Battery Location, tail-heavy?

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Toby
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Battery Location, tail-heavy?

Hello,

My new-to-me Potter 19 has two batteries located in battery boxes beneath the cockpit, just aft of the cockpit steps.  They seem to have been installed there from the factory.  It seems like the weight of two batteries in this location would be like having an extra person in the cockpit.  I feel like the boat tends to be a bit tail-heavy, judging by how it handles when speed approaches zero (it likes to head downwind) and by how low it sits in the water with a couple stout crewmembers in the cockpit, and by how the bow bounces around in the chop when motoring. 

I've thought about either switching to one smaller battery in the original location under the starboard cabinet, or else maybe relocating both batteries under the v-berth.  If I ever went crusing, I would tend to stow things in the aft part of the boat anyway, so the weight up front would probably be OK.  She's not like a lot of sailboats that have a big heavy water bladder sitting under the v-berth.

But I'm new to WWP's in particular and to crusing sailboats in general, so I don't have much knowledge about the way things should be.

Regards,

Toby

Jim Larsen
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I agree with your instincts.

I agree with your instincts.  Having the batteries forward will balance the boat when you are in the cockpit.  A friend had a 19 with two batteries.  One was in the starboard cabinet and the second was under the V berth.  We only had one battery in our 19, and we never lacked for power in the summer.  We had a small solar panel and that extended the battery life.  But we could regularly go for a week at a time and run the cabin light and the anchor light with just one battery.

Toby
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More info on Judy B's site

I ended up removing the two big batteries, battery boxes and cables - at least 100 lb - and installing a couple little 12-AH AGM batteries under the starboard cabinet. This is more than enough power for running my little chartplotter/sonar and lights for a couple days.  If I ever go crusing,  I'll mount a 10W solar panel.  Eventually when I'm feeling ambitious maybe I'll re-install the big batteries in front of the keel under the vbirth, and that will really help keep the bow planted.

I think I found some confirmation of my experience with the bow skidding out after a tack in Judy B's notes on rig tuning.  She says:

"Most folks put way too much weight in the back end. The boat will slip excessively to leeward if the bow is too high (the chines can't work properly to give you that extra lift), and you will have trouble making it through a tack because the wind blows the bow around too much."

Also, the conventional wisdom seems to be that potters sail faster if you keep the weight forward:

http://potter-yachters.org/manyways/hullspeed/