Author Topic: Battery mounting locations  (Read 3578 times)

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Offline Threeweight

Battery mounting locations
« on: January 21, 2011, 02:38:43 PM »
Just completed another minor project on my boat (replacing the old automotive-grade battery cables with tinned marine wire).  I have yet to find a solution I am happy with for mounting my batteries.

When I got the boat, I had one on each side.  Worked well enough, but it meant unequal weight distribution (kicker and battery caused a port side list), and wasted space (had to keep the kicker gas tank out on the deck where it was always in the way.)

Last year, I relocated both batteries to be under the starboard side bait well.  This meant one batter is in a box, the other is in the open strapped to a mounting base with some rubber boots over the poles.  Freed up storage under the other bait well which meant my kicker tank could go there for more deck space.  Downside here is it is incredibly cramped under there and it puts a lot of stress on the battery wires at the poles to make everything fit, and batteries have to be removed in order to access any of the wiring.

Thought about moving them to the front of the boat, but I am a little leery of the amount of wire and $$ for it, and the pounding the batteries will take riding up there.

How do others prefer to run their batteries?
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

Online Danno

Re: Battery mounting locations
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2011, 03:35:29 PM »
Cool, I had an option on the poll!   :jester:  Batteries/electrical are much cheaper than the motor so that egg comes before the big chicken.

Interesting dilemma. For me, it depends on the situation. On my 19' SR, the kicker power cable wasn't long enough to go from the kicker on the port side to the batteries on the starboard side so I had to install a terminal block. That makes it just as easy to install a battery on each side and frees up space for the switch, ACR and fuse block on one side. Unfortunately, that wastes space on the port side. I never did mount the ACR on the 19'SR before I sold it. I ended up putting both batteries on the starboard side and a 6.5 gal kicker tank on the port side.

The extra cable length on the split battery locations suggest putting one on the starboard side and one up front as economically neutral. I'm also a believer in the BlueSea Add-a-Battery kit because unlike most battery switches, it isolates the two batteries electrically (except when need to charge or to combine for starting an engine). Just be sure to use the right size of cable to support the starting amps needed without frying the wire. On a 19' or smaller Arima, I like this idea because it moves weight forward. A companion or sleeper seat would also be a good location for the second battery. On a 21', I doubt having the weight forward is an issue but room under the starboard bait tank still is.

On a brand new 21' Arima (I can dream, can't I), I would have the starboard bait tank set with the small size for extra room underneath. Did you know you can order different bait tank sizes? Yes you can as I understand it. I think there is a small, medium (normal) and deep.

As far as having two batteries under one bait tank, I'm surprised you can even fit a switch in there. I'm interested in a good explanation why a battery box is even need when having the starboard access door to prevent accidental contact with the battery posts. I found a dual battery frame that I'll likely use. It uses straps to hold the batteries down.

Now if the battery switch can be placed on the vertical starboard panel between the bait tank panel and the gas tank panel, that would free up some space. Any reason why a battery switch couldn't be exposed to the elements and not be hidden behind the starboard panel?
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 03:37:59 PM by SeaChaser »
Previously owned a 1998 19' SR

Lures are designed to catch fishermen not fish.

Offline woody

Re: Battery mounting locations
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2011, 04:00:27 PM »
My battery switch (dual) is outside.  Since my rig is garaged, never been a problem. Sure is easy to switch. Caulked.

Woody

Offline woody

Re: Battery mounting locations
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2011, 04:11:25 PM »
I did this once, must have hit delete. I'm brainstorming this idea.

What's wrong with putting two batteries in the cuddy, your dual switches, isolator, charger, fuse boxes and all that stuff there where you have room to make it pretty.

Hot wires to engine.  You would have shorter runs almost all the time from fuse to switch to your accessory motors.

Bilge pumps would be long, but now you already run it forward to switches.

Lock the cabin, no intruders or steeling, hot wire, etc.

