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Old 12-04-2011, 15:04   #1
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Battery Bank Question

My boat has two seperate DC panels fed individually from a battery selector switch. The house batteries sit one on each side of the engine room for a total of two. When I prurchased the boat the motor was out and wiring was not installed. As there where a couple of short lengths s of 2 awg wire with lugs laying around in addition to the cables that go from the batteries to the switches I am thinking the batteries were set up in a bank. When the new batteries are installed and I return to wiring them as a bank can I pull a hot lead off each battery to feed the switch or is it rerequired that both positive leads are combined at one terminal in the bank?

Hope this question was clear.
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Old 12-04-2011, 15:44   #2
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Re: Battery Bank Question

You should have just one cable form you battery bank to the selector switch... in series or parallel...... heres a little link with a diagram.

Connecting Batteries in Series or Parallel
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Old 12-04-2011, 15:54   #3
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Re: Battery Bank Question

The switch for the panels has an individual positive lead going to each position batt1 and batt 2 then out from each position to the seperate panels. The combined lug is a jump feed to the main start switch. If I understand what you are suggesting I could run a jump cable between the two battery posts on the switch and only have to have one feed wire.
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Old 12-04-2011, 16:42   #4
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Re: Battery Bank Question

Whatever you do, be sure to isolate one battery as being your engine start battery. That's why you have two or three circuits on your control panel. The usual circuits are 1. Domestic, 2. Engine, and 3 (If you have them) Auxiliary batteries.
You can trace the individual circuits from your (Probably Three) Battery Islolater switches, just follow the cables from those switches and you should be able to find your way around. BUT, as I said before, make sure that your engine start battery is on a seperate circuit; Why? That's because if you run your domestic batteries flat, you will still be able to start your engine. And further, you should consider adding at least one extra battery to your domestic service circuit, even more if you plan to be sailing offshore. The typical set up for off shore sailboats would be for One engine start battery and Three 100 AH domestic batteries PLUS either a wind turbine, solar panels, or both of those things.
If you will only be doing short trip coastal sailing, you could get away with less than that but if you plan to go off into the wild blue yonder, what I have described above would be the Minium you would go with. Hope this helps, Safe sailing to you, James
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Old 12-04-2011, 16:47   #5
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Re: Battery Bank Question

Start battery is on seperate switch and is the boats third battery, thanks.
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Old 12-04-2011, 17:20   #6
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Re: Battery Bank Question

In the 70's power wasn't much of an issue. Westsails were set up as you described. Port was the house and starboard the start battery. It sounds as if a PO did his own modifications. You might want to redo this rather than mess with the mess. All you need is one switch. 1 is start, 2 is house, then the switch is wired to the DC panel. I built a battery box for the house bank forward of the nav station. It holds 4 6v trojans. The start battery is as original. I also changed all of the wiring to 1/0, put in inline fuses and installed a common terminal for all grounds.
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Old 12-04-2011, 17:44   #7
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Re: Battery Bank Question

My start battery is a modification to the origional layout and is located in the wet locker. I am as you have suggested been sorting out some of the previous owners wiring issues making things simpler. The dual switches come into play due to the addition of the other battery over origional and becasue of the dual DC panel setup.
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Old 12-04-2011, 18:41   #8
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Re: Battery Bank Question

I would go to the Westsail web site. Go to ask Bud. He knows more about these boats than anyone. I follow the KISS principle. The set up you have seems really complicated. I am working on adding a second breaker panel at the nav station wired from the main panel and all the elctronics wired at the nav panel instead of inline fuses. You can also wire both panels to the switch. I spoke to Casey at a seminar at Bluewater Books. I wanted to split my house bank port and starboard. He said he wouldn't do it. He said each bank needs to be in the same location together. It took me 6 months to decide where to put the house bank. I kept changing my mind.
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