Author Topic: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17  (Read 4197 times)

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Offline Threeweight

Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« on: February 13, 2013, 08:06:04 PM »
This project isn't quite done on my boat, but pretty close.  Pulled the boat out of the garage and fired her up tonight... everything was copacetic!

Had some issues last season with how my boat handled with a heavy load in the stern, and decided to take the plunge and move 100# of batteries forward to the cuddy.  I initially planned to mimic the moves several others have done, building dedicated compartments forward.  Ended up going a slightly different route.

Here's a shot of my new battery location:



Think I used enough stainless screws?  I was paranoid about my batteries pulling away from the glass and bouncing around in the cuddy, so I kind of overbuilt my system.  I built a platform and divider, attached to the cuddy floor with gussets, but steered away from a hinged lid in favor of keeping my wood panels and flat cuddy floor.  I think this will result in more useful space.  Here's another shot with the panels removed:



My wiring is still a little bit of a work in progress... because I have the Blue Sea switch and ACR, my set up is not as clean as folks who have used the simpler Perko set up.  I also decided to add a Maxi Fuse to my house wiring, ahead of all my electrical loads (belt and suspenders).  A circuit breaker would be better, but that is another $50 and I already had the fuse.



I plan on going back and dealing with a few issues here...

1 -- despite measuring several times, I ended up short on my #1 cables... 18' was not enough red wire to run from the back of the boat to the switch up front, and still have enough left over to run two cables to cover both of my batteries.  As a temporary fix, I used some black #1 wire from the Columbia Marine exchange (used stuff) wrapped in red electrical tape.

2 -- I also ended up short on red shrink wrap... will go back and cover the black stuff on my + wires with a 2nd layer of red heat shrink.

My biggest lesson learned I want to share with others considering this upgrade...

-- I drilled two 1.5" holes in my cuddy floor to run the cables underneath the fiberglass.  Previous folks who have done this and posted their experiences found voids under there to run the wiring through.  Mine was SOLID foam.  It was a HUGE pain in the butt to create a channel through the foam big enough to handle the cables.  I spent three nights on it, and ended up having to buy a small shop vac to handle the clean up.  HUGE mess!

Because my Suzi is pretty high compression, I was a little nervous about the length of cable and if it would lug when starting using the #1.  My worries were unfounded... it spun up like a top.  I actually think it turns over faster now than it did with my old set up w/ the batteries in the rear. 
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 08:09:53 PM by Threeweight »
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Markshoreline

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 09:41:35 PM »
Nice work, thanks for sharing with us.

Your punch list items are so minor, I wonder if they even need doing?  If my wiring looked like yours, I'm sure more things would work on my boat!

Just curious, how did you get through the foam under the deck from the stern to the bow?
2002 Sea Ranger HT 21, Yamaha 150, Yamaha 9.9

Offline Threeweight

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 10:36:35 PM »
I just did a channel between the rear of the cuddy (where the cables come down below the switch) into the battery compartment.  From back to front, I ran them under the gunnels and to the right of the helm on the starboard side.

I was able to open a channel from the front using a spade bit in my cordless drill, and a flexible adapter I picked up a few years ago at Lowes.  Unfortunately, it is an 8" adapter... I had to carve out a 24" channel... lots of work with a bent coat hanger.
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline GregE

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 11:06:02 PM »
I'm liking your project.  Since it's a SC you don't sleep in the cuddy.  Any thought to needing ventilation for the batteries?

I'm thinking about running a 2nd battery forward- taking the water tank out of teh Sea Explorer.  It's would just be balast anyway.  ANybody figured out how to vent safely or.......  just change over to both gel?

I remember you can't mix battery types due to different charging rates.  I plan to build a supporting tray to support and secure the battery  But unless I put both batteries forward I'll need a bus in both ends.

Wyr guy!!!!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 11:09:10 PM by ReBait »
Greg
Osprey 26 LC Kodak;  Arima SR 19 HT; SL 22 Honda 225
http://www.sagecreekforums.com/phpforum/index.php
Sold:  Arima SE 16 WeeBait; SH 15 WeeBoat;
SR 21 NoBait;  SL 22 ReBait

Offline Threeweight

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 11:17:18 PM »
Both of my batteries are AGM's (one Cabelas house brand, the other an Optima), so I am not worried about venting.  They are supposed to be sealed, and impervious to vibration.  I know some guys have used them, but I would personally be leery of a standard wet cell in the bow of an Arima that is going to see a lot of rough water use.

