Proper start up sequence engine/battery - SailNet Community

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Old 08-27-2012
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Proper start up sequence engine/battery

Hey guys got a newbie question. Well a new (old) boat question. So here goes, if I want to start my engine and pull out the dock. I should have the main battery switched on, and the distribution to house(so I can run cabin lights, instruments...etc) and the battery charging switch for distribution switch as well. Once done motoring just flip off the battery charging distribution? Or have I got this complete ass backwards. The new (old) boat has a lot more switches than my last one.
Cheers!
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Old 08-27-2012
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Re: Proper start up sequence engine/battery

For us to understand your question I think we need to know more about the way the boat's wired up.. Typically when we are sailing we isolate the starting battery from the house loads. If we're tied up and plugged in (and charging) we'll leave all batteries switched in.

But systems can differ drastically so more info or a wiring diagram would be helpful.
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Re: Proper start up sequence engine/battery

Cool I have some photos showing the setup. When I get a chance I will transfer them from my phone. I am just trying to be cautious, new (old) boat, and wanting to do things right. Last boat was easy as pie.
Thanks for the reply
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Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Proper start up sequence engine/battery

Main rule is never to throw the battery switch WHILE the engine is running, because in most boats, with most alternators, and most switches, that will fry the alternator in seconds. Even if your boat is set up to allow this safely, a worn switch or aging alternator may cause damage anyway. So, it is simpler to just never throw the battery switch while the engine is running.

After that it is all a matter of preferences, whether you want to use an echocharger, how you want to split or use banks. You'll find plenty of threads on those questions.
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Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Proper start up sequence engine/battery

Turn the switch to Both, start the engine, and don't turn off switch until after engine is shut off is a safe doctrine for most day/weekend sailors.
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Old 08-30-2012
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Re: Proper start up sequence engine/battery

"Both" should be avoided except in emergencies when one bank won't start the engine.

Having two large banks and the simple 1/2/both/off switch, I alternate between using 1 and 2 for day sails. Start on 1 or 2 and leave it for the day. That way the usage and battery life is evened out between banks.
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Old 08-30-2012
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Re: Proper start up sequence engine/battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
"Both" should be avoided except in emergencies when one bank won't start the engine.

Having two large banks and the simple 1/2/both/off switch, I alternate between using 1 and 2 for day sails. Start on 1 or 2 and leave it for the day. That way the usage and battery life is evened out between banks.
I must disagree. both should be used when the engine is running. This way the batteries are charged equally. After you shut off the engine, pick which bank you would like to use as your house battery.this way if your house battery becomes low you can always start your engine on the other battery. captg
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Old 08-30-2012
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Re: Proper start up sequence engine/battery

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Originally Posted by Capt. Gary Randall View Post
I must disagree. both should be used when the engine is running.
[


This is true IF your battery switch is a "charge directing switch" as well as a "use" switch.

However if leaving the dock and both banks are fully charged there is no need to use the BOTH position and starting on the house bank, which you'll use under sail anyway, is fine and will require no other switching...

Without knowing whether the OP even has a BOTH postilion, or what he means by "charge management", what size his banks are etc. this is a really an impossible question to answer at this point in time..
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Re: Proper start up sequence engine/battery

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Originally Posted by Capt. Gary Randall View Post
I must disagree. both should be used when the engine is running. This way the batteries are charged equally. After you shut off the engine, pick which bank you would like to use as your house battery.this way if your house battery becomes low you can always start your engine on the other battery. captg
But imagine a situation where one bank has died completely. You will discharge the good bank. This could happen even while charging, if the bad bank is sufficiently far gone.

Secondly, the likely scenario in the morning on a longer cruise is a 90% charged starting bank, and half discharge house bank. Therefore "both" is unlikely to result in both banks fully charged.

Better to start on your starting bank, charge that for 10 mins (won't take long to replace the starting charge), then switch to the house bank and charge that only for the rest of the time.
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Re: Proper start up sequence engine/battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
[


This is true IF your battery switch is a "charge directing switch" as well as a "use" switch.

However if leaving the dock and both banks are fully charged there is no need to use the BOTH position and starting on the house bank, which you'll use under sail anyway, is fine and will require no other switching...

Without knowing whether the OP even has a BOTH postilion, or what he means by "charge management", what size his banks are etc. this is a really an impossible question to answer at this point in time..
I must agree with this, we don't really know how it is wired. Normal recommended wiring for a battery switch,is that (common) goes to the starter and is connected to the alternator as well. All other positive connections including house are wired here or to starter.Ground is connected in parallel battery one, to battery two, to engine or starter ground. Battery one goes to battery one, battery two connects to battery two. (There are many other wiring configurations other than what is typically recommended.) If wired this way you cannot change switch position while engine is charging. However if you have a low bank that will not start the engine,, putting switch in both position while engine is off, will jump off the weak battery when you start the engine and Both batterys will charge equally. Then after you shut off your engine you choose which battery will become house battery, battery one or battery two.

This is a really great topic to discuss.I would really like to read more about this subject as well as get input from others, Reason being some boats are wired to one battery that always is the house battery, this is not a good configuration because when you store your boat and your battery switch is off, the house bank is still energized throughout the ship which causes electrolysis as well as a fire safety hazard.ps: electric automatic bilge pumps should be wired with a fuse directly to the house battery, this is so that your bilge pump will work when your battery switch is off. captg
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