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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Two Batteries on MONTAUK
|Author||Topic: Two Batteries on MONTAUK|
|The Chesapeake Explorer||
posted 07-19-2006 10:39 PM ET (US)
I run two batteries on my 1987 Montauk 17 classic because I have a two-stroke and the maximum alternator output is 10 amperes on my new Yamaha 2004 90. I had a 1988 Evinrude that motor had a 6 to 9 ampere alternator. At wide open speed it was 9 amperes but mostly it put out 7 to 8 amperes. I have a marine radio, Hummingbird depth finder, not much really. But I feel better with the twin batteries out on the Chesapeake, I have a Cole-Herse-brand battery switch and manually switch to battery 1 or 2 for a day's outing. Whatever I set I usually leave it on that setting. The power trim uses a lot of battery power. In 18 years on the Chesapeake I have never been stranded by battery trouble with the twins, and I have had several batterys go bad over the years. In each case I would have been stuck but had the second. Once I went to the Wye River for some crabbing with a gal I brought along. I had set the battery switch set to Both and left the radio on for about a week. At the Wye Landing the motor would barely crank. I pulled two plugs on the Evinrude V-4 90 one on each bank and hand cranked it. Yes, I carry a pull rope. She started, I put the other two plugs back in set to a single battery to charge up good and ran it. I will agree that a motor that is running right will start, and 1, 2, or 3 batteries will not get a motor with serious [starting problems] going. All said, two batteries give me some leeway if I leave the radio on overnight or a couple of days. I was advised by a experience bay boater when I got my boat to carry [two batteries]. I took his advice and agree. Now, if I had a big single battery and a four-stroke with a 20 ampere or more alternator, I might go with the single battery only.
posted 07-19-2006 10:56 PM ET (US)
An alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. An alternator cannot determine what produced the mechanical energy, that is, a two-stroke motor, a four-stroke motor, or water falling over a wheel. So there is nothing about a two-stroke motor which inhibits it from producing more battery charging current from its alternator than might be obtained with a four-stroke motor. It is common, however, as you mention, that older designs of outboard motors in modest horsepower ranges do not have extremely high-output alternators. However, this limitation has nothing really at all to do with the nature of the motor as a two-stroke or a four-stroke.
posted 07-20-2006 01:05 AM ET (US)
I personally would never have two batteries on a small boat as long as the main engine can be pull started with the emergency rope, and that's up to 150 or 200 HP....
Twice the problems and twice the expense, maintenance, wiring, etc....
Unless, you are running an electric trolling motor and use that second battery for that operation.
My opinion.... and I'm sticking to it...
posted 07-20-2006 01:16 AM ET (US)
Joe, that's up to 150-200HP DEPENDING ON THE MOTOR. My 90HP
'97ish Evenrude caburated 2-stroke can't be pull started.
There's no rope, and no place to attach the rope. And some
of the more recent motors (Optimax?) requires some good
battery voltage to start.
posted 07-20-2006 06:15 PM ET (US)
I'm with Joe, especially on a Montauk where storage space is lacking enough as it is. I've pull started 175-150 V6s, and 150-35hp of other various configurations. Once I learned the spark plug removal trick, I have no qualms venturing offshore with one battery. If I'm taking a portable livewell, then I toss a trolling motor battery in the stern corner opposite the main battery. BillS
posted 07-20-2006 06:18 PM ET (US)
I wonder if the rope start notches were removed from the newer motors for liability reasons? You raise a good point Chuck, what works on the old stuff won't work on the new. Don't even try to pull start an Opti. I've tried it, and you can't get enough rotation to make the air compressor pressurize the air fuel rail. If anyone has pull started an Opti, I'd like to hear how they did it, and I'd hate to arm wrestle them too.
posted 07-20-2006 06:26 PM ET (US)
I've pull started one of my 90 HP E-TEC motors. I followed the instructions in the owners manual and (at the ramp) pulled it started. It was running before I was even finished with the pull, and it pulled suprisingly easily.
