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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Montauk 170--Battery switch concerns
|Author||Topic: Montauk 170--Battery switch concerns|
posted 06-15-2009 09:44 PM ET (US)
Per the prints found on Whalerparts.com, I mounted a Perko Off-1-2-all battery switch next to the Bilge/Main/Stereo relay box.
Since I added the second battery, it is difficult to reach, so I am thinking of relocating it. But after looking at it today, it would also seem that if enough water were to get in the boat (basically swamp it), it could reach the somewhat low level of the relays and switch. It seems odd that these electrical parts would be mounted so low to the deck. Is this a legitimate concern?
posted 06-15-2009 11:30 PM ET (US)
I have looked into the console of a few of the newer Boston Whaler boats and thought the same thing: why are those electrical components mounted so low?
If the boat took a big wave onboard, I think the water level in the cockpit could rise high enough to immerse some of the boat's primary electrical wiring and components. It seems reasonable to me that everything electrical ought to be mounted as high as possible. On my own boat, the lowest electrical component is the battery and its terminals. Everything else electrical, except the bilge pumps, are mounted higher than that.
posted 06-16-2009 07:04 PM ET (US)
I thought for a minute that maybe the boat couldn't get that much water in it..but after looking at it, there's no where for the water to drain if it came in quickly, or if the bilge pump became inoperable.
I think I am going to relocate both the battery switch (to be accessable from outside the console), and the relay box to a higher level. I may eliminate the relay box completely, and replace it with an actual fuse box.
Has anyone else done this?
posted 06-24-2009 02:53 PM ET (US)
I would be interested to know how you are going to mount the switch outside the console. I too want to add one of those old fashioned but practical Perko switches on the outside. I only have a single battery but next year I want to add a second and have been thinking about the switch. I did see a posting earlier this year where someone added a molded plastic recessed pocket and put the switch in there so you don't hit it with your legs. I haven't done a search yet to find it, but I saw this posting and thought I would pick your brain.
posted 06-24-2009 09:23 PM ET (US)
I have thought about it doing it two ways.
The best I think would be mounting a box like you saw, manufactured by SSI Custom plastics. The problem is no one sells them (I couldn't even find one on EBay). I called SSI and they will sell me one...for close to $80, which for what I want to do, seems expensive.
I also thought of getting a BEP "mini" switch that can be mounted externally. It would require drilling a 2" hole and 4 1/8" mounting screws. The problem here is obvious; I'm not sure the switch is water proof, and like you said, could get in the way. I thought about mounting it under the steering wheel (out of the way), but the dash is quite thick there.
So for now..I haven't done anything. I think of it every time I have to contort my arm to get around the second battery to cut the switch on/off however. If I do anything, I'll probably wait until this winter and add the fuse box as well. I may take out the second battery until then.
posted 06-25-2009 11:35 AM ET (US)
I added a perko switch and have had the same arm wrenching experience. On my Dauntless, the bottom rear of the console has a slopped panel that overhangs the mounting base. I think this is to allow space for your feet while at the helm. I am thinking of relocating the switch there. It would be out of sight and sheltered from the elements. I would bore a hole (it will be large) to keep the body of the switch inside of the console.
posted 06-26-2009 08:25 AM ET (US)
I have been thinking more about this and wonder why we couldn't put a bracket nice and high on the inside surface of the console (right inside where your knees would hit)and mount the switch to that. The worse we would see on the outside are the heads of the mounting bolts. Or get real creative and glass a few wood blocks to the inside surface. I don't think there is a lot of room necessary behind the switch for the wires, is there?
posted 06-26-2009 10:08 AM ET (US)
No, not a lot of room is required..but that doesn't really make it any easier to use. Tht does solve the low in the boat issue.
To be very easy to use, the handle of the switch needs to be accessible from outside the console.
posted 06-28-2009 06:20 AM ET (US)
I'm not sure if moving the switch and relays above the battery terminals would help once the water level is higher than the battery terminals. I've never tried this, so I'm not certain; but is makes sense.
Let us know how you resolve this issue.
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