Hanse 531 Electrical Systems

Hanse 531 s/y Charlotte battery banks

Our Hanse 531 is a cool boat as it is, but we do have some upgrades in mind for her. Before touching anything, however, I thought it would be good to get some understanding of the current state of affairs. Thus, to jump in and start somewhere, on this blog page, I’ll try to document the “before” version of our electrical system.

Energy Storage

Real-life photos of what’s beneath the floor boards, superimposed on a layout image sent over by Hanse.

All the batteries are located under the saloon floor and are easy to reach. The batteries are:

Starter Battery
  • A single Varta 12V 90 Ah wet battery (Varta 930 090 080) with 800A CCA.
  • Provides energy for the both Yanmar 4JH3-HTE engine and the Mastervolt Whisper 6 Ultra generator starters.
Battery Bank #1 (24V-220 Ah)
  • Four Tudor Start Pro 12V 110Ah (TB 110B) wet batteries.
  • Both pairs of batteries are connected in series to make two sub-banks of 24V – 110Ah.
  • The sub-banks are connected together in parallel for a total of 24V – 220 Ah.
  • This bank provides energy for the service 24V system (fridge, freezer, instruments, etc).
Battery Bank #2 (24 V – 240 Ah)
  • Six Varta Drymobil 835 080 000 12V – 80Ah gel batteries.
  • All pairs of batteries are connected in series to make three sub-banks of 24V – 80Ah.
  • The sub-banks are connected together in parallel for a total of 240 Ah – 24V.
  • This bank provides energy for the bow and stern thrusters, the windlass, the electric winches, and the inverter.

Energy Inputs

Shore Power
  • One Marinco 16A plug for 220V power to the battery charger.
  • One Marinco 16A plug for 220V power for everything else.
Service to the left, charger to the right. One lid is missing.

  • Mastervolt Whisper 6 Ultra AC generator, 6 kW – 220V, diesel, weight 240 kg.
  • Mastervolt Mass 24/100 to charge the 24V battery banks.
  • Delco Remy 24V-55A (DRA2721) alternator connected to the Yanmar 4JH3-HTE engine and charging the 24V battery banks.
  • Hitachi/Yanmar LR180-03C 12V-80A alternator connected to the Yanmar 4JH3-HTE engine.
  • Sterling 24V to 230V quasi sine wave inverter with 2500 W output.
Sterling inverter.


The Philippi electrical panel.

First column, top section

  • VHF 12V (Raymarine 240E, 2 x handset & speaker, 1 central unit)
  • Navigation instruments 12V
    • 1 x Raymarine E120 chartplotter (cockpit)
    • 2 x Raymarine ST60+ Wind Instrument Display (cockpit port + sb)
    • 2 x Raymarine ST60+ Tridata Display (cockpit port + sb)
    • 1 x Raymarine p70R autopilot control head (cockpit sb)
    • 1 x Raymarine ST60+ Graphic Repeater Instrument Display (navigation table)
    • 1 x Raymarine Remote Keyboard E55061 (navigation table)
    • Seatalk data network
    • SeatalkNG data network
  • Stereo 12V (car stereo and speakers in master cabin)
  • Dingy (don’t know what this is)
  • Sockets 12V (sockets in master cabin, electrical panel, cockpit port)
  • Bilge pump air conditioning (don’t know if this is correctly labeled/in use)

First column, bottom section

  • Tricolor light 24V (wrong label, this is the steaming light)
  • Anchor light 24V
  • Masthead light 24V (not in use)
  • Deck light 24V
  • Navigation ligths 24V (stern light, bow sb+port)
  • Bow thruster control 24V (control panel for bow thruster, and I think stern thruster as well)
  • Windlass control

Second column, top section

  • Coolbox / Freezer 24V (the freezer in the galley, possibly also the freezer box in the bow locker)
  • Refrigerator 24V
  • Shower pumps (24V) in the three bathrooms
  • Toilet pumps 24V in the master head, aft cabin sb head
  • Deck was pump 24V (don’t sure there is one?)
  • Fresh water pump 24V

