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josh_tn

Dual batteries may be necessary

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josh_tn

Well, I just got home from the lake. I was stranded for about an hour while someone came from the marina to rescue me. Cry.gif I anchored in a cove and listened to the stereo for about 15-20 minutes when I noticed the amp cutting off a couple of times. I immediately shut off everything but I was too late. The battery did not have enough charge left to start the boat. I waited several minutes and tried again but still nothing. This is only my second time out on the boat since I bought it and it seems that 15 minutes should not be long enough to run the battery down that much. Does this sound right? Could my battery be bad? After we got it started it ran fine and seemed to be charging back up.

I guess I'll just go ahead and go with the dual batteries anyway. Does anyone with an older V-drive with rear ballast have a dual battery setup? If so, where did you put the batteries? The best solution I can think of would be under the rear seat. Has anyone done that? I'll be researching some of the dual battery setup topics but if anyone has any additional input, let me know. My first thoughts are to go with two blue-tops with a solenoid for automatic switching.

At least my first incident with the boat didn't cause any physical damage. Biggrin.gif

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obski

Another solution would be to buy and carry with you a battery jumper. I bought one made by Coleman this year, but there are lots of others.

Doesn't seem like your battery should have drained so quickly.

I did add a second battery also this year. I have them both, with a Perko switch, in the port rear storage next to the ballast tank.

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bigD

Sound's like your battery was already on it's way out.

Good time for the dual battery upgrade.

I through one of those portable chargers in the boat on long weekends used it on two other boats but have never used it on mine. It's nice to have when someone ask's you for a jump.

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jetskipro550

we carry a portable batter jumper just in case. We are going to put in a second battery and perko switch as soon as I stop being lazy. You could put both batteries up in the storage compartment behind the observers seat.

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obski
  I through one of those portable chargers in the boat on long weekends used it on two other boats but have never used it on mine. It's nice to have when someone ask's you for a jump.

That's really true about using it to give someone else a jump. One of the rather nasty gel coat scratches I got last year came from when I was being a good Samaratin and giving somebody's I/O a jump. The ladder on the boat gouged me pretty good. I recently got those out with some of the Spectrum kit and some sanding and polishing.

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Hman442

Josh, You might have your battery checked, or just replace with the best marine r/v type battery that Napa, Interstate, etc. offers.

Unless you have some real killer stereo setup you should be able to listen for quite a bit longer than 15 minutes & still have reserve left to restart the engine. I suppose it would be prudent to check the alternator also for output (don't forget about belt tension) to make sure that the battery is getting a proper charge, but I bet its just an old or too small battery.

The jumper boxlike mentioned above is the ticket. It covers you, plus you get to be the hero fairly often too.

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josh_tn

Thanks for all the input guys. I will check on the jumper box and maybe go with dual batteries too. (Just to be safe) Is the PP battery voltage readout fairly accurate. I noticed after I got the boat jumped off and running again it only read 11.6 volts. Seems like it should be higher if the battery was good.

jetskipro550-

If I put 2 batteries behind the observers seat, is there anything I should do different with the wiring since it will be such a long run like using larger gauge wire? I don't want to end up with stereo interference from the power wires running along the sidewall of the boat.

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dlb

Josh,

At 11.6V you have a dead cell in the battery. Get a good marine type battery and you should be set for the season. Adding a second battery is added security but not a necessity.

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josh_tn
Josh,

At 11.6V you have a dead cell in the battery.  Get a good marine type battery and you should be set for the season.  Adding a second battery is added security but not a necessity.

Thanks, that is what I figured. I'm still torn between going all out with dual batteries or just getting a good deep cycle marine battery and a jumperbox as mentioned earlier. I'll let you all know what I end up going with. Thanks for all the good info.

Josh

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Hman442
Josh,

At 11.6V you have a dead cell in the battery.  Get a good marine type battery and you should be set for the season.  Adding a second battery is added security but not a necessity.

Thanks, that is what I figured. I'm still torn between going all out with dual batteries or just getting a good deep cycle marine battery and a jumperbox as mentioned earlier. I'll let you all know what I end up going with. Thanks for all the good info.

Josh

After you repalce the battery, the PP gauge - with the engine running - should read in the 13's. If not, there is an alternator problem/loose belt, etc. On my '97 VLX there were some hoses that went to the shower controls. They "interfered" with the wiring attached to the back of the alternator & broke one wire off at the alternator. You might check that stuff when you are checking the belt tension.

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Web

I would just go with the dual set up. Esp. if you have an amp or amps. Its really easy to do and it beats waiting around for tow for the extra $200 or so it will cost you.

If you choose a solenoid to isolate the 2 batts, be carefull its not one of those that reduces voltage to the battery ( some reduce as much as .8V )....those types will not full recharge your batteries and shorten life.

