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Author Topic:   Four Battery set-up! Comments.
Morocco posted 07-29-2002 03:14 PM ET (US)   Profile for Morocco   Send Email to Morocco  
Okay, first -- it's not my fault. My 87 Revenge came wired this way, and with replacing the thru-hulls and the many, many little things left from a couple of years of very minimal maintence my brain is frazzled, so I can't figure out if this set up is good, bad or just wacky. Any comments are appreciated.

In the rear of the boat, two 150 Johnsons are connected to a port and starboard battery under the teak hatches. Each battery has a Perko on/off switch near it.

A third '1-2-both-Off' switch is exposed on the starboard rear cockpit.

So far, so good.

In the cuddy cabin under the port console, two ADDITIONAL batteries are installed -- on the cabin wall are two smaller chrome Perko 'on/off' switches. One isolates the windlass from everything -- you turn it on to get power to the windlass. The other seems to connect the 'house' circuits to the batteries.

The front set of two batteries seems to be connected to the rear set, and the possibilities are boggling my little mind.

The aft switches seem to totally isolate the individual batteries -- there's nothing else connected so if the port one is 'off' the port battery is completely isolated, etc.

My question is what is the best way to operat e this system. If I throw the front two cabin switches to 'off' then it seems I'm closest to Jim's 'new' system:

This leads me to believe that under normal operation, I should never run BOTH with both engines running -- either 1 or 2. What happens to the charging current from the non selected engine? Isn't this the same as running the engine without the charging circuit connected to a load?

Now, if I want to charge the two FRONT batteries, throwing the NON Windlass switch to ON brings the 'house batteries' on line. If I leave the rear switch on '1' does that mean that the Starboard engine is charging the Starboard REAR battery AND the two forward house batteries?

The problem is I can't figure out exactly how the front two batteries are connected to the rest of the system -- there must be a way to use my multimeter to figure it out, but I sure haven't been able to.

I just want to make sure I don't burn a rectifier by running one of the engines unconnected to something.

The guy I bought the boat from isn't much help -- he ran everything on 'both' and on, all the time figuring that it meant everything was getting charged at once.


jstachowiak posted 07-29-2002 07:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for jstachowiak  Send Email to jstachowiak     
FYI, If you can pick up a copy of this months, August 2002 Florida Sportsman mag, there is an excellent article on a four battery setup.
jimh posted 07-29-2002 09:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Whalers are really just little outboard open boats. I think you ought to resist the temptation of turning them into something a complicated as the space capsule.

Last month I tore out the OFF-1-2-BOTH switch in my boat and just wired each engine to a battery.

whalerron posted 07-29-2002 11:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
I am with you jimh. I talked with 2 separate boat owners this year who both had battery switches fail in the spring.
Morocco posted 07-29-2002 11:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Morocco  Send Email to Morocco     
Yeah, I agree -- the previous owner liked to do extended camping trips and I guess he must have used a lot of 'house' power. I just don't want to fix it if it aint broke. I DO however, need to figure out how to run it.

A jet ski WOULD be simpler, hmmm?

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