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Author Topic:   Battery in Console
kamml posted 02-01-2002 06:59 PM ET (US)   Profile for kamml   Send Email to kamml  
Moved the battery to the console today. It took 32ft. of #4 cable,about $8.00 & 4 copper lugs about $2.40. Finding the materials took longer than the job. Soldered the lugs onto the cable with a propane torch, wrapped positive lead with red tape. Cut the battery box hole in the console floor and ran the cables up through the tunnel and into the box. I connected directly to the engine, and I saved the original cables for some use later. Original cables were fine multi-stranded, new cables are coarse multistrand and much less flexible. Original cable size was 6, vs. 4 for the replacement. Took about 1.5 hours. The aft deck now looks so sanitary. Tomorrow I will finish up anchor/bow light wiring and clean up console wiring details. It was a very satisfying project. Ken
dfmcintyre posted 02-01-2002 09:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Ken -

Hope you cut a hole in the console floor, and mounted the battery box on the cockpit floor. Otherwise, after some heavy chop, the supports of the console floor will give way.


triblet posted 02-01-2002 10:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
"Cut the battery box hole in the console
floor ..."


Tsuriki BW posted 02-01-2002 10:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
Would also be good to have slipped some heat shrink tubing onto the cable, soldered the connection, slipped the heat shrink tube over the connection, do the hair dryer thing, then applied a protective non electric grease.


triblet posted 02-01-2002 11:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Actually, he may still be able to use heat
shrink. The bolt on (as opposed to clamp on)
battery connectors are usually small compared
to the size of the cable. Ancor has a kit
of red and black glue-lined heat shrink for
battery cables.


kamml posted 02-02-2002 07:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for kamml  Send Email to kamml     
I cut the penetration in the console floor for the battery box in approximately the same location as the factory Montauk box I saw last weekend at the boat show. It is in the back right quadrant in the console floor. For some reason, duh, I didn't think to use the heat-shrink that I have on my workbench. I did use a good grade of 3M tape on the connections, red for positive/black for negative. I think that I could still slip the heat-shrink over the connections as the solder-on copper connectors are relatively the same diameter as the cable. The console end would be no problem, but the OB will entail a little more effort. When I disassemble the OB connections I will put the electrical connection grease I have on as well. Thank you for the excellent advice. Ken
gvisko posted 02-02-2002 09:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for gvisko  Send Email to gvisko     
did you really need 32' of cable for
the montauk i guess 16'each run
i thought it would be less i am thinking of doing this to my montauk . is there any way to do this without going to engine
maybe a juncution box some were i really
did not want to take the leads off new engine
any body have any suggestions .

george v

JohnAz posted 02-02-2002 01:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnAz  Send Email to JohnAz     
Kamml,,,put a heavy duty rubber mat 1/2 in thick under the battery,,,it will help
triblet posted 02-02-2002 07:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I can believe 16'. My first VHF antenna
had a 15' cable, and wouldn't make it from
the aft end of the starboard rail (closer to
the console than the motor by maybe 3') to
the radio (on top of the console, so a bit

Remember that hole in the floor of the
console (at least mine) is on the starboard
side, then it has to go to the centerline
of the boat to get to the tunnel. At the
aft end, it has to come out of the tunnel,
over to the starboard side, and back to the
port side of the engine (at least on my


bboeri posted 02-03-2002 08:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for bboeri  Send Email to bboeri     

bboeri posted 02-03-2002 08:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for bboeri  Send Email to bboeri     

bboeri posted 02-03-2002 08:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for bboeri  Send Email to bboeri     

bboeri posted 02-03-2002 08:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for bboeri  Send Email to bboeri     

bboeri posted 02-03-2002 08:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for bboeri  Send Email to bboeri     
Sorry, computer glitch.


Did you also move the master fuse box and reset to the console? If so, how did you mount them?


