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Proper battery selection

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  • Proper battery selection

    What's the correct way to go regarding battery purchases for my Mako:

    94' Mako 201 with same yr 150hp Johnson carb'd, plus T Top and all accessories ?

    Also, should I purchase one deep cycle battery to run the accessories, and one high amp starter battery ?

    Finally, is there a battery switch that will allow me to switch between batteries while the engine is running, slow or at speed ?

    Fire away you battery / rigging experts !!

  • #2

    Before I answer your question with an article i wrote for Big Game Fiahing Journal, I'd like to welcome you to the Classis Mako Website and before Warthog gets to you please post you location in your signature.

    Now if you have the time read the following.


    Big Game Fishing Journal -

    The Captain's Plot -- Column #31- Capt. Vic Galgano: Six O Stretch

    [email protected]

    Words –1450

    Back in 1988 I placed an order with my dealer for my 26' Mako center console. The order included the mounting of a pair of 200hp Johnson engines with 35 amp alternators. The order did not include the installation of any of the electronics that would eventually be available in time for the maiden voyage more than a month after having taken delivery. Unspecified at the time was the size and type of batteries to be installed (a big time error).

    With Six O Stretch mounted on her trailer I spent every available hour the following month with the installation of some serious electronics. First an instrument box was mounted on the tee top. Power cables were run up through the tee top legs to supply power to the LORAN C, Flow Master, autopilot interface the VHF radio and fore and aft halogen lights mounted on the tee top. This was tied into the port side battery. Note my batteries are mounted in the console rather in the bilges. The starboard battery supplied power to the CRT color fishfinder/depth sounder, radar, electronic compass washdown pumps (2) and all other console instruments and gauges. Note that the configuration of the original manufacturer installed electrical system including bilge pump, bait well pump, navigation and cockpit lights are all fed from the starboard battery.

    With all of this installation procedure complete it was time for the launch and break-in period. Once all of that was successfully completed it was time to consider a shark trip of a bout 35 miles to the southeast at the Glory Hole, the southern portion of the Mud Hole off the Jersey coast. The Mud Hole, Glory Hole and Chicken Canyon are all extensions of the Hudson River gouge in the continental shelf leading to the Hudson Canyon. With that aside, the Glory Hole is a structure very productive of both sharks and inshore bluefin and yellow fin tuna with introduction of warm water eddies from the Gulf Stream. The drift was a successful one, with a 210# Mako boated after several spectacular jumps quite close to the boat. After bending two AFTCO gaffs the Mako was subdued and boated after assuring that it no longer had any life.

    As is our norm we initially established a drift over structure and once it was along the predetermined drift line we shut the engines down but kept the VHF, depth sounder, radar and other electronics. No thought was given to the possibility of draining the batteries -- "they were brand new and should hold a charge with no problem". Imagine the sinking feeling when we're all squared away and ready for the 40 mile run back to the inlet and we get nothing but a click when the start key was turned. Now what?

    First turnoff everything that would take any battery power, meaning turn off the circuits by turning the battery switches to the off position. Let everything settle for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then turn on both battery switches so that both feed "all". There was enough left in the combined batteries to give me a start on one of the engines. By advancing the throttle in neutral a small amount of charge was sent to the battery bank to start the second engine within a few minutes. Two things occurred subsequent to that experience: 1) Even though we made several stops over breaking fish on the way in, the engines were never shut down and 2) A major reevaluation was made after the Stretch was back in her slip as to a new battery configuration.

    In reviewing the then battery configuration, I found that the dealer had equipped her with two marine starting batteries w/870 CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) which are basically starting batteries not designed for the type of long term output that I had been expecting. What I needed was a deep cycle battery in order to run my electronics over a long period and a starting battery for the burst of power need to start my large engines. Deep cycle batteries are designed to run electrical loads when no charge source is available. They allow an extended draw of energy and numerous recharges without damage whereas a starting battery is designed for a short quick burst of energy for engine start but not for an extended draw nor for multiple recharges. Deep cycle batteries are built with thicker plates with the lead plate alloy with a high antimony content.

