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  13' whaler, what battery?

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Author Topic:   13' whaler, what battery?
newboater posted 11-13-2001 12:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for newboater   Send Email to newboater  
Hello All,

I am the proud new owner of a '74 13 foot Whaler. The boat came without a battery or battery box. For the first few runs around the bay, I've been using the GP27 starting battery from our sailboat in a plastic box in the stern. The motor is a 75 Evinrude 40Hp, which starts very quickly.

The GP27 seems like overkill and extra weight. I looked in WM's catalog and saw the little AGM GP U1 battery that seemed more compact and might fit under the seat.
I would consider a gel battery, which could be set on its side, but I'm concerned the charging voltage off the engine is higher than recommended. Am I over engineering this already?

What is the standard size and location for the battery and how should it be secured? I'm a little hesitant to start drilling into my virgin floor.

Thanks for any recommendations,

Dave S.
San Diego Ca

Bigshot posted 11-13-2001 03:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Hell you can run a 12v tractor battery if you want. Don't need much and the charging systems don't put out squat on those. Just enough to run lights and keep bat charged.
newboater posted 11-13-2001 04:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for newboater  Send Email to newboater     

Thanks for the great idea. Tractor batteries are quite popular here with all the agriculture in San Diego.

I'm not all that thrilled with putting in a flooded battery. There is the risk of spilling acid, they are quick to self discharge, require checking electrolyte level, don't work if they get submerged, and I doubt tractor batteries are made to take the pounding and vibration.

Without starting a war, does anyone know what type of batteries are used in PWC?

grandmufti posted 11-13-2001 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for grandmufti  Send Email to grandmufti     
PWC use lead acid motorcycle batteries.
lhg posted 11-13-2001 09:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
You want a standard size 24 Marine starting battery. Try Walmart's for about $42.

This should go in a marine battery box, which are specifically design to keep water off the top of the battery, even if boat is flooded.

Instead of using the strap that comes with it, try to find one of the Kev-Lock straps that BW used to supply with their own desert tan battery box. These are the best, REALLY hold a battery in place. See OEM section for source.

All of the catalog pictures show the battery, aligned front-to-back long dimension, in the starboard stern. There is plywood in the floor to accomodate the cleat screws. See wood locationg diagrams in the Reference Section.

Bigshot posted 11-14-2001 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
pwc bat is another idea. If it can turn over a 1200cc pwc it can spin a 500-700cc 40hp. Not sure how much cheaper they are than a boat battery but you can almost stick it in your pocket:)
grandmufti posted 11-14-2001 10:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for grandmufti  Send Email to grandmufti     
PWC battery can be more expensive than standard battery.Also, not much reserve capacity.Do not go for a smaller battery unless you place no value on your life.Say you have a bad motor day{choke sticks etc.}you will not get as many cranks out of a small battery as you would with a larger capacity battery.
lhg posted 11-14-2001 08:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
There is a genuine BW tan battery box for sale in Marketplace, specifically designed for Whalers. I would snap this up for your 13 if it were me. They're very rare and hard to find.
dburton posted 11-16-2001 12:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for dburton  Send Email to dburton     
LHG, You commented on placing the battery on the starboard side of the rear of a 13'and suggested looking at the wood-locating diagram. I looked at the diagram and did not notice any plywood at that location. I have recently acquired a 1976 13 that I hope to have ready by next spring. Is there plywood under the starboard stern that is not on the diagram or am I not reading the diagram correctly? I know that you have lots of experience with whalers. Could you explain further?


Bigshot posted 11-16-2001 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
If you mount starboard you have 2 problems. 1 is when your tank is low on port you will list. 2 is you can't run a second tank on starboard side. 3? is I am not sure about wood there. I mount mine right in the middle just above the drain plug. That way you can run 2 6gal tanks and weight is centered. If I was gonna run it on the starboard side I would put it under the console but watch your toes if the strap lets loose.
lhg posted 11-16-2001 12:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Regarding the starboard stern location for the battery box, this is what is shown in all of Whaler's catalog pictures of the late 70's and 80's. I assume this is for propeller torque balance. So I assume there would be some wood in the floor for this purpose. Don't know why the location diagram doesn't show it. It does show a wood pad in the center, so maybe that is the best location for the battery. The battery DOES have to go where the wood backing is! Regarding gas for this model, Tempo's long low 12-17 gallon tanks are recommended, for under the seat, and not interfering with the battery. With a center mounted battery, a pair of 6's on each side also works.

I do know that, for the eariler, non-smirk model (1971 & earlier), with the straight bulkhead across the splashwell, they recommended the battery be placed dead-center, the box strap through-bolted though the bulkhead. They specifically said NOT to screw the strap into the floor.

Dr T posted 11-17-2001 01:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
The battery in my 1982 13-Sport was mounted on the starboard side, but it was oriented with the long side parallel to and nea the transom. I can then put a 6 gal tank sideways beteen the battery and the seat. This boat has a seat back similar to the Sourpuss shown in the reference section, and I keep the starboard tank secured to one of the seat railings with a bungee cord through the handle when I am carrying it. The port tank is mounted in a similar manner. I have never experienced any problems with this set up.

As for listing: When I sit behind the console, it lists a little. When I stand on the gunnel, it lists a little more. Doesn't bother me when I troll or putter around, and doesn't seem to matter when you are on a plane.

maxdevon posted 11-19-2001 12:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for maxdevon  Send Email to maxdevon     
Go with BigShot. I got the 12v Tactor Battery with most amperage I could find. Set me back a whopping $28.00. Also got the smaller marine battery box for $11.00. Fits real nice under the console.
newboater posted 11-19-2001 12:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for newboater  Send Email to newboater     

I encountered the same problem after they told me to go look at the wood diagram. I bought the little group U1 AGM battery and box this weekend, but haven't screwed it down yet. I was thinking of coating small piece of plywood with epoxy and after it dries gluing it to the hull with 5200. Then screw the battery box tie downs to it. Any comments anyone?

Another question for the group, when the drain plug is removed, should the boat self bail? Mine takes on a little water when I remove the plug, and never really drains if more water comes in. It seems to pool under the seats. I've got a '75 40 hp motor which weighs in around 150 pounds as I recall.

I'm considering adding an automatic bilge pump to keep condensation and rain water from filling up the boat, it would be easier if it just self bailed... (we are keeping the boat in the water)

Thanks for the info about fuel tanks LHG. This place is great!

Dave Smith
San Diego

Bigshot posted 11-19-2001 12:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
All classics will take in some water but only that amount. If plug is out, she'll stay that way after weeks of rain, especially if you remove tanks. I doubt the wood and 5200 thing would work well. those boats ride so rough she'll eventually break loose leaving a very messed up non-skid deck.

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