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Old 21-01-2008, 08:27   #1
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Battery placement

Hello all,

I have an 1976 oday 27'. My boat has two batteries which are stored under the port side bunk, however it's a pain in the *$# to acess them both freely, because mainly the height clearance isn't much. Just enough to hook them up, wiggle them in, and strap them down. Removing them at the end of the season and putting them back in is a necessary evil due to Great Lakes winters. My biggest complaint is accessibility.

I'd like to relocate the batteries placement, however shall I keep them outside of the engine compartment or not near my atomic 4 engine? Ideally, I'd like to expand my battery banks (1 house, 1 starting and 1 acting as a back up).
Note: I usually do carry a 3rd battery, but not wired up and stored seperately from the battery banks.
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Old 21-01-2008, 08:55   #2
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Originally Posted by shellback View Post
Hello all,

I have an 1976 oday 27'. My boat has two batteries which are stored under the port side bunk, however it's a pain in the *$# to acess them both freely, because mainly the height clearance isn't much. Just enough to hook them up, wiggle them in, and strap them down. Removing them at the end of the season and putting them back in is a necessary evil due to Great Lakes winters. My biggest complaint is accessibility.

I'd like to relocate the batteries placement, however shall I keep them outside of the engine compartment or not near my atomic 4 engine? Ideally, I'd like to expand my battery banks (1 house, 1 starting and 1 acting as a back up).
Note: I usually do carry a 3rd battery, but not wired up and stored seperately from the battery banks.
Wow, that sounds *exactly* like my old O'day 302. The batteries were in a plastic well under the port side bunk in the aft cabin. Truly back breaking experience trying to hoist those out of there every winter.

Here's what I did:

I hooked up a trickle charger to them and left the boat plugged in all winter, rather than moving them out and back in. It worked. I know it doesn't address the 3rd battery issue, but at least it saved my back. Nowadays, a good 3 stage "smart charger" will do the trick better than my old "trickle charger" did.

As to the 3rd battery... do you have the "plastic well" that only holds 2 batteries max, like my old O'day did?
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Old 21-01-2008, 09:04   #3
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Batteries may be mounted in engine compartments (even gasoline); but shall NOT be installed directly above nor below a fuel tank, fuel fitting, nor fuel line. The battery requires a 12" “Dielectric Shielding Envelope”.
Batteries may NOT be installed directly below battery chargers nor inverters.
The Positive battery terminal (ungrounded conduuctor) must be protected from accidental contact (rubber boot or battery box /w cover).
Adjacent surfaces must be protected from battery electrolyte (box).
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Old 21-01-2008, 09:41   #4
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Hello, I have a 30 ft O Day and have 2 batteries (house) under the quater berth, a battery under the starboard V-berth and the starting battery way back in the stern aft of the diesel tank. The battery forward is for the heads, my reason for joining this thread is; how can I get the starting battery out?. The space behind the tank is the width of the batterry, space above is less than the batters hieght and from the quater berth to the battery is about 3 ft. at 40 degrees. Please help with sensible answers, have heard all about elfs and midets. very best regards Peter
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Old 21-01-2008, 12:37   #5
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Are they Lead Acid? If they are how do you check the water, or clean the terminals?
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Old 21-01-2008, 12:56   #6
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Are they Lead Acid? If they are how do you check the water, or clean the terminals?

The answer is: You don't! ha ha

You do it at the end of each season.

Different requirements from a long range, liveaboard cruiser.

Alternately, you can lift up the quarter berth cushion, lift up the wooden access hatch that's about the size of the quarter berth, wedge yourself in there (with all the other junk you store back there) and shimmy in enough to make sure the terminals are at least connected once every couple months or so. But... I was always too lazy.

When he says it's a PITA to get in there, he's not kidding.

