Battery Switch Location & charging system

Discussion in 'Boats, Motors, Trailers and Towing Rigs Forum' started by Eyes Up Chuck, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. ericl

    ericl Well-Known Member

    Balmar makes stuff to do this right but it is expensive. I have a large boat with twin diesels so I have it. If my boat was a day-only boat, I'd have a house bank large enough to run all day w/o charging & they charge the house bank with a dedicated A/C charger made for deep cycle batteries when I got back. Use the starting battery for only starting the engines on a dedicated circuit. Charging a Deep Cycle with a starting battery charging system will lead to premature deep cycle battery failure. The issue is what your definition of premature is & how important the issue is to you.
  2. daddystoy

    daddystoy Well-Known Member

    electrical.jpg My 2 bits about the Blue Seas Add- A - Battery Switch... When I re-wired my battery switches I bought the package from Blue Seas with the Switch and ACR. For some reason, (I can't remember why now) I wasn't convinced this switch was the way to go for wiring the batteries and I found a website called and a thread that had (at the time 7 pages) on how to wire battery switches. The thread was called Battery Switch Musings. Very informative.
    The main takeaway I got from the thread was the major down side to the Dual Circuit Plus Switch that comes in the kit is that you can't isolate a bad battery from a good battery if one of them goes dead or is weak.
    In other words if your Number 1 battery gets weak or goes dead for some reason and that happens to be your starting battery for your main motor the switch is designed so that you are supposed to turn the switch to the "combine" position. Note the bright yellow marking with an exclamation point on the switch! I think what that means is, " Hey you are about to take whatever power you have in your good number 2 battery and send Half over to your number 1 battery. Hopefully there is enough power left to start your main motor.
    And Vice a Versa for a house battery. If your house battery dies how do you get power over to it. You have to do the same thing.
    Basically the switch is great if both batteries never have a problem.

    I kept my 1,2,Both,Off switch and added a On/Off switch instead of the Dual Circuit Plus Switch and ran a wire between the 2 switches. That way I can isolate and dedicate either battery for starting or house power or take either out of the system if there are any problems. As well I added an On/Off switch for the ACR so you can turn it off and take it out of the system if you need to.
    Wild Bill, concfin and bigdogeh like this.
  3. bones

    bones Well-Known Member

    nice wiring job if you did this.....
    if your using a, add a battery switch then adding a emergency parallel switch with a house switch and a battery switch will solve all dead battery issues. your photo looks awesome.
  4. daddystoy

    daddystoy Well-Known Member

    Yeah I did all the wiring. Thanks for the compliment.
    I think Blue Seas is doing a terrific job of marketing the Add-A-Battery switch without pointing out the potential pitfalls it has.
    Wild Bill likes this.
  5. bigdogeh

    bigdogeh Well-Known Member

    I use the blueseas 1,2, 1+2, off switches (3 0f them) along with the acr's (2). I pull the fuses on the acr's if the boat is going to sit any extended amount of time. Has worked well for me so far. 2 starter batteries (one for each engine), 2 house batteries. Takes a bit to figure out the system, but once you've figured it out, there is no combination of batteries you can combine or delete from the situation to get you out of a jam. Also a couple of led panel voltage and amperage monitors that tell you the status of the batteries you are using for the house and the starters.
  6. bones

    bones Well-Known Member

    you could add emergency transfer switch to jump your start batteries. turn off the engine battery, click the transfer switch to emergency and start you motor(s)
  7. bpsuls

    bpsuls Active Member

    The takeaway here is as a responsible mariner, always check your battery system before you go regardless of the setup, but have a plan in place for when stuff goes sideways. I installed an ACR just this winter and I love it. Why did i install it? i have a story behind that. Last fall my dad and I were hunting cohos offshore from Port Renfrew. if anyone on here was there at that time you'll know that there was an insane amount of shakers, so the downriggers were super busy. in general i always left my manual switch on 1+2 for daytrips and would switch to one battery only for overnight or renfrew trips offshore, but forgot to switch it back to one or the other as we sort of just "drifted away" from the inlet over the course of the day and next thing you know we were 10 miles away from it. So then, i look at my fish finder to find out I was down to 10V! (i have it so its always on the screen, but only useful if you are looking at it) so i told my dad crap, i think the batteries are dead. we tried starting the main and nothing (the kicker was already operating so we had that going for us at least). so we shut down fishing pulled everything up, and ran the kicker at full throttle back in the direction of PR against the current at about 3-4 knots per hour. I also shut down all electronics and isolated one battery to try to get it juiced up as much as possible. There was no one around us for as far as we could see. We did get the main started eventually and made it home just fine, luckily it was flat calm with no swell, a very unusual situation in PR. Lessons learned:

    - Downriggers pull a huge amount of power. if you have two of them going every couple of minutes (shakers) they will eat at even the most awesome of battery setup
    - Electronics also pull power during all of this
    - Your kicker only makes about 4amps even at full throttle, and most people don't troll at full throttle
    - Some kickers like the Yam 9.9 with E-start have no recoil. mine does, but i would be worried to not at least have that as a fall back. consider installing one if you don't have one
    - The ACR would not have allowed this to happen to us
    - All plotters have low voltage alarms with adjustable thresholds on them. USE THEM! I now do this with both my units and it is super helpful to give you an early warning
    - It is amazing how quickly shit goes sideways even with the best planning. I have 3 batteries on board, wired vhf, portable vhf, 2 chartplotters with radar, handheld gps, satellite beacon and do a lot of pre checks of all my stuff but you still just cant predict every scenario.

    Watch out for those shakers schools! Its a good advocation for kickers though. I think people who don't have one are crazy. Yes twins have double redundancy and can get you out if one fails but if your batteries are dead you will never hand crank a main to life, but a kicker you can. 4 knots is better than 0 knots!
  8. Corey_lax

    Corey_lax Active Member

    Bring along a portable booster pack and all that could have been avoided. They cost $150 or so for a good one and don’t take up much more space than a cell phone.
  9. island idiots

    island idiots Active Member

    Just installed a dual battery set up with a Battery switch and Marine battery Isolator. Not complicated and it works.
  10. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill Active Member

    Pretty wiring daddystoy!
    I guess no matter what system you install on your boat you also need to stay aware!
    I prefer the main engine connected direct to the engine battery, I don't like the thought of what would happen if someone accidentally bumped the battery switch to "all off" during long high speed run. The only reason I can think of for switching the engine battery off is if I had an electrical fire in the engine, I'll pull the ground cable off the battery if that happens.

    I wire my favoured solenoid setup so it's not energized during cranking, if it was energized a dead auxiliary battery will suck it down during cranking.
    Engine running both batterys charging, you can complicate the system a little further by adding a momentary bypass switch for engine crank boost in the unlikely event that battery dies, only thing hooked up to it is the engine so you would have to leave the key on with engine not running or battery gets nfg during outing.

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