    Having decided what I needed I wasn't prepared to add two deep cycle batteries to the two starting batteries already installed. After a bit of research I found that dual-purpose starting/deep cycle batteries were available. I could get rid of the originals and replace them with larger, higher capacity combo units. The final selection was a pair of flooded Stowaway (Exide) batteries with the following specs 900CCA @ 32°, reserve capacity of 205 minutes, measuring L12.5" X W6.75" X H8.75".

    The battery size specs mentioned above are easy to understand however the other two common measurements CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) and MCA (Marine Cranking Amps) are used to determine battery power. CCA records the number of amps a battery can deliver for 30 seconds at 0°F without voltage dropping below 7.2v. MCA is similar, but is measured at 32°F. Since warmer temperatures improve batteries performance, MCA measurements are generally 20-25% greater than CCA. In addition battery capacities are measures in Amp-hours (Ah) and reserve minutes. Amp-hours measure the total amount of energy a battery can deliver for 20 hours at a constant rate of discharge, before the battery drops to 10.5 volts. This means a 200Ah battery can run a 10 Amp load for 20 hours. The reserve minute rating is the number of minutes a battery can run at a 25Amp load until dropping to 10.5 volts. A deep cycle battery with a rating of 180 reserve minutes will run a 25 Amp load for 3 hours.

    The term flooded refers to the fact that the battery contains a solution of sulfuric acid (electrolyte) in liquid form that provides a pathway between the positive and negative plates. Addition of distilled water is required at the time of recharging when the electrolyte level is low. Bright, clean terminals and tight connections are also a required part of the needed maintenance.

    Two other types of electrolytes are also used in marine batteries both of which are generally more expensive than the flooded models. The AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) has dense glass mat fitted tightly between the plates into which is impregnated a precise amount of acid electrolyte. The mat acts as reinforcement to the plates especially in marine use where vibration can be destructive to unsupported plates. AGM batteries are sealed and reconstitute the gases (hydrogen & oxygen), resulting from charging, back to water. A pressure valve allows for the minor release of excess gasses.

    The third type of electrolyte is contained in the Gel in the batteries of that name. The gel when initially compounded and poured into the case is in a liquid form and is vacuumed into the case in order to eliminate all voids. It subsequently becomes very viscous and will not leak even if inverted. These units will maintain a charge for long periods of time in that they "self discharge" at a rate of only 3% per month. The AGM battery has a similar discharge rate while the flooded battery usually "self discharges" at a rate of 6 to 7% per month.

    In order to maintain each of these battery types up to full charge it is necessary to properly recharge each type in accordance with manufacture's specs. In most cases boats which are used on a very frequent basis will maintain battery charge levels at optimum by way of engine alternators or on those equipped with generators via the battery charger. Shore power to your onboard charger will keep batteries up to snuff while the boat is not in use over longer periods of time. Charger selection is critical in that each of three types of batteries mentioned above has different charging requirements. This is where it's best to check with an expert as to aid in the selection of battery types and complimentary charger types. Current literature suggests that you don't mix installation of gel and flooded batteries in the same system unless the two types are totally isolated from one another and charged by different charger type.

    The final admonition is know you system and its capacity and of course be sure it's fully charged and will per form to your needs. Don't go offshore half charged and with insufficient capacity.

    Hope that helped in your quest for a battery.
    Capt. Vic[br]Six O Stretch 261CC T200 Js[br]Glimmer Glass/ Manasquan/ Milltown, NJ[br]<i></i>