Sorry... just brining back fond old memories...
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Old 21-01-2008, 14:00   #7
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Makes sense to me...
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Old 21-01-2008, 16:44   #8
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I had a power boat in Florida for winter trips and it ate batteries on a regular basis. We would use the boat for a week or two, it would sit for a month or two and once April came, it would sit until the following winter. The solution to replacing batteries every year was to attach a solar battery charger to each battery (I know you have sun in Michigan in the winter) and your worries are over. A charged battery won't freeze and there is insufficient charge to cause the batteries to boil off the acid.
A perfect solution - you don't have to remove the batteries, check the water (yearly should do) or remove them from the bunk.
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Old 22-01-2008, 11:46   #9
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Yes it's only got room for 2 batteries. Any more and I wouldn't be able to gain easy access to the on battery thats tucks just astern of the other.
Sucks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
Wow, that sounds *exactly* like my old O'day 302. The batteries were in a plastic well under the port side bunk in the aft cabin. Truly back breaking experience trying to hoist those out of there every winter.

Here's what I did:

I hooked up a trickle charger to them and left the boat plugged in all winter, rather than moving them out and back in. It worked. I know it doesn't address the 3rd battery issue, but at least it saved my back. Nowadays, a good 3 stage "smart charger" will do the trick better than my old "trickle charger" did.

As to the 3rd battery... do you have the "plastic well" that only holds 2 batteries max, like my old O'day did?
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Old 22-01-2008, 11:53   #10
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Only challenge to me here, is that where I store my boat at the boatyard, it doesn't nearby hookups for power. I do have a trickle charger on the boat, but I'd like to make these batteries more accessible for more than just installation/removal and beginning or ends of our boating seasons.

Sad to say, good to know I'm not the only one grumbling about cramped battery locations under quarter berths!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
Wow, that sounds *exactly* like my old O'day 302. The batteries were in a plastic well under the port side bunk in the aft cabin. Truly back breaking experience trying to hoist those out of there every winter.

Here's what I did:

I hooked up a trickle charger to them and left the boat plugged in all winter, rather than moving them out and back in. It worked. I know it doesn't address the 3rd battery issue, but at least it saved my back. Nowadays, a good 3 stage "smart charger" will do the trick better than my old "trickle charger" did.

As to the 3rd battery... do you have the "plastic well" that only holds 2 batteries max, like my old O'day did?
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Old 22-01-2008, 12:51   #11
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Not knowing the situation, could you cut the top of the battery compartment (bottom of the birth) and make it into a lifting panel with a piano hinge on one side and thick epoxied teak strips as a panel lip? It should be secure and allow you to lift the batteries straight up. A small ubolt directly above them with a small removable block would allow you then to lift it without bending over. Regarding the very aft starting battery is it possible to put in an access panel? I've had boats with bad access to batteries and engines and the ultimate solution was always to make what was above it into some sort of access panel.
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Old 22-01-2008, 16:19   #12
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I will admit to being somewhat ignorant about Electrickery .......but my first thought about a battery under a berth was "YIKES!". But from the other comments it seems to be quite common....albeit I had never come accross this before.

At this point I would like to say the reasons why I thought "YIKES!", but am unable to do so apart from some vague ideas about exploding Batteries, inhaling battery vapour or smoke from electrical fire. None of which I have any evidence to support .

Nor have I encountered any of these situations in real life........possibly because batteries live outside living accomadation? Why? Because they do!
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Old 23-01-2008, 00:53   #13
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A lovely little cupboard with reasonably long leads and an a spare upside down milk crate. The battery you wish to deal with is unstrapped and then pulled out onto the milk crate where it can be disconnected without the risk of connecting the electric shifting spanner up. No back %&$^$# problems . Putting them in is the reverse. Place milkcrate or similar box like thing on cabin sole .place battery on box and then push forward into nice little cupboard. My nice little cupboard holds 1x engine and 3x kids flattenening batteries. It is as close to the engine and distribution panel as practical. Lined with that grey lab grade plastic and vented makes me smile when I open the nice little doors. What makes me smile even more is that they will stay there if the ride gets bumpy...
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Old 23-01-2008, 01:43   #14
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I always fit a clear vinyl hose sleeve over battery cables, prior to crimping battery lugs. The protective sleeve is sized to slide down over the lug, fitting snugly, and protecting it from accidental contact (shorting) when servicing or removing the battery.
This is in addition to the normal battery lug cap, which protects the connected cable & batt. Post.
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Old 28-01-2008, 03:14   #15
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brilliant !
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