Incidentally, that was a primary reason for my decision NOT to buy the Optimax.
But then again, I also have two main engines and two batteries aboard the boat, along with a paddle and three different drift socks and two anchors.
The boat's name is a misnomer. I'm not much of a Gambler at all, it seems.
posted 07-20-2006 08:57 PM ET (US)
I said, "as long as the main engine can be pull started with the emergency rope".
That would be ANY engine that CAN BE pull started...
I know your engine.
I have no idea about the newer 4 strokes of today. I have no interest in one.
The new E-Tec is a fine example of 2 stroke technology and can be emergency rope started.
I just happen to have a 1999 Johnson 175 hp on my 22' Cuddy that cannot be rope started.... However, I do have a kicker motor that is also electric start which has its own battery. Should something happen to the main engine battery, I can switch and use the kicker battery in an emergency.
Someday, I will be replacing both engines with the new E-Tec.
My Outrage 18 has just one battery and that's the way I like it.
What is that old saying?
I do realize some people with many electronics, including radar, electric stove, etc., may need a second battery. But that is generally on an 22' or 25' and above..
posted 07-21-2006 08:23 AM ET (US)
The relationship between mechanical power (horsepower) and electrical power (watts) is
1-HP = 750 watts
In a nominal 14-volt charging system, 750-watts corresponds to over 50-amperes of current. Assuming 70-percent efficiency, it should be possible for any outboard motor, two-stroke or four-stroke, to produce 35-amperes of charging current while using only about one horsepower of mechanical energy. With a 90-HP motor, this represents just a bit more than a one-percent reduction in power available for propulsion.
Older 90-HP outboard motors which have lower charging output were not constrained by the power requirements for generating the electrical current. They were more likely constrained by the cost of adding this capacity to the motor when most buyers of the motor would not require such high output.
posted 07-21-2006 08:34 AM ET (US)
Ever since I downsized from a 24' ProLine with all kinds of goodies to a Montauk, I have continually been fighting the urge to install any number of "improvements" on the Montauk. I have done some but I have to keep telling myself that I am defeating the simplicity and attendant ease-of-maintenance.
It is a tough fight with myself everytime as installing accessories on boats is a lot of fun for many people.
A simple on-off battery switch is probably a good investment on a single battery boat, as you know that you have shut off all power when you leave the boat for a while, and need not worry about things left on etc. But dual batteries striks me as overkill for a 17' boat.
|The Chesapeake Explorer||
posted 07-21-2006 11:57 PM ET (US)
Jimh, I mentioned the 2 Stroke vs 4 stroke because all the 90 hp or less 2stroke motors have alternators that put out less then then todays 4 stroke motors of like HP.
As you explained its not a power issue, its just what the manufactures equipped the engines with. As I stated if I had a new 4 stroke with lots of alt. out put I might run 1 battery to save weight, with any older 2 stroke .. naw. I'll run two batterys. I have both batterys together on the starboard side running to the cole herse switch. One is to the gunwhale, one is to the middle.I dont have nothing to put in that small space anyway...By the way I have gone thru about ..8 batterys since I got the boat in 1989. Oh well!
posted 07-23-2006 07:53 PM ET (US)
bsmotril, or some other knowledgable person.
Please explain the spark plug removal trick, when it come to rope starting v-6s.
posted 07-24-2006 03:50 PM ET (US)
I think it's more about how and where you run the boat than how big the boat is. There are plenty of guys that run their Montauks 20+ miles off shore, and I don't think any of them will tell you that dual batteries is overkill. The folks that use their Montauks on smaller lakes, bays and estuaries may have no need for a second battery, and in fact find that it takes away valuable space inside the boat. Folks that leave their boat on a mooring and rely on the battery to keep water pumped out may also agree that it's not overkill.+
My former Montauk had dual batteries and a kicker motor, and when I was salmon fishing 10 miles out of Santa Cruz, I never regretted either one. Sure, it's possible to rope start a 90 h.p. outboard, but would you want to do in a pitching sea, miles from the nearest harbor or possible tow?
