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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So as mentioned in another thread, I've replaced my starting battery with another FLA. While my house batteries are housed in plastic battery boxes as they should be, my starting battery box had always been housed in a painted wooden box beneath the port side seating near the galley (where it is screwed in a spot where it cant come falling out).

In removing and replacing the starting batt, the box had to come out too and it was water logged (water gets in there due to a leak) and the wood was rather rotten on the bottom. Since all the plastic battery boxes I've looked at are too big to go in there, I decided to copy what the previous owner had done.

I realize wood isn't resistant to battery acid, but I was reading that lining it with something like a west system epoxy could do the trick.

What do you guys think? It has worked in that spot for quite a while. Is this a decent preventative?

If so, is there a cheap way to do this ? Looks like that west system epoxy is rather expensive.
 

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Lining a wooden box with epoxy and some fiberglass is a great idea. Awesome project to practice glassing, as it doesn’t matter a lick what it looks like.
 
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Yeah, no problem. Epoxy would be fine. I've had several battery boxes like that. Might want to run some epoxy putty around the inside edges/corners to make sure it is liquid tight.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #5
An epoxy paint right? I was hoping to find something cheap at home depot. Can this be done without the fibreglass? there was no glass in this last box.
 

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You don’t need the glass, I was just suggesting it would be a great project to practice on. It would be better with glass and perhaps more liquid tight. Still not required.
 
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
You really don't need the glass, but doing so would allow you to use a bit thinner wood and might fit the space better - so maybe 3/16" plywood with a layer of glass.

Mark
oh i missed your message. yeah, if I could skip the glass, that would be cool. I've already made the box, i just want to slap a layer of paint in there, and be done with it.

here's some cheap epoxy putty from Home Depot, should be good for the corners?

As for the exoxy paint (or is it resin), can someone suggest some stuff? As for as cheap stuff goes, all I'm seeing is 60 dollar cans of floor epoxy for garage floors.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You don’t need the glass, I was just suggesting it would be a great project to practice on. It would be better with glass and perhaps more liquid tight. Still not required.
Yeah, it would. I glassed only once before on my old Albacore, and if i could avoid it here, I would! Thanks for your input.
 

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Probably not an epoxy paint. It won't be a good barrier. We thought you were discussing epoxy resin. I don't think you will find it at home depot, but it is easy to get other places. Something like this (I'm guessing at the size of the box and think a pint will be enough): PINT 635 EPOXY RESIN & 2/3 8OZ 3:1 HARDENER

Fiberglass isn't necessary.

If the previous box was only painted and it failed, well....

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Probably not an epoxy paint. It won't be a good barrier. We thought you were discussing epoxy resin. I don't think you will find it at home depot, but it is easy to get other places. Something like this (I'm guessing at the size of the box and think a pint will be enough): PINT 635 EPOXY RESIN & 2/3 8OZ 3:1 HARDENER

Fiberglass isn't necessary.

If the previous box was only painted and it failed, well....

Mark
my mistake, but i wasn't sure the difference. Okay great...expoxy resin it is! THANKS!
 

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Why was it wet in the first place? How do you know it’s not a leak of battery acid or charging “ mist” . Personally I would leave an FLA out of a battery box. They can be cut to almost form fitting the battery. At least have the bottom.
The battery’s will be jostled, vibrated, and any liquid in them jiggled and May it the inside roof of the battery on a boat heeling. Sulfuric acid can eat through fiberglass and gel coat. I’ve seen damage done by unboxed FLA batteries to surrounding areas where they were kept. Another plus for AGM / Gel.

Have you rectified that or will moisture return. Trapped moisture over time plays havoc with connections , not to mention mold issues. Rotten wood suggests a long term issue..
 
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Personally I would leave an FLA out of a battery box.
....
The battery’s will be jostled, vibrated, and any liquid in them jiggled and May it the inside roof of the battery on a boat heeling. Sulfuric acid can eat through fiberglass and gel coat. I’ve seen damage done by unboxed FLA batteries to surrounding areas where they were kept.
I don't think you meant what you wrote - you meant NOT leave FLA out of a box, correct?. FLA should not be left out of a box, and your following statement shows why.

The OP has already built a box, so the batteries will be contained. If the box is epoxy coated, there won't be any damage issue from the acid, short of a complete battery breach where the acid spills out. Then, the box will be either cleaned, or replaced. Minor gaseous deposits from charging can easily be dealt with by a yearly wipe of a baking soda and water solution, but even that isn't really necessary unless the batteries are boiling often. Then it is probably time for new batteries (or a new charger).

