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Offshore trouble.... yesterday 30 miles out

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Offshore trouble.... yesterday 30 miles out

Old 06-09-2019, 03:05 PM
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Default Offshore trouble.... yesterday 30 miles out

Ran offshore for my sons 11th birthday yesterday. Way out there! Had a great morning of trolling and started to head in to drop on some bottom spots. Iím cruising at about 3500 rpms and try to trim up the motors a little and something didnít feel right. It was like the motors didnít want to trim up. Seemed odd so I pulled the throttle back and engines immediately cut off. Weird. Tried to restart - no juice... low voltage alarm is now going off on my electronics. Uh oh. How much is this tow in going to cost me? And if I lose power altogether, am I going to have to hit my emergency beacon. Wasnít a good feeling with four little guys with me 30 miles offshore.

Iím running twin Yamaha 150s and have a two battery bank.

Iíve gotten to the ramp once and found out the batteries werenít charged enough so I installed a battery charger about 6 months ago. Now I plug it in about 24 hours prior to use and have had no problems since and Iíve run it 10 times. Unfortunately I donít have the option to keep it plugged in 24/7.

so, after about 10-15 of trouble shooting I decided to disconnect one of the two batteries to see if there was a chance that one bad battery and one good battery would equal 2 bad batteries... turns out it does - or at least it seems so. Once I disconnected all positive/ negative from one of the batteries - both engines fired right up.

Iím going to take both batteries to an auto shop this week to be load tested. Iím hoping itís as simple as the one battery is toast and just needs replaced. Not sure how old the batteries are but they both have a 3/17 sticker on them. Napa batteries and theyíre both starting batteries.

any thoughts / input on what could be going on?
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:11 PM
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Should be one battery per engine....isolated from the other....with a switch than connects one to the other....not sure of your set up.....also, check cvharging systems of both engines....one of them isn't working
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:13 PM
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Sounds like you need to isolate your battery banks. Iíd recommend a Blue Sea Add-A-Battery kit.

But more so, if you are running 30 miles offshore adding a 3rd, isolated, house bank is almost a must. This way your motors have dedicated juice and your accessories are separate, but can be charged through the ACRs (automatic charging relay).

But glad to hear you got home safe! 👍
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Last edited by phigamfsu; 06-09-2019 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:20 PM
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You may have a bad ground cable or connection if the bad battery tests OK or close to OK. Very unusual to lose both engines due to one good and one bad battery. As above you should have 2 fully independent electrical systems for the two engines and a sperate house battery on the Aux charging lead(s) or a ACR/VSR setup if no aux charging leads. What happened to you shouldn't be able to happen unless there is a bad ground to a common ground bar.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:43 PM
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Glad you made it back safely check your Charging system. I had a hair raising low bat situation myself but was inshore. 1st trip on my new to me used boat and was told both batteries are new and the sticker shows 2018, also charged both night before trip. Low batt alarms and motor wont start just a slight click. Had to turn off all pumps, electronics said a few prayers and barely turned over and did not bother turning off motor for rest of outing. Came home tested outboard and both rectifiers were bad. I think everyone should check their charging systems a few times a year just to make sure.
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:22 PM
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3rd house battery needed for all electronics and the proper switches.

Glad you made it back without a massive tow bill.
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:58 PM
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Side note, might want to add a hand held VHF radio with a emergency antenna. Would suck to have to pop the PLB or Epirb for a dead battery.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:00 PM
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If you are worried about a massive tow bill that makes me think you don't have seatow or boat us. You should really consider it if you are going to be going that far out.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cnowery13 View Post
...Iím going to take both batteries to an auto shop this week to be load tested...
Or save yourself the trouble and back bending of humping two batts, and order this load tester. You will find it comes in very handy across anything that uses auto batts. Easy to use/read/interpret:
https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-BT-100-Battery-Load-Tester/dp/B000AMBOI0/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=schumacher+load+test&qid=1560128736&s=gateway&sr=8-1  https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-BT-100-Battery-Load-Tester/dp/B000AMBOI0/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=schumacher+load+test&qid=1560128736&s=gateway&sr=8-1
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:09 PM
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If I was getting flat batteries in a boat with modern engines, I would have investigated the problem - you shouldn't need any supplementary charging unless you're putting house loads on a battery at the dock for ages without running the boat.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:18 PM
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Get tow insurance, Boat US or Sea Tow
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:26 PM
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If batteries check good ,I would add another for your house/electronice as others have suggested. I would also inspect / clean all connections ,wires, and inspect any ground bars,and connections in boat and on engines. Check those grounds good, as IT'S ALWAYS THE GROUND !
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:51 PM
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I'm betting one battery has an internal short which has caused your issue.
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:36 PM
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Get 3 new batteries and properly wire them.
Don’t skimp on things if you fish 30 miles out.
Especially when you’re bringing kids.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Team Seaside View Post
Get tow insurance, Boat US or Sea Tow
$159 / year for gold membership : unlimited towing: If you run out of the inlet ( or spances on the river) its a no brainer purchase and membership.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:08 AM
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One bad battery can make a good battery an ok battery. Replacing the bad battery will then cause the ok battery to bring the new battery down to ok level as well. Replace both and have two new batteries rather than just two ok batteries. Also, starting batteries are not designed to run slow discharge electronics for extended periods of time. Get a house battery as well and have everything wired correctly.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:37 AM
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Add a 3rd house battery with some type of switch with vsr. Also a voltmeter is good to have onboard for troubleshooting.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Ducowti View Post
Or save yourself the trouble and back bending of humping two batts, and order this load tester. You will find it comes in very handy across anything that uses auto batts. Easy to use/read/interpret: https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-BT-100-Battery-Load-Tester/dp/B000AMBOI0/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=schumacher+load+test&qid=15601 28736&s=gateway&sr=8-1
Those were great back in the day (I still have one) but today we use conductance testers. As reccomend by ABYC. Much safer and some newer batteries warranty will be void if you hit em' with the old school unit.

But I'm just some idiot on the internet.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:48 AM
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I have three batteries with twin outboards. This may be slightly excessive, but I replace one battery every year, alternating the batteries so none is over three years old. Haven't had any problems and I feel more comfortable when heading out offshore.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:32 AM
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look at / test the rectifier ,, a bad rectifier can ruin good battery's , Yamaha rectifiers have been known the fail , causing erratic charging spurts.
look at the paint on the motor behind the rectifier and see if it is burned , a good indication it is spiking.in turn killing /cooking your battery's.

also : check your battery charger is not cooking the battery
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