I only use my cuddy for storage.  Both aft sides would be wide open for tanks, tackle boxes.

I'm going to draw up some wiring diagrams.  Thoughts?

Woody

Offline Threeweight

Re: Battery mounting locations
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2011, 04:20:49 PM »
I have this Blue Sea switch and ACR mounted on the underside of the splashwell, above my fuel tank (previous owner had mounted an old Perko switch in the same spot, I re-used the holes.) 



Under my starboard bait well, I have 6 gauge cable running off my main switch.  Positive lead is fused with a big Maxi-Fuse set up (I think I have a 30 amp fuse in there), then runs to a + bus bar under the bait well then forward to the front fuse bus.  Negative runs to a - bus bar under the well, then forward to the front panel.  I have one bilge pump and and my Troll-Master kicker throttle wired off those rear buses (along with grounds for running lights, both the bilge pumps, the ACR, etc...)

With the two batteries also crammed under there as well there isn't much room left.
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 Threeweight

Re: Battery mounting locations
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2011, 04:28:06 PM »
Woody, re: mounting the batteries up front... I recall a number of folks did this on the old-old Arima site.  I like the idea of having the weight up there for ballast, and it would free up a bunch of room in the back (I'd mount mine where the port-a-potty currently is, if I did it).

Downsides I can see are that if the boat is run hard at Buoy 10, the straight, offshore, etc... in 2-3 foot chop, that area is going to take a serious pounding.  Worried about having batteries breaking loose and flying around up there, and I've heard that kind of a beating can cause the case to crack.  I'd also need to purchase about 40 feet of marine-grade wire in size 1/0 or so, I'd guess, to carry the current for the motor safely.  From Greg's that would run me about $150-160 bucks just for the wire (don't even want to think about what West Marine would charge... that stuff is 8.99 a foot from them!)
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 fishing eagle

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Re: Battery mounting locations
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2011, 05:31:49 PM »
I am not sure if I have more or less room on the starboard area of my SR19 as a Sea Chaser might have, but I have both my batteries mounted there. I did need to stay with the smaller 24 group batteries because 2 of the 27 group would not fit (1 would) due to the drain on my baitwell. I was able to purchase another battery mounting base from my local NAPA auto supply for the second battery and dis have to cut off the mounting ears from the box to make it fit, so I drilled through the base to mount it securely to the deck. I also have two battery switches located in that area both on the starboard inwall. I then mounted the fuse block on the port side where I also located my control box for my kicker steering and etc. Yes in order to get to any wiring I would need to pull out the batteries, but how often will that ever be, especially that my fuse block is on the port side.

I like to have my starting batteries close to my engines because of the cable size involved and to reduce any voltage drop for starting as well for charging the batteries. Another valid point to think about when considering of mounting any battery forward beside the pounding of the boat and impact to the battery case is gases being fumed off during charging of the battery. I personally do not want these fumes in my cuddy for personal safety or to what they can do to other materials in the cabin. You should consider venting any battery in any enclosed compartment. They do get vented fairly well when mounted in the transom by the fresh air being swept through the boat.
(Reel Delight) a 2001 Sea Ranger 19, 2003 Honda 90, 2010 Yamaha T8 w/power tilt, Panther T4 steering system, Hummingbird electronics, & Scotty 1116 electric downriggers.
U.S. Navy Veteran, member of U.S. Power Squadron & Past President of Lake George Fishing Alliance (Retired & ready to fish!)

Online Danno

Re: Battery mounting locations
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2011, 05:35:27 PM »
I don't think the battery case would crack if it was held down solid. You wouldn't be able to use the nylon straps and I'd worry about screws into the fiberglass. If you could bolt them, that would be different.

I've heard that bouncing isn't good for the lead acid or gel batteries. I think the optima batteries would be fine. I haven't seen any data though. The batteries for off road racing handle that.

