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Old 03 October 2008, 06:43   #11
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Didn't have one for five years, so they're not essential. Then realised if there was a short for what ever reason something might start to work - trim/tilt, starter, anything. Thought of the expense of the tilt motor trying to pump against the stop, or starter burning out or a fire, and fitted one. Peace of mind now.
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Old 03 October 2008, 06:44   #12
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Agree with olly and M Chappelow.

I've had one go dud on me while out as well-had to bolt the two terminals together while at sea because I didn't find out til I tried to start the engine in Poole Bay and it wasn't a nice job as salt water is a very good electrolyte.The jolts up the arm are quite disconcerting.

It's worth being able to disconnect the electronics separately (easily accessible main fuse or switch) because the first thing that will happen unless your electronics are hardwired to the battery is the input voltage will rise dramatically and maybe start frying stuff (mine fried a VHF in that incident). If you see the system voltage shoot up then it's worth turning everything off immediately.

Your engine should carry on running with the switch off-just don't stop til you get to somewhere safe to bolt the two terminals together...
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Old 03 October 2008, 08:27   #13
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Another alternative is to use these

Very effective, been using them on the caravan for years without any problems. Also means changing or removing the battery for whatever reason is a 2 minute job

Just ordered another set for the boat
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Old 03 October 2008, 08:32   #14
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Yep, I had a battery switch on the old boat that went swimming, after I got swamped. < 4 hrs later it was as good as useless. Thankfully the engine had a recoil as well, so I could at least stop it & know it would restart.

I ended up with putting 2 wing nuts on the terminal posts of the new switch, and crimped together a short loop wire with 2 suitable sized eyes which lives in the toolbox.

On my current boat the switch is above the "flood line", as are the battery terminals, so hopefully I'll never need to use it.
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Old 03 October 2008, 11:26   #15
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Originally Posted by Nos4r2 View Post
Agree with olly and M Chappelow.


Your engine should carry on running with the switch off-just don't stop til you get to somewhere safe to bolt the two terminals together...
You just have to be careful on the more modern engines with an ecu as it can damage it, the engine will carry on running but will show up fault codes etc, and may need replacing.

James
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Old 03 October 2008, 11:31   #16
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Originally Posted by m chappelow View Post
once got called out to a yacht that had been sinking when we arrived the water level had started shorting things out sizzles and sparks everywhere but we couldent reach the battery leads if the boat had been fitted with an isolator it would have made things easier in the end the battery exploded having about the same force as someone hitting the hull with a large sledge hammer .
Cut the battery cable, assuming you could reach it.

Had a similar scenario with a car; short somewhere, battery cables smoking and insulation melting. Chopped the cable (faster than loosening the nut and disconnecting it) and everything stopped.


jky
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Old 03 October 2008, 11:44   #17
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Panic Panic Panic.I've got marine terminals with quick release wing nuts but no isolator switch so after reading about wiring shorting out and things catching alight I'm going to disconnect my battery now.Sounds like a good idea to have one fitted.
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Old 03 October 2008, 11:52   #18
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They are not essential in that the boat will work without one, however everybody is assuming they will be around if it all goes haywire and things start shorting out.
Boat wiring is in a poor enviroment and is not always of the standard that it should be. I have always had one fitted on every boat for emergency shutdown when I am on it and something happens (never yet thankfully) but more importantly shutting down the system when I am away so it isn't possible for the boat to turn itself into a molten puddle due to a short or problem.
I have had a car, twenty ears ago and a heap admittedly, start smoking from under the dash due to a short. Luckily it was just as I pulled up at home and I managed to get the battery off before much more than a few melted wires were caused under the dash. I dread to think what would have happened if it had been 5mins later once I had got out and went inside.........
its a peace of mind thing really.
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Old 03 October 2008, 14:03   #19
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You just have to be careful on the more modern engines with an ecu as it can damage it, the engine will carry on running but will show up fault codes etc, and may need replacing.

James
Is this true? In what way does the switch cause the ecu trouble that is avoided if you disconnect the power cable from the battery?
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Old 03 October 2008, 14:10   #20
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Your engine should carry on running with the switch off-just don't stop til you get to somewhere safe to bolt the two terminals together...
Won't that fry the alternator?
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