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Author Topic:   Challenges When Changing Battery Size
Jefecinco posted 12-17-2014 09:39 AM ET (US)   Profile for Jefecinco   Send Email to Jefecinco  
I replaced my six-year-old Group 24 lead-calcium battery for a Group 31 AGM battery yesterday. Doing so without careful prior planning presented some difficulties.

First was the problem of getting the battery aboard. The thing weighs 75-lbs. That's a weight I have not lifted for many years. I decided to do this in three stages. I made the first lift to a strong wooden foot locker which got it to about three feet up. I was then able to get my hands under it and lifted it to the tiny swim platform on my 190 Montauk. Finally I used a step ladder to get aboard and reached over the transom to haul the battery aboard fully.

Second was getting the battery into the console. I skidded the battery to the console, placed the new battery box in the console and proceeded to discover I am not strong enough to lift the battery much more than vertically. I then removed the battery box from the console, put the battery in the box, wrestled the battery and box onto the console hatch lip and then skidded it into place in the far side of the console.

It was getting cool then, although I was pretty sweaty, and I was tired, so I'll make all the connections on the next nice day. That's going to require some thought because the battery terminals are now a couple of inches farther apart. I'll probable have to cut the ties I used to bundle the cables and re-do those after sorting everything out.

Luckily I had to pass a West Marine store on the way home from Sears and was able to get the required box. They had no Group 31 boxes but the catalog showed the Group 31 and 27 box shared the same part number and they had a group 27 box on hand. It was a good tight fit.

Working alone on a boat on a trailer presents some unanticipated challenges at times. Planning for even a simple seeming job is best thought out before starting.


Hoosier posted 12-17-2014 10:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Yeah, I feel your pain. When I had to put a new battery into the battery compartment on my 23 Walkaround I found out that the only way to get it into the compartment was to stand it on end. It's a good thing it was a sealed battery. Next time I'm going down in size, the newer batteries will handle the starting load and I won't need such a big battery.
jimh posted 12-17-2014 10:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Mark the battery cables and the battery terminals with distinctive RED (positive) and YELLOW (negative) tape so there won't be any confusion about polarity. On some of these new AGM batteries with only threaded bosses for connection of the cables the polarity can be hard to see once the battery is in place in a dark corner of the console.

I used to take the batteries out of the boat for winter storage, but, as their weight increased and my age increased, I abandoned that policy. I just leave the batteries in place now, in part because to take them out is too much trouble and they weigh too much for me to handle comfortably.

knothead posted 12-17-2014 04:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for knothead  Send Email to knothead     
Ditto to all the above.


Mambo Minnow posted 12-17-2014 09:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow     
I am with Jim. Last couple of years the boatyards tell me they winterized by giving batteries a full charge, disconnect cables from terminal and leave in boat.
fno posted 12-18-2014 12:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
Butch, two(3) comments.
1. You bought good batteries cuz they are heavy. (that seems to be the layman's measure these days for tires and batteries)
2.You didn't round up a high school kid for ten bucks to do the heavy lifting in exchange for a day of fishing.

3. Putting new batteries in sucks!!

kwik_wurk posted 12-18-2014 02:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for kwik_wurk  Send Email to kwik_wurk     
When replacing house batteries on a bigger boat I went with 8 6V batteries (still weighted ~50 lbs each battery).

Much much easier to move around in the boat, I could not have moved the equivalent AMP-HRs in 12 battery sizes. And actually 6V combinations had higher AMP-HR ratings. (I tried calling a few vendors as to why, the best answer I got was geometry and surface area were better with the 6V sizes).

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