Back again! Yesterday we finally got the electrician over to Warrior and decided what we're going to do in that direction. Our needs are relatively modest - no flat screen TV, no microwave; just a bit of light, a water pump and, the ultimate luxury (after living through last summer without one), a fridge. Basically we'll be all 12v, but with a 240 socket and charger in the engine room. We also have a 1200w inverter, although no great plans for using it - just in case. The plan is to have one big start battery, and two x 220 amp hour leisure batteries; one dedicated to the fridge and one for everything else.
These will be charged via two 100 amp Niehoff alternators, chosen in preference to one big one primarily because we were told that the big ones are very noisy. We will probably also have a solar panel for maintenance charging - even the tiny one I had on Andante made a big difference, at least in the summer, so this seems like a good idea. We're probably going to go for a thin one which is stuck permanently to the roof; while I have some reservations about the aesthetics of this it seems to win out on convenience and security grounds.
The existing batteries were rather inaccessible under the floor under the bed cupboard in the back cabin. There wouldn't have been enough space here for the new set up anyway, so the new battery space will be under the floor in the engine room. This means taking up the existing floor and replacing it with one a few inches higher, but we were going to have a new floor in there anyway... it still won't be higher than the floors either end of the engine room, so it should look fine. It will certainly make the batteries much more accessible, and free up much needed storage space in the cabin. All the fuses, controls, guages etc. will be hidden away in a cabinet in the engine room.
So, it's all decided then ... famous last words. It all sounds good to me, anyway. It also brought home to us how quickly time is running away, if we're to get the engine in by Easter as we hope (making it a nice round year in all). Only a month until Christmas, then only three months - of winter temperatures and day length, until Easter. Then only another two until June and the RN rally - by which time we really want to have the painting finished too. The end of Monday came all too soon as well, as we had to dash off at four to fit in a visit to Daventry on the way home ...
*with apologies to Uncle Marvo