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Ask Sail: Portable Battery Power

We are cruising to the Bahamas this winter, and I plan to use my dinghy to explore safe passages through local reefs. I’d like to use a depthsounder and GPS chartplotter to do this, but don’t want to carry a heavy battery in my dink to run electronics for a couple of hours. Any suggestions?
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Jim Kwai Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Q: We are cruising to the Bahamas this winter, and I plan to use my dinghy to explore safe passages through local reefs. I’d like to use a depthsounder and GPS chartplotter to do this, but don’t want to carry a heavy battery in my dink to run electronics for a couple of hours. Any suggestions?

Gordon West Replies

A: I recommend using a portable lithium iron phosphate battery pack. These can pack 15AH at 12 volts into a small unit that only weighs 2 pounds. The packs are rechargeable, safe and will easily run your sounder and plotter for half a day. Packs like this have been used by land surveyors and radio-controlled model enthusiasts for years now.

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