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Old 26-07-2009, 22:55   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Puget Sound, WA
Boat: Beneteau Evasion 37
Posts: 53
Outboard Engine Starting Battery

I recently bought a shiny new 15 hp Honda outboard for my dinghy. I got it with an electric start so that my wife can start it without wrecking her back. I hadn't given the battery much thought, just wanting a light weight 12 V AGM battery that can get knocked around and still start the dinghy.

I bought a small (6" x 7" x 4", 19 lbs) AGM battery at a Boaters World close-out sale that said it was for PWC's and jetskis. I figured it would be perfect, but I'm just about to install it and I see that it's only 14 Amp-hrs capacity and they want a charge rate of 1.9 A for 10 hrs, or 9.5 A for 1 hr.

I REALLY like the idea of having a physically small battery. Less weight for my davits to lift every day, etc.

Two issues:

1. Starting - Honda says to use a battery with 30 A-h capacity. How much juice does it actually draw to start? Will my little 14 A-h one simply not start it (of course once I have it charged I can test if it'll start it at all)? More importantly, will the little battery just die after a few months of full time use?

2. Charging - I'm pretty sure my engine has a voltage regulator built in so that it'll stop sending current when the battery reaches a full charge. But if I get on plane soon after starting and the engine throws 12 Amps at the battery will there be unwelcome fireworks under my seat? If yes, can I "de-tune" Honda alternator to send out no more than 9 Amps?


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Old 27-07-2009, 15:07   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Manchester Washington
Boat: Irwin- Barefoot 37CC (Custom MK V) "Quest"
Posts: 159
I believe you are looking at a pre-charge and not a recharge rate. Those batteries are used for jet ski's OB's and motorcycles. I don't think you'll have a problem.

Joe S
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battery, engine, outboard

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