kamml posted 02-03-2002 09:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for kamml  Send Email to kamml     
Looking toward the bow, the cutout in the console deck is on the starboard side biased towards the aft end of the console. I purchased 14' of #6 cable but couldn't get lugs with the correct hole to attach to the battery terminals. So when I picked up the #4 cable I got a couple of extra feet for good measure, and got it right the second time. I considered a bus bar on the splash well and not connecting directly to engine. But Murphey's Law doesn't need any opportunities 10 miles from shore or any arcing with fuel vapors. So KIS was the only alternative. Connecting to the OB was easy, my Merc used 1/2" hardware. This old Montauk is a government boat so where the original wiring was I don't know as it was not there when I got the boat. I added a switch board fuse panel from West Marine to the console adjancent to the wheel - big mistake. I have had nothing but electrical problems since, you know, somedays the lights/bilge pump work, some days they don't. Not acceptable! I intend to build my own panel on Starboard using the new fuse design (twin prong that match the motor) and push pull switches. I still use a master fuse on the power supply to the panel in the Bat box for safety. Using the old WM switches I still have two circuits to sort out, and its too cold to work outside this morning, darn. Ken
Smallfrye posted 02-04-2002 05:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Smallfrye  Send Email to Smallfrye     
It has been too long to remember the details but when I did this same job on my Montauk, the min wire size to carry the total current, considering voltage drop vs distance was closer to #1 or #2 AWG. I believe I ended up using #2 welding cable because of the flexability.
Are you getting enough current at the motor with #4 wire ?
I also had to build a small transition box to use the small #6 wire from my Yamaha to the large #2 trunk. The large cable would not fit into the cable support on the yamaha 90. How did you accomplish this ? If you used 7 strand cable directly into the motor or in any high flex application, it will break in a short time. Be careful.
kamml posted 02-04-2002 07:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamml  Send Email to kamml     
Now you have me worried. I have access to welding cable in AG#4, its a $1.32 per ft. It is a great deal more flexible. I did not count the number or strands, but it seems from what I can remember to have around 10 or 12. There are no really sharp corners that will flex repeatedly on the OB end. The bend up from the tunnel through the engine penetration is a gentle S bend. The motor cable penetration was an easy fit. Looking at the wire & cable chart it appeared to my interpretation that I could have stayed with AG#6 for that distance. I did go down one size. The battery box requires a couple of tight bends but they will not be subject to any constant bending force that could lead to a brittle fracture. But you have me thinking hard about that problem. $50.00 for cable is cheap compared to a tow in. Thanks Ken
jimh posted 02-04-2002 07:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Corollary to Murphy's Law:

Any cable cut to length will be too short.

lhg posted 02-07-2002 05:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
SmallFrye's comments, above, are correct, at least if BW knows what they are doing in factory rigging a new Montauk. I just saw a 2002 model, and the additional battery cables
from the splashwell mounted terminal block, to the battery in the console, are #2 AWG.
This size is necessary to prevent harmful voltage drop to the engine, at least to the Merc 2-stroke 90 that was on the boat. These engines run an 18 amp alternator.
kamml posted 02-07-2002 07:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamml  Send Email to kamml     
Using the Voltage drop table found at the ShipShape TV website, and allowing for 30'-40' run of cable (roundtrip), and allowing for a 50 amp current draw it would require a #2. Now my next question, what sort of draw does the starter pull off the battery? Using a bus bar would be the only way to go for #2 cable as it would certainly not fit through the engine cowling wire guide. Ken
lhg posted 02-07-2002 08:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The new Montauk I saw used a large terminal block, mounted on the outside of the spash well. This block had two post connections on each side, one receiving the factory original cables from the engine harness, and the other side the #2 AWG cables heading up to the battery through the tunnel. I would assume that other owners of Montauks with this factory installation could confirm this detail? Or is it something new being used?
triblet posted 02-07-2002 09:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
My 96ish Montauk has continuous cables from
the motor to the battery. I tried to find
out how big they are, but I can't find any
numbers on them (I thought they were
required). I THINK it's a factory rig.
I just measured them with a slide caliper
and they are .49" OD including the insulation.
The service manual for my Evinrude 90 (also
covers through 175 HP) sez:

V4: 1-10' 4 ga.
11-15' 3 ga.
16-20' 1 ga.
V6: 1-10' 4 ga.
11-15' 2 ga.
16-20' 1 ga.

That's for stranded copper without splices.


Whalerdan posted 02-08-2002 10:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
That bus bar idea doesn't sound so good to me, even if BW does it from the factory. Saltwater could splash over the well and short it out. Also, the way I think, less parts, less to go wrong.
Smallfrye posted 02-08-2002 01:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Smallfrye  Send Email to Smallfrye     
The terminal post(bus bar)idea works fine and is probably done by whaler because it is functional and easy to mfg. Splash is not a problem because of the distance between the post and a sealed cover over the assembly.
I have terminated ring tongue terminals(crimp only !!!) to the 2AWG and 6AWG cables and connected them with small screws.( the type with flat heads on each end, what ever they are called)I like to apply waterproof grease to the terminals to insure a gas tight interface and cover the connection with thick wall heat shrink with sealant. These are available from electronic distributors.
The connection is inline and disappears into the cable bundle.
Good Luck, Jim
Whalerdan posted 02-08-2002 02:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
10 years from now that "sealed cover" will be dry rotted and leaking. BW did for the reason Smallfrye said, it's easy, not because it's the best way to do it.
lhg posted 02-08-2002 04:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
You guys couldn't possibly be saying that BW has, once again, cheapened their boats, compared to previous models?

I've got to say, the exposed terminal block is not very pretty sitting there on the splash well. But then again, I'm from the old school and still think a Montauk battery belongs in the starboard stern anyway, in a nice gelcoat matching box. That keeps all the heavy duty wiring short, as originally supplied with the engine.

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