    • #3
      capt vic your reply didnt answer the question-also your article in the big gamr journal it is correct but wrong i have set up numerous boats in the last 10yrs of being in the boat buisness.what you need to do is have a dedicated answer the question how do you charge both batteries at the same time- fist DO NOT run with the battery switch in the all or both position-no isolation when the engine is not running batteries are both being discharged-granted when engine is running both batteries are charging-still WRONG!! to charge both batteries on an outboard set up easiest way is with a blue seas acr-it is a sense relay that connects the batteries together it senses the voltage at both batteries when 1 battery is 13volts it connects to allow charging of both - west marine also sells a product called a battery combiner it is the same thing only what about that battery switch?? most everyone has the 3 position 1/2or all. i know your boat has 2 batteries-this is what you should have if you run offshore. now how do i get dedicated system??2 batteries 1 engine 1 battery is dedicated engine other is dedicated 12v equipment you need 2 on/off switches i reccomend the blue seas mini switches very high quality-but not cheap -so dont you be cheap!!!! idea is 1 switch is for engine other switch is for 12v equipment and a 12vsolenoid to allow for a parralell in case of battery failure. sounds confusing how ever it is so simple it is scary!! what this system will do is seperate everything like it should be-ever have your electronics "crash"when you start the engine? with htis set up that will never happen!!!! and best part is when it is time to go home the engine will crank. now we all have the basics!! twin engine set up 4 batteries seperate the 12v equipment from the electronics than seperate the engines 5 on/off switches 2 acr's 2 12v solenoids set it like this.on/off switches for electronics,12vequipment,port motorand starboard motor-i know thats only 4 last one is connected between banks for port and starboard engines{assuming there are 2 batteries on both sides of the boat} this will provide back up in the event of a solenoid failure an da dead cranking battery. what about batteries-on engines you want 27's if you have v6 outboards better if you have room for 31's for electronics or the 12v equipment use deep cycles nice feature about this set up is that you can fish at night with electronics on live well running and nav lights on and still be able to run home!!! capt vic you should have your boat set up like this!!! if you did you would never have experienced that problem!! last thing DO NOT MIX gel and flooded batteries. allways use tinned marine grade cabling do not us plain copper it is NOT marine grade allways look at the wire if it appears to look silver in color it is tinned use ti there is a difference ALLWAYS heat shrink all connections try to use the ancor heat shrink it has a glue in it that seeps out when shrinking to further seal the connection-connections should also be marine grade tinned!!!!!!! any questions email me i am not a"do it yourselfer" i have a shop and this is what i do for a living-this information as well as the prop information is not available anywhere.


      • #4
        Good report Vic.[] One thing I have noticed about onboard chargers is that most of them are designed for flooded or AGM's, but not Gell's.

        I recently bought a Minkotta 440 charger. I bought a 220 Minkotta for my neighbors boat to charge the 2-GP29's that power a Minkotta Riptide 74 and I liked it.

        Now the 440 shows up and it's a MONSTER. I mean it's BIG and HEAVY. Now I gotta figure out where to mount this thing. I planning on running 4- Orbital batteries. 2- cranking and 2-DC&starting.

        The local Exide store has Blem's of the cranking for $40ea. That beat's the heck out of $100+. The DC&starting are $149.58. Those would be a house bank combined in parell.

        My biggest problem that I can't find an answer to is how many amp's that the starter's draw on the DF-140 Suzuki's? I have the factory manual and it doesn't say. I need this imfo to size my batt. cables correctly.

        All these batteries will go in the 2 consoles I have built and I don't want ANY out gassing.


        • #5
          cables should allways be the largest practical to avoid a voltage drop across a long cable run. 140's are 4cyls it depends on how long the cable run is to get starter draw amps use a clip on amp meter over the cable pull the kill switch and crank the engine this will tell you the crank amps that you are drawing.also that battery test you suggested better wear safetey glasses doing that.


          • #6
            Jawz... Can you draw a picture of what you describe for the twin setup? I got confused in my dixie ways half way through that. Draw 'em pictures and I'll understand.... []
            Artie Sutherland[br]Rude Attitude -\'76 Mako 25 CC. - SOLD[br]1976 Mako 21[br]2002 Yellowfin 31 - 300 hp Suzukis[br]Gulf Coast, Mississippi[br]


            • #7
              I have two engines each with 35 amp charging alternators. Each engine is tied into one battery through the 3 way switch. When I run each battery is being charged by the engine on that side port/port - stbd / stbd. Eachswitch is in the #1 position. In using the combined deep cycle / starting batteries I have been able to save the extra weight of two additional batteries. I have also split the electronics load using each battery so that half the load is on each of the batteries.

              Jawz, I appreciate your expertize, however other that my intial problem with the original batteries in 1988 I haven't run into a problem in the many years since. Like many other problems encountered in this business there are more than one way to rig a boat or skin a cat.

              Re: cable size -- you got that right. Can't beat nice clean well protected batteries in the console.

