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Old 03 November 2011, 12:26   #1
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Country: Ireland
Boat name: Joy Ride
Make: Ribtec655CamelTrophy
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Charging batteries in boat?

I am looking at making up a couple of leads with anderson type connectors on them and attaching them to the batteries in the console. The purpose being so I dont have to take the console apart and try route out the batteries when i need to charge them/ Jump start.
I had an incident during the summer whereby all electronics were left on while berthed at a remote pier/pub (never trust your crew to turn off isolator switches while you tie up the boat!) and ended up borrowing a car battery to get us started. Real pain getting at the battery when on the water.
Anybody else have a similar setup or recommend a better way of doing this. Is there any danger doing this. Obviously isolator switches would be OFF while connected to a charger.
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Old 03 November 2011, 14:15   #2
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I have a similar idea on mine which I made up for the old boat because the battery was right next to the fuel tank and I didn't fancy the idea of sparks...

I have a set of 3 pin male/female plug/socket pairs, similar to the sort of thing you would find on an electric lawnmower or hedge trimmer lead, which I bought from B&Q. I bought a bunch of them all the same and I have a "one size fits all" charging system with a couple of different chargers fitted with the female socket, a couple of different sets of charging leads (croc clips) fitted with the male plug, and about 20ft of heavy twin core wire with a plug and a socket on the ends. With that, I can charge a battery in the garage by just plugging the normal battery charger crocodile clips into the charger, or I can leave the charger in the garage and run the extension out through the window to anything parked outside and use the crocodile clips on that. In the boat console I've got another matching plug on a short harness just inside the console access hatch, cable tied securely out of harms way, onto which I can fit the socket on the extension lead. When I want to charge it, all I have to do is run the lead out the garage window, open the hatch and plug it in. I give it a couple of hours about once a month during the winter, or when I am out messing with anything electrical as it only takes 30 seconds to connect up.

Works a treat, and the plugs are handed so you can't fit them the wrong way round. They aren't Andersen connectors and wouldn't have anything like the rated capacity of a good Andersen connector (I think they are 250V 10A rating) but are fine for charging - however no use for starting. I guess you could do something similar with some heavier cable and a set of jump lead clips for emergency starting, either long enough to reach a battery or a boat alongside you.

Vehicle Wiring Products is probably the best place for Andersen connectors if you haven't got any.

Well worth doing
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Old 03 November 2011, 16:45   #3
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Country: Ireland
Boat name: Joy Ride
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Thats exactly what I wanted to hear! Good reassurance Im not going to do anything too wrong.
Cheers
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Old 03 November 2011, 18:02   #4
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Country: UK - England
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Two battery system with voltage sensing relay would prevent the problem in the first place.
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