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Electrical Renovation-Battery Placement

May 19, 2015
oday 20 nockamixon lake
Hi Gang,
My name is Al Reisser, proud owner of an O'day 20 (@1978). I have not had any electrical hookup as of yet. I have 2 seasons under my belt. My question is this: the previous owner had the electrical panel mounted on the starboard side inside the companion way. He had the wiring for the battery then running to the inside of the cockpit locker on the starboard side. It was located within a foot of where the gas can/tank is. There has been no battery since I've owned it, but now I'd like to get running lights cabin lights and more operational. This seems like a really bad idea to me to have these two so close together. My fear is that any gas fumes in the local of a spark from the battery could send me to the great ocean in the sky. Is this fear real or imagined? If this were your boat and you wanted to relocate the battery where would you put it? And is that a hugely great idea?
Jan 22, 2008
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
Are you saying the gas can/tank is inside the locker, too? It is not supposed to be in a locker unless it is designed for fuel cans and the fumes can not seep into the cabin..
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Apr 26, 2015
S2 26 Mid On Trailer
The gas tank should be in the aft locker that opens into the cockpit with ventilation. If you spill fuel it should go onto the cockpit sole and not enter the compartment below the seat or other areas of the boat. If you are using a lead acid battery (wet) you need to be concerned about hydrogen gas if you charge the battery in an enclosed area of the boat. For significant charging (high amp) where I know the battery will gas, I take it out. A nice option is an AGM battery (that's designed for enclosed spaces) so the gassing problem is pretty much eliminated and you can place it anywhere. I wanted to move weight forward so put 2 AGMs under the V berth. The only spark you should get from a battery would be connecting/disconnecting if there is a load. I would be more concerned about the switches for the lights. If there is a mounting area in that locker, O'Day probably put it there.