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Author Topic:   Dual switch kicker wiring
SJUAE posted 10-09-2008 09:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for SJUAE  
I am considering adding a new 9.9 kicker

I already have twin batteries isolated by a perko switch for battery 1/2 or both in my Outrage 210 centre console.

I was wondering how to rig the new kicker power given that I don't want to run a complete loom back to the 2 batteries mounted in the centre console

I thought by adding a new perko switch aft and 2 new short leads one to main engine and one to kicker would simplify wiring and allow me to charge both batteries from either main or auxiliary

IE existing switch would choose battery 1 or 2 and new aft switch would select Main or Auxiliary

I assume I could not have both engines running/charging at the same time with this set up or is their a better solution avoiding adding a third battery for the auxiliary.


Chuck Tribolet posted 10-09-2008 11:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
How about a motorcycle battery? I know guys that use them
on 50 HP inflatables.


jimh posted 10-10-2008 09:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
A third battery dedicated to the auxiliary engine might not be a bad idea. It would give the auxiliary engine total independence from the main engine and battery bank. I think a small engine could be started by a small battery.

The negative terminal of the third battery should be made common with the negative terminals of the other batteries. If the auxiliary motor does not have battery charging, then an automatic combiner relay could be installed to keep it charged from the main engine.

Actaully, if the auxiliary does not have battery charging, just wire it in parallel with the main engine. I guess the cables from the main engine make a home-run from the engine to the battery bank in the console, with no intermediate connections. You might have to run the auxiliary motor primary cables to the console in that case, or you could loop them over to the main and connect under its cowling if that is feasible.

SJUAE posted 10-10-2008 04:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    

Your right a fully independent auxiliary would be simpler and safer.

I just thought that as a Merc 9.9 Pro Kicker has a 6amp output and would be used for trolling it might as well be topping up the main batteries.

The bad news with my suggested wiring would be switching between main and aux engine each time where with an independent system both could be running, useful in an emergency situation.

I assume I have to connect the earth to the boat electrical system for grounding purposes, but the live would only run from the aux to the new small battery.

Any idea on size and weight of battery required as I would have to fit it in the stern seat locker and height is limited as there are two scuppers drains running through, fuel filter and wash down pump.


dschedgick posted 10-11-2008 02:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for dschedgick  Send Email to dschedgick     
I have a 2004 210 Outrage that I added the 9.9 Prokicker to. Just run the wires from the Prokicker into the main engine and connect at the starter (for +12v) and any available ground location. The kicker wires can be fed right in through the cable port on the front of the motor. Then the main batteries can be charged when running the kicker. If there is ever a problem, pull start the little one and charge the rest of the system.


SJUAE posted 10-11-2008 05:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    

Great, thought there may be a problem if both were charging or do you always switch one off ?

BTW I have a 2006 210 Outrage but with a ETC not a Merc, but should be similar

BTW how did you mount kicker

dschedgick posted 10-11-2008 07:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for dschedgick  Send Email to dschedgick     
I fabricated a custom bracket for the port side and bolted then bolted it to the transom; then I bolted the kicker to that.

I'm not sure what you are asking about switching one off because you could be referring to batteries or engines. Hopefully one of these answers is what you are looking for: I have run both motors at the same time (not for more than 5 minutes, but they were both charging the batteries at that time) and have not had a problem in over 250 hours of total run time. I usually charge one battery per trip, so whatever battery I started the engines with will be the battery that gets charged the entire trip. The next trip I switch over to the other battery. So I don't really know how charging both batteries concurrently would work, but I assume it would just take longer.


jimh posted 10-12-2008 09:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Can two alternators charge a common battery without harm?

This question comes up from time to time, and I generally do not endorse the practice, based on my own experience with outboard motors and their permanent magnet alternators. I bought a boat several years ago where twin 70-HP Yamaha motors charged a common battery. When I got the boat the seller acknowledged there was a problem with the tachometer on one engine. It turned out the problem was really an open stator coil winding in the battery charging circuit. I repaired that, and resumed operation. The other motor's stator coil winding promptly failed after a few hours. When I repaired that, I also changed the configuration so that each motor and its permanent magnet alternator charged their own battery. I can't say for certain that the common battery was the cause of these failures. I was in a situation where finding out could be expensive, as each repair cost about $300.

