The trouble with dry docking no electricity

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Photoman369
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Re: The trouble with dry docking no electricity

Post by Photoman369 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:25 pm

Geraghtyr wrote:I use a coleman solar charger as well, has a long cord! Northerntool.com has a sale right now, 2 for $25ish. I also use a quick disconnect on the battery so there is zero draw while I'm away. I keep a spare battery on board. I swap them out from time to time. Lastly, I can always run my battery tender/charger from my little powerhorse gas generator.
Had the ol' dead battery" launch happen to me before too. The spare saved me that day!
Bought a new deep cycle today charging it to full, I will replace bad battery, then charge up the starter battery to see if it's good or needs replacing too. Also as you mentioned you do, I bought 2 quick disconnects to keep from unwarranted discharging. As for the spare I also bought a jumper battery. I needed one for my truck my old one wore out. So I will keep that in my truck and if needed at launching it will be right there and it's easily portable. So I can jump the motor and take it out sailing with me for starts while I'm out on the water that day. Should help rescue a planned any of sailing.
I have order a solar panel to hopefully keep everything topped off in between sails.

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Photoman369
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Re: The trouble with dry docking no electricity

Post by Photoman369 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:05 pm

Bilgemaster wrote: Even without looking at your boat, I can already guess that you need new batteries. The rotten one has probably already compromised the so-called "good" one. Just bite the bullet and get a pair of nice matching ones like these Group 24s at "Wallyword" with a couple of battery boxes to match if your boat lacks them or they're damaged. For just about $200 you'll be off to a proper start at sorting it all out. This is not the place to skimp: buy a matching pair, because if you just get one that older one'll only bork the new one, dragging it down to its own just-limping-along level in no time. You can always use "Ol' Limpy" the "still sort of OK" one as a spare, a winter loaner or a workbench
Do I need a starter battery or will the dual purpose do fine and how much cranking power do indeed for a 50hp Suzuki

This plug, attached to the old extension cord, plugs into that kit's nice long SAE type power cord, which runs nicely right up over the boat's port side, down into the cabin, and plugs into a little 100 Watt Solar Charge Regulator that I got on sale for less that $20 with a 20% off coupon. The controller hangs rather nicely from that galley handpost, from where its alligator clips reach down into that seat area spot just aft of the galley, where my twin batteries are. So, for just about 30 bucks I got myself some semi-decent juice in the boatyard. Not the most elegant rig, but it handily does the job: I can run my radio, electric cooler, whatever, and my batts stay fat without needing to break out the generator now and then
How do I Hooke up both batteries? They are not jumped together they both have independent wires running to the onboard charger.

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Bilgemaster
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Re: The trouble with dry docking no electricity

Post by Bilgemaster » Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:32 pm

Photoman369 wrote:
Bilgemaster wrote: Even without looking at your boat, I can already guess that you need new batteries. The rotten one has probably already compromised the so-called "good" one. Just bite the bullet and get a pair of nice matching ones like these Group 24s at "Wallyword" with a couple of battery boxes to match if your boat lacks them or they're damaged. For just about $200 you'll be off to a proper start at sorting it all out. This is not the place to skimp: buy a matching pair, because if you just get one that older one'll only bork the new one, dragging it down to its own just-limping-along level in no time. You can always use "Ol' Limpy" the "still sort of OK" one as a spare, a winter loaner or a workbench
Do I need a starter battery or will the dual purpose do fine and how much cranking power do indeed for a 50hp Suzuki

