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Wiring Question

Old 03-02-2013, 01:17 PM
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Default Wiring Question

I've got a 23 ft Hourston with a I/O 351w motor and a Yamaha 8hp high thrust kicker for trolling. I have a Lowrance HDS-10 and HDS-8 Gen-1 and Broadband Radar, 2 VHF radios, Stereo, lights, and 4 Scotty electric downriggers. I sometimes find that the batteries die down when the fishing gets hot with the draw from the downriggers use. I'm always worried that I'm doing to have dead batteries and stuck offshore.
I would like to add a Blue Seas Add-A-Battery - 120A system to my boat. What I was thinking was running 2 house batteries and a starter battery. I thought that I would have 1 of the house batteries and the starter battery wired on the Blue seas system and tie the 2nd house battery in with my old 1-2-both switch. Not sure if this would work or how to wire it or if it is even worth while. I would also like to add a charging unit that I could plug in when the boat is not in use that would maintain all the batteries. I would like this charging unit as idiot proof as possible( something that you just plug in and it works till you go to use the boat and you unplug it and go)
Also when I go to start my main motor up It shuts down all my electronics down. I was told that by adding the Blue Seas System that that would stop true/false?
Any tips or thoughts on this? Any help is much would be great thanks Casper.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:25 PM
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get rid of the old switch. just use the new one. starter and house feed the blue sea switch. all the house batteries get jumped together to make one bank.

sounds like you need a battery charger... standard stuff. however you should really have a shore plug, and AC panel installed as well to do it right.
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:15 PM
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Thanks for the the help Smac999 I will look in to that. Any recommendations on chargers. My boat sits on a trailer for the most part and sometimes the battery switch may be left on. What I want is a charger that I can just plug in and it charges and maintains my batteries till the next time I use the boat. So no battery surprises eg. dead batteries. Thanks

Last edited by casper5280; 03-02-2013 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:05 AM
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I would not leave the batteries hooked up (power switch on) when you are not using the boat. Some electronics have "memories" which use power constantly, and may drain your batteries.

If you have access to 110 mains power, you should get a quality battery charger (I prefer Mastervolt or Victron--after having several of the more common chargers fail). If no mains power, than small solar panel, with controller.

You want to run the electronics off a house bank which is connected to the starting bank with a VSR--the Blue Seas would do that...

I would want both batteries on the "hose bank" to be equal size, type and age. I would go with two group 34 deep cycle batteries for the house. I would prefer to run them both, because you do have a potential fairly high draw. I would also have a 110 volt Mains power battery charger for 3 batteries output.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by casper5280 View Post
I've got a 23 ft Hourston with a I/O 351w motor and a Yamaha 8hp high thrust kicker for trolling.
Something like this:



???


I have a Lowrance HDS-10 and HDS-8 Gen-1 and Broadband Radar, 2 VHF radios, Stereo, lights, and 4 Scotty electric downriggers. I sometimes find that the batteries die down when the fishing gets hot with the draw from the downriggers use.
With all that load, and presuming that you only have a single battery bank, that is hardly surprising.


I'm always worried that I'm doing to have dead batteries and stuck offshore.
As well you should!


I would like to add a Blue Seas Add-A-Battery - 120A system to my boat.
That would be a very good idea.


What I was thinking was running 2 house batteries and a starter battery.
Depending on the particular batteries in question, this is also probably a good move.


I thought that I would have 1 of the house batteries and the starter battery wired on the Blue seas system and tie the 2nd house battery in with my old 1-2-both switch.
This is NOT a good idea.

You near-certainly do not need more than one battery for the Starting bank. If you use multiple batteries for your "House" bank (which may well be a good thing to do, again depending on the particular batteries chosen), they should be hard-wired into a single bank, then otherwise treated as a single battery.


