I was hoping to not get back into this but I wanted to answer Jim about production boats and just add my final thoughts.
I do not know of any production boats that use a active ventilation system for the batteries. Most have there batteries installed in the engine
compartment or cockpit
locker with passive ventilation. I have looked at several of the European boats with batteries installed in the living space. Recently I looked at a 2005 Bavaria
36 with the batteries under the port and starboard settee's. No boxes, no covers, no ventilation. There was acid in the bottom of the locker and the wood above was stained. No equipment
could be stowed here because it would be sitting in acid. Terminals were not covered so equipment
could short out the terminals.
Come on guys this boils down to common sense. Batteries are a source of high power they can produce poisonous gases, then can leak acid, they can explode, they can start fires. Maybe under normal conditions none of this will happen and as we all know nothing ever goes wrong on a boat right?
My point in all this was not to nit pik the rules and regulations
but to think about doing things in a safe and seamanship matter. Maybe you can get away with 8 batteries under your settee with no ventilation or ventilation into the cabin
. But maybe it would be safer if you follow the basic guild lines set out by those who have spent a lot of time researching this stuff.
Also you need to consider resale of your boat. Installations not meeting ABYC are likely to get written up in a survey
. Your argument for not doing things the way they should be will not likely impress a buyer.
I stand by common sense and doing things for worst case conditions not best. Batteries are a source of some potential problems. Maybe you will never have any of those problems but i do not think that is an excuse for at least not trying to protect yourself form the what could happen.
OK I am done you can all make your own decisions, but if I come and survey
your boat and the batteries do not meet basic safety
standards I will write it up.
Wayne Canning, AMS