Over Hill Sailing Club
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Adirondacks NY
Thanked 105 Times in 102 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Re: Battery location and venting.
I had a battery "explode" in my truck years ago. It was caused by a shorted wire that burned through the plastic battery case. I smelled some burning and had my hand on the hood latch when it went off. Was very lucky not to get it right in the face. The explosion was more than a small pop but less than a cherry bomb but did spew acid all over the engine compartment. It would not be something you'd want to happen in the bilge but would not likely cause much surrounding damage. The acid is not going to light up or start a fire but any resultant shorts might. That's why having main battery cables fused very close is important.
Venting is less important than in dealing with gasoline fumes. As long as there is air movement in the area is probably enough. Mine are located a few feet from the old aft blower vents left over from the original gasser. So there is some air movement. I can access them easily enough through the seat hatch. I don't use any kind of over-all covering because I don't want any place for fumes to accumulate but I do use rubber terminal covers. All wire should have either rubber covers, heat shrink tubing or good rubber tape over any exposed copper. I also saturate any connections with Scotchkote to slow down corrosion. ScotchKote and rubber tape (not std.vinyl electrical tape) is the best way I've found to keep salt air out of any wire connection.
I remounted my batteries just aft of the engine bulkhead and heavily glassed in a base that fits the 3 batteries exactly. They're accessible through the starboard settee. Atop the batteries, to hold them in, is a piece of 1X2 cedar flat, screwed to a 1-1/4" s.s. strap running across the top, screwed securely to bulkhead and the base at the ends. I attached 2 big ANL fuse blocks atop the strap which puts them very close to batteries and allows for very short cables. The unit would stay put even in a roll over. They are also high enough not to become submerged and shorted should there be high water in the bilge. Once your batts become flooded, lights, radios, etc. are gone so it's pretty important to keep them high enough so that an otherwise controllable flooding event does not put everything out of business.
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
Last edited by smurphny; 02-24-2013 at 12:13 AM.