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  • Writer's pictureNic de Mey

SPACESHIP 60 BUILD: Crafting a Robust and User-Friendly Electrical System

Given the SPACESHIP 60 Catamaran's versatile capabilities, whether cruising coastal waters or embarking on long-range passages, a significant amount of effort has been dedicated to fine-tuning the vessel's electrical system. This system is designed to ensure reliability, user-friendliness, and adaptability to various operational scenarios.

Core Hardware is:

  • 6 x 24V 6000 kilowatt hour Mastervolt MLi Lithium batteries (36 kWHrs @ 24v)

  • Victron Quatro Inverter/Chargers (2 x 5kw)

  • GoFlex Solar panels

  • Caterpillar 20 KVA Generator

  • 24 v -150 Amp House alternators (2)

  • Dual Element Smart Water Heaters

  • CZone control interface

The wishlist and design philosophy

Ease of use

The system leverages the latest technology and accommodates users with varying levels of expertise.

Simplicity and Robustness The primary goal is to make the electrical system simple yet robust in handling different usage scenarios. To achieve this, we only use proven brands with worldwide availability. This ensures that spare parts and expertise are readily accessible, no matter where your adventures take you. By relying on well-established brands, we minimize the risk of unexpected issues and facilitate troubleshooting when necessary.

Generous Lithium House Bank and Inverter Capacity The heart of the electrical system lies in the Lithium House Bank and Inverter. We opted for six 24V 6000-kilowatt hour Mastervolt MLi Lithium batteries, providing a substantial 36 kWh at 24V, which offers ample power reserves for your boat's various electrical needs. Combined with two Victron Quatro Inverter/Chargers (each with a 5kW capacity), this system can efficiently handle multiple appliances and loads simultaneously. This combination ensures that you won't have to frequently run the generator to power essential appliances or save the batteries, providing you with the freedom to choose when to run the generator.

Solar Charging for Autonomy Integrating significant solar charging through GoFlex Solar panels is our strategy to maximise autonomy and reduce the need to run the generator. Given good solar conditions and sensible power management, you can avoid running the generator for many days. While this isn't the core objective of your system, it's a valuable feature that can enhance your boating experience.

Avoiding Early Generator Starts With the well-sized House Bank, there's no need to rush to start the generator after a night at anchor. The system can comfortably power overnight loads, a hot breakfast, and even run a dishwasher cycle with capacity to spare. This freedom from early generator starts contributes to a more relaxing and enjoyable experience on board.

Running Air Conditioning Overnight The design includes the capability to run all air conditioning units overnight (from 2100 to 0600) without the need to start the generator. This is a significant advantage, especially during hot and humid nights, as it ensures a comfortable and restful night's sleep.

"Party" Mode and Generator Capacity For those times when your boat is in "party" mode, the 20 KVA Caterpillar generator can power all systems with almost no limitation. Load-sharing and load-shedding mechanisms automatically manage excess demand, ensuring a seamless experience for you and your guests.

User-Friendly Operation The electrical system is designed to cater to a wide range of users, from experienced operators to those with limited expertise. Via the CZone control interface, experienced operators can manage electrical loads in the usual way. However, less experienced users can treat the boat as an apartment, with most systems functioning seamlessly. Automation features, such as setting the generator to auto-start when the House Bank reaches specific discharge levels, simplify power management and reduce the need for constant monitoring.

Compliance with NZ & Australian Survey Standards Ensuring the electrical system adheres to New Zealand and Australian Survey Standards is paramount. This compliance guarantees safety, reliability, and adherence to established regulations for marine electrical systems.

Conclusion In crafting the electrical system, we have addressed key objectives such as simplicity, robustness, and user-friendliness. With a substantial Lithium House Bank, generous inverter capacity, solar charging, and the flexibility to operate without the generator for extended periods, the Spaceship 60 is well-prepared for various scenarios. It's designed to cater to experienced operators and those looking for a hassle-free, apartment-like experience while on board. Moreover, compliance with survey standards ensures safety and reliability.

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