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Old 13 November 2014, 10:47   #11
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That was something I had thought of Rokraider, but what is best - two batteries on the deck in battery boxes, or two batteries raised off the deck? I'm in two minds there.

Obviously the boxes aren't waterproof once the water gets to the top of the box, but the console is sealed up to about the same height too (obviously not sealed above the level of the hatch into the console). Raising the batteries does lift the COG up, but is it worth doing in order to give the batteries a bit more protection?

The chances are that I'll be out in mild to good weather with the boys so not likely to fill the boat, however there will be the occasional chance to play when I get a chance - but I'm still not likely to be doing silly things.
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Old 13 November 2014, 15:33   #12
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On my Porter I have them under the drivers seat inside the seat box. They are mounted on a wooden frame on the deck to keep them in place, with straps keeping them in place. Not had any problems with water ingress yet and I take it out in lumpy conditions often .
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Old 13 November 2014, 17:25   #13
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Poly - I have a 75Ah leisure battery and I have Nav lights, Anchor light, Chartplotter (all on switches), a bilge pump (on a press+hold on/off/auto switch), VHF radio (running directly from the busbars but using it's front panel on/off/volume knob) and an NMEA2K network (permanantly powered once battery switched on). As you say, it's not an issue while running, and I'd like to think I turn it off when unattended (I'm usually pretty good at being anal in that respect!) but it's in case of the forgetful moment. At most it would be the chartplotter and VHF accidentally left on and the bilge pump in auto while at the beach during the day.
So why do you believe you would be less likely to forget to switch to a single battery than switch off?

If we assume its not raining hard and the boat is not shipping lots of water then the bilge pump isn't running without being on manual.

The VHF uses relatively little when not transmitting. Probably < 0.5A
The chartplotter - a quick look suggested ~ 0.5 A is probably a reasonable guess although a really big one with a sounder etc might be using a bit more when the backlight is on - but if the screen is lit you are more likely to notice it.
Nav/anchor lights won't normally be on when you are at anchor.
I don't think the NMEA network itself will have any appreciable current draw on the timescale we are discussing.

So you are probably using at most 1A at a time. If we can assume that you arrive at the beach with a fully charged battery, and are worried it might drop below 50% you'd expect to be able to sit there for 37 hrs! So not a big worry. Even if you left the nav lights on and the bilge pump running you'd comfortably have 5+ hrs before you were at risk of an issue.

Now people do report issues with battery systems so I'd consider if your investment would be better served:
- making sure you have a good quality battery isolator and it is fitted somewhere that is protected from water ingress.
- having a way to bypass the switch if you need to (they are one of the main points of failure)
- having a way to monitor battery charge and charging (and a routine to monitor it).
- knowing how (and practicing) pull starting the engine (possible on even some of the biggest beasts)
- if its not possible then consider is a small jump start pack in a locker is more flexible.

Now if you were running bait wells or fridges at anchor etc then I'd be looking at a twin battery set up.
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Old 14 November 2014, 04:40   #14
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Good points there, and well worth thinking about Poly!

You're right, I am just as (un?)likely to forget the battery switch as I am the panel switches, so maybe the act of switching off isn't the thing that is the most concern (especially when you break it down to the numbers as you have, which gives me a better peace-of-mind if I should leave anything on while at the beach or wherever).

I do have a good quality battery isolator fitted (a BEP isolator switch) and this is inside the console at a height probably above a swamp-line, so hopefully this shouldn't fail. (The battery box would flood before the switch got wet).

I have a short length of battery cable in my onboard toolbox which should allow me to jury-rig something if the need arises.

As for monitoring charge, the only thing I have is the battery voltage level indication on the Yamaha engine guages - I can see it jump from around 12.4V up to 13.8V when the engine starts, but there's no dedicated charge indication as such.

Jump starting is the thing that would make me question myself. I think I'll investigate how to jump my Yam F115AETL (the manual states you can, but doesn't tell you how; it also tells you there's a pull cord in the cowling but there isn't (not sure if there was when new)).

I must admit, so far the boat has been a great starter - first time every time - but the thoughts of a second battery were for the "what if" scenario. It does sound as though (barring a completely failed battery) I might not need one.
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Old 14 November 2014, 06:09   #15
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Thanks for that Boris - that looks a simple(ish) solution that seems to tick all the boxes. Do you have any wiring diagrams at all, or did you get those from the net too?
The 716 cluster came with instructions, plus I also downloaded something from the Bep marine website which helped, always helps mapping it out on paper before you begin. I will see if I still have the downloads and will send to you.
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Old 14 November 2014, 06:12   #16
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The 716 cluster came with instructions, plus I also downloaded something from the Bep marine website which helped, always helps mapping it out on paper before you begin. I will see if I still have the downloads and will send to you.
here it is, the horizontal cluster version.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf bep 716 cluster.pdf (190.8 KB, 50 views)
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Old 14 November 2014, 06:14   #17
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and this link maybe useful, someone who put online some stuff when they were doing a wiring project.

BEP 716/Documentatiion - Bluewaterpirates Albums
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Old 14 November 2014, 06:19   #18
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Thanks for that Boris, I'll have a look and decide whether it's something I'm going to do or not (based on other advice on this thread). But I appreciate you digging the info out for me!
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Old 14 November 2014, 06:59   #19
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Ovey,

The simplest and most reliable way is to fit one of the BEP clusters.

I have this on my boat and it's perfect.

I run off either one battery or the other battery. Once the engine has started it will begin to be charged. Once it's voltage has risen to a set level the voltage sensing relay closes and the second battery then starts to charge.
The in service battery is always powered up as we keep the boat afloat on a mooring.
On the few occasions that the bilge pump has flattened the battery its been a simple task to switch that battery off and switch the spare on.

Periodically (every couple of weeks) I will swap over to the second battery and use that as the primary for a while.

has worked for me as the secondary battery is always fully charged.
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Old 14 November 2014, 07:31   #20
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Thanks Searider. I think the thing that is putting me off is getting the time to do it at the moment (and the expense of doing it close to Christmas). I like the idea of having redundancy for the battery though, so it's probably something that I will get round to doing.
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