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Old 03-02-2012, 21:28   #1
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Question Battery in the Bilge and Exhaust Outlet

I have two questions.

(1) Is it good practice to put batteries in the bilge? A Roberts 25 I checked out the other day had the starter and house battery located in the bilge. They were raised up slightly to allow water, such as from the shower, to flow underneath and to the bilge pump.

My last boat had the batteries under the seats so I had not come across batteries in the bilge before. My concern is that if the water level in the bilge rises high enough, the batteries would cease functioning even before water was visible on the cabin floor. Then, no electric bilge pumps, no two-way radio, no lights, no TV. Not good in an emergency.

Water rise could potentially be from things like a stopcock leaking and the electric bilge pump not keeping the water down or my partner's long hair washing in from the shower and jamming the bilge pump which was trying to pump out the shower water (her hair has strangled many devices including rollers on office chairs and rotary heads on vacuum cleaners).

So, what do you think? Bilge batteries okay or best somewhere else?

(2) And, the motor on the boat started very easily and ran well, however, looking over the stern to watch the exhaust outlet, I noticed it was at waterlevel and so I could not see if it was spitting cooling water. That unsettled me since my last boat had some impeller problems and I became used to keeping an eye on the exhaust outlet which was above the waterline and easy to see.

Is it a problem not being able to see if cooling water is coming through?
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Old 03-02-2012, 21:40   #2
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Re: Question on battery in the bilge and exhaust outlet

Pro = Weight is as low as it can be.
Bilge alarm would tell you there is a problem

As for the exhaust being at the water line..... mine is about the same level and I can tell there is water coming out. I do have a mirror on a telescoping handle so i can see it, more because of the curvature of the hull.
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Old 03-02-2012, 21:57   #3
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Re: Question on battery in the bilge and exhaust outlet

Bilge Alarm and water flow alarm. Aqualarm makes them.
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Old 04-02-2012, 00:18   #4
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Re: Question on battery in the bilge and exhaust outlet

If a lead acid battery gets salt water in it, I believe chlorine gas is produced which may be an unwanted complication in an emergency. A sealed or gel battery may solve this problem.
Plumb a small (1/4 inch) water bleed hose into your raw water just before it enters the exhaust elbow, and have it exit somewhere conspicuous. If you plumb it properly it will also act as an anti syphon.
Regards,
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:14   #5
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Re: Question on battery in the bilge and exhaust outlet

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Originally Posted by boden36 View Post
If a lead acid battery gets salt water in it, I believe chlorine gas is produced which may be an unwanted complication in an emergency. A sealed or gel battery may solve this problem.
Plumb a small (1/4 inch) water bleed hose into your raw water just before it enters the exhaust elbow, and have it exit somewhere conspicuous. If you plumb it properly it will also act as an anti syphon.
Regards,
Richard.
I like that idea for the anti-syphon trick !
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:28   #6
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Re: Question on battery in the bilge and exhaust outlet

I have two 8D AGM batteries in the bilge. They are in two heavy duty battery boxes that were specially ordered without access holes for the cables. I have added a lid gasket to keep the water out, and a 1-1/2" thru-hull in the lid for venting and cables. Hoses run from the boxes to the battery select switches and ground bus. When strapped in place the boxes are water tight. The sea would need to be 3 feet above the cabin sole to enter the hoses.

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Old 04-02-2012, 05:47   #7
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Re: Question on battery in the bilge and exhaust outlet

Running the shower into the bilge is not one of the better ideas.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:53   #8
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Re: Question on battery in the bilge and exhaust outlet

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Running the shower into the bilge is not one of the better ideas.
Agree. Neither is putting batteries in the bilge, however "protected".

Sooner of later -- if you actually use the boat -- water's gonna get in with effects varying from just annoying to disasterous!

IMHO,

Bill
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:35   #9
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Re: Question on battery in the bilge and exhaust outlet

Boden36, nice idea on the Tell-Tale pisser. Outboards have them, why not inboards?
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:53   #10
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Re: Question on battery in the bilge and exhaust outlet

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Boden36, nice idea on the Tell-Tale pisser. Outboards have them, why not inboards?
My cooling water "pisser" attaches to a cockpit drain hose which is right next to the helm position so I can easily hear when the water is running--makes a distinctive sound.

Aren't some gel and AGM batteries sealed well enough to be submersible? I seem to recall someone having a display at a boat show where a submerged battery is in a fish tank and the battery is powering the circulation pump for the fish.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:19   #11
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Re: Question on battery in the bilge and exhaust outlet

Works if you only sail in fresh water. Salt water is conductive, I don't believe conductive enough to explode batteries, but enough to drain it fast.

John


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My cooling water "pisser" attaches to a cockpit drain hose which is right next to the helm position so I can easily hear when the water is running--makes a distinctive sound.

Aren't some gel and AGM batteries sealed well enough to be submersible? I seem to recall someone having a display at a boat show where a submerged battery is in a fish tank and the battery is powering the circulation pump for the fish.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:18   #12
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Re: Question on battery in the bilge and exhaust outlet

Book advise says to put the exhaust port at least 6 inches above the waterline. I don't like the idea of it being submerged anymore than necessary.
kind regards,
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:32   #13
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Re: Question on battery in the bilge and exhaust outlet

its allways a good idea to mount a separete batt high up just for emergency raidio.
A batt under wheelhouse seat saved my butt when boat got four foot water in it in about five seconds!
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Old 04-02-2012, 16:20   #14
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Re: Question on battery in the bilge and exhaust outlet

Hmmm, you folks have given me food for thought with your responses to my questions. Thank you.
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Old 11-11-2013, 18:14   #15
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Re: Question on battery in the bilge and exhaust outlet

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Book advise says to put the exhaust port at least 6 inches above the waterline. I don't like the idea of it being submerged anymore than necessary.
kind regards,

I've never seen a ship with a wet exhaust, they usually have funnels! Incidentally wet exhausts and water-lock mufflers have probably killed-off more marine engines than I've had hot dinners. On the other hand a diesel car can be left idle for several years if its a proper diesel without a cam-belt. Years later one just puts a fresh battery on it and it will fire up immediately. No black sludge in the fuel either as all cars (maybe not the Aixam) recirculate the fuel through a filter and water trap. What kills the marine diesel is water evaporating from the water-lock then condensing in the cylinders. If one happens to have a single cylinder engine it is a good idea to store it with the valves closed.

As to batteries in the bilge a friend is doing exactly this at the moment. He has what must have been the heaviest Colvic Springtide in the world as a previous long-dead owner had filled the long keel with concrete and scrap metal to within an inch of the cabin sole. Possibly the previous owner who was Commodore of a sailing club wanted a stiff boat so as not to spill his tea! My friend has bought two enormous batteries each with 1100 amps Cold Cranking Power and the idea is to put them where the ballast was. The batteries are not new however. Allegedly there is a company that services enormous standby generators and every two years as part of the bi-annual service new batteries are fitted whether they are needed or not. The old batteries are then flogged-off to Joe Public. As such batteries could probably belt-out 1500 amps in the summer I bought the bloke a pair of fuse-holders "just in case" as one needs to be very careful with batteries like those.
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