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Another Questions on Batteries

Old 11-25-2017, 05:14 PM
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Default Another Questions on Batteries

I was looking and used the search feature but there is so much stuff to look through. I just picked up a 20' CC boat and it only has one battery. My stepfather and I are wanting to take a 2-3 day trip down the St Johns River in Florida this spring just fishing and ruffing it. Setting a tarp up and sleeping on the boat. Id like to definitely add a second battery, keep the one for starting and Id like to add one for the finder and the radio. I would probably add the second right inside the console of the boat. My questions would be should I install a charger on the boat and bring a small generator or should I purchase some type of solar charger. Would a solar charger even provide enough to keep the two batteries charged? I have a nice Honda 3000 watt generator thats really quiet and doesn't hardly burn any gas. Would like to hear what some of you more experienced guys think. Thanks for your help everyone, Im a little new to boating and this is my first boat I have owned myself.
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Old 11-25-2017, 05:40 PM
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What are planning on running with the extra battery?

Are you planning on running all the stuff while the outboard is off or on?

Are you just wanting an extra battery so you don't kill your starting battery?

Do you have a 1-2-BOTH battery switch in your boat?

The outboard charges the battery while the motor is running. Most boats only have one battery and work fine. But if you plan on running a bunch of non-led lights or a loud stereo for long periods of time WITH THE MOTOR OFF, you will need an extra battery.

If I were you I would just bring and extra battery in case you accidently kill your main one, then swap them out. If you have a 1-2-both switch already I would wire the extra battery to the switch. Leave the switch on 1 then use the boat like normal. If for some reason you kill your battery you change the switch to 2 then you have a fresh battery.

If you really want to set your boat up right you should install the new battery and wire every thing except the outboard motor to it. Then you need to buy a Blue Sea Automatic Charging Relay and wire it between your starting battery and your new one. You can use a 1-2-both battery switch instead of the ACR but this requires you to manipulate the switch everyone you crank your motor (which most people don't do).

To be correct your boat should have 2 batteries. One that ONLY starts the motor. The other runs everything else in the boat
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Old 11-25-2017, 05:50 PM
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I only have a small 4 speaker radio and the finder that would be running with the engine off. I have no LED lights installed on the boat yet but would not mind having some at some point. I was also thinking about just bringing a spare that I could swap out if needed. I will look into the Blue Sea set up you mentioned and it does sound like the Ideal set up. I dont have any battery switches so all that would have to be installed. When offshore the motor would most likely be running 90% of the time but on our river trip we would probably be sitting anchored with the the fish finder and radio on. There is no trolling motor yet so we will be stationary unless moving spot to spot. I am assuming Id be doing mostly trolling with some bottom fishing in between when off the coast. I would run everything off the second battery except the outboard with the installation of the second battery.
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Old 11-25-2017, 06:16 PM
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Whilst I am normally one to recommend dual battery systems, one for the engine and one for everything else, you may simply be well served by putting in the biggest battery you reasonably can, and take one of one lithium jump start packs in case you run the battery down too far.....just run the engine long enough each day to charge the battery...... Maybe add a solar charger?


It all depends - is this trip likeley to be a one off or very infrequent, or are yo looking to do the boat up over time and make long camping trips regularly?
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Old 11-25-2017, 06:23 PM
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If yo go the add a second battery route, you DONT want a simple 1-2-both switch.

You want an on-off switch for eac of the engine system and house system, and an "emergency start" switch that ties both banks together.

On the engine battery, only things connected here are things the engine cannot be run without. Everything else gets wired on to the "house" battery.
Then, if your engine has an "aux charge" connection, you wire that to charge the house bank.mic not, you need a voltage sensitive relay between the engine and house batteries to allow automatic charging of both from the engine. You are better off having a cranking battery for the engine, and a deep cycle for the house, whereas for your current setup/single battery system, you are better off with a dual purpose battery...
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Old 11-25-2017, 06:27 PM
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The camping trip might end up being once a year maybe. As for doing this boat up I won't being going crazy, I will eventually be upgrading the boat itself. In the future Ill be getting a nice 28-32' with a cuddy I hope lol. That will have to wait for sure but in the future that is my plan.
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Old 11-25-2017, 06:37 PM
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If your not planning on keeping the boat for long just bring an extra battery and/or a jump starter if you have one. You should be able to run the stereo for a while with the motor off, just crank it from time to time and probably won't need to use the extra batt

