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1996 Mako 191 - Battery cables from bow to CC?

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  • 1996 Mako 191 - Battery cables from bow to CC?

    Hey everyone, I'm looking to add a trolling motor to the bow of my '96 191. I would like to add the additional battery that I'll need into my center console and need to figure out how to run the battery and NMEA cables up to the bow.

    Does anyone have any insight as to how I might go about this? Thanks!

  • #2
    Looks like the bow nav lights are wired into the anchor locker and then into a 1/2" PVC chase that runs back to the fuel fill on the starboard side. There's plenty of room to run battery cables along the outside of that chase.

    But when it gets to the fuel fill, the PVC chase ends and the nav light wiring follows the fuel line down through a bunch of flotation foam, with no room for the battery cables.

    Not sure what to do.


    • #3
      I had a 2000 model 191 and when I installed my trolling motor I ran the cables along the port side. Not sure if you have the same model 191 I had or if you have the classic model but mine had two circular access covers that I unscrewed that made fishing the cables pretty easy. The access closest to the console had a PVC chase that ran down under the deck and came back up through deck over the fuel tank. I used a fish tape to pull the cables from the gunnel to inside the console and mounted my batteries there. Hope this helps.
      1994 Mako 221B


      • #4
        Hey Hoop thanks for the reply! I had actually just posted in another thread l found where you had mentioned the Xi5 on your 191.

        I do have the two access ports on both the port and starboard, with a PVC chase for the bow light wiring running along the starboard side back to the fuel fill. The problem is once it gets there, my interior is filled with foam...

        From those access ports that are closest to the console, amidships, is it a straight shot down that goes under the floor and to the fuel tank? Do your cables just run up through an open access hatch into the console?


        • #5
          A couple of photos for reference:


          • #6
            Thanks for the pics. I had the same model 191 but the access door to get inside the console on mine was on the port side and it looks like your is on the starboard side. Mine had a PVC rigging tube that went under the deck and up the gunnel on the port side but it looks like your may be on the same side as the fuel fill (starboard). If you look at the bottom left corner of the pic from inside the console there is that PVC pipe that comes up through deck above the fuel tank. On my old boat that was the rigging tube I used to get the battery cables from the gunnel into the console. Maybe try running a fish tape into that PVC tube inside the console and see where it ends up. I do remember the rigging tube I used was foamed in and I had to dig around a little to find the end of it.
            1994 Mako 221B


            • #7
              I have access doors on both sides of my console, as well as PVC rigging tubes on both sides inside the console (the port side one is just behind the nozzle of the fire extinguisher in the photo). I had tried probing these previously, but they seemed to be dead ends, I could only snake a couple of inches into them so I thought they were sealed.

              The access hatch on my starboard side gunnel near the fuel fill is filled with foam, and the bow light wiring goes down into it without any room for battery cables. I just checked the port side though and discovered an open PVC chase tucked away tight against the wall that I had missed before. When I snake it from the hatch going toward the console, I get a few feet in before I hit a deadend, which sounds like it's just below the chase end that's inside the console. So, seems like this could be feasible if I can figure out how to clear the obstruction.

              The other problem is, the chase doesn't seem nearly big enough for battery cables... it's a pretty small tube. What size AWG wire did you run to your trolling motor?


              • #8
                I hate that its giving you such a tough time. I believe I used 8AWG wire. Here was the reference I used when I did the install:

                I had decided if I wasnt going to be able to run the cables inside the gunnels then the easiest solution to get power to the bow was just to mount the batteries in the console, install a trolling motor plug under the seat in front of the console, and put some wire loom over the trolling motor cables & let them lay on the deck when I was using it. I had the xi5 mounted on a quick release bracket so it was only on the boat when I was using it which was prob only 30% of the time. Obviously not ideal and could have been a tripping hazard but would have gotten the job done and was my Plan B. Hope Plan A works out for you.
                1994 Mako 221B


                • #9
                  After some more messing around, I was able to clear the obstruction in the port PVC chase and get a snake all the way through from the gunwale to console. Seems like they used a 90 degree elbow a few inches under the console which made it difficult to get through. My trolling motor installation says I need 6 AWG cables for the distance I need to cover so it's going to be tricky getting a single cable through that elbow. Two isn't possible.

