Energy Budget

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Stu Jackson

The amount of amp hours required varies by boat usage.  If you're a marina hopper, you need little, plugging into shorepower regularly.  Many of us enjoy boating on the hook, which requires three things: an understanding of how much load will be placed on the storage house battery bank, the size of the house bank, and the many different ways in which to recharge the house bank.  (Some add the need for a battery amp-hour monitor, easily one of the best and simplest methods of "doing the math.")  Generally, recharging comes from: shorepower, alternator from the engine, portable generators, and/or solar.

Attached is an Energy Budget form I've used for many years.  Please note that it includes three types of sailing:  daysails, overnights and sailing overnight, which are three vastly different energy consumers.  I've added calculations at the bottom to project house bank sizes and have kept current with the actual battery banks we have onboard.

There is a photo of our Link 2000 showing a daily load of 100 ah here:  Breaking in New Wet Cell Batteries:,6353.0.html

Just click on the pdf link below and use the Open button.  I started with a spreadsheet and copied it into a pdf for posting here.  The math's easy to do to make your own spreadsheet.

For further discussion about what COMES OUT of the banks and what you NEED to PUT BACK IN, see the discussion of BATTERY ACCEPTANCE, here:,4787.0.html
Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Ron Hill

Guys : An energy budget is a great planning tool.

What really tells you what you are actually using is a Battery Monitor !!!!!! 
It tells you not only what amps have been consumed, but counts the amps that are being replaced (while charging) back into the battery bank.  Without that kind of info you're guessing!   :idea:
Ron, Apache #788

Peter Lewis

Another factor that impacts your daily electrical needs is where (and what time of year) you plan to do most of your sailing.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have long summer days (reducing cabin lighting requirements), and mild air and water temperatures (reducing refrigeration requirements).  Based on our battery monitor readings, our average daily draw on extended cruises (1-2 weeks) ranges from 40-60 amp hours.  That includes extensive use of the refrigerator/freezer both to keep our meat supply frozen, and an ample supply of beer and kids drinks cool.