Second column, bottom section

  • Bilge pump saloon
  • Bilge pump garage
  • Heating SB (Webasto)
  • Heating port (Webasto)
  • Radar / GPS (unsure, but maybe power to the radar)
  • Autopilot (unsure what part of the autopilot system this is)
  • [blank label] 24V (Charlotte data collector Raspberry)

Third column, top section

  • Instruments (the three LCDs on the Philippi panel)
  • Compass (unsure, maybe cockpit compass lights)
  • Lighting garage/engine
  • Lighting bow 12V
  • Lighting saloon 12V
  • Lighting stern 12V

Third column, bottom section

  • Bilge manual (unsure)
  • Door stern (controls for the stern door hydraulics)
  • Winch (controls for the electric winches, 6 x Harken 53)
  • Sockets 24V (one socket on the electrical panel)
  • [blank] (unsure)

Other Consumers

  • Bow thruster motor 24V
  • Stern thruster motor 24V
  • Inverter 24V
  • Starter motor Yanmar
  • Starter motor Mastervolt Whisper 6 Ultra
  • Windlass motor

Some Thoughts

While the electrical system as a whole has worked at least adequately, here are some of the issues that might be good to address.

  • The service battery capacity is a bit too small, and/or the batteries might not be in a good shape, and/or there are some consumers that draw too much energy (freezer and fridge, I’m looking at you!).
  • While the bow and stern thrusters do work, I get the feeling of ebbing power when I use them at the same time. A bit mysteriously, they are connected to a battery bank with old gel batteries. All manuals state that the thrusters need crank amps optimized batteries, and that these batteries certainly are not!
  • Some of the wiring (the connectors especially) is falling apart and needs to be renewed.
  • The inverter doesn’t produce pure sine wave 220V. I don’t know how big a problem this is but at least one of our machines (the washing machine!) doesn’t work unless it gets shore power.
  • Ditto for the generator, which also has (or has had) a diesel leak :/

Well, it’s a start. I’ll update this page with more stuff once I understand it better.

I’m also trying to figure out what documentation tool to use. Powerpoint would be the easy solution. Making a 3D model with Blender, on the other hand, would be decidedly more cool, but as I don’t know how to use it, it would certainly take a few hours (or weeks?) longer to do it.

Luckily, I also found some existing documents (in German) that I will try to move to a digital format. While they may not be totally up to date, they certainly offer a lot of information.

On our boat, for example, the “Kühlaggregate” is NOT in the “Sitzbank”. I think. At least I didn’t find it there 😃


  1. Now that is what I call a switchboard!
    Makes the standard Wurth panel look decidedly under-specified!
    I have run out of switches on mine!

  2. Well, you mentioned gel batteries for the thrusters and Tudor Start(!) Pro batteries for the house loads. Did someone switch the banks?


    1. Perhaps!

      It was a bit confusing to me as well, since I first (naturally) thought the gels went to the house and the “start” pros to the thrusters. I did verify it though, by switching on/off the freezer and fridge, that at least those two were using the Tudors.

      Also, the battery banks are in fact positioned as in Hanse’s electrical drawings, where the service batteries and starter are near the engine, and the other batteries (marked “Akku Losl”, don’t understand what that means) closer to the bow.

  3. Did you every figure out what “Dinghy” is for? I have this on my 531 too and have not yet put the effort into finding it’s purpose.
    I have taken the German documentation and transferred it to Illustrator vector files because that allows me to zoom in to add a lot of detail.

    1. I did not, but thank you for the reminder that this is something I’ve been wondering about as well!

      My first guess was that it’s for some electrical dinghy retrieval system that we don’t have on our boat. But I will look into it!

        1. Wild from myhanse.com solved this, I think:

          I believe long time ago (531-540 model) Hanse DC Philippi panel have a thermal breaker option for a fixed airpump Bravo in the garage for the dinghy.
          The Bravo pumps where real garbage and Philippi (Hanse model 545) change this description to AUX.

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