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3 batteries 2 engines 3 perko switches

Old 04-08-2015, 11:28 AM
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Default 3 batteries 2 engines 3 perko switches

So as the title says the boat has 2 engines, 3 batteries and 3 perko switches. I'm trying to figure out how this was rigged up and why. What I do know is it has got to be changed because something isn't right.

I can't find a proper diagram as to how this should be wired up on perkos site. Here's what I was told to do when i bought the boat:

1. Turn port motor *on*
2. Turn house switch to *all*
3. Turn starboard switch to *on*

The electronics will not come on at all unless the port motor switch is turned to *on*. Which tells me the port motor is the only motor charging the house battery.

This whole thing seems weird to me. Who here knows how this *should* be wired up so that:

1. House battery is charged from both motors
2. I can isolate the house battery
3. In emergency I can connect all 3 (like an *all* setting)

Thanks.
Old 04-08-2015, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by keithelder View Post
So as the title says the boat has 2 engines, 3 batteries and 3 perko switches. I'm trying to figure out how this was rigged up and why. What I do know is it has got to be changed because something isn't right.

I can't find a proper diagram as to how this should be wired up on perkos site. Here's what I was told to do when i bought the boat:

1. Turn port motor *on*
2. Turn house switch to *all*
3. Turn starboard switch to *on*

The electronics will not come on at all unless the port motor switch is turned to *on*. Which tells me the port motor is the only motor charging the house battery.

This whole thing seems weird to me. Who here knows how this *should* be wired up so that:

1. House battery is charged from both motors
2. I can isolate the house battery
3. In emergency I can connect all 3 (like an *all* setting)
It sounds like the house battery is not connected to the house switch, but regardless, the wiring is clearly messed up.

Here's what I would do, assuming that each switch is a 1/2/All/Off design:

Port Switch 1: Port start battery
Port Switch 2: House switch 2
Port Switch Common: Port engine

House Switch 1: House battery
House Switch 2: Port switch 2 and Stbd switch 2
House Switch Common: House feed

Stbd Switch 1: Stbd start battery
Stbd Switch 2: House switch 2
Stbd Switch Common: Stbd engine

With that arrangement, if all three switches are at 1, the house and engines are all isolated. To charge the house, move the House switch to All, then set the charging engine switch(es) to All. You could charge the house battery from either engine, or both.

If all three switches are at All, then all three batteries are paralleled into a single battery bank, so the house will get charged by the running engine(s).

If you want to charge the house from just one engine, set the house switch to All and set the charging engine switch to All, leaving the other engine switch at 1.

Finally, you could take any one or two of the three batteries offline and still run everything (both engines and the house loads) with the one or two remaining batteries.
Old 04-08-2015, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by keithelder View Post
So as the title says the boat has 2 engines, 3 batteries and 3 perko switches. I'm trying to figure out how this was rigged up and why. What I do know is it has got to be changed because something isn't right.

I can't find a proper diagram as to how this should be wired up on perkos site. Here's what I was told to do when i bought the boat:

1. Turn port motor *on*
2. Turn house switch to *all*
3. Turn starboard switch to *on*

The electronics will not come on at all unless the port motor switch is turned to *on*. Which tells me the port motor is the only motor charging the house battery.

This whole thing seems weird to me. Who here knows how this *should* be wired up so that:



1. House battery is charged from both motors
2. I can isolate the house battery
3. In emergency I can connect all 3 (like an *all* setting)

Thanks.
When I bought my boat I only had two cranking batteries with the port battery doubling as the house battery.

I moved both cranking batteries to the starboard side, added a house battery under the leaning post and added three perko switches that tied all three batteries together. I also ran charging leads from both motors to my house battery.

It is a much better setup now than the "barebones" wiring I had before.

Give me a call sometime and I'll walk you through the process.
Old 04-08-2015, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by yabbut View Post
It sounds like the house battery is not connected to the house switch, but regardless, the wiring is clearly messed up.

Here's what I would do, assuming that each switch is a 1/2/All/Off design:

Port Switch 1: Port start battery
Port Switch 2: House switch 2
Port Switch Common: Port engine

House Switch 1: House battery
House Switch 2: Port switch 2 and Stbd switch 2
House Switch Common: House feed

Stbd Switch 1: Stbd start battery
Stbd Switch 2: House switch 2
Stbd Switch Common: Stbd engine

With that arrangement, if all three switches are at 1, the house and engines are all isolated. To charge the house, move the House switch to All, then set the charging engine switch(es) to All. You could charge the house battery from either engine, or both.

If all three switches are at All, then all three batteries are paralleled into a single battery bank, so the house will get charged by the running engine(s).

If you want to charge the house from just one engine, set the house switch to All and set the charging engine switch to All, leaving the other engine switch at 1.

Finally, you could take any one or two of the three batteries offline and still run everything (both engines and the house loads) with the one or two remaining batteries.
The house battery has the *All* switch. The port/starboard motor batteries just have On/Off. Definitely don't have *All* that I am positive about. Boat is 1 hour 15 minutes away.

Sounds like I need to replace the switches to do what I want.
Old 04-08-2015, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewaterseeker View Post
When I bought my boat I only had two cranking batteries with the port battery doubling as the house battery.

I moved both cranking batteries to the starboard side, added a house battery under the leaning post and added three perko switches that tied all three batteries together. I also ran charging leads from both motors to my house battery.

It is a much better setup now than the "barebones" wiring I had before.

Give me a call sometime and I'll walk you through the process.
Are those charging leads extra leads that come off the motors? I know etec motors support dual charging things but not sure about yamis.