                  After some further digging though I found a matching PVC chase running from the starboard gunwale to the console! I missed it at first because the bow wiring doesn't use it, it just runs down the fuel fill line through the foam. The starboard chase is much farther back inside of the access hatch towards the stern than the port side one is. For some reason it's also much taller and almost flush against the roof of the gunwale, so is unusable at present. I'll need to see if I can get something in there to cut a few inches off the top of the tube.

                  For now I'm going to see if I'm able to run the positive battery cable through the port chase and the ground plus NMEA cable through the starboard chase. We'll see how it goes.


                  • #10
                    most boats have conduit thats running from the console to the gunwale. I know my 81 mako for sure had them, hand held pvc cutters or a multi tool should be able to trim off the excess pipe you need.

                    make sure 6awg is thick enough for the run to the bow. or else get some glow sticks and try to jam it down towards the fuel tank from that pie hole Also youll get some more space removing that whole pie cover, if thats a 6" consider an 8" one to give you more working area. I ended up making a starboard " cabinet" for my fire extinguisher that i recessed into my gunwale when i did my rigging because my 81 came with 3/4" conduit which wasnt big enough for my wires.

                    I cut the gunwale down, ran 1.5" rigging tube with 45 degree turns instead of 90s and instead of patching the hole I built a cabinet in its place. If i need to access my rigging tube i just remove my cabinet that I made.
                    Marc Muzzy[br]S.W. Florida [br]Anna Maria Island[br]\'81 25 \'09 suzuki 250[br]


                    • #11
                      Any chance you have a few photos of what you're describing?


                      • #12
                        Calculate the total distance from console to bow for totals run. Determine the current draw of the trolling motor and size the wire gauge from Ancor table which includes 3% voltage drop. Are you considering 24V or 36V trolling motor? Provide a Blueseas series 285 circuit breaker close to the batteries.
                        Keyman[br]Paoli, PA


                        • #13
                          I figure it's about a 40ft run total, 20ft in each direction. It's a 24v trolling motor that draws 56 amps max.

                          On the Ancor chart for 3% drop that equates to 4 AWG, but on the 10% drop chart it's 10 AWG. Not sure that I need to rate for the 3% drop for a trolling motor though as I would consider it non-critical? The manufacturer recommends 6 AWG for a run over 30ft, but 8 or 10 AWG would make my life a lot easier.

                          I plan to add a circuit breaker on the main console for when the trolling motor isn't in operation.


                          • #14
                            Remember from Ohm's law, as the voltage drops the current goes up in proportion. Have you ever jumped started a car with undersized cables? They typically get very hot! Plus wires enclosed in PVC conduit the heat can not be dissipated. With a safety factor I might consider #4AWG and 60AMP Blueseas series 285 circuit breaker. Hope this helps.
                            Keyman[br]Paoli, PA


                            • #15

                              Originally posted by Thresher

                              Any chance you have a few photos of what you're describing?

                              I dont document my work at all, ive never been good at that part. But Id take keymans advice and step up the wire gauge, the percentage increase is minimal, also be sure you're using marine tinned wire.

                              What I did was cut a huge hole for me to work, i have fat hands and I am determined to finish a project so I just cut an access panel that I planned on patching. It was probably 15"x15" panel that id just glass back in.... Ripped the foam out and had plenty of room to work...

                              When i was done, I built a cabinet to recess into the gunwale. They make them as well. if you have a surplus store by you theyll have a bunch, heavily discounted similar to the one attached below, theres all different styles and sizes:

                              heres the "multi tool" i described, I use harbor freight ones because i destroy all of them so quickly:

                              pipe cutters can be found locally, cheap. heres an amazon link to one, i like the ones from homedepot with the changeable blades:

                              Marc Muzzy[br]S.W. Florida [br]Anna Maria Island[br]\'81 25 \'09 suzuki 250[br]