have a great day!