This plug, attached to the old extension cord, plugs into that kit's nice long SAE type power cord, which runs nicely right up over the boat's port side, down into the cabin, and plugs into a little 100 Watt Solar Charge Regulator that I got on sale for less that $20 with a 20% off coupon. The controller hangs rather nicely from that galley handpost, from where its alligator clips reach down into that seat area spot just aft of the galley, where my twin batteries are. So, for just about 30 bucks I got myself some semi-decent juice in the boatyard. Not the most elegant rig, but it handily does the job: I can run my radio, electric cooler, whatever, and my batts stay fat without needing to break out the generator now and then
How do I Hooke up both batteries? They are not jumped together they both have independent wires running to the onboard charger.
To answer your questions as best I can (full disclosure: I'm a bit of a noob), my 26X came with dual purpose marine batteries, and they seem to work just fine, though I expect a pair of nice heavy real deep cycle batteries (a tad more expensive) would easily crank my Honda 50 and have the added virtue of really putting their shoulder into providing a bit more sustained oompf to draw from for cabin electrics. I'm led to understand that many longterm cruisers or liveaboards use both types: a starter battery (like a basically automotive type or a dual purpose) together with one or more deep cycles. Many even use ranks of 6 Volt golf cart batteries, each pair hooked up in series to create 12 Volts, and then those pairs in parallel. This is done chiefly because such 6 Volt batteries are comparatively economical compared with their 12 volt equivalents. Such longterm cruisers are typically cranking fussy juice-thirsty diesels to life, often after rather long snoozes, so having a separate starter battery designed for short powerful gulps instead of the deep cycles' long slow sips, makes good sense. Being far less likely to run their engines than we "Hybrid Folk," thereby frequently topping off the charge, a big ol' bank of deep cycles also makes sense for those long anchorages "out there."

As for hooking up both batteries, my 26X came with one of those Perko style "1 - 2 - Both - Off" switches, as well as a brand new replacement the previous owner had bought. There didn't appear to be anything wrong with the one that was already mounted, but I swapped it out anyhow. Mine is mounted facing the rear berth on the aft-facing wall of that little seat area aft of the galley, within which is my pair of batteries. Others have their switches mounted elsewhere. The instructions that came with mine were very straighforward, and even included a handy template for drilling the mounting and cable feed holes.

Well, I hope this helps you get squared away, though it sounds like you're well on your way anyhow.

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dlandersson
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Re: The trouble with dry docking no electricity

Post by dlandersson » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:18 am

You don't have to have a starter battery. I have two (2) general purpose batteries from Wal-mart and they work just fine. Full disclosure: I am a day sailor. 8)

It's up to you. :wink:

Photoman369 wrote:Do I need a starter battery or will the dual purpose do fine and how much cranking power do indeed for a 50hp Suzuki

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RussMT
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Re: The trouble with dry docking no electricity

Post by RussMT » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:32 am

Photoman369 wrote: Do I need a starter battery or will the dual purpose do fine and how much cranking power do indeed for a 50hp Suzuki
My Suzuki 70 will start with a motorcycle battery. Very small engine. They claim you can pull start it. Cranking amp batteries are not what we need on our boats. Don't even bother.
Buy deep cycle batteries. Gives more options. You aren't starting a big V8 or diesel.

How do I Hooke up both batteries? They are not jumped together they both have independent wires running to the onboard charger.
How are they connected now?

I have 2 batts. One dedicated "starter" battery that is hard wired to the engine. The other is a house battery going strictly to my panel. They are not joined. I have no switch.
When charging, I have a combiner that will combine both batteries if either is getting a charge (13+ volts). So when the motor is charging its battery, they combine and both charge.
My house battery has a plug in charger that when charging will combine and charge both.
When my solar panel is charging my house battery, it will combine and charge both.

No charge on, the batteries are isolated.

Solar panels are another topic. Little ones (5w or less) probably won't do much. Larger ones (50w or more) will need a regulator to keep from cooking your batteries.
We have an 80w panel. Charges stuff up when we are gone and runs the fridge and LED lights when we are on the boat. Works well. YMMV.

--Russ

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Whipsyjac
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Re: The trouble with dry docking no electricity

Post by Whipsyjac » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:58 am

In your original post you asked about the switch.

With a perko style switch you have 1 ,2, both, and off. The batteries are independent on 1, 2, and off.

If a battery is not selected it is not charging.

If they are combined "both" the weaker or damaged battery will pull your good battery down to its level.

Batteries are selfish and over time charging them together but discharging independently will shorten their life span. This could take a couple years though.

