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AirChair1

Building box for battery/isolator, etc.

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AirChair1

I am preparing to add a second battery and hellroaring isolator/combiner to our 2004 Sunsetter 23 XTI. At the same time I'll be installing my stereo head unit and amplifier. I am planning on installing both batteries, the isolator, and the amplifier in the area behind the passenger's seat and want to build a structure inside the storage area to make it appear cleaner and to minimize impact on the existing structure of the boat. I am electrically and mechanically skill-less but hope to have some help.

My plan is to build a box with two compartments (one for each battery). The compartments will be open on one side. The back side of the box would have the amplifier attached to it and somewhere in/on this box structure I would also attach the the hellroaring isolator/combiner. I hope to build it in such a fashion that it looks neat/clean and allows fur maximum usage of the storage compartment for other purposes.

My questions relate to material for building such a box and how to attach it with minimal impact on the boat. (I am paranoid of screws and such into the boat)

I hear about using a product called HDPE or some such thing. I have also heard about a product similar to a cutting board. Are these the same thing? How costly are the materials and where does one go to purchase it? How do you work with it? (nails, glue, stainless steel hinges, etc)

I also plan on carpeting the resulting box. Where can I get carpeting to match the carpeting of the boat? Is the dealer the only choice or are cheaper options available?

Is there anything I need to worry about mounting the amplifer in this compartment?

Jeff/AirChair1

Edited by AirChair1

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WakeAndSno

HDPE, King Starboard, and cutting boards are all very similar. If you can find the cutting boards large enough - use them, I bought the HDPE at West Marine it was $$$ and I regret not just going with cutting boards.

I used it to make a false wall to mount my amps and want to also make a battery rack out of it (or aluminum) to do the two stacked racks like you mention.

You can cut it with regular saws and tools, but mounting and adhesive is another story. Screws work well (unless you strip out the holes). I recommend pre-drilling so the plastic doesn't warp.

As for carpeting, there is only like one adhesive that will work for it. I used spray on and staples. It works, but not well.

Let me know if you ahve any more questions.

JZ

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jklein

What I did was cut a piece of 1/2 inch plywood to fit along the side wall of the walk-thru. I covered the wood with carpet that matches my boat. I placed it about 1/2 an inch off the actual fiberglass wall and screwed into the edge of the board with two stainless steel recessed screws that are covered by the seat cusion when the seat back is in the down position. Thus, the screws are virtually invisible.

Closest to the bow (the back of the storage area), I used two L brackets to hold the board in place. One side goes into the new board I just made, the other side is screwed into the wall of the storage compartment. The bow seat cusion is there, so no worries of having a screw pop out the other side.

Now I've got a nice board to mount my amps to. I did that and ran the RCA and speaker wires "behind" the board that I mounted a 1/2 inch off the side wall.

I put my hellroaring stuff and my tower amp on the back wall of the storage compartment. You can put screws in there and have no worries because of the bow cushions. Just try to keep the length to a minimum that will bite well and not go too deep into the cusion.

While I have not done this part yet... I plan to build a U shaped cover from 3 peices of ply wood covered in carpet that will cover all the hell roaring stuff and my amp fuses and wiring blocks. I'll mount a couple of 1x2 blocks on the back wall and put the U shaped box over all the exposed wires and stuff and use some sort of pin through the U box and 1x2 block to hold it in place. Thus I don't need any tools to replace a fuse or push the hellroaring's breaker should I ever need to do that.

As far as the batteries go, I'm using optima gel cells so they just sit on the floor. the terminals are covered with rubber boots once the wires were all connected. It's pretty clean.

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AirChair1
As far as the batteries go, I'm using optima gel cells so they just sit on the floor.  the terminals are covered with rubber boots once the wires were all connected.  It's pretty clean.

Do your batteries truly 'sit on the floor' or are they screwed/mounted to the floor? I was trying to figure out how to hold my stuff down using just the battery attachment currently in the boat without drilling at all. If yours are truly simply sitting on the floor and not suffering any vibration/movement issues, then I should be in great shape. I honestly considered building my 'box' and simply placing it in the compartment counting on the weight of two batteries keeping everything in relatively the correct place.....

Jeff/AirChair1

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jklein

They're just sitting there. However, I don't power turn. In addition to that the cables to the main battery are real short so it's not going anywhere anyhow. I suppose I could simply drill a velcro strap into the floor and loop it over the top of the built in handle. Problem solved.

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AirChair1
They're just sitting there.  However, I don't power turn.

That's what I was hoping to hear. I would never do a power turn either. If I can count on the batteries staying relatively still and using them to hold my 'box' in place, then I can probably completely avoid any new screws, bolts, nails, etc that go into the boat. That is my goal. If everything I do is 'standalone' then it won't matter whether I screw it up!

Thanks for the info and responses.

Jeff/AirChair1

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