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post #1 of 3 Old 03-01-2009 Thread Starter
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Securing Batteries in Engine Room

First of all, thanks for all the advice on my previous battery replacement question. Now, on to the next challenge.

Currently the boat has a small battery compartment set up for three group 27's/24's which sits in the main cabin, sharing a bulkhead with the engineroom. I'm looking to utilize 6 6volt batteries, which presents a problem. I can fit three in the current compartment and the other three along the shared bulkhead in the engineroom. However, I'm concerned that the temperature differential will be problematic for charging. Given that, and since I have room now that I've drasitcally reduced the footprint of my generator, I'm thinking about putting all 6 in the engineroom. I know this isn't ideal, but I really don't have any other place to put them without running some seriously heavy gauge wire. Even then, I won't be able to put them all together.

What is the standard, if any, for securing/enclosing house batteries? I'm thinking of making a mounting plate to hold all six with 3/4in starboard. From there, I'll fashion a hold down strap/plate to secure them. I assume that the terminal connections will need to be covered, but otherwise do they need to be fully enclosed? Thanks in advance.

-Lloyd

S/V Tethys
1980 Gulfstar 44' Aux Sloop
Key West, FL

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post #2 of 3 Old 03-02-2009
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Positive terminals need a non-conductive cover on them. Plastic doo-dads you can get anywhere - even the autoparts store.

You can make your tiedowns out of pretty much anything non-conductive. Nylon straps work well and last a while. Strips of plywood (marine grade) work just okay. I have personally used bungee cords (the all rubber style) on my 14' BeeBoat. Just remember, a boat rolls. When it rolls, all that weight is thrown against the tiedown. The strap may last but the anchor point can pull. I have snapped the plastic anchor points on my family's 14' Rossiter. in 2' waves at 20 knots.

Remember to keep the batteries in a tray with minimum 1" sidewalls.

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post #3 of 3 Old 03-02-2009
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The tiedowns don't have to be non-conductive, but it is far safer if they are. I've seen aluminum bars used as battery hold downs fairly well. I suggested painting or coating the aluminum with tool handle "dip" and they did so, which makes them "non-conductive".

The big problem I see with using 3/4" starboard is that it doesn't have the tensile strength you'd want. Six golf cart batteries is 450 lbs. How will the starboard be fastened to the engine compartment. Think inverted? If the boat rolls, would it hold them in place.

The main reason to enclose batteries is to contain acid spills, should a battery case break or rupture, or in the event of a roll over, where it might pour out via the vent caps. Mixing sulfuric acid and sea water produces toxic gases—so is to be avoided if at all possible.

Yes, you need to cover the terminals.

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