I would also like to add a charging unit that I could plug in when the boat is not in use that would maintain all the batteries. I would like this charging unit as idiot proof as possible( something that you just plug in and it works till you go to use the boat and you unplug it and go)
Adding a high-quality onboard charger is also a good idea. But understand, there are WAY many more mediocre-to-crappy chargers out there than really good ones; and especially in the long run, it pays to be picky when selecting one. Here are some good potential choices:

http://www.pmariner.com/productFeatu...oductNum=63160
http://www.pmariner.com/productFeatu...oductNum=63140
http://www.bluesea.com/products/category/P12

You may also want to install a good battery monitor, such as http://www.cruzpro.co.nz/vah110.html, to help you keep tabs on the actual usage and condition of your batteries (particularly the House bank).


Also when I go to start my main motor up It shuts down all my electronics down. I was told that by adding the Blue Seas System that that would stop true/false?
Well... True, but slightly misstated. The reason you are experiencing that symptom is because your electronics are running off the same battery bank that is responsible for starting your engine. That is ALWAYS a very bad idea, for several reasons beyond just this one. The cure is, obviously enough, implementing a true dual-bank battery/electrical system, and segregating ALL of the "House" loads to their own dedicated battery bank, leaving the Starting bank to do ONLY its primary job.

The Blue Seas "Add-a-Battery" kit is a very simple, clean, convenient, and inexpensive way to do this; but it is not the ONLY way. For example, you can achieve similar functionality by using the Automatic Charging Relay (ACR) from that kit (or one of the the upgraded ML-series ones http://www.bluesea.com/products/cate...Relays/ML-ACRs) plus two conventional single-pole 1-2-Both-Off battery switches; but this would be more costly, take up more space, and be more prone to inadvertently making "unfortunate" switch-setting combinations. All in all, the "Add-a-Battery" kit is probably your best bet.


Originally Posted by casper5280 View Post
What I want is a charger that I can just plug in and it charges and maintains my batteries till the next time I use the boat. So no battery surprises eg. dead batteries. Thanks
It may be possible to find a plug-in charger which would be adequate. But the ones I cited above (which require permanent installation on the boat) will surely be superior. It's not all that difficult to install such a charger, and would be the recommended way to go. We can further discuss the installation issues, if you're unsure about this.



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Old 03-03-2013, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by thataway View Post
I would not leave the batteries hooked up (power switch on) when you are not using the boat. Some electronics have "memories" which use power constantly, and may drain your batteries.
If the batteries are also being maintained by the charger during this time, that's not a problem. Granted, for safety reasons, only a small handful of "24/7" loads (such as alarm systems, bilge pumps, etc.) should be left powered-up; but this is a different matter than worrying about draining the batteries.


If you have access to 110 mains power, you should get a quality battery charger (I prefer Mastervolt or Victron--after having several of the more common chargers fail). If no mains power, than small solar panel, with controller.
Not a bad idea in principle; but fitting an adequate-size solar panel can often be problematic.


I would want both batteries on the "hose bank" to be equal size, type and age. I would go with two group 34 deep cycle batteries for the house.
Why only Group 34? Those are typically only rated for 50-60 Amp-Hours; you could do about as as well with a single Group 31. And frankly, for his application, I'd prefer to see two good Group 31s (such as http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/marineflyer.php?id=30) or possibly even Group 30H (such as http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/marineflyer.php?id=4).


I would also have a 110 volt Mains power battery charger for 3 batteries output.
Only two banks are needed, at most. And given the ACR/VSR, a single-bank charger will do as well, as long as the Starting battery is also an AGM types. Also, one of the advantages of the ProNautic P chargers I recommended is that they can distribute ALL of their output to whichever bank most needs it at any given moment. I think at least some of the Mastervolt and Victron model can do likewise; but I'd check before committing to them.



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Old 03-03-2013, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Itteldoo View Post
Something like this:



???




With all that load, and presuming that you only have a single battery bank, that is hardly surprising.




As well you should!




That would be a very good idea.