However, some experts say that two alternators can charge a common battery without harm. For example, see:

Yandina FAQ
Q: What happens if two alternators end up charging the same banks?

However, note the author acknowledges the caution expressed by outboard motor manufacturers. I think the recommendation might be more appropriate for the automotive style alternators, where the charging output can be reduced by adjustment of the field current. In a permanent magnet alternator, whenever the flywheel spins it produces a field and the coils pass through it.

If you are considering doing this with an E-TEC, I double my recommendation of caution. In the E-TEC the battery charging components are part of the EMM assembly, and that is a very expensive replacement part.

SJUAE posted 10-12-2008 09:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    

Apologies for my previous hasty reply it was a bit late when I posted

I was concerned about both engines running at the same time to one battery. Our 210 manual already notes not to use the both position on the battery switch for extended periods (ie trying to. charge two batteries from the main engine).

I use the same method as you for charging my batteries by alternating between them on each time I use the boat. Although there s a part available for the ETEC to allow charging of 2 batteries.

I have no intention of operating both engines at the same time other than some theoretical emergency scenario where it is possible to forget to turn off the auxiliary in haste to start the main engine.

So in normal operation the ETEC would be off and simply acting as a junction box for the power supply to the auxiliary.

I think jimh advice is prudent to follow especially if you don’t have a combiner or the additional dual battery charge kit for the ETEC and like yourself you have only run both engines to one battery for a very short period and had no problems.

BTW do you have any pictures of your custom bracket?. I’m in the process of fabricating one myself. It’s a mirror image of our standard boarding platform.

See this thread


dschedgick posted 10-13-2008 05:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for dschedgick  Send Email to dschedgick     

I don't have any pictures of the bracket, but it is a very simple design that creates a second "transom" for the kicker to mount over. It creates a setback that is about 7 inches behind the boat's transom. The way I set it up, I can't completely raise the kicker (before the straps on the Prokicker tighten), but the motor gets up far enough that it isn't in the water during transit or mooring. Since my motor doesn't have remote controls, it is placed very nicely for me to comfortably reach the primer, starter button and the controls on the handle. I don't think I could reach the motor if it were on the back of a swim platform without walking onto the platform...that would not be fun for me. You have a nice design, but for my application, the motor would be too far away for me to safely operate if I had it sitting on the back of bracket that large. Of course, remote controls would solve that problem for me.

I'll see about some pictures, but that will have to wait until the weekend.


SJUAE posted 10-14-2008 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    

Many thanks in advance I guess you don't have trim tabs as it has to sit further outboard

Better post pics in the other thread to keep jimh happy and this one on topic


dschedgick posted 10-14-2008 06:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for dschedgick  Send Email to dschedgick     

I do have trim tabs and don't have any clearance problems with the tab or with the main engine. My kicker sits slightly inboard of the port trim tab.


dschedgick posted 10-18-2008 12:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for dschedgick  Send Email to dschedgick     

I have some photos of my bracket, but don't have a way to upload them. Send an email to my email address and I'll respond with the photos.


SJUAE posted 10-19-2008 01:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    

Many thanks in advance, mail sent

Will post pics in thread for you if thats ok


andygere posted 10-20-2008 12:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I have a 200 h.p. E-TEC and a 15 h.p. Mercury 2-stroke kicker on my Outrage 22 Cuddy. Here's how I have them wired to my dual battery system:

The start battery is only wired to the main engine. It is separated from the house battery via a voltage sensing relay (VSR), which is integrated into a switch cluster made by the BEP company. The kicker is wired into the house battery, and charges that system with it's tiny alternator. The house battery gets charged by the main engine when the VSR senses 12.6 volts and the relay activates and connects the house battery to the charging system. This is a simple way to operate, and it requires no input from the user regardless of what is running. I simply put the switch for the house and start batteries to the "on" position at the start of the day, and everything is automatic from there.

Here's a diagram of the wiring, which is really quite simple, and a photo of the unit. BEPwiring.jpg IMG_0697.jpg

Short of installing this type of switch (which I strongly recommend), I'd run a set of cables from the kicker to the house battery. That's the simplest way to go, and it allows the trolling motor to provide charge to support your electronics while trolling. It also provides a degree of reliability by having each engine on it's own battery. I would not splice the short cables attached to the kicker to extension, but instead make up new cable ends and run a single continuous pair from the battery to the terminals on the outboard. I have had two problems with spliced battery cables (by previous owners) and would definitely not go that route.