Regarding high output alternators, E-TEC 90 puts out 75 amps (Net dedicated battery charging power output is 25 Amp) according to the Evinrude web site, and the Mercury website reports that the Optimax 90 puts out 60 amps, so good charging performance is not just the domain of the 4-strokes.
posted 07-24-2006 04:42 PM ET (US)
Well I can understand that redundancy in any system is desirable particularly if you go far offshore.
But as far as the bilge pump goes.... that was something I worried about when I bought my Montauk, since it was the only possible battery drain when I wasn't on the boat. But so far my fear was unfounded. As you know we have been deluged with heavy rain in the Northeast and I leave my boat on a mooring sometimes a week between starts. The bilge pump is running plenty and I haven't seen the battery voltage go below 12V. And this is with the crappy starting-only battery the boat comes with. With the combo or deep-cycle battery it ought to have, it could deal with the pump even better.
|The Chesapeake Explorer||
posted 07-24-2006 09:44 PM ET (US)
Rope starting in a emergency, 3 cyl, pull center plug V-4 Pull 1 plug on each bank opposed cylinders. V-6 Oh well I will say pull 2 plugs on on 1 bank top and bottom and the center plug on the other bank you will be pulling 3 cyls. After starting put plugs back in and atttach plug wires with insulated gloves if youve got any other wise wrap something dry around boots, I had crab gloves when I had to do it on the Wye River. A 3 cyl can be pull stsrted with all plugs in A V4 can also be but its tough, a V6 I dont even know if theres a slot for a pull rope. As stated above hope not to do this pitching in heavy seas.
posted 07-24-2006 11:23 PM ET (US)
I've been on a dive boat where the tenders had 90 HP V6
two-strokes. No battery, no wheel. Pull start, tiller.
Now, the two dudes who ran the boats were called Big Mo and
Little Mo, and even Little Mo could play line in the NFL, but
they didn't seem to have to work at it at all. Pull. Start.
I don't think I'd want to be messing with pulling plugs at
posted 07-25-2006 03:53 PM ET (US)
It's not fun to pull plugs at sea, but it can be done by leaning over the top of the motor. The barf factor is pretty high. On a V6, the firing order is usually stamped on the top of the block near one of the heads. Pull out 4 plugs, leaving two in that are 180 degrees out of phase in the firing order. This would be firing order positions (not necessarily cylinder numbers) 1 and 4, 2 and 5, or 3 and 6. The motor will pull start easily and you can run at a fast troll while you charge the battery for about 20 minutes. Then shut her down, replace the plugs, and have a go at the starter again. Without some kind of rubber gloves, I would not try to put wires back on a running motor.
posted 07-25-2006 11:52 PM ET (US)
Oh come on Bill.....
Where is your spirit of adventure...
posted 07-27-2006 08:49 PM ET (US)
Bill, My V-6 Suzuki 150 Supersix has 12 spark plugs, This is starting to get complicated.
posted 07-27-2006 11:02 PM ET (US)
One last comment on this subject from me... unless I change my mind... :-)
I don't care if you have 28 batteries on board.
I suggest if you are worried about having a second battery, don't buy one...
Again, what good would it do me to have 2 batteries if my starter won't work..
There is nothing like a main engine that can be rope started in an emergency and also a kicker that has rope start only.... Batteries and Starters fail. This is a known fact. Get used to it. Be prepared. Buy a kicker.
And again, Keep It Simple Simon.....
Don't buy those expensive batteries, buy a $2.00 rope instead for an emergency.
This is the end.......
posted 07-31-2006 05:38 PM ET (US)
I've got one of those handy little jump starters with a self contained battery. doesn't take up much space, weighs very little, has an air hose for the trailer tires, and does a good job of jumping off my Mercury 90 (and my truck).
Cheap insurance and much easier than taking off the cowling on the water to pull start. I've got the rope too if it comes to that though.
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