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Old 18-05-2019, 08:19   #1
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Dead start battery...

Ok...you’ve sailed for many hours, with engine off, towards your next landfall...

Turning the start key to crank the diesel to enter the inlet you hear only click click click...your start battery is dead.

How do you get your diesel started in this scenario?

(Make up some reason why you MUST start your diesel...no wind, adverse current, no outside assist available, etc).

You have a dedicated (but dead) start battery separate from your house bank (which shows about 75% on your XYZ battery monitor).

How do YOU get your diesel started with a dead start battery? (Don’t even suggest hand cranking unless you’ve actually done it!)

Thanks
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Old 18-05-2019, 09:49   #2
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Re: Dead start battery...

I've got a Catalina, I just switch to #2 or both and start the engine, is this a trick question or just for French boats ?
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Old 18-05-2019, 10:01   #3
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Re: Dead start battery...

My boat has a single (12V) start battery, and eight Group 31 batteries that make up the 24 volt house bank. There are NO connections between the two systems at all--switched or not.

The boat builder very thoughtfully supplied a pair of jumper cables that make it easy to start the engine using any one house batteries if needed. I needed once. Worked a treat.

Don't make it hard or complicated. On a modern boat with proper separate house and engine battery systems there should never be a cross connect switch that a fallible human (like me!) could leave in the wrong position.

The jumper cables are the perfect solution. Easy to implement if needed, cheap. Can't be left accidentally in the wrong position.
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Old 18-05-2019, 14:56   #4
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Re: Dead start battery...

Good ACRs like BSS ML model may accommodate a momentary "self jumpstart" button overriding the default isolation long enough to crank from House.

Can be up to 600A surge, which is why you would not that facility on the lighter duty cheap VSR / combiners.
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Old 18-05-2019, 14:58   #5
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Re: Dead start battery...

We have two start batteries, a portable jump start battery and 3 banks of carbon foam house batteries.

All our batteries are isolated and we have multiple charging sources. You need starting redundancy.

We can also start our main engine if the generator is running.

We also have a spare starter motor.
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Old 19-05-2019, 07:11   #6
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Re: Dead start battery...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
I've got a Catalina, I just switch to #2 or both and start the engine, is this a trick question or just for French boats ?
No...not a “trick question”... curious how others plan for, equip, setup and wire for this situation (doesn’t matter if they’re French or not).
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Old 19-05-2019, 07:33   #7
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Re: Dead start battery...

Malyea, he say:
Quote:
How do YOU get your diesel started…
So we're each answering for his particular circumstance, and not getting into "the perfect set up." (Just watch it drift into theoretical pontification).

I have a switch that connects the house bank to the starter battery, normally left open, but exists to address this very scenario. If I close it, the two banks equalize. Hopefully my house bank, in that situation, has a high enough state of charge to boost the start battery and turn over the engine.

If the house bank can't help the starter, I leave the switch closed (I know the start battery takes its charge echo-style from the house bank, and it's technically unnecessary to leave the switch closed, but it might save some time and I can't see how it could hurt anything), stand off, and haul out the Honda e2000. The Honda powers a 50a charger, which charges the now-combined bank. I carry a shore power cable. The Honda is my normal charging source when lying to anchor.

The Hondas are pretty reliable, so I'm probably okay, but I've been thinking about carrying a power pack to sleep better.
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Old 19-05-2019, 16:40   #8
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Re: Dead start battery...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbuck View Post
Malyea, he say:


So we're each answering for his particular circumstance, and not getting into "the perfect set up." (Just watch it drift into theoretical pontification).

I have a switch that connects the house bank to the starter battery, normally left open, but exists to address this very scenario.
What switch do you have?

(No pontification from the OP...just asking what others do in the scenario I outlined.)
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Old 19-05-2019, 16:49   #9
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Re: Dead start battery...

However you chose to switch it, i.e., a 1-2-B or three switches, a reliable electrical system should allow you to use EITHER the start or house bank to start the engine without having to either connect the two banks together or to use jumper cables.


The only time battery banks should be connected is when charging is present, whether this is manually through switching or with a VSR.


This "high technology" has been available for over two decades.
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Old 20-05-2019, 19:43   #10
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Re: Dead start battery...

I would just sail in to dock or anchorage and sort it later. Not the answer for your scenario.
Batteries low just a click.
Switch to other battery. I have a 1 2 both switch. The I only sail with #1 is my engine battery I keep in reserve. #2 is my house battery and I ussualy start with it. So I sail on no 2 on line with #1 isolated JIK.
When this doesn’t work.
Manual actually recommends ussing both to start.

Next methods requires a helpful friend due to my arms not being long enough.

Open compression levers. With no compression, turn key to start. Battery may still spin engine. When up to speed close compression lever engine will often start.

Option three hand start. Can’t on my boat not fitted with hand start.
Other boats I have sailed have had hand cranks and I have used them and they did work.

Or back to just sail to a safe location I can sort it later.

Or if you have a fixed pitch prop and are sailing fast enough try bump starting. I have a folding prop so this won’t work on my boat.
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Old 21-05-2019, 05:09   #11
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Re: Dead start battery...

I toggle a momentary switch engaging the ACR that is able to handle the short duration inrush for the starter. Easy as pie
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Old 21-05-2019, 05:44   #12
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Re: Dead start battery...

In the same manner as noted by some, above, we have a "momentary switch" on our engine panel that activates a solenoid that connects our house bank (450 AH) to our start battery. I had it installed when we first got the boat and have used it once when our start battery gave up the ghost while we were on a cruise. Works well (although we also carry extra long jumper cables, just in case!)


FWIW...
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Old 21-05-2019, 08:27   #13
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Re: Dead start battery...

All good points...

Those who have a “momentary switch” - what make and model has worked well for you?
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Old 21-05-2019, 09:04   #14
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Re: Dead start battery...

Quote:
Originally Posted by malyea View Post
All good points...

Those who have a “momentary switch” - what make and model has worked well for you?


We’re using a blue seas momentary toggle switch to actuate a cyrix CT ACR.
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Old 21-05-2019, 10:48   #15
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Re: Dead start battery...

The Blue Sea ML ACR is much more robust.
https://www.bluesea.com/products/762..._-_12V_DC_500A

If you really only want a remote switch, https://www.bluesea.com/products/770..._-_12V_DC_500A
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