Battery placement...in the bow?

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Jfenny

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As I continue to plan out the build my next question is battery placement. The previous owner just cut a hole in one of the back benches and sunk a battery in there. He ran a second small battery under the console for the finder. I'd like to change that and do two primary batteries; cranking and house battery. I've started to pick up the materials but recently was told I shouldn't put the batteries in the front of the boat, because of banging with the waves on a small aluminum boat. I figured as long as I was willing to fork out the extra $$$ for higher gauge cables it wouldn't be an issue.

Currently I find the boat rear heavy with the battery, gas and 40hp motor back there. Once it's up on plane it's all good but when I'm in there by myself it really sits low. I figured moving the batteries up would help a bit. You can see in these pics where the battery and gas tank sit:

JFygggHl.jpg


Vfke2QJl.jpg


I'm thinking I'd leave the gas tank in that bench, just sink it down and move it forward. This way a lid can close on it to make a sitting bench. Right now its just wasted space. Then I'd use the battery bench for more storage (lifejackets and other light stuff) and move the batteries to the front where there is a lot of wasted space. I don't have a good picture of all the room up front but I don't need the third seat so I'd make a cutout in the bench, drop the batteries in and either do the bus/fuse bars and shut offs in that same area, or under my console:

4Z52TV4l.jpg


Should this be a concern of mine? Should I instead be looking to move the gas up front? Thanks guys.
 

maintenanceguy

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My truck battery bounces around every time I hit a pothole and gets the snot beat out of it every time I'm heading to a dear stand, fishing hole, or trap set out in the woods somewhere. I've never had a battery fail from bouncing.
 

MN Fisher

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Bow is where I'm placing both the TM Battery and the 'house' battery. Long as they're secured down so they don't go flying, no issues with a battery (or more) up front.
 

gogittum

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My lesson was quite recently but on a smaller scale. Setting up my Starcraft 16 ft, I mounted the small 10amp/hr motorcycle battery on the front of the center seat for just your reason....thinking in advance. Over-thinking, it turned out. I used 6 ft of 8 gauge wire.

I put a 25 hp 4 stroke Suzuki motor on it and it struggled to start. "Uh-oh, not enuf battery," I thought....but it did work. Then the Suzuki fried and I bought an older 25 hp 2 smoke Johnson to replace it till I could rebuild the Suzy. It had trouble starting, too, tho' the previous owner had put a new starter on it for just that reason. He'd also added 6 ft of 8 gauge wire to the existing to move the battery forward on his little boat. Really sloppy connections.

Sooo....I cut the b.s. addition off. Not sure what the stock Johnson cables are, but the 3+ ft remaining appear to be at least 6 gauge. I moved the battery to the back of the rear seat (I showed pictures of it recently) and it really makes none for balance - that little 10 amp/hr battery only weighs a few pounds. I also soldered heavy ring terminals on the ends of the cables.

(a YouTube taught me how to solder those terminals on with a torch without burning/melting the insulation next to them. After all these years.....and so simple. What a great lesson)

Man, I'll tell you what - that battery just about spins the motor right off'n the transom now. Spins it hard and has quite a few long tries in it. I'm amazed. I'm aware of needing adequate wire for a purpose, but thought I'd been OK. Clearly, I wasn't.

There are charts out there showing which gauge you need for various lengths/loads. Heavy wire is expensive, but a gauge or 2 higher isn't all "that" much more. Go bigger if unsure. It really pays.
 

Jfenny

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gogittum said:
There are charts out there showing which gauge you need for various lengths/loads. Heavy wire is expensive, but a gauge or 2 higher isn't all "that" much more. Go bigger if unsure. It really pays.

Thanks guys, I'm going to go forward with the plan to move it to the front, she just sits so **** low when I'm on my own through the shallows of the some of the small lakes that the more weight I can get to the front the better.

I was using the charts and it looks like I should be good with the 4 gauge. Fingers crossed!
 

GTS225

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Jfenny said:
I've started to pick up the materials but recently was told I shouldn't put the batteries in the front of the boat, because of banging with the waves on a small aluminum boat.

There is a modicum of truth to the warning, depending on the type of battery that you use.
Regular Lead-acid (automotive) batteries will get "beat to death", due to the internal plates bouncing around and out of position. It might shorten the "normal" life by a year, but the benefits you'll experience will be better than running around bow-high all the time.
Now, if you use a gel-cell, or AGM battery, the issue is negated by the the internal structure, but gel-cells and AGM are more expensive.

Jfenny said:
Should I instead be looking to move the gas up front? Thanks guys.

Maybe. Five gallons of fuel is what......about 35-40 pounds? I might think about trying to place it mid-boat, if you can, rather than up front with the batts.

