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Battery Box

Sep 20, 2006
2,826
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
When are battery boxes required vs. installing a tray and hold-down straps.

I'm looking to install golf-cart batteries for house bank and not sure I'll have enough clearance for battery and battery box.
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,454
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
When are battery boxes required vs. installing a tray and hold-down straps.

I'm looking to install golf-cart batteries for house bank and not sure I'll have enough clearance for battery and battery box.
I believe under Trans Canada standards they mimic ABYC standards and probably require a acid proof means of containment of acid should the battery leak. A box is usually he easiest way. The only batteries that would not require a containment system would be those that physically can't leak such as AGM.. All batteries require ventilation and proper hold downs.

I have seen a few cracked or improperly glued lids on batteries and it can make quite a mess if not contained.. The best way to deal with limited space is to build your own box. Once built drop it at a Rhino Liner shop and have them hit the whole thing inside and out... Much easier than using epoxy etc....

Keep in mind that "acid containment" and "lid" are not one in the same.. A lid is not entirely necessary if the bank is in a dedicated battery compartment and the terminals are well insulated.
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,351
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
My understanding is there is no requirement necessitating batteries be contained in a box(es). The reg speaks only to movement of as battery.

Builder standards do not apply to preexisting boats which makes the use of boxes discretionary.

United States FEDERAL LAW
183.420 - Batteries
(a) Each installed battery must not move more than one inch in any direction when a pulling force of 90 pounds or twice the battery weight, whichever is less, is applied through the center of gravity of the battery as follows:
(1) Vertically for a duration of one minute.
(2) Horizontally and parallel to the boat’s center line for a duration of one minute fore and one minute aft.
(3) Horizontally and perpendicular to the boat’s center line for a duration of one minute to starboard and one minute to port.


The commercially available plastic battery boxes may be used to install a battery; however, it may be necessary to provide means within the battery box to prevent excess movement of the battery. The materials used for restraining battery movement within a battery box should be selected with regard to potential deterioration by the electrolyte. The battery box must be fastened in such a manner that the battery installation will comply with this section of the regulation.


Obviously, boxes properly secured offer better protection than with no box(es) but often logistics and space limitations make them problematic.

 
Sep 20, 2006
2,826
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
Batteries are going under the starboard settee. I have the footprint to fit box bottoms, but only have 11 1/2" height. Trojan T105's are 10 7/8" height, so wouldn't have room for box lids.
 
Jul 25, 2007
320
-Irwin -Citation 40 Wilmington, NC
ABYC still recommends boxes or containment tray for AGM batteries as well as gel and wet cells. The logic for this is that if the AGM battery is replaced with a wet cell the system will still be in compliance. This sort of makes sense, in talking with ABYC about this they feel the possibility of the average boater not knowing enough about batteries and replacing a AGM with a wet cell is a possibility. They feel it is best to keep the rule the same for all batteries for the time being.

As for the lid it is to prevent accidental shorting of the terminals. So a rubber boot over the positive terminal will serve the same purpose and meet the requirements. That said if you have ever seen a compartment where the battery exploded you may want a lid as well.

All battery compartments need proper ventilation as well no matter the battery type as well for the same reason as the tray.

I have seen a lot of damage to wood and structures due to batteries leaking and just gassing. I have noted this damage on the tops and sides of compartments as well as the bottom. So I think if you can manage it a full box with lid is the way to go no matter the letter of the rules.
 
Sep 20, 2006
2,826
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
My options are to squeeze in the Trojans at $140 ea. and maybe get a lid on them, perhaps raising the seat an inch or go with Walmart / Johnson Group 29 at $ 98 ea.
I rather go with the Trojan if I can make it work.

The seat box does have ventialtion as Hunter made this area for the batteries.
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,454
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
My options are to squeeze in the Trojans at $140 ea. and maybe get a lid on them, perhaps raising the seat an inch or go with Walmart / Johnson Group 29 at $ 98 ea.
I rather go with the Trojan if I can make it work.

The seat box does have ventialtion as Hunter made this area for the batteries.

Scott,

If that area is sealed off from the rest of the bilge and can resist electrolyte attack then that is your acid containment area. If it has holes in it for hoses, wires etc. that would not contain any leakage then something under them would be best. Trojan and US Battery also make some EXCELLENT group 31 batteries (a group 29 is a group 31).... If you can find a US Battery dealer the DCXC 31 is a great battery and usually considerably less than the SCS-225 from Trojan.. Also keep in mind that if that settee lid flexes it may impinge on the 6V batts so you don't want to use all that height....

Lifeline makes a "shorty" 6V battery but they are pricey and don't last any longer, but they won't leak.
 
Sep 20, 2006
2,826
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
Definately would not hold up as containment.

How would the Walmart / Johnson 29 ( 31) stack up to the US or Trojan batteries or Crown.
They are definately Johnson as they have a lable from Johnson on top.
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,454
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
Definately would not hold up as containment.

