I just received the latest Waypoints e-letter about gel batteries, where you state they must be charged at no more than about 14.1 volts. We do not use gel batteries in our boat, but do in our camper van. As I understand, Trojan deep-cycle gels can be charged up to 14.4 volts and East Penn marine gel batteries up to 14.6 volts, so why are you recommending the lower voltage?
Editors note: Designing, installing, and wiring a new main circuit panel on a full-fledged cruising boat is an extremely challenging refit project. The writer is a professional engineer who made sure that his installation met or exceeded American Boat and Yacht Council Standard E-11. Failure to adhere to the standard could result in fire, injury, or death. We offer the following article, which outlines the steps involved in constructing a custom panel, as a rough guide. In our opinion, such a project should not be carried out without the consultation of an ABYC-certified electrician.
The Practical Sailor February 2010 issue launched our test of marine inverter-chargers with a look at the inverter capabilities of units from six manufacturers. This report compares the battery charger functions of the inverter-chargers from Charles Industries, Magnum Energy, Mastervolt, ProMariner, Tripp Lite, and Xantrex. Our recommendations differ based on an owners needs. One unit is excellent for sailboat owners with larger AGM or gel-cell batteries who plan to expand their systems down the road, while another is better suited for those who have no expansion plans, offering a combination of lower price, features, and sophistication.