              Capt. Vic[br]Six O Stretch 261CC T200 Js[br]Glimmer Glass/ Manasquan/ Milltown, NJ[br]<i></i>


              • #8
                One more issue... how do you integrate the abitlity of the newer Yamahas, Evinrudes, Mercs, etc with their ability to charge two batteries? I'm assuming they have the auto switch you are talking about built in.
                Artie Sutherland[br]Rude Attitude -\'76 Mako 25 CC. - SOLD[br]1976 Mako 21[br]2002 Yellowfin 31 - 300 hp Suzukis[br]Gulf Coast, Mississippi[br]


                • #9

                  use a clip on amp meter over the cable pull the kill switch and crank the engine this will tell you the crank amps that you are drawing.

                  Jawz that would be to easy. HeHe The motors are still in the creat's and no way to check that without them at ;east hung on the boat.

                  I want to know the draw so I can stick it in the formula to buy the proper size wire for my run's.


                  • #10
                    Jawz you talking about all those switch's is making my head spin.

                    Have you look REAL close at the Newmar Battery Integrator?


                    Not only will it Isolate batteries and charge them independly. It will also combine them with the flick of a switch.



                    • #11
                      This was drawn by another person. I'm going to use this pretty close.

                      2-Battery Integrator will be substuted for the Battery Isolator.


                      • #12

                        Originally posted by RudeAttitude

                        One more issue... how do you integrate the abitlity of the newer Yamahas, Evinrudes, Mercs, etc with their ability to charge two batteries? I'm assuming they have the auto switch you are talking about built in.

                        Those motors have a seperate charge wire you hook to batt#2.


                        • #13
                          capt vic you are running a single battery system for each engine now i see it in the picture-however your set up still has a huge potential for failure.assuming you are running full electronics while you are anchored or drifting you are still playing the bank account game. the system i described avoids any and all potentials for failure including having your electronics crash during start up due to a low voltage situation.true there is more than one way to skin a cat however honda motor co had a print ad it showed a chair with a broken leg that someone tied a stick to the caption stated "sure it's fixed but would sit on it??" i try not to leave anything to chance running 2 batteries on a twin engine offshore rig in my opinion is "putting your feet to the fire" another option is to add a 3rd deep cycle battery have that battery feed all 12v equipment install a seperate blue seas high amp panel mount circuit breaker to feed those circuits from the battery this would provide a dedicated system without fear of not having the power to fire the engines when it's time to run home.split the bilge pumps between the batteries this will avoid having all the pumps on the same battery-just for safetey. warthog-cable size will vary due to lenght of cable-they're only 4 cylinders you're not turning over a set of 6-71 detroits 4ga cable should be ideal for your application. other guy with the diagram-not sure how to post the diagram-not a computer guy by any stretch of your imagination-email me your fax number and i will send it to you.i dont like the isolation features on some outboards-the battery combiners or sense relays are very reliable and there is no voltage drop involved with these. i realize this system adds weight but it is allways a safetey factor that concerns me i know it seems like a confusing set up but it's bulletproof as hell.if you leave the boat with the stereo on for a day the only problem is you will have 1 dead battery not 2 and most important of all the boat will fire up!! and that's what we're all looking for right. capt vic-i not saying that your boat is wrong what i'm saying is it could be better. engines should have starting batteries or combo batteries 12v equipment should be powered for deep cycle batteries.allways use the largest batteries you can fit but dont get crazy you dont need d-8's 27's are fine but 31's are dont use the plastic boxes i prefer hold downs gill co makes the best last note dont use the wing nuts they will loosen with the vibration use lock nuts-and remember all betteries need a common ground and batteries should only have battery cables connected to them dont make any other connections at the batteries including charger leads these connections should be made at the battery control switches. i know i threw alot of info at you guys but this is how i do it and i thought that others would be interested in this as usual any questions email me and i will reply- i know how to operate that feature!!!!!


                          • #14
                            Fax Number? We don't need no stinking fax number. HeHe[]

                            Do you have a scanner? Scan it and send it to me PM and I will post it.


                            • #15
                              Just went out and did a quick measure. This is one way now.

                              2-batt's will be a 20ft run and the 2 others will be a 25ft run.

                              Now you see why I'm conserned.