The 50A one is easy to install and good up to 100amp alt.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/store...=544&storeNum=9

or ck out Hellroarings isolater.

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TomS

I went to Sears and got an Optima D34M for mine. I already have the Perko that didn't have the second battery yet. I put the Optima in as #1 and moved the older one to #2 though it was still good. I also ordered a Hellroaring Battery Isolator which is referenced in several other areas of this board. All have spoken highly of that mod for less than $200 + another batter for security. That's a future project to put it on. I also have one of the portable jump starters which are great to have. I have one in each vehicle and use them all the time it seems.

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AirChair1
I went to Sears and got an Optima D34M for mine.  I already have the Perko that didn't have the second battery yet.  I put the Optima in as #1 and moved the older one to #2 though it was still good.  I also ordered a Hellroaring Battery Isolator which is referenced in several other areas of this board.  All have spoken highly of that mod for less than $200 + another batter for security.  That's a future project to put it on.  I also have one of the portable jump starters which are great to have.  I have one in each vehicle and use them all the time it seems.

I too plan on going with an Optima D34M and the Hellroaring solution. It seems to be a highly recommended solution. Seeing that Sears sells them I now have the source for the battery and I'll order the isolator/combiner direct from Hellroaring... To complete my battery/electrical system analysis I now need to pick a HIGH QUALITY battery charger compatible with the Optima batteries (I have heard they are a bit more challenging to properly charge without damaging) and a quality jump starter. Does anyone have a recommendation for either?

Jeff/AirChair1

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josh_tn

I've been looking at the D34M's and an isolator today and I noticed that Grant West over at WW has used this 200 Amp relay for his battery isolation on some of the projects he has done. Does anyone have any experience using these?

Stinger 200 Amp relay

EDIT: The link must be too long. If you search for stinger relay you can see it (the 200 Amp relay).

It looks like a good cost effective alternative to Hellroaring or some of the other isolators out there.

I'm still torn between going with the Optima's vs standard Deep cycle marine batteries. The problem is that I can't find anyone local who carries the Optimas and I'm sure that shipping on 2 batteries would be serious $$$$. I'm going to go check with Autozone this afternoon and see if they can get me some.

I also thought about the alternator. Is there any easy way to check it with a DMM while running? Could I just check the voltage across the battery terminals or should I check closer to the alt.?(Just to make sure the PP reading is accurate)

Edited by josh_tn

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jklein

I went with two blue top Optima's (both deep cycle) and a hellroaring isolator / combiner. It's got a light on it that shows it's charging and that the alternate battery is charged. It wasn't cheap, but it works greate and there's NO voltage drop. Easy to install too. The guys there are very helpful.

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bigD

Josh'

I use the relay/solenoid set up. the cash wasn't the deciding factor for me it was the simplicity. It's simple and I don't need to hit any switches I turn the key and go.

I know alot of guy's don't like them but I'm running close to 3000w in amp's run my system with the engine off for long periods of time and haven't had an issue

starting the boat, and if I do I'll through the jumper on.

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Hman442
I'm still torn between going with the Optima's vs standard Deep cycle marine batteries. The problem is that I can't find anyone local who carries the Optimas and I'm sure that shipping on 2 batteries would be serious $$$$. I'm going to go check with Autozone this afternoon and see if they can get me some.

I also thought about the alternator. Is there any easy way to check it with a DMM while running? Could I just check the voltage across the battery terminals or should I check closer to the alt.?(Just to make sure the PP reading is accurate)

Look at the "reserve" spec on the battery. IIRC the optima style batteries don't

have as much reserve (which is the rating for using juice when the engine is off)

as a good deep cyle style. Check it out & see.

Yes, you can test the alt output with a DMM. It won't tell you how many amps the alt is putting out, but typically, if the voltage is good, the amps are also. You can test it at the battery. It should be running in the 13s.

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Victor

Have you considered the Exide Orbital?

It looks like an optima blue top and is based on the same technology.

They are sold at Academy for about 50 bucks less than an optima blue top.

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josh_tn

Well, I went and took the battery off of the boat today and took it to Autozone to have it tested. After running the test the result was "Charge and re-test". The guy said that basically means nothing. It could be bad or could be good. After all the trouble to take it down there I hoped for something more definitive than that. :(

The battery is less than a year old so now I'm a bit concerned about it being the alternator. I guess the next step is to take the boat out and measure the voltage with it running to see if the alternator is OK. I still plan to go with the dual batteries either way but I want to make sure the alternator is good first. The guy at Autozone said they can order the Optimas for $150 each.

Have you considered the Exide Orbital?

It looks like an optima blue top and is based on the same technology.

They are sold at Academy for about 50 bucks less than an optima blue top.