I'm really not sure where I'd put a battery under leaning post. I'd really like to add another battery and have 2 house batteries. The sound system draws the crap out of the power with 2 subs!
Old 04-08-2015, 06:00 PM
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for yamaha you need "isolator leads" which will plug into the motor and give a second charging lead to run to the house batteries which you'd have paralleled. The motor would decide which battery is lower in voltage and send more of the charging power to that and a lesser amount to the other battery. You only need one of these harnesses and would let you keep everything isolated without needing a couple of ACRs.

Then you'd be able to use either a 3 or 4 position switch on the start batteries and a 3 position on the house circuit so that you'd be able to power anything from any single battery in the event of a failure or two.
Old 04-08-2015, 07:10 PM
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Here's a decent article on Boston Whaler setups... http://continuouswave.com/whaler/ref...alBattery.html
Old 04-08-2015, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by yabbut View Post
It sounds like the house battery is not connected to the house switch, but regardless, the wiring is clearly messed up.

Here's what I would do, assuming that each switch is a 1/2/All/Off design:

Port Switch 1: Port start battery
Port Switch 2: House switch 2
Port Switch Common: Port engine

House Switch 1: House battery
House Switch 2: Port switch 2 and Stbd switch 2
House Switch Common: House feed

Stbd Switch 1: Stbd start battery
Stbd Switch 2: House switch 2
Stbd Switch Common: Stbd engine

.
there are many ways to do it. all have pros and cons. so nobody can aswer your question.

the above works good. but add 2 acr's. moving the switches around is silly. and should only be done for emergency starting. not every time the boat is started and stopped.

if you only have 1 all swtich, and 2 on / off only. and don't want to replace them. use an on / off for house. use an on off for one engine say port. and stb switch put stb battery to one, port battery to 2. stb engine on common.

then normally run it on 1. all combines the 2 engine batteries if either engine battery is ever weak.

you still need to add 2x acr for charging this way. (or have engines with a 2nd output)
Old 04-08-2015, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by keithelder View Post
I can't find a proper diagram as to how this should be wired up on perkos site. Here's what I was told to do when i bought the boat:

1. Turn port motor *on*
2. Turn house switch to *all*
3. Turn starboard switch to *on*

The electronics will not come on at all unless the port motor switch is turned to *on*. Which tells me the port motor is the only motor charging the house battery.
no that means the system is screwed. they should work with the port and stb switches turned off. and the house switch in any pos.
Old 04-09-2015, 07:43 AM
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Here's a couple pictures of my setup. The port and starboard switches stay on position #1 and the house battery stays off. This keeps all batteries isolated from each other. If I have a need I can turn any of the switches to include one, two or all three batteries.

The two 50amp fuse holders are the aux charging leads that come from each motor and go to the house battery. By connecting both motors to the house battery I can insure that even if one of my alternators or worse yet one of my motors quit my house battery is still getting charged. This is how one of the major boat builders instructed me to wire it.




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Old 04-09-2015, 08:38 AM
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Good pics Bluewaterseeker!

Did you also install the isolator leads from the motors?
Old 04-09-2015, 09:09 AM
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The aux leads are the two glass top fuse holders in the pictures. They were on my motors coiled up and attached to the wiring harness.
Old 04-09-2015, 09:30 AM
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:45 PM
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Default 3 batteries, 2 outboards, and a 3 bank charger

Originally Posted by yabbut View Post
It sounds like the house battery is not connected to the house switch, but regardless, the wiring is clearly messed up.

Here's what I would do, assuming that each switch is a 1/2/All/Off design:

Port Switch 1: Port start battery
Port Switch 2: House switch 2
Port Switch Common: Port engine

House Switch 1: House battery
House Switch 2: Port switch 2 and Stbd switch 2
House Switch Common: House feed

Stbd Switch 1: Stbd start battery
Stbd Switch 2: House switch 2
Stbd Switch Common: Stbd engine

With that arrangement, if all three switches are at 1, the house and engines are all isolated. To charge the house, move the House switch to All, then set the charging engine switch(es) to All. You could charge the house battery from either engine, or both.

If all three switches are at All, then all three batteries are paralleled into a single battery bank, so the house will get charged by the running engine(s).

If you want to charge the house from just one engine, set the house switch to All and set the charging engine switch to All, leaving the other engine switch at 1.

Finally, you could take any one or two of the three batteries offline and still run everything (both engines and the house loads) with the one or two remaining batteries.
Awesome!!! I really like the above suggestion from yabbut. Not only does it make sense but it is so simple that I can visualize it without needing a diagram.

My current system has 3 batteries with two battery switches connected to two Mercury Optimax outboards. The third battery isn’t wired as a house battery but has jumpers running to the starboard battery in parallel.

My first goal is to install a shore powered onboard charging system. My second goal is to isolate the house battery from the motors so as to protect NAV/COM from fluctuations in amperage during motor starts as well as eliminate potentially draw down of start batteries while at anchor. Additionally, I would also like to minimize any noise from ignition system getting to sound system.

I desire to use a 3 bank charging system that provides several features rather than a single bank charger that utilizes a combiner or ACR/VSR. My biggest concern about using ACR/VCR is that the bidirectional relays will defeat the charging system by connecting all three batteries during charging with the 3 bank charger.

I don’t think my Mercs have an AUX charging output but would like to charge the house battery while underway.

This setup from yabbut should allow isolating the three batteries by turning off all three battery switches so that the 3 bank charger can maintain each battery independently. It will facilitate isolating the house bank from the motors while underway and if desired will also permit charging the house battery while underway from either the port or starboard motor.

Thanks yabbut!!
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Three Battery Twin Outboard.pdf (194.4 KB, 30 views)

Last edited by Deabs; 05-21-2019 at 07:57 PM. Reason: adding graphic

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