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post #4 of Old 08-12-2008
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You really need to re-wire the boat IMHO. You need to have a main battery switch, usually a three or four position switch. The one I generally recommend is the Blue Sea Dual Circuit Plus models. They isolate the house bank from the starting bank and unless the battery switch is in the "COMBINE" position, starting the engine doesn't affect the electronics at all. It often comes in a kit with an ACR battery combiner, which allows you to charge both battery banks if either bank has a charging source attached.

The DCP switch has four posts... two for battery bank 1 and two for battery bank 2. Ideally, the house bank would be hooked up to post 1a and the main DC panel feed would be hooked up to 1b; and the start battery would be hooked up to 2a, and the starter and ignition system hooked up to 1b. Then there would be a lead from 1a to one side of the ACR, and a lead from 2a to the other side of the ACR. The alternator output and a shore-power AC fed battery charger would both be connected to the 1a post.

It would make some sense to have a bilge pump wired directly to the house bank batteries, but with a switch and fuse in line. The switch should be a three-position: Off, On, and Auto—with the auto position wired to a float switch.

It might also make sense to have the bilge blower connected to a separate switch and fuse, especially if the boat has a gasoline in-board engine. The switch should be an ignition proof model.
Originally Posted by Patbarbeau View Post
For most people here, this question might look very simple. I have searched for a while the different forums to see if I could find threads on this topic but with single-word search, it was difficult to get the result I am looking for... therefore, I need your help. Please do not hesitate to forward me to an existing thread if easier.

My new boat is equipped with the standard 2 batteries (crank & deep) with a switch and an electric panel. It appears that the switch only serves for the engine starter and engine area ventilator because everything else is directly plugged to the deep cycle battery. I can shut off all equipement from the panel (except engine starter, ventilator and bilge pump). The charger which can manage two batteries in a 3-cycle mode is also directly plugged to the batteries.

Is this standard or acceptable? If not what should I change?


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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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