I have heard  that Optima has had quality control issues since they moved production to Mexico... I don't know how much stock to put in that.  Their series 24 is ideal for an Arima... very compact.  Mine was purchased in 2010, and is holding up well thus far.
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline CanvasGuy

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Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2013, 04:46:09 AM »
Very Nice work Steve... :applause:
 Most of us(not some) are jealous of such skills and dedication...I know I am one of the Wire envy guys.. :biggrin:
but hey ,I guys gota have some project to look forward to... :biggrin:

Congratulations on a job well done.. :clap:
Gary Smart
boatless  now
 http://www.smartcustomcanvas.com
“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” Arthur C. Clarke

Offline Vancouvertechie

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2013, 07:35:25 AM »
I'm liking your project.  Since it's a SC you don't sleep in the cuddy.  Any thought to needing ventilation for the batteries?

I'm thinking about running a 2nd battery forward- taking the water tank out of teh Sea Explorer.  It's would just be balast anyway.  ANybody figured out how to vent safely or.......  just change over to both gel?

I remember you can't mix battery types due to different charging rates.  I plan to build a supporting tray to support and secure the battery  But unless I put both batteries forward I'll need a bus in both ends.

Wyr guy!!!!

I would go AGM on both.  Eliminate the safety issue right of the bat.  The difference between a Costco Deep Cycle and a AGM is about 75.00 more. 

VT
Boats owned:

2003 15' SeaHunter 50HP Suzuki (FI4Strk)
1991 16' SeaChaser 50HP Johnson (Keith)
1995 19' SeaRanger 115 Yamaha (FI4Strk)

Offline Vancouvertechie

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 07:36:27 AM »
I just did a channel between the rear of the cuddy (where the cables come down below the switch) into the battery compartment.  From back to front, I ran them under the gunnels and to the right of the helm on the starboard side.

I was able to open a channel from the front using a spade bit in my cordless drill, and a flexible adapter I picked up a few years ago at Lowes.  Unfortunately, it is an 8" adapter... I had to carve out a 24" channel... lots of work with a bent coat hanger.

Steve,

I am surprised you put the switch up front.  I find it easier to reach over to turn in on and off when it is near the stern. 

John
Boats owned:

2003 15' SeaHunter 50HP Suzuki (FI4Strk)
1991 16' SeaChaser 50HP Johnson (Keith)
1995 19' SeaRanger 115 Yamaha (FI4Strk)

Offline Threeweight

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2013, 09:13:07 AM »
Yeah I was really torn on that.  It was very nice being able to turn the battery on and off in the garage by just reaching over the side and flipping it.  On the other hand, the wiring gurus I spoke with all said the switch needs to be located as close as practical to the batteries themselves.  If there is a short in the system, you want to be able to disconnect as much of the wiring as possible from the source of power.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 11:39:35 AM by Threeweight »
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Zarn

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2013, 10:46:21 AM »
Very Smartly Done!
SOLD... 87'SR, Blue Stripe/Top & ETEC 90, Honda 8, Arima owner... 11 years. Gonna miss her but I'll still be around here.

Remember....when attacked by a clown posse always go for the juggler first.

Offline ChesapeakeArima

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2013, 12:20:08 PM »
I have a 19' sea ranger and am thinking of doing a similar project to get some weight off the stern.  Thinking of doing it exactly as you have, but I do have one question for you.  How do you connect the leads from the motor to the new wire running to the cuddy?  I assume there is some kind of fused connection back there?

Thanks!
1997 19SR  2008 E Tec 115

Offline Threeweight

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2013, 05:52:29 PM »
I used one of these, and shortened the battery cables on the motor appropriately:



http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=17233&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&storeId=11151&storeNum=50523&subdeptNum=50549&classNum=50553#.USLZ-Gf3GC8

On a 19' I would probably not worry about this upgrade.  Your longer hull puts more weight forward to begin with, and with a ranger, you have the option of filling your water tank up there for ballast.  I'd go that route and skip the battery move. 
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline ChesapeakeArima

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2013, 09:03:08 AM »
I'd like to get some other 19' owners opinions.  Even with the added length my boat fully rigged and loaded with my fishing buddies is very stern heavy.  If a person >200 lbs stands back there the motor well drain is partially submerged, and that's just one person.  It just seems like if i'm going to do some electrical work and upgrade batteries anyway, it would be worth it to move the batteries as well.
1997 19SR  2008 E Tec 115

Offline finfinn

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2013, 12:38:28 PM »
The question is whether you are using your porta potty or not and do you have a water tank in the bow? If you have the water tank, filling it up will help and is the easy thing to do. If you do not use your potty and have time and energy, move the batteries and fill the water tank :wink:. I run the water tank full. I have thought about the move, but some female boaters are using the potty occasionally, so I would need to solve that problem first :shrug9:. I could of course do a Streamfixer and put the batteries in the starboard side of the cuddy, but then you lose the sleeping option - which we hardly ever use except on family outings when the grandkids get tired. World seems to be full of choices. Just have to make yours.
Had a glorious SR19 Finnesse.
You can not change the length of your life, but boating does increase its width and depth.

