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Author Topic:   Battery ON-OFF Switch Location on 17-foot Open Boat
monroep posted 06-30-2015 10:43 AM ET (US)   Profile for monroep   Send Email to monroep  
Hi All. I'm nervous about having a dead battery [on my Boston Whaler Montauk 17 boat with a Johnson 70-HP engine] so I've picked up a Blue Sea Systems [ON-OFF battery] switch. [Give me] any thoughts on where to locate the switch. I was thinking right on the battery box. I don't really want to run cables all the way up to the console.
Jeff posted 06-30-2015 12:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
Unless you are willing to mount it to the gunwales in the stern area, you have few other options other than up to the console. I personally would put it inside the console. It keeps it out of the weather and keeps it from getting wet.

If you are so worried that you feel you need the switch, don't skimp out on doing it correctly.

jimh posted 06-30-2015 12:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If you are asking about a switch to disconnect the boat's primary battery from the boat's 12-Volt power distribution, such a switch should be located as close to the battery terminals as possible.

What is the model number of the BLUE SEA SYSTEMS switch you are asking about? They make many different types of switches. BLUE SEA SYSTEMS generally provides very good instructions for installation of their devices. I suspect the switch you have purchased from them has good installation instructions.

I don't really want to run cables all the way up to the console.

I don't understand why you would run cables to the console for installing a battery switch. Where is the battery located on your boat?

monroep posted 06-30-2015 01:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for monroep  Send Email to monroep     
The battery box is located in the stern on the port side.The switch is the 6006 m-Series Mini On-Off Battery Switch, very basic.
I used to disconnect the battery every time I stopped. I wonder if adding switches is just complicating things and adding risk (wet wires etc).
jimh posted 06-30-2015 01:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Under no circumstance would I install the battery disconnect switch at the console and then run long cables between the switch and the battery box at the transom. That is not a good practice.

Install the battery switch on the inside bulwark of the hull, as high as possible, and protect it from splash and spray as much as possible.

Mounting the battery switch on the lid of the battery box is a very reasonable location, if there is room. Try to mount the switch so the mechanism is under the lid and only the knob of the switch is exposed.

I don't know if that arrangement is possible with the switch you have chosen. Compare at m-Series_Mini_On-Off_Battery_Switch_with__Knob_-_Red

mag posted 07-01-2015 12:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for mag  Send Email to mag     
On my 1978 Outrage, the BLUE SEA SYSTEMS battery switch is mounted to a hole drilled through the top of a waterproof box which is bolted to the battery box cover. Inside the waterproof box are fuses that protect some wires before they go thru the tunnel to the console. So far this arrangement has worked well for me.
Nottoo posted 07-08-2015 04:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Nottoo  Send Email to Nottoo     
I have a 2003 Boston Whaler 170 MONTAUK with two batteries and a switch--all located in the center console. The switch is mounted on a piece of wood which was glued to the inside of the front part of the console. It has worked out very well for me, the only down side is that you have to get on your knees to reach the switch. I lost a lot of storage space because of the batteries and plastic cases they are in. But I use the cooler seat for storage anyway and the confidence of having two batteries when you are boating is well worth the lost space.
jimh posted 07-09-2015 02:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Having two batteries is a good plan. Installing the battery switch as close as possible to the batteries is a good plan.

EJO posted 07-09-2015 09:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for EJO  Send Email to EJO     
As Jim stated 2 batteries with switch close by are good. A switch is nice to cut-off any possible draw you might have and Bluesea offers a lot of good info as where, what, and how regarding recreational boating electrics. See for instance
As long as you follow ABYC and/or the USCG rules you should be fine for your recreational vessel. All this info is easily Googled.
I'm not familiar with your set-up but I personally see a small problem with the aft mounted battery box keeping the electric connections away from water spray/weather unless it is in a totally enclosed and ventilated box.
contender posted 07-14-2015 12:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
The easiest true disconnect would be to remove one the battery connections from the battery (wing nut) when the boat is not in use. Having a 17 with the battery mounted in the rear of the boat does not give you many choices were to mount the switch. If you want to get real fancy I would also try removing the cowling and see if a switch can be placed on the battery cable under the cowling, This would hide and protect the switch and force you to look at your engine (check for anything out of place or just not right) before use. I put a fuel shut off valve under my cowling on the fuel line, this way I can/forced to check my engine before using it and I coat the engine with a spary protection before use also....
jimh posted 07-14-2015 03:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I do NOT endorse use of wing nuts to make battery connections. They are a bad idea. Installation instructions from Evinrude explicitly forbid their use. I do NOT endorse the idea of removing the battery cables from the battery terminal posts as a method of making a disconnect in the circuit. That is an awful idea.

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