My car battery has yet to eat through its cheap metal frame, and it gets bounced all over the place. I had batteries in a cheap plywood box on a boat where I just lined it with a plastic sheet and that worked fine. I don't know the "official" regulations, but as long as the batteries are prevented from moving, and any spills are contained in normal boat operation, then they are fine in practice.

Mark
 

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I'm sure definitions of battery box vary
Standard battery boxes I see being offered make no sense to me in a sailboat...unless you're looking for a spill tray or to keep rain off
The battery and its connections can still move
Maybe I see it as a battery..space
...secured tight
 

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I don't think you meant what you wrote - you meant NOT leave FLA out of a box, correct?. FLA should not be left out of a box, and your following statement shows why.

The OP has already built a box, so the batteries will be contained. If the box is epoxy coated, there won't be any damage issue from the acid, short of a complete battery breach where the acid spills out. Then, the box will be either cleaned, or replaced. Minor gaseous deposits from charging can easily be dealt with by a yearly wipe of a baking soda and water solution, but even that isn't really necessary unless the batteries are boiling often. Then it is probably time for new batteries (or a new charger).

My car battery has yet to eat through its cheap metal frame, and it gets bounced all over the place. I had batteries in a cheap plywood box on a boat where I just lined it with a plastic sheet and that worked fine. I don't know the "official" regulations, but as long as the batteries are prevented from moving, and any spills are contained in normal boat operation, then they are fine in practice.

Mark
Yes you are right I meant what you said

Seems like a lot of work and expense when cutting a plastic box to size would be a simple fix.
Still, where did the water / rot come from?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
a lot of work and expense when cutting a plastic box to size would be a simple fix.
Still, where did the water / rot come from?
It came from a small leak on the deck that seeps down below the salon seating which is where the starting battery is situated. It's possible there was some leakage too, as you described, as it doesn't look like the box was treated with any resin, though I could be wrong.

Looks like the previous owner built the box because the structure of the box is what sort of locks the battery in there under the seating.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Probably not an epoxy paint. It won't be a good barrier. We thought you were discussing epoxy resin. I don't think you will find it at home depot, but it is easy to get other places. Something like this (I'm guessing at the size of the box and think a pint will be enough): PINT 635 EPOXY RESIN & 2/3 8OZ 3:1 HARDENER

Fiberglass isn't necessary.

If the previous box was only painted and it failed, well....

Mark
Closest I could find was an epoxy resin called Cold Cure, but it's a 2:1 mix with the hardener. Anyone know if it's basically the same stuff? It's the only thing I can find around here.
 

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What size battery are you using? They build molded black plastic battery boxes for group 24 thru group 31 batteries that are only a fraction of an inch larger than the battery and come with straps and attachments for them. They never rot nor does battery acid harm them. They start at around us$6.50 so they aren't expensive, and that's cheaper than epoxy resin and brushes. If you have no room for the top, you could do without or use wood or starboard.

136469
 
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Closest I could find was an epoxy resin called Cold Cure, but it's a 2:1 mix with the hardener. Anyone know if it's basically the same stuff? It's the only thing I can find around here.
That is a System Three product, and is fine. It is formulated for working in cold weather, and is a very slow hardener, so it will take many hours to cure tack free. Otherwise, it is epoxy like others.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #19
What size battery are you using? They build molded black plastic battery boxes for group 24 thru group 31 batteries that are only a fraction of an inch larger than the battery and come with straps and attachments for them. They never rot nor does battery acid harm them. They start at around us$6.50 so they aren't expensive, and that's cheaper than epoxy resin and brushes. If you have no room for the top, you could do without or use wood or starboard.

View attachment 136469

I looked at those but unfortunately I think for now I'm stuck replicating what the previous owner had done. The box he built, which fastens into the framework beneath the salon seating, is what keeps the battery in place. It's an awkward little space for a battery, but it works for now.

I might look into these for my house batteries though.
 

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That is a System Three product, and is fine. It is formulated for working in cold weather, and is a very slow hardener, so it will take many hours to cure tack free. Otherwise, it is epoxy like others.

Mark
Cold cure is designed to set up in cold temps it is a fast hardener in warm temps so if used in warm temps above 80 it will gel quite fast.
 
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