FYI, the E-TEC has a built-in VSR, and the dual charge kit is simply a set of cables that wire the integral VSR to the dual batteries. I installed my VSR before I had the E-TEC.

SJUAE posted 10-20-2008 05:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    

This looks a very nice configuration. I don't have the dual charging kit on my ETEC I just alternate the switch settings, you set up would eliminate this.

I thought adding a kicker was going to be easy. But now after a custom bracket, new wiring, fuel cut off switches and remote still to tackle it's a bigger job.

I hope I can source those switches here else courier charges will add another +60USD.


BTW for those that are interested I have added Dave's (dschedgick) custom Outrage 210 kicker bracket pictures to this thread

andygere posted 10-20-2008 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I purchase my BEP switch directly from the manufacturer. They are also available from Boaters World in the U.S.

SJUAE posted 10-21-2008 03:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    
It's not the 150USD for the switch I mind it's the extra 60USD to have it shipped here to the UAE

There is 2 boat shows coming up here in Dubai and Abu Dhabi next month I'll try and source them locally if possible

What gauge wire did you use for the kicker power to run 15 feet or so to the centre of the boat?


andygere posted 10-22-2008 11:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Both of my batteries are in the stern well near the transom, so my wiring runs are relatively short. As I recall, the starter cable running from the house battery switch back to the 15 h.p. Mercury is 6 AWG, and is probably a run of about 6 feet. The rest of my primary cables are 4AWG, which includes the runs to the BEP switch cluster to each battery.

I have noticed that BEP seems to be part of the Marinco Electrical Group which also includes the Anchor and Guest brands. Perhaps this will mean more distribution points in your part of the world.

pglein posted 10-24-2008 05:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     
I think you're all making this more complicated than it needs to be.

I'm in the middle of rewiring mine, so it's changing, but currently, the kicker's battery leads are run directly to the contact points on the main engine, just as dschedgick described on his boat.

I am changing this system to one where both engines lead back to a couple posts forward of the splash dam, but the net effect is the same, they are both connected directly to one another.

I don't see a problem with charging because I don't generally plan to run both engines at once for any length of time. And even if I did, one would assume that whichever one's alternator put out a higher voltage would cause the regulator in the other one to trip and shut off the alternator, thus leaving the first to charge the battery. In my case, the kicker puts out a higher voltage than the main engine due to it's newer age and generally better condition.

I don't think adding a second (or third) dedicated battery for the kicker really makes sense. Aside from the unnecessary extra weight and expense, it adds complexity to the system that isn't needed. But most of all, if, for some reason, you run your battery(s) dead, it's a lot easier to manually start your kicker than your main engine. Once you have it started, you can let it charge the batteries enough to get the main engine started. If it's isolated, you cannot do this.

andygere posted 10-24-2008 07:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
But most of all, if, for some reason, you run your battery(s) dead, it's a lot easier to manually start your kicker than your main engine. Once you have it started, you can let it charge the batteries enough to get the main engine started. If it's isolated, you cannot do this.

With the BEP system I described, you can do this, and I've done it. What happens is the kicker charges the house battery, which can be used to "jump" the main starter battery by closing the emergency parallel switch. When my last set of lead acid batteries were on their death bead and the boat sat for a long time, I actually did this and it worked. Took a little while for the kicker to provide enough charge, but it did it. Rope starters are the ultimate insurance in this case. The neat thing about VSR isolation, is that the house loads can't kill the start battery, but the house battery can always be used to help start the main (as long is it has more charge than the start battery).

SJUAE posted 10-25-2008 02:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    

Although I very much liked the idea of wiring as dschedgick described and as you intend to use.

As it simplifies wiring and eliminates a third battery scenario (I already have a dual system) etc etc.

I agree with you thoughts especially if you never intend to run both engines other than at idle for very short periods.

But there is one sticking point in a far as no dealer seems to endorse or confirm if it will not invalidate your engine warranty if not using a full dual wiring kit.

In the absence of this andygere wiring being an elegant solution, automated charging of both batteries using a VSR and safe, seems preferable.

This eliminates any question on warranty issues and any potential insurance issues on cable sizing or wiring.


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