The reason combiners are preferred by many is that the switch is always subject to user error. On our first couple cruises I started with"1" and only when I got to an anchorage realized I hadn't switched to both our 2 so had not recharged the "house" battery "2". To remedy this I moved the switch so I could see it from the cockpit but I've still been guilty of forgetting.

I second having someone knowledgeable look over your wiring. My boat sits on her trailer all winter and I go out and run the motor every month or so. After sitting 4-6 weeks she cranks as fast as ever and the house lights etc all light up full power. If your batteries are dying in less than a month of sitting you could, probably do, have a voltage drain somewhere. Of course if your batteries are old and damaged that could also be a logical explanation.

That's the long, here's the short:

Familiarize yourself with proper operation of the battery switch and put it on to a visible checklist to keep your batteries in the best shape possible.

Happy cruising,

Willy

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Photoman369
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Re: The trouble with dry docking no electricity

Post by Photoman369 » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:44 am

RussMT wrote:
Photoman369 wrote: Do I need a starter battery or will the dual purpose do fine and how much cranking power do indeed for a 50hp Suzuki
My Suzuki 70 will start with a motorcycle battery. Very small engine. They claim you can pull start it. Cranking amp batteries are not what we need on our boats. Don't even bother.
Buy deep cycle batteries. Gives more options. You aren't starting a big V8 or diesel.

How do I Hooke up both batteries? They are not jumped together they both have independent wires running to the onboard charger.
How are they connected now?

I have 2 batts. One dedicated "starter" battery that is hard wired to the engine. The other is a house battery going strictly to my panel. They are not joined. I have no switch.
When charging, I have a combiner that will combine both batteries if either is getting a charge (13+ volts). So when the motor is charging its battery, they combine and both charge.
My house battery has a plug in charger that when charging will combine and charge both.
When my solar panel is charging my house battery, it will combine and charge both.

No charge on, the batteries are isolated.

Solar panels are another topic. Little ones (5w or less) probably won't do much. Larger ones (50w or more) will need a regulator to keep from cooking your batteries.
We have an 80w panel. Charges stuff up when we are gone and runs the fridge and LED lights when we are on the boat. Works well. YMMV.

--Russ
Battery 1 is connected to the motor and the mounted charger.
Battery 2 is connected to cabin items and the mounted charger

I'm wondering if I use the suggestion of getting a solar panel with a regulator then attach the regulator to the female end of a two outlet extension cord(cut) and then two male ends, one to each battery I can just plug in one or both batteries as needed. Simple that when one is plugged in not worries. But can I plug in both batteries at the same time with out damage.

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Photoman369
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Re: The trouble with dry docking no electricity

Post by Photoman369 » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:35 am

Ok let me ask this.

Since there is not a direct connection from one battery to the other. The only common connection is the charger on the cabin wall. If I use quick disconnects on both batteries to stop unseen drain when not in use. During that time the older battery would not leach from the new battery. That seems straight forward.
BUT when I connect them both to use them, do they connect through the charger? Since one battery is only connected to the motor and the other only to the cabin items. The charger is the only common item hooked to both batteries. Is there leaching happening there?

If not I don't see how the old battery could leach from the new battery.

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RussMT
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Re: The trouble with dry docking no electricity

Post by RussMT » Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:58 pm

Photoman369 wrote:
Battery 1 is connected to the motor and the mounted charger.
Battery 2 is connected to cabin items and the mounted charger

I'm wondering if I use the suggestion of getting a solar panel with a regulator then attach the regulator to the female end of a two outlet extension cord(cut) and then two male ends, one to each battery I can just plug in one or both batteries as needed. Simple that when one is plugged in not worries. But can I plug in both batteries at the same time with out damage.
I believe a good charger will isolate both batteries and charge both when plugged in. Kind of like 2 chargers in one unit.

Do NOT use a male plug on the batteries. The two posts could short or touch something and short and cause a problem. They should also be fused close to the battery no matter what.
The other danger with household plugs is confusion and someone plugging them into AC power. If you do this, label them big and obvious. (12V ONLY!!!!) and use female to the battery.