Depending on the particular batteries in question, this is also probably a good move.




This is NOT a good idea.

You near-certainly do not need more than one battery for the Starting bank. If you use multiple batteries for your "House" bank (which may well be a good thing to do, again depending on the particular batteries chosen), they should be hard-wired into a single bank, then otherwise treated as a single battery.




Adding a high-quality onboard charger is also a good idea. But understand, there are WAY many more mediocre-to-crappy chargers out there than really good ones; and especially in the long run, it pays to be picky when selecting one. Here are some good potential choices:

http://www.pmariner.com/productFeatu...oductNum=63160
http://www.pmariner.com/productFeatu...oductNum=63140
http://www.bluesea.com/products/category/P12

You may also want to install a good battery monitor, such as http://www.cruzpro.co.nz/vah110.html, to help you keep tabs on the actual usage and condition of your batteries (particularly the House bank).




Well... True, but slightly misstated. The reason you are experiencing that symptom is because your electronics are running off the same battery bank that is responsible for starting your engine. That is ALWAYS a very bad idea, for several reasons beyond just this one. The cure is, obviously enough, implementing a true dual-bank battery/electrical system, and segregating ALL of the "House" loads to their own dedicated battery bank, leaving the Starting bank to do ONLY its primary job.

The Blue Seas "Add-a-Battery" kit is a very simple, clean, convenient, and inexpensive way to do this; but it is not the ONLY way. For example, you can achieve similar functionality by using the Automatic Charging Relay (ACR) from that kit (or one of the the upgraded ML-series ones http://www.bluesea.com/products/cate...Relays/ML-ACRs) plus two conventional single-pole 1-2-Both-Off battery switches; but this would be more costly, take up more space, and be more prone to inadvertently making "unfortunate" switch-setting combinations. All in all, the "Add-a-Battery" kit is probably your best bet.




It may be possible to find a plug-in charger which would be adequate. But the ones I cited above (which require permanent installation on the boat) will surely be superior. It's not all that difficult to install such a charger, and would be the recommended way to go. We can further discuss the installation issues, if you're unsure about this.


To funny that is my boat.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:53 PM
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I do have 2 batteries now. I think what I have being doing all this time is starting my main on the house side of the switch which maybe #1. I was told that my house side was #2. I now see that If I was to do this I should put the 2 house batteries wired in parallel on one side and the starting battery on the other.
I will look in to those chargers. And yes I do what one that is permanently installed in the boat, so thing that I can just run a extension cord out to. And I will also go with the group 30 batteries. Thanks for the help.
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by casper5280 View Post
To funny that is my boat.
I had a hunch.


Originally Posted by casper5280 View Post
I do have 2 batteries now. I think what I have being doing all this time is starting my main on the house side of the switch which maybe #1. I was told that my house side was #2.
If you have only one battery switch, and it is NOT a dual-pole type like the Blue Sea #5510e http://www.bluesea.com/products/5510...Battery_Switch or #5511e http://www.bluesea.com/products/5511...Battery_Switch (which ares the only commonly available dual-pole models I am aware of), then you DO NOT have a true dual-bank system.

What you probably have (tho' I cannot be certain without either a much more detailed and specific description, or seeing the boat for myself) is a dual-BATTERY system, where all of loads (including both engine starting and House loads) are lumped together, then run off either one battery or the other at any given moment, depending on the position of that switch.


I now see that If I was to do this I should put the 2 house batteries wired in parallel on one side and the starting battery on the other.
That's all well and good. But at this point, the more pressing issue is to straighten out your boat's wiring, so as to properly segregate all House loads from the engine-starting circuit. The previously discussed Blue Sea "Add-a-Battery" kit would be a good start toward this.


