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Author Topic:   Dual Battery and Switch
Maxum1900 posted 07-11-2006 11:55 PM ET (US)   Profile for Maxum1900   Send Email to Maxum1900  
I would like to install a second battery and switch in my new boat. Give me advice on how to wire it and where to get such a kit.
alfa posted 07-12-2006 02:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for alfa  Send Email to alfa     
The answer is in the reference section : .


bobeson posted 07-12-2006 01:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for bobeson  Send Email to bobeson     
There is a new dual-circuit battery switch available from Blue Sea which makes the recommendations of that article obsolete, or at least it provides a compelling alternative that renders the older switches much less desireable. I recently re-wired my battery system and was able to remove three switches and a number of short high-amperage cable segments by installing this switch. The Blue Sea part number is 5511e, and the product page can be found here:

I also changed to Optima batteries mounted on new trays that I fabricated and mounted in the forward-most part of my 170's console, and added a hard-wired shore-powered battery charger and the Blue Sea BatteryLink ACR:

Now that I don't have two inconveniently-located and bulky battery boxes taking up most of my console, I can fit much more gear inside the console, which I am very pleased about. The Optima blue-top AGM batteries seem to have a much lower self-discharge rate than the flooded lead-acid batteries I replaced, and the ACR frees me from the having to remember to switch batteries while underway in order to keep them both fully charged. The new switch is much simpler to manage than the old three-switch system, and new crew members have no trouble figuring out how to properly turn on and off the battery circuits now.

andygere posted 07-12-2006 04:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
There is a lot of excellent discussion on this in the Small Boat Electrical forum. Do a search and you will have plenty of good advice to guide you. I highly recommend using a switch or switches with an integral voltage sensing relay. This allows both batteries to charge automatically, but prevents the starting battery from being discharged by house electrical loads (radar, lights, fish finders, radios, etc.).

Here's one article of the many published herein:

jimh posted 07-13-2006 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There are many ways to install and configure the primary battery power distribution in a small boat. You can make it as simple or as complex as you like. If you will be accomplishing this re-wiring yourself, choose a circuit that you understand and can install yourself. The existence of more complex arrangements does not obsolete the simpler ones.

Another option for a supplier of marine electrical devices is the New Zealand firm BEP. They are now just being introduced to the North American market by Boater's World.

The BEP website has details about their products and an explanation of their operation. These products have been discussed in detail in prior articles here on CONTINUOUSWAVE.

You can locate some of these products at Boater's World: SearchView?storeId=10051&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&keyword=BEP&x=0&y=0

In particular, see their line of clustered battery switches. These eliminate many short jumper cables in the installation:

jmorgan40 posted 07-13-2006 11:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for jmorgan40  Send Email to jmorgan40     
Thanks for the heads up...Those BEP setups are really nice. I am thinking of a complete rewire next year and may look into them with all the electrical I am running on the 20
HarleyTa2 posted 07-20-2006 01:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for HarleyTa2  Send Email to HarleyTa2     
If you want a REALLY simple way to tie two batteries together while running, and break connection while trolling, here's how I'm setup. Take an old Ford starter solenoid and put it between the batteries (on the hot side in my case), then tie the 'start' connection back to your ignition ON circuit. No switches to remember, totally automatic connect/disconnect. I set mine up like this so I get a little charge on my trolling battery while running the lake, PLUS, even with a 10-gauge wire making the tie, you can get your motor cranked even if your cranking battery gets drained for one reason or another. Just turn on the ignition switch and let the second battery trickle to the main for a few minutes Great buttocks saver. If you tie them with regular battery cable, you'll always be starting off both batteries.

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