no requirement to cover batteries on outboard boats?

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Squidly-Diddly, Aug 7, 2023.

  1. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

  2. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    It is an extremely bad practice. The other day, I blew a charging fuse on my motor messing with the key without disconnecting a charger. We were in the bush when I got low voltage alarm. Switched batteries, left the old one in boat thinking I'd use some jumpers and charge it.

    Despite a long career of being careful around batteries; I set the aluminum net down and sure as heck; sparks and a badly bruised ego. Some self deprecating name calling.

    what you are missing is that terminals must be covered

    I would recommend the moderator change the title as it is a bit misleading; despite it being a question, but that's just my opinion.

    After reading this through, I realize my entire battery setup is covered, but poorly with a hatch lid and no terminal boots and might modify it; so thanks for the post.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2023
  3. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Ike Senior Member

    Their is no requirement to cover batteries on any boat. There is a requirement to protect the terminals to prevent inadvertent contact, as you found out. There is also a requirement to secure the battery so it won't move or tip over. ABYC has a requirement for a tray (or a box) to collect any spilled acid.

    Additionally there are some requirements about how close the battery can be to fuel lines, or electrical equipment. Batteries can not be installed under or over fuel lines, or electrical equipment, unless there is a deck or some means of separating the two. The idea here is that toxic fumes from the battery or spilled acid could damage fuel lines or electrical equipment. Most of the requirements can be satisfied by simply putting the battery in a battery box, but that is an option, not a requirement. And the compartment where the battery is located has to be ventilated. Not some big duct and blower, just a small hole above the battery to vent any hydrogen that escapes the battery.
    BMcF, fallguy and BlueBell like this.
  4. BlueBell
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    BlueBell . . . _ _ _ . . . _ _ _

    Is it okay Diddly?
    Does it make you feel safe?
    Not me.
  5. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Ike Senior Member

    Yes the USCG electrical regs apply only to boats with permanently installed gasoline engines. These were written in the 1980's when outboard boats were a lot different than they are now and they have never been updated to include outboard boats. However, ABYC and ISO both include outboard boats in their electrical standards. So generally the manufacturing industry builds to ABYC (or ISO in Europe and elsewhere).
    fallguy likes this.

  6. IronPrice
    Joined: Jul 2017
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    Location: NZ

    IronPrice Senior Member

    The batteries on my boat are in open lockers and have been ever since it was made for us in 1987. They site in five side aluminium lockers, in the transom. The open side faces forward and it one of the long sides of the battery. Zero incidents, so far.

    I have rubber matting above and below the battery. I have thought about enclosing. This design ensures the battery is well vented and stays dry, between trips. Maybe, one day I'll put some sort of mesh along the front.
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