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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Outrage 25 - batteries in rear of bow storage locker
|Author||Topic: Outrage 25 - batteries in rear of bow storage locker|
posted 03-29-2013 01:35 PM ET (US)
The classic Outrage 25 hulls have a large bow storage locker. It is 4-5 feet long with a flat bottom about 2 feet wide. At the stern-most portion, on each side, is a "shelf" about 1 ft wide and 2 ft long, about 1 ft above the floor of the locker. I think on the Revenge 25 boats this space is used for part of the cabin, but on the Outrage it is essentially wasted space. The prior owner stored lifejackets there.
My boat, with twin Optimax 150s on jackplates, is certainly not bow heavy and would benefit from more weight up front. As part of my electrical re-fit, I plan to at least move the batteries from the stern to the console - I don't use the console for storage much anyway. However, that wasted space at the stern of the bow locker is tempting.
Whaler built the boat with a covered connection from the bow locker into the starboard rigging tunnel, so wire access from this location to the console appears readily available. This location is just slightly ahead of the console on a bow-to-stern basis and about 1' below the floor.
I have AGM batteries, so little venting would occur from them. My only real caution is the potential venting of the area, and potential gas fumes there should a leak ever occur. As is, that location is separated from the rearward gas tank cavities, and it would not be hard to caulk the existing access hole (which is currently covered) after passing wires through it. I don't think the ventilation there is a real concern - overall the area is similarly ventilated to a console.
I am not worried about the potentially tougher ride of the batteries there - AGMs are plenty tough in my perspective.
I can't see this spot ever being actively flooded over the tops of batteries. The bow storage locker has a hatch, and the "shelf" is at least a foot off that floor, not counting the height of a battery box.
I'm curious if you may have ever seen this area used for batteries before? Or what other uses have you seen for this area? Considering both sides, it is quite a bit of space that is currently unused.
Thanks for your input.
posted 03-29-2013 10:12 PM ET (US)
I myself would be concern with flooding that locker with the batteries done in there.
posted 03-30-2013 10:21 AM ET (US)
There are several areas of concern in the proposed movement of the batteries: the electrical, the mechanical, and the hydrodynamical.
From the electrical perspective, you can move the battery away from the load, but you must not increase the resistance in the wire. This means that you will have to use very large gauge--and very expensive--wire to connect the battery to the load. You must also put the battery isolation switch very close to the battery. It is not a good practice to run an un-switched and un-fused battery circuit for a long distance--anything more than perhaps one or two feet--and particularly when the wiring is going to be concealed under the deck in rather close proximity to the fuel tank and other combustibles. You must install the battery ON-OFF switches in the forward cabin area, very close to the battery.
In the mechanical realm, the batteries are very heavy and are usually only located in areas of the deck where there is special reinforcement in the laminate of the deck to bear the loading. I do not think the area in the forward hatch has any embedded wood reinforcement. An external shelf of wood could be made to spread the battery load over a wider area.
In the hydrodynamic aspect, you will be moving a considerable weight, perhaps 170-lbs, from the extreme aft of the boat to the forward quarter. In general it is my preference to keep weight out of the bow of the boat as much as possible. The bow pitches up and down. The more weight in the bow, the harder these pitching motions become. Weight is best concentrated closer to the center of motion, and on a planing boat, the center of motion is far aft. Also, bow lift is part of the hull planing, so adding weight to the forward part of the boat makes the bow harder to lift in planing.
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