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Author Topic:   Battery in Montauk console?
JNorton posted 06-30-2000 12:25 AM ET (US)   Profile for JNorton   Send Email to JNorton  
Greetings, I am the proud new owner of a 1985 Montauk. It presently has the battery tied down on a raised floor inside the console. The BW owners manual says that this battery location should be avoided due to gas build up causing a risk of explosion. Are they being over-cautious or is this really a potential hazard? I'd like to add another battery for the electronics and it sure is handy to have them out of the way.
dfmcintyre posted 06-30-2000 07:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     

Congrats on the purchase. You will enjoy the summers with it.

I've had two Montauks and and two Outrages with the battery mounted there. I've had no problems. Two items to note:

All of them had the wood doors that were louvered, not solid. One of the installs had the battery mounted on the floor of the console rather then the floor of the boat. This led to the reinforcement of the floor from underneath. The next three installs, a hole cut in the floor of the console, same size as the battery box was made, edges were coated with resin, and box installed.

The second concern is if a splice was made in the main battery cable, running from the battery box to the motor. One install we had, a splice was made, and it was done in the middle of the cable, and with that splice positioned in the cable tunnel, it turned bad, and had to be replaced with a few years.

Best - Don

dfmcintyre posted 06-30-2000 07:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Additional note:

If you want to keep the battery there, and still are concerned, one way to ease this concern (maybe the console has the solid doors) is to vent the battery case (or cases, if your installing two... and think about a battery switch by the way).

I'd just drill a hole in the top of the battery box, use a plastic fitting, and short piece of tubing, run it vertical a foot or so to a gas tank type vent, mounted on the side or front of the console.

Hmmmmm....I've got one solid door, and one louvered door.

Best - don

KCarlsen posted 06-30-2000 11:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for KCarlsen  Send Email to KCarlsen     
Lead acid batteries give off two gases, HCL (hydrochloric acid, corrosive) and H2 (hydrogen, explosive). Venting storage compartments that house batteries is very important to prevent corrosion of wiring harnesses, terminals etc and also prevents the build up of hydrogen gas that could ignited by a spark, static etc. Also, HCL destroys fabric so if you store PFD's, clothing etc with batteries, venting is a must. Another solution is to use the new jell type batteries which don't give off any gases and don't require venting. I am considering them for my boat because I plan on having two batteries in by sakonnet swing back seat. I need to research them a little more for performance, price etc.
kingfish posted 06-30-2000 02:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Congratulations on picking up a Montauk! For my money, they are the most versatile boat on the market (and they are a Whaler!).

I've had two Montauks and wound up developing a cut out in the console floor for the battery cases, allowing them then to sit directly on the floor. (Learned the hard way, as I usually do, when the pounding I was putting the boat through one afternoon caused the weight of the battery slamming (even with bungees) on the console floor, to collapse the supports for the console floor.)

Never had a problem, the boats both came from the previous owner wired that way, but the earlier discussion about gases and venting should be considered. As was suggested, while they are expensive, gel batteries might be the perfect solution.

Enjoy your new purchase!

JNorton posted 07-01-2000 01:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for JNorton  Send Email to JNorton     
Thank you all for your advice and good wishes. The enthusiasm and helpfullness of you whaler owners tends to validate my purchase. (the rest of the family was thinking ski boat...) :-)

Anyway, both doors on my console are louvered but I think I'll still follow Don's advice and fabricate a vent for the battery boxes. Haven't heard of gel batteries before and will be reading up on them too.

I'll also be making sure the batteries are well fastened before I head for the big rollers off the west coast of Vancouver Island in August.

Don, is the battery switch you're referring to called an "isolator"? Do you have to be an electrician to hook one up?

dfmcintyre posted 07-01-2000 12:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
The battery switch I've got allows you to use either one, or the other, or both at the same time.

It also contains circuitry that will not fry the engine alternator while switching.


dfmcintyre posted 07-01-2000 12:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
You don't have to be an electrician to wire it, but you should be fairly adept at wiring, splicing and crimping on connectors.


dougs posted 07-01-2000 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for dougs  Send Email to dougs     
I owned an Outrage 18 with the two batteries in the console. In addition to the problems with the weight born by the bottom of the console (the cutout in the bottom is a very slick idea!), I had a series of exasperating problems with corrosion caused by the corrosive vapors from the batteries. At one point, after nearly tearing my hair out chasing problems with the tilt & trim system, I grabbed the lead to the pump and it ripped out of the terminal effortlessly! I gave the main battery cable a slight tug and it pulled out, too. Lots of blue copper inside the insulation.

I wound up replacing all the wiring and most of the switches before the system would work properly. Both console doors were louvered and left open when the boat was in storage.

My current Montauk has no such problems with the battery in the stern.

Doug Sowles
Portland, Oregon

bigz posted 07-04-2000 07:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Hi you might want to look into the Optima batteries these are lead acid but fully sealed using a spiral cell design --- more costly than conventional batteries but for marine use excellent they make both a house and starting battery their website is here and the best price I have found is at Cabela's --these can even be stored on there side if need be -- instead of an isolator you might want to check out West Marine's battery combinder this will facilitate charging from either a battery charger or the engine -- and as Don mentioned a parallel switch between the house and starter is an easy way to be able to use say the house battery to start if something goes haywire with your starting battery --- you should wire all your electrical "house" items to the "house" battery (bilge pump switch direct by passing any other switch or circuit breakers)and the starter just dedicated to the engine. Between your house battery and circuits install a re-set circuit breaker which effectively acts as a switch shutting off power to all house circuits say when the boat is out of use ---- this ensures there is absolutely no drain other than the bilge pump and on that if not needed you just turn it off at its switch and open your drain tubes in the bilge assuming it is out of the water of course --- chuckle --

Just a few thoughts and like all thoughts I have mine and others have theirs ---

Welcome to the forum --- Tom

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