The motor should keep the starter battery topped off. There is little drain starting and 5-15 minutes of run time should replenish what it takes to start. I would let the motor handle keeping that battery charged.
It's your house battery that has most draining loads (Radio, lights, pumps, fridge). This is where the solar panel comes in.
IF your starting battery is going down, something is wrong. It's either time to replace or something is connected and draining it (maybe your battery charger isn't isolating batteries). Starting batt should not ever go down unless you haven't run your motor in months (6+)

I've been running 2 batteries for 8 years. 1) Starting 1) House and have never had the starter battery go down. I do keep a small jumper pack on board for emergencies, but have never used it.

If you charge (via solar panel) the house battery, your battery will charge unattended when away. I have this combiner that when the house battery is at 13.8V (charging) will combine the starting batt and charge it. Conversely, when the starting batt is at 13.8 (charging from motor) it will combine and charge the house batt.

http://www.defender.com/product3.jsp?pa ... &id=750182

As Willy stated, combining is not ideal full time, but it is foolproof. My last boat had an AB/both switch that I often left in the wrong position. The combiner is brainless. It just works.
If my house batt drains, I always have a starting battery.
When motor is running, it will combine and charge both.
When solar is charging, it will combine and charge both.
When idle, batteries are isolated.

--Russ

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Photoman369
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Re: The trouble with dry docking no electricity

Post by Photoman369 » Sun Aug 07, 2016 1:47 pm

RussMT wrote:
Photoman369 wrote:
Battery 1 is connected to the motor and the mounted charger.
Battery 2 is connected to cabin items and the mounted charger

I'm wondering if I use the suggestion of getting a solar panel with a regulator then attach the regulator to the female end of a two outlet extension cord(cut) and then two male ends, one to each battery I can just plug in one or both batteries as needed. Simple that when one is plugged in not worries. But can I plug in both batteries at the same time with out damage.
I believe a good charger will isolate both batteries and charge both when plugged in. Kind of like 2 chargers in one unit.

Do NOT use a male plug on the batteries. The two posts could short or touch something and short and cause a problem. They should also be fused close to the battery no matter what.


The other danger with household plugs is confusion and someone plugging them into AC power. If you do this, label them big and obvious. (12V ONLY!!!!) and use female to the battery.

The motor should keep the starter battery topped off. There is little drain starting and 5-15 minutes of run time should replenish what it takes to start. I would let the motor handle keeping that battery charged.
It's your house battery that has most draining loads (Radio, lights, pumps, fridge). This is where the solar panel comes in.
IF your starting battery is going down, something is wrong. It's either time to replace or something is connected and draining it (maybe your battery charger isn't isolating batteries). Starting batt should not ever go down unless you haven't run your motor in months (6+)

I've been running 2 batteries for 8 years. 1) Starting 1) House and have never had the starter battery go down. I do keep a small jumper pack on board for emergencies, but have never used it.

If you charge (via solar panel) the house battery, your battery will charge unattended when away. I have this combiner that when the house battery is at 13.8V (charging) will combine the starting batt and charge it. Conversely, when the starting batt is at 13.8 (charging from motor) it will combine and charge the house batt.

http://www.defender.com/product3.jsp?pa ... &id=750182

As Willy stated, combining is not ideal full time, but it is foolproof. My last boat had an AB/both switch that I often left in the wrong position. The combiner is brainless. It just works.
If my house batt drains, I always have a starting battery.
When motor is running, it will combine and charge both.
When solar is charging, it will combine and charge both.
When idle, batteries are isolated.

--Russ
I bought a $5 hydrometer and problem solved.
The supposed good battery did charge as indicated by a new off boat charger, but when I checked the cells half were 30-50% lower SG the the others. The other battery didn't even register an SG.

I had already bought one new battery so I bought a second matching battery. The old ones were group 27 but I went for easier loading and a better fit. Group 24.With an addition of a solar panel I should be fine. Thanks for the link to the automatic battery combiner, I will get one. That eliminates the extension cord question. Only need to hook up solar panel to the house battery.

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RussMT
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Re: The trouble with dry docking no electricity

Post by RussMT » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:22 pm

Great news. Often is is the simple things.

--Russ

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