Offline Chuck Jones

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2013, 02:46:05 PM »
OR...in the alternative, you could upgrade to a 30 foot boat that had a bedroom, galley, and separate toilet....maybe a shower, and 200 gallon gas tank.  But it still wouldn't be an Arima!!
(91) 19' Sea Ranger HT....SOLD 5/2013
(07) 21' Sea Ranger HT.....SOLD 3/2014
(05) 21' Design Concepts ...4/20/14

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Offline Fishjager

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Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2013, 01:47:29 PM »
Both of my batteries are AGM's (one Cabelas house brand, the other an Optima), so I am not worried about venting.  They are supposed to be sealed, and impervious to vibration.  I know some guys have used them, but I would personally be leery of a standard wet cell in the bow of an Arima that is going to see a lot of rough water use.

I have heard  that Optima has had quality control issues since they moved production to Mexico... I don't know how much stock to put in that.  Their series 24 is ideal for an Arima... very compact.  Mine was purchased in 2010, and is holding up well thus far.
Just an FYI, Performance Marine in Everett told me NOT TO USE A GEL BATTERY on my 2011 90 HP Suzuki.  They said it would void the warranty!  I don't know, it is just what they told me.
Boatless right now

Offline Threeweight

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2013, 02:16:23 PM »
Uh, I'd love to hear their rationale for that...  I'll have to look at my manual when I get home, but I don't recall that being mentioned anywhere in the list of warranty-voiding issues.  Since many Suzuki motorcycles come from the factory with AGM batteries, it seems a little odd.

Then again, some dealers will tell you that it will void the warranty if you use anything other than $$$$ factory oil (conveniently sold in their shop). 
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline vxhatch

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2013, 02:21:23 PM »
Great job TW..  :beerchug:
2001 22' SeaSport Sportsman

Offline fishorcrab

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2013, 03:12:19 PM »
It would appear that unlike AGM batteries, Gel cells are not designed for providing starting currents and need special regulators for charging with an alternator.  Might be a reason that the mfg doesn't want them used.

http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/articles/battery-articles/gel-vs-agm.html

Paul
SC16 Yamaha 4s 90
SP17 Honda 4s 90  - Croaker made me do it. :)

Offline Threeweight

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2013, 03:56:00 PM »
Yah, gel cells and AGMs are not the same technology. 
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Chuck Jones

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2013, 08:29:33 PM »
I have a 19 SR hardtop.  I run a 150 Yami 4/S, a 9.9 Yami 4/s on a Goetz hydraulic lift, two big batteries on the starboard sponson storage, a TR-1 hydraulic pump and a Dual Pro Onboard charger on the Port sponson storage side, a 48 gallon tank in the stern, and even full, I sit with the waterline just below the spashwell drain.  Granted, I don't fish the salt, so I don't encounter a following sea, but even when standing at the back of the cockpit ...and I weigh 225, the stern is not wallowing.  I dont' run any water in the forward fresh water tank.  I don't understand why some boats seem to squat down in the stern as much.  I think the Yami 4/Strokes are as heavy as, or more than any other except for the Honda  150 whiich might weigh another 20# or so.

Now, I don't have a lot of extraneous gear like crab pots, a live well, or other accessories that some of the salt going craft have, so that might be the difference.
(91) 19' Sea Ranger HT....SOLD 5/2013
(07) 21' Sea Ranger HT.....SOLD 3/2014
(05) 21' Design Concepts ...4/20/14

I often have silent thoughts in my head, but sometimes I worry about what they're thinking

Online Danno

Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2013, 09:37:13 PM »
The 19 SR's are just on the cusp of being balanced. I'm sure the extra weight of your hard top tips it to the positive balance side.
Previously owned a 1998 19' SR

Lures are designed to catch fishermen not fish.

Offline Chuck Jones

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2013, 09:41:00 PM »
Danno"  Good point.  Don't kmow how much weight forward the HT provides, but obviously, it does add some weght forward
(91) 19' Sea Ranger HT....SOLD 5/2013
(07) 21' Sea Ranger HT.....SOLD 3/2014
(05) 21' Design Concepts ...4/20/14

I often have silent thoughts in my head, but sometimes I worry about what they're thinking

Online StreamFixer

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Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2013, 07:43:44 AM »
Try filling your water tank to see how that affects your trim.  May raise the stern a bit.

StreamFixer
'97 19SC w/ Salt Boss Top
'03 Yamaha 115 EFI
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Offline triehl27

Re: Battery relocation in my Sea Chaser 17
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2013, 09:01:27 PM »
I moved the battery forward on my 92 Explorer and it made a WORLD of difference!  The ride throughout the spectum from idle to wide open changed and improved.  I don't have tabs  just rely on the 90 honda to trim. 

Top end came up significantly and fuel consumption went down, by .25 to .5 gallons a hour. 

Handling in rough water improved also.

When I made the move originally I had dual optimas, now I am jsut running one standard deep cycle, but I leave the cab open, i.e we're not overnighting in it.