I will look in to those chargers. And yes I do what one that is permanently installed in the boat, so thing that I can just run a extension cord out to.
Ahhh... No. "Permanently installed" means (among other things) that it does NOT just "plug in". The charger would be hard-wired to the boat's AC distribution system, through a proper circuit breaker, of course. If the boat does not currently have any sort of AC system, you can install a simple one to accommodate just the charger, without necessarily needing a full-blown "distribution panel". OTOH, if you have (or might want in the future) any other AC-driven devices (such as an electric cooktop or microwave oven for the Galley, or a hot water heater, or even just a convenience outlet to plug in a tool or similar) on the boat, installing a modest AC distribution panel would probably be a good idea. Either way, your "shore power" cord could then plug into your home's AC system (via an adapter http://www.marinco.com/product/one-p...straight-blade if necessary).


And I will also go with the group 30 batteries. Thanks for the help.
You're welcome.



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Old 03-04-2013, 06:05 PM
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I'm going to go with the Add-A-Battery system and just be done with it. As far as the charger goes, could you recommend a modest AC distribution panel and what parts I would need. Thanks for all the help Itteldoo.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by casper5280 View Post
I'm going to go with the Add-A-Battery system and just be done with it.
That should be just fine.


As far as the charger goes, could you recommend a modest AC distribution panel and what parts I would need.
For the AC distribution panel, there are two basic ways to go: The first is to use an integrated main/branch panel, which includes the Main AC breaker; the other is to use a "branch-circuit only" panel, which would require either two fuses or (VERY preferably) a dual-pole circuit breaker to be installed "upstream" of the panel to protect both the panel itself and the wiring feeding it.

Which of these approaches will be best for you will depend on the specifics of your boat's layout, particularly the relative locations of the panel and the shore-power inlet connector. The ABYC specifies that a fuse or circuit breaker MUST be located within seven inches (as the wire flies) of any power source, which would include that shore-power inlet connector. For this reason, it is usually easier to use a separately mounted "Main" breaker, feeding a "branch-circuit only" panel located in a more convenient remote location.

So, with that in mind, something like:

http://www.bluesea.com/products/8058/AC_3_Position
or http://www.bluesea.com/products/1210..._AC_4_Position
or http://www.bluesea.com/products/8097/AC_6_Position

will likely suit you just fine.

For that Main breaker itself, you'll want something like this http://www.bluesea.com/products/3131...aker_Enclosure, with any of these:

http://www.bluesea.com/products/3102...le_120V_AC_30A
http://www.bluesea.com/products/3106...le_120V_AC_30A
http://www.bluesea.com/products/7365...le_Pole_30_Amp

mounted inside.

You will also need something like any of these:

http://www.marinco.com/product/30-am...ess-steel-trim
http://www.marinco.com/product/30-am...standard-white
http://www.marinco.com/product/30-am...-warning-label
http://www.marinco.com/product/30-am...tainless-steel

... and some proper cable http://www.marinco.com/product/triplex-cable to tie it all together. In theory, you could get away with 12/3, or even 14/3 for short runs; but I'd stick to 10/3 if at all possible, particularly for the run from the power inlet to the main breaker and from there to the distribution panel. If you need to drop back to lighter cable for one or more of the branch circuits (due to flexibility/bending considerations, for example), that's OK as long as you still observe the ABYC ampacity limits.


Speaking of ABYC standards, I suggest you download at and read at least the following simplified/excerpted sumaries:

http://www.devill.net/Infos/Electric...al-systems.pdf
http://www.paneltronics.com/atimo_s/...11Excerpts.pdf

And if you're willing to wade through it, the full ABYC E-11 standard has much additional info (tho' it can get a little "deep", and the above-cited summaries cover at least most of what you'll need to know):

https://www.abyc.com/committees/.%5CE-11.pdf


Thanks for all the help Itteldoo.
You're welcome. Good luck.




Last edited by Itteldoo; 03-06-2013 at 02:59 AM. Reason: Typo, of course.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:31 PM
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Thanks for all the help Itteldoo you have given me a lot to think about and I will study up on this. Thanks for the parts list as well.
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