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Old 31 March 2010, 20:14   #1
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Country: USA
Town: Santa Barbara, CA
Boat name: "Spear Rib"
Make: Avon
Length: 3m +
Engine: Evinrude 30hp O/B
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 24
Starting battery for a 1991 Avon S3.45?

Hello all,

I'm really struggling a bit with this one, and would love some advice. I recently acquired an older S3.45 (the one with the center seating console and front cowl-mounted controls). It has an Evinrude 2-stroke electric start 30 which starts on the first pull, but the boat came with a tiny motorcycle type battery that is completely dead and won't take a charge.

I ran out and bought a spiffy new Group 24 marine battery and box, and brought it home only to find that it wouldn't fit under the rear-facing seat! (too tall).

Does anyone know what the original battery setup was for this boat?

I'm thinking that a U1 size battery would fit, but IIRC, they are usually "wheelchair" batteries designed more for deep cycle applications than for starting oomph....

I'm grateful for suggestions - The motor has a 4-amp charging circuit and I'd love to be able to just start the motor and be able to run a Fish Finder/GPS unit and perhaps a 12v receptacle for charging a hand held VHF radio while underway.

Thanks in advance,

-Brent
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Old 01 April 2010, 06:31   #2
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Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: Wildheart
Make: Humber/Delta Seasafe
Length: 5m +
Engine: Merc 60 Clamshell
MMSI: 235068449
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,610
I'm going to be controversiol again. If your 'rude is a 2- stroke 30, I suspect you could start it with a motorbike batt, and not worry about flattening it in the process. Fishfinder isn't going to pull much more than the lights on a bike (that by law need to be permanently lit!) so I'd say you'll have plenty of capaciy in a small bike batt.

Worst case, you have a buit of string to pull to make it go - the alternator will keep the fishfinder going when it's running, even if the batt is so flat it can't turn the starter.
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Old 01 April 2010, 09:40   #3
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Country: USA
Town: Santa Barbara, CA
Boat name: "Spear Rib"
Make: Avon
Length: 3m +
Engine: Evinrude 30hp O/B
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 24
Controversial? (safety of having a "marginal" battery?)

Encouraging suggestion, nonetheless, as a motorcycle battery (or one for a PWC) will be much less costly than a typical marine battery.

The fellow at West Marine suggested that I need a minimum of 300 MCA, which I don't think can be found in a motorcycle battery.

I'm thinking this one looks like it might be a good one, and appears that it would fit inside a "U1" sized marine battery box:
http://www.amazon.com/Odyssey-PC625-...0130058&sr=1-3
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Old 01 April 2010, 10:29   #4
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Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: Wildheart
Make: Humber/Delta Seasafe
Length: 5m +
Engine: Merc 60 Clamshell
MMSI: 235068449
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,610
Yeah, in a nutshell!

I currently have the smallest, cheapest battery I could lay my hands on in a hurry (in a hurry being the key point!) . It runs a Garmin GPS and a VHF, not to mention 35-ish W of Nav lights. Only when I was out tweaking and testing and cranking the engine every 2 mins for an hour did it start to loose the will to turn. On paper, I should be using the pull chord all the time, but taking a slight reality check:

- 2- strokes are self supporting, the battery is literaly only there to turn the starter (and energise the choke solenoid!), after it fires, it's 100% on charge, and it's only cranking 2 or 3 small cyls.

- once running, an outboard will be running at reasonably high RPM for a good chunk of the time (i.e oodles of recharging available)

- You'd be surprised how much of the power to run your toys actually comes direct form the alternator.


Bottom line is, what's the worst that can happen? - you have to go to the back & pull a bit of string! Once going, the engine will keep your toys alive. The advantage of older engines is they don't need external power to keep running, unlike a lot of modern cars are stuffed if the battery dies.



I should add that you will still need a battery (even a mostly gubbed one) to flatten out the nasty electrical spikes you get from the alternator, otherwise you risk frying your electronics.
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Old 01 April 2010, 11:37   #5
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Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Used to run a 14' Achilles with a Honda 40 4-stroke; the battery used was a Orchard Supply sourced Lawn and Garden tractor battery. The last time I replaced it, it was something like $35. Worked fine for starting and running a couple of handheld electronics.

jky
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Old 22 April 2010, 15:58   #6
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Country: USA
Town: Santa Barbara, CA
Boat name: "Spear Rib"
Make: Avon
Length: 3m +
Engine: Evinrude 30hp O/B
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 24
Excellent! Thanks for all the help.
(Dang, I with email notification was working for thread subscriptions!)

I will be installing the FF/GPS and VHF next weekend with the existing motorcycle battery, so we'll see how it goes. I've run the same GPS/FF combo from a back of 8 AA NiMH batteries all day long in a kayak, so I know the current drain is very very minimal.
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