• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

Overflow from Golf Cart Batteries

JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,597
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
So I'm still learning about my C310, but the previous owner was also on SBO and did the following battery and charging upgrade that he documented in the thread below. I've noticed on several occasions liquid on top of some of the batteries when returning after being away. When I checked the level they were actually all the way to the bottom of the fill in most cases and past in a couple. My setup is the ProNautic 1240P, 4 6V Duracell Golf cart batteries, SLIGC110, 208AH wired as a single bank 12V at 416 AH on switch 2, a 12v, 105 AH for starter on switch 1, stock original alternator 55.

This is the original thread, everything functions well and running the GC back for all house load (cabin lights, fans, fridge, radios and pumps) for hours works great. The setup has even run just the fridge for several days when the shore power was discounted.

https://forums.sailboatowners.com/index.php?threads/battery-charger-question.184630/page-4

I know there are some issues,
1) The orientation is wrong, but the space in this location can't fit all 5 batteries port starboard.
2) There is no strap holding the packs down,
3) The single 12V is in a battery box and secured, but is tucked up under the seat frame that to even access it requires unscrewing the frame and removing it.
4) The GC are not in a box and there is no drip tray.

Other then fixing these issues, what should I investigate next time out to see if the overflow is because the cells are too full or something else?
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
3,934
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
One thing many people fail to do is look for the manufacturer's instructions for a particular battery. They provide such information as maximum bulk charging current, recommended acceptance voltage level, equalization voltage, and fluid levels.

Number one, don't add water unless the battery is fully charged;
two, only fill to the manufacturer's recommended level, and use only distilled water.

I am not sure, at this moment, what you should do to rectify over-filled batteries. I'm sure the answer is out there, somewhere.
 

Ward H

.
Nov 7, 2011
2,576
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
I know there are some issues,
1) The orientation is wrong, but the space in this location can't fit all 5 batteries port starboard.
2) There is no strap holding the packs down,
3) The single 12V is in a battery box and secured, but is tucked up under the seat frame that to even access it requires unscrewing the frame and removing it.
4) The GC are not in a box and there is no drip tray.
Hi John,
I'd work on those issues in this order:
#1 Hold down straps. Keep those batteries from dancing around and damaging the cases.
#2 Fashion some kind of acid containment system. An acid leak from a cracked case will cause a mighty mess.

I probably wouldn't worry about the single 12V battery. Is it a "maintenance free" battery used for starting? If so and you have an ACR it probably gets such light use it never requires much charging and probably the need to check the acid level is minimal? Fixing this would be low on my list.

Proper battery orientation may be preferred but is the gain in battery life worth the cost and effort to rebuild an existing system just to change the orientation? I have too many other projects with a higher cost/efficiency/enjoyment payback.

Could the liquid on the batteries be condensation? Doesn't sound like they are overfilled.
Could you be overcharging them causing them to boil? Watch the amps and volts on the charger when you plug in the shore power after sailing, when you are ready to leave the boat and when you return. Anything look out of wack? I watch the amps the batteries will take when turning on the charger, just to get a feel for how much I may have drained the batteries. I also check when I arrive at the boat to be sure the charger went into float mode.

I wouldn't let any of these issues cause you to miss a good sailing day. Enjoy!
 
  • Like
Likes: JRT

JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,597
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
Agree, I have checked the charger and it is automatic to the battery chemistry selected. Seems good and batteries are not hot and never seen any boiling.
 
Nov 16, 2012
866
Catalina 310, 2000, #31 Santa Cruz
So I'm still learning about my C310, but the previous owner was also on SBO and did the following battery and charging upgrade that he documented in the thread below. I've noticed on several occasions liquid on top of some of the batteries when returning after being away. When I checked the level they were actually all the way to the bottom of the fill in most cases and past in a couple. My setup is the ProNautic 1240P, 4 6V Duracell Golf cart batteries, SLIGC110, 208AH wired as a single bank 12V at 416 AH on switch 2, a 12v, 105 AH for starter on switch 1, stock original alternator 55.

This is the original thread, everything functions well and running the GC back for all house load (cabin lights, fans, fridge, radios and pumps) for hours works great. The setup has even run just the fridge for several days when the shore power was discounted.

https://forums.sailboatowners.com/index.php?threads/battery-charger-question.184630/page-4

I know there are some issues,
1) The orientation is wrong, but the space in this location can't fit all 5 batteries port starboard.
2) There is no strap holding the packs down,
3) The single 12V is in a battery box and secured, but is tucked up under the seat frame that to even access it requires unscrewing the frame and removing it.
4) The GC are not in a box and there is no drip tray.

Other then fixing these issues, what should I investigate next time out to see if the overflow is because the cells are too full or something else?
JRT, here's some pictures of how I mounted 4 GC6 batteries in the compartment in the proper orientation, after removing the tray that was there (and full of holes). I used 4 GC6 battery boxes (from Batteries Plus, I think) strapped down with NRS straps. I couldn't thru bolt the strap holders, but used wood screws. I put a G24 12V starter battery under the settee and drilled a hole in the bulkhead for the cable. That's also in a battery box, with two thru bolted eyes and a strap holding it down (no picture, sorry). I later added a watering system, because some of the caps are real hard to get to. The 12V has great access from the top, but like Ward said, doesn't need much attention.

I also mounted the ACR and several bus bars in there. Happy to answer more questions for you; plenty of folks helped me out along the way.
IMG_1080.JPG IMG_1085.JPG
 
  • Like
Likes: JRT