How would the Walmart / Johnson 29 ( 31) stack up to the US or Trojan batteries or Crown.
They are definately Johnson as they have a lable from Johnson on top.
Unfortunately not quite as well. If it had been 7 years ago those group 29's were a US Battery product sold to Johnson (JCI) then to Wal*Mart as an Ever-Start MAXX 29. They used to be a tremendous battery for the money, a real underdog.

Today those are JCI made batteries. Still a decent battery just not on the same level as the US Battery or Trojan and a notch below Deka as well. If you take care of them you should easily see 5 - 6 years service. US Battery claims a higher cycle life than even Trojan in the group 31 deep cycle battery and they are a better value.

Our old Wal*Mart bank, which as really three US Battery group 31's, is still going strong despite seven years of service. Sadly the bank sits in my barn, retired in favor of LiFePO4, and waiting for me to do something with them...
 
May 24, 2004
6,838
CC 30 South Florida
I'm curious to know how such a regulation is enforced? Haven't seen many Marine Patrol or Coasties with a scale, a ruler and a chronometer walking around. Would be simpler to require they be strapped down.
 
Jul 25, 2007
320
-Irwin -Citation 40 Wilmington, NC
With the exception of a few safety regulations involving equipment carried and waste disposal most of these "rules" are more guidelines for the boater. They are established so that a boater knows when they buy a boat it will meet certain safety standards. This is true with used boats as well because most surveyors follow these standards. You as a boat owner are free to do what you want and many do. But keep in mind most of these standards are written by a group marine professionals who have experienced what happens in the real world when things fail. These things are not just made up to make things more expensive or difficult they are set up to help keep your boating experience safe. Some fall under the category of common sense which sadly not everyone has. I often read folks on the forums fighting and arguing with the standards, that is fine but they are not set up to control anyone but rather like i said to help make boating safer. Batteries are required to be strapped down as well as have containment boxes because the results when thing go wrong can be a mess, damage your boat and even start fires. So to answer your question you are not likely to be busted for a poor battery installation but then a poor installation could ruin your day or worse.
 
May 24, 2004
6,838
CC 30 South Florida
I don't think Federal Law 183.420 is a guideline as it imposes specific allowances but it does sound ridiculously difficult to establish and enforce. And like all those rules which defy enforcement it becomes as if they did not exist.
 
Jul 25, 2007
320
-Irwin -Citation 40 Wilmington, NC
Well the laws and recommendations are written for the builders and repairs more than the boat owner. Although boat owners should follow them too. Why should enforcement be the only reason to follow these things does it not make sense to secure the batteries in a boat that is tossed about in seas? Does containing any spilled acid not make sense to you? I am not sure I understand why enforcement would be the only reason to want to do these things.
 
Sep 28, 2008
922
Canadian Sailcraft CS27 Victoria B.C.
The Federal law posted mirrors ABYC. Any good surveyor follows ABYC guidelines and would not pass batteries improperly installed. Without a pass from a surveyor insurance is an issue.
 
Sep 20, 2006
2,826
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
Scott,

If that area is sealed off from the rest of the bilge and can resist electrolyte attack then that is your acid containment area. If it has holes in it for hoses, wires etc. that would not contain any leakage then something under them would be best. Trojan and US Battery also make some EXCELLENT group 31 batteries (a group 29 is a group 31).... If you can find a US Battery dealer the DCXC 31 is a great battery and usually considerably less than the SCS-225 from Trojan.. Also keep in mind that if that settee lid flexes it may impinge on the 6V batts so you don't want to use all that height....

Lifeline makes a "shorty" 6V battery but they are pricey and don't last any longer, but they won't leak.


Settled on the Crown 31DC130, 130Ah for $140 ea.


I seem to recall a thread or article you wrote on battery cable sizing, but can't find it. Am I just missing it or thinking of something else.
 
Jan 22, 2008
169
Beneteau 343 Saint Helens, Oregon OR
Battery boxes can be cut down to fit. The lid is likely only about 1/8" thick.

Battery cables - 1/0 or 50mm
 
Jun 28, 2005
438
Hunter H33 2004 Mumford Cove,CT & Block Island
Batteries are going under the starboard settee. I have the footprint to fit box bottoms, but only have 11 1/2" height. Trojan T105's are 10 7/8" height, so wouldn't have room for box lids.
I removed plywood bottom and replaced the forward half where I have a Walmart 29 mounted, on the aft half I fabricated a base for a dual 6 v battery case which I trimmed shorter to fit batteries, The batteries are the 6 volt 220ah from Sam's. The base was fabricated from plywood and 3x1's and sits deeper in the well. Everything is removable easily.

Also pictured is 1500w inverter, Fuse and its Battery switch.
 

Attachments

Jun 8, 2004
121
Hunter 34 Seattle
I am trying to add two additional 6v batteries to the two I presently have. I can see no place to put all four close together. I was planning to put the two additional batteries under the starboard settee next to the water heater (not sure if they will fit yet). The other two are about 10' away in the "hold" under the starboard lazarette. Has anyone else split their battery bank and is this is going to be a charging/use issue? All recommendations I read say to keep the bank together but I have no single place for four batteries in my Hunter 34. Thanks for any ideas.