Look in Don Casey's books. He has a formula for the amount of ventilation needed based on horsepower IIRC. I don't think a single 3" vent is really enough, but I could be wrong.
Heat does affect batteries, and if they're in a really warm location, the heat may contribute to the electrolyte evaporating...have you checked the water level in them recently??? Also, the electrical resistance of cables generally goes up as the cables get warmer... You should have the shortest run of cables from the battery to the engine as is possible, this is not a place you want slack.
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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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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.