When you get a boat you're going to keep for a while I would do the ACR. As mentioned above you really don't want a 1-2-both switch. A blue sea 5011e is the switch you want. You would wire the motor to one battery and everything else to the other one. When you turn on the switch it lines each battery up to their equipment without them being connected (meaning your radio can kill the house batt but the motor will still crank). Then if you want the house battery to charge off the motor you would add an ACR.

Last edited by mdees88; 11-25-2017 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 11-25-2017, 06:42 PM
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Sounds like a great setup, I will have the boat a few years I'm guessing before any kind of major purchase. I think I will definitely look into a setup like this.
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Old 11-26-2017, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Neff991 View Post
The camping trip might end up being once a year maybe. As for doing this boat up I won't being going crazy, I will eventually be upgrading the boat itself. In the future Ill be getting a nice 28-32' with a cuddy I hope lol. That will have to wait for sure but in the future that is my plan.
Then for now, maybe just a good jumpstart pack (which could come in damn handy lots of other places!)

If yo do take the Honda genset, please don't run it IN the boat, put it on the swim step, only use it when there is a decent breeze and don't sleep with it on. A genset can be an awful handy thing to have, but imnsho is probably not worth the risk (carbon monoxide poisoning)
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Old 11-26-2017, 03:59 AM
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I agree with the above recommendations, especially the idea to stick to one battery and simply bring a li-ion jump pack for your extended trips. Something like a NoCo GB40 or GB70 would be all you need. The advantage of one of these (and similar offerings from other manufacturers) is that it also has USB and other ports for charging electronics.


Originally Posted by Neff991 View Post
....My questions would be should I install a charger on the boat and bring a small generator or should I purchase some type of solar charger. ... I have a nice Honda 3000 watt generator thats really quiet and doesn't hardly burn any gas.....
Since you are new to boating, I want to emphasize that the portable gas generator is a REALLY BAD idea. This type of generator has no place on a boat and is specifically prohibited by the USCG and ABYC. There are a variety of reasons why, but the danger of CO poisoning is the primary concern. The danger is not hypothetical -- there are multiple deaths each year as a result of their use aboard boats. Don't become a statistic!
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Old 11-26-2017, 06:57 AM
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Since you are new to boating, I want to emphasize that the portable gas generator is a REALLY BAD idea. This type of generator has no place on a boat and is specifically prohibited by the USCG and ABYC. There are a variety of reasons why, but the danger of CO poisoning is the primary concern. The danger is not hypothetical -- there are multiple deaths each year as a result of their use aboard boats. Don't become a statistic![/QUOTE]

Did not know it was prohibited!! Thanks for the information man! I already own a booster pac so that will definitely be going with me.
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:46 PM
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Then it sounds like time to grab the tarp, cooler of food/drink/bait and the stepdad and hit the water.....

Make sure to tell us how it went on your return.
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:58 PM
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Will do man, trip will be in February but I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.
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Old 11-26-2017, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Neff991 View Post
Did not know it was prohibited!! Thanks for the information man! I already own a booster pac so that will definitely be going with me.
Just FYI, It's not prohibited.... its discouraged. There's no law banning the use of a generator on the boat.

People use them all of the time. I've run my honda in an aluminum boat MANY times floundering and frogging at night. Use a GFCI and place it high in the boat, downwind of you and you should have no issue.

But for what your doing the jump starter and/or extra battery should be fine.
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Old 11-26-2017, 06:03 PM
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Ok ����
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Old 11-28-2017, 06:16 AM
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In my opinion, any boat large enough to go in the ocean should have a battery switch and two batteries.
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Old 11-28-2017, 06:25 AM
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Probably wouldn’t hurt to have some kind of back up. I will have a booster pack with me just Incase it does go dead.
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