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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Where to Install a Battery Switch
|Author||Topic: Where to Install a Battery Switch|
posted 10-11-2005 11:10 AM ET (US)
Where have you installed a battery switch or if you had to do it again, where would you install it? This is on my winter project list.
posted 10-11-2005 06:35 PM ET (US)
I installed one on a Montauk 170 inside the console on the inside of the toe kick plate right immediately to port of the little breaker box. No problems although check out your wiring diagram to make sure you get the bilge pump right - you don't want it to shut off with the battery switch.
posted 10-11-2005 07:02 PM ET (US)
That is where I was thinking of installing mine. It seems unnecessary to cut through the console for access from the outside. Would you put it in the same place if you did it again? What did you do for Cables?
I appreciate your comments.
posted 10-11-2005 08:45 PM ET (US)
Very few battery switches in any boat are mounted on the outside. You need to protect them from the weather.
All you need for wires is a short length of #2 red battery cable (you can buy them made up at most marine stores), and about a 2' length of #14 red wire with a 3/8 dia ring connector on one end and a female push on connector on the other end. You have to make this up yourself, make sure you use marine grade stuff & double crimp & shrink-wrap.
This wire connects from the #1 terminal in the battery switch to the feed side of the bilge pump breaker, replacing the short jumper that feeds the bilge from the DC main if you have no battery switch. If you ignore this step and just move the wires from the battery positive to the switch, you will find that you also disable the bilge pump when you shut off the switch.
All battery switch connections should be treated as battery connections - follow the advice in the other topic on connecting battery terminals. When you install a battery switch you are adding a potential weak link to the DC power on your boat - it needs to be done right.
posted 10-12-2005 07:57 AM ET (US)
I installed the switch on my Montauk on the forward area inside the console just inside the port access door. Second battery (combo deep-cycle/starting) is installed right below the door and automatic bilge draws off that battery when switch in off position. The battery location allows me to take out the battery to charge
posted 10-15-2005 09:02 AM ET (US)
I wouldn't mount the entire switch outside the console. It looks like the actuator side is designed to be inserted into a cutout from the inside of the console so that the switch contacts and connections would remain inside. It would look pretty ugly but it would be more convenient. I think I'll opt for putting the whole thing inside as suggested.
posted 10-16-2005 11:03 AM ET (US)
On my classic Montauk I installed it on the starboard side inside my console as close to the door as I could, I can turn it on or off from the ground (actually standing on the trailer) makes it easy to put the boat to bad after a day of fishing.
posted 10-16-2005 01:12 PM ET (US)
Locating the main battery switch inside of a deck compartment or console is a good idea in two regards:
--Environment: an inside location keeps the switch away from the weather. This is always important with electrical devices.
--Security: if the main battery switch is located inside a locked console or compartment, the engine will be effectively disabled from starting when the switch is left in the OFF position. This adds a measure of security to a boat which is left unattended at a dock or mooring.
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