A comment from the Optima Battery site  " In addition to providing weight savings and outstanding vibration resistance, the BlueTop’s efficient power delivery and faster recharge time mean you'll spend less time worrying about your battery. "

I was thinking that under the sleeper seat would be a good place since that's hard to get to. A side panel door for access would help. The switch and ACR would fit just dandy. That would still put the weight all on one side but then the boat doesn't drive itself does it. I think I would offset that almost even. I could even add Woody to the port side and still be even.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 09:52:27 PM by SeaChaser »
Previously owned a 1998 19' SR

Lures are designed to catch fishermen not fish.

Re: Battery mounting locations
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2011, 11:15:50 PM »
I have one battery forward.  It is a Cabelas Gel one so it can be sideways.  Put a battery box there with the battery hung.  It shortened the run a good bit for the power.  My calcs with a 100A starting current and the 16 total feet showed #2 worked.  This is my house battery, the rear battery is my engine battery.  My BEP ACR uses the power cables to charge the front with my not every flipping the switch.

The battery is secure but I pop the lid off of the box in rough seas.
'84 SR17 Restored '10 Honda BF90

Offline fishing eagle

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Re: Battery mounting locations
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2011, 02:40:39 AM »
Here is a photo of my two group 24 batteries mounted in battery boxes side by side. You can see how the port battery needed to be pull forward some because the top of the battery post was close to or making contact with the bait tank drain connection. You could also install two of the Optima batteries in this space because they are smaller in size that a typical wet cell. Another option at added cost.
(Reel Delight) a 2001 Sea Ranger 19, 2003 Honda 90, 2010 Yamaha T8 w/power tilt, Panther T4 steering system, Hummingbird electronics, & Scotty 1116 electric downriggers.
U.S. Navy Veteran, member of U.S. Power Squadron & Past President of Lake George Fishing Alliance (Retired & ready to fish!)

Offline Vancouvertechie

Re: Battery mounting locations
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2011, 11:59:07 AM »
I did this once, must have hit delete. I'm brainstorming this idea.

What's wrong with putting two batteries in the cuddy, your dual switches, isolator, charger, fuse boxes and all that stuff there where you have room to make it pretty.

Hot wires to engine.  You would have shorter runs almost all the time from fuse to switch to your accessory motors.

Bilge pumps would be long, but now you already run it forward to switches.

Lock the cabin, no intruders or steeling, hot wire, etc.

I only use my cuddy for storage.  Both aft sides would be wide open for tanks, tackle boxes.

I'm going to draw up some wiring diagrams.  Thoughts?

Woody

Woody,

I was thinking about this idea too.  I have one optima battery in the back, but would like to relocate it to the front.  I then would add another near the port side kick panel.  Since I will be running a laptop and few other accessories, it would be nice to have two of them.  Has anyone done this and do they have photos?  Also thoughts on the Blue Seas dual battery kit?  Is the installation straight forward? 

Thanks,

John
Boats owned:

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

Offline GoodDays

Re: Battery mounting locations
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2011, 01:25:36 PM »
I sleep in my cuddy and really dont want the batteries in there with me...

Good Days Greg

Offline fishing eagle

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Re: Battery mounting locations
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2011, 03:36:04 PM »
My 1st mate especially likes the cuddy for a place to read or take a nap. We also use it for storage for all those things you just never know when you will need it so it is not a good place for batteries. Plus I don't want to give up the space for my sani-pottie... that's a must have.
(Reel Delight) a 2001 Sea Ranger 19, 2003 Honda 90, 2010 Yamaha T8 w/power tilt, Panther T4 steering system, Hummingbird electronics, & Scotty 1116 electric downriggers.
U.S. Navy Veteran, member of U.S. Power Squadron & Past President of Lake George Fishing Alliance (Retired & ready to fish!)

Offline Threeweight

Re: Battery mounting locations
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2011, 06:19:07 PM »
My 1st mate saw the cuddy in a 17' Ranger for the first time this weekend.  Her response?

"Uh, why on earth didn't you buy this one instead of ours!?!?!?"
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