What is Academy? I have never heard of them before. I will look into those batteries though. Thanks.

Josh

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Sunsetter95

Excuse me... point of order..... Tease2.gif The alternator will be putting out the amps and volts when the engine is running and you are getting the 13-14 volts at the gauge. Amps are measured when a drain or charge is put on the system. The voltage regulator will control the amount of output by the alternator that charges the battery and runs the electrical system.

If you put a load test on a battery, you can see how it will hold up under a load, hence the name "load test" Tease.gif and how it recovers after the load is removed.

Edited by Sunsetter95

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josh_tn
Excuse me... point of order..... Tease2.gif  The alternator will be putting out the amps and volts when the engine is running and you are getting the 13-14 volts at the gauge. Amps are measured when a drain or charge is put on the system. The voltage regulator will control the amount of output by the alternator that charges the battery and runs the electrical system.

If you put a load test on a battery, you can see how it will hold up under a load, hence the name "load test" Tease.gif and how it recovers after the load is removed.

Sorry but I don't think I'm following you on that post. I don't know if I am getting 13-14 volts or not. My PP gauge read 11.6 volts after being jumped off and running the boat back to the ramp. That seemed odd to me so I want to check with a DMM to verify if that 11.6 volts was correct. If it is, then the alternator is my problem right?

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Hman442
Excuse me... point of order..... Tease2.gif  The alternator will be putting out the amps and volts when the engine is running and you are getting the 13-14 volts at the gauge. Amps are measured when a drain or charge is put on the system. The voltage regulator will control the amount of output by the alternator that charges the battery and runs the electrical system.

If you put a load test on a battery, you can see how it will hold up under a load, hence the name "load test" Tease.gif and how it recovers after the load is removed.

Sorry but I don't think I'm following you on that post. I don't know if I am getting 13-14 volts or not. My PP gauge read 11.6 volts after being jumped off and running the boat back to the ramp. That seemed odd to me so I want to check with a DMM to verify if that 11.6 volts was correct. If it is, then the alternator is my problem right?

Alternator, or wiring, or loose belt. It would be a pain, but you could remove the alt & have it "bench tested" at a parts store or electrical specialty shop.

Nothing against Autozone, but a lot of parts stores are real "retail oriented" and may not have as knowledgable of help as perhaps a shop that rebuilds/sell alternators, starters & batteries only or a parts store that caters to repair shops more than it does to retail/accessory buyers . Use the yellow pages & find a specialty

shop/store & let them retest your battery after you charge it - ot leave it with them to charge & if it's possible to remove the alt (after checking the belt), do that & let them check it for you.

Edited by Hman442

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Sunsetter95

A belt loose, maybe. Easy to check.

When an alternator has been charging at rpm, you should see 13-14 volts on a voltage gauge.

The alternator is controlled by a regulator. Some are internal, and some are not.

Did you have the battery load tested. If the battery is bad internally, you may not get a good measurement from a volt meter. I know you were thinking of just putting in a new battery. If you are not sure, replace it and save your weekend. Dual batteries is a good thing. You can kill one and still start with the other with the correct setup.

If the belt is tight and the battery is good, it may be in your best interest to pull the alt and take it to have it bench tested.

If you need a replacement, I would trust a marine parts dealer for your type of engine (Merc or whatever), or NAPA. NAPA has a great selection of marine items. Or they can get them. You have several options. Marine alternators are made to reduce any sparking when operating. You could also have your alt rebuilt at a specialty shop for alt's. I think Hman442 mentioned that.

Edited by Sunsetter95

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josh_tn

Ok, thanks for that info Hman442 and Doug. If the rain holds off this afternoon I plan on going out and checking it out. If I measure the voltage after running quite a bit and am still getting low voltage, is there anything besides the belt that I should check before trying to pull the alt? The wiring has been mentioned earlier, do I need to just check the wires at the alt to make sure they are still connected properly? Do the wires go straight from the alt to the battery?

I don't have much mechanic experience so dealing with alternators is a new experience for me. If it comes to pulling the alt I'll probably have to rely on this board for help in gettting it off.

Doug, you mentioned that if the battery is bad the voltage reading might not be accurate? Should I go ahead and get a new battery before testing the voltage to make sure that it is not an alt problem?

Did you have the battery load tested. If the battery is bad internally, you may not get a good measurement from a volt meter. I know you were thinking of just putting in a new battery. If you are not sure, replace it and save your weekend. Dual batteries is a good thing. You can kill one and still start with the other with the correct setup.

Yes, they load tested it at Autozone but as I mentioned the result was basically meaningless according to the guy there.

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gooddog

Start with the easy part. Just pull the battery and have it load tested. If it tests OK then proceed with the alt.. If the battery is old, I would bet on a bad battery.

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