Just my 2-pence.....Roger
 

Jfenny

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GTS225 said:
Jfenny said:
Should I instead be looking to move the gas up front? Thanks guys.

Maybe. Five gallons of fuel is what......about 35-40 pounds? I might think about trying to place it mid-boat, if you can, rather than up front with the batts.

Just my 2-pence.....Roger

Not much room in the middle, I think the best I can do is move it 1-2 feet forward in the back bench, rather than having it all the way to the rear.
 

MN Fisher

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Jfenny said:
Not much room in the middle, I think the best I can do is move it 1-2 feet forward in the back bench, rather than having it all the way to the rear.

The more forward you can move it, the better it is...even just a couple feet will help.
 

gogittum

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WTH is the problem with adding pictures on this forum ?? I had a post ready to go and tried to add a picture. No go, so clicked on add inline and it added 2 of them. Back arrowed and lost the whole damned post.

OK, start over.....You guys got me to thinking. As I said above, moving that little 10 amp/hr battery wouldn't make a nickel's worth, but the gas tank, now....?? 6½ gal full tank would weigh around ~40# and that would make a difference.

[img0N6741cr.JPG ][/img]

Right now, that tank is in the rear by the transom and always seems to be in the way as well as being a magnet for anything I might drop. It's also heavy back there.

1st bay is the transom area; 2nd is where I drive the boat from; 3rd is my dog's area; (how do you like her little sunshade ?? I look right over it, even when sitting) 4th bay, right in front of the front seat would be a good spot for it. Still room for feet if anchoring, etc., but well out of the way. Fuel line would go nicely down the groove along the chine.

Would that work or would it be too great a distance to pull fuel thru a 3/8" fuel line ?? Seems to me that cars use a 1/4" or 5/16" fuel line and pull fuel just fine the length of the car.
 

JL8Jeff

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I moved the battery from the transom area up under my forward console to help balance out the weight better. It works fine, just get some decent cables that are big enough. If you boat in an area that has a lot of chop or wakes, you might want to put some sort of padding under the battery to help absorb some of the bouncing. I moved the battery in my old sprint boat from the rear to the bow to help with weight distribution and ran some 0 gauge cables (it was cranking over a 350 Chevy) and it worked fine as well.

Here's a picture of both boats at the dock and this was before I moved the battery in the sprint boat. It was in the rear on the driver's side, I later moved it up to the bow on the passenger side to help balance the boat when I was in it alone.
 

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Jfenny

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gogittum said:
WTH is the problem with adding pictures on this forum ?? I had a post ready to go and tried to add a picture. No go, so clicked on add inline and it added 2 of them. Back arrowed and lost the whole damned post.

OK, start over.....You guys got me to thinking. As I said above, moving that little 10 amp/hr battery wouldn't make a nickel's worth, but the gas tank, now....?? 6½ gal full tank would weigh around ~40# and that would make a difference.

[img0N6741cr.JPG][/img]

Right now, that tank is in the rear by the transom and always seems to be in the way as well as being a magnet for anything I might drop. It's also heavy back there.

1st bay is the transom area; 2nd is where I drive the boat from; 3rd is my dog's area; (how do you like her little sunshade ?? I look right over it, even when sitting) 4th bay, right in front of the front seat would be a good spot for it. Still room for feet if anchoring, etc., but well out of the way. Fuel line would go nicely down the groove along the chine.

Would that work or would it be too great a distance to pull fuel thru a 3/8" fuel line ?? Seems to me that cars use a 1/4" or 5/16" fuel line and pull fuel just fine the length of the car.

That has been on my mind as well. The batteries I know I can do, the tank I'm not so sure. First off I would have to check to see if there is enough room to fit the tank, I'm not sure there is enough, it would be tight and would take a lot of modding. Where it is now is convenient, the cover pulls back easy in that area to allow pumping gas directly into the tank without having to either pull the tank or climb into the boat. With the tank in the front it would be more of a challenge.
 

GTS225

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OK.....then run with the tank in it's present position.
Weight and balance is a serious consideration in a boat, (as well as an airplane), but pleasure to use, and ease of use are far more important. If the boat is not a joy to prep and use, and feels like a chore, the owner is going to have a hard time using it.

Just my opine.....Roger
 

gogittum

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The 6½ gallon tank looks just right in its new home. Just need to buy 10 ft of new 3/8" hose.

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If I plan something more involved that'll need more fuel, I originally built that base for the 12 gallon tank, so it's a perfect fit. Still easy to step over to work with the anchor or whatever:

0N0223.JPG
 

Jfenny

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I like that....I'm not even sure I could get mine up to the front, even if I wanted to. I'd have to do some more measuring but I believe the position of the front bench makes it not possible. I plan on cutting through it for the batteries but I don't want to fully remove it. Which is what I think I'd have to do in order to get the tank in there.
 
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