Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Trouble Out on the Water

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Wasilla, Alaska
    Posts
    9

    Question Trouble Out on the Water

    I'm looking for some experienced input on the topic of "Dead in the Water". Specifically, a dead battery. I have a small hewescraft with a 115hp Yamaha 4-Stroke outboard. I have two marine batteries, with a battery controls switch. While running, I am charging both batteries in the BOTH position. While fishing, (outboard off, bilge pumps on, wash down one, music playing, GPS running, etc.) I turn the battery switch to a single battery. Figuring if I kill one battery, I better shutoff all auxillary electronics, and get the outboard up and running with my remaining battery.

    Seems like a fool-proof system, but its a boat, and something will go wrong one of these days. Now I had a small kicker as an auxillary unit, just for back-up in case of engine/battery problems. But it was stolen this winter, and I am having an issue coming up with the money for a new one (nothing is worse than paying for something you already had).

    One question I have is, has anyone had any luck starting a 115hp+ 4-stroke outboard manually? And how. They included a pull-cord with the manual, but I had a hard time figuring out the process.

    I go out on overnighters, and every morning I am nervous if the engine will start. It always has, and I hope it stays that way, but you never know. I went out on a friends hewescraft earlier this spring, and due to some incorrect wiring while installing a radar, the batteries died (all three) on a day trip. Luckily we were in cell service, and could call for a tow.

    Any advice through experience would be greatly appreciated on this topic

  2. #2

    Default

    I carry a small battery pack...Just in case it has saved me before...Do you have a deep cycle battery and a cranking battery?

  3. #3

    Default

    Same as akdube. Inexpensive battery with built-in jumper cables.

  4. #4
    New member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,022

    Default

    How your are running your batteries is correct. If you have a deep cycle and a starting battery, use the deep cycle for the auxilliary side, electronics and wash down, etc. Keep the starting battery for starting and charge as you have been. As mentioned before by others, I also take along a "jumper box" at times for that potential emergency cranking.

  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    I've never tried to manually start my main engine, I'm thinking that would be an iffy proposion.

    I run two batteries, but a use an ACR, it's a relay that allows both batteries to be charged, but they are isolated on discharge. I never put the switch in the both position to keep the batteries isolated. My thinking is, properly wired, properly isolated and replaced sooner than later they should do the trick. That does remind me, I need to put a disconnect in for my shrimp pot puller.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    265

    Default

    Granted it was not used on a 115HP outboard motor, but my son has a battery charger / starter combo (like skydiver means, I think) that he has used to start a 25HP & 40HP outboard and to start my V8 pickup. Seemed to have plenty of juice to start all three. Was not too expensive- $75 I think. It charges by plugging into house current. I think it would make a great starting insurance provider.

  7. #7
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Last civilized place on the planet
    Posts
    2,078

    Default

    Yes you can pull start those 115 yammies, its a yank but not impossible. Remove the cowling and there will be a spot on the flywheel to wind the rope on.

    Using one battery when sitting and charging both once the motor is running is a good way to do it. I dont know what type of electronics you have, I have a basic Garmin depthfinder and it has a battery voltage alarm that can be set to go off a particular voltage. At the moment I forgot where I set mine at...........? But a fully charged battery is typically arounf 12.6- 12.7 volts and a fully discharged battery is around 11.7 volts, so I think I am set at 12.1 for the alarm to go off. It will typically go off at start up because of the draw and I will see 15.1 when the motor is running.

    Deep cycle batteries are designed to for that, and that voltage that I set my alarm was just something I picked, maybe OK to draw down more.........?

    Top shelf batteries are next on the list, I was having issues with one of my batteries this spring and decided to replace them, both were excide marine battery, one was from 07 and the other 09. I considered replacing both when I added the second battery in 09 as that is a common recomendation in most 2 battery systems. And I think it is a good idea.

    I bought 2 Odyssey batteries..................YIKES........! they were spendy, but, they have nearly twice the cpapcity in terms of amp hours as the excides and from my past experience I am expecting them to last a while, IMO a boat is no place for a marginal battery. We spend lots on equipment gear and everything else to get out on the water. And if the battery dont crank the motor it can get serious quick.

    Keep connections clean, keep em charged in the winter and they will last........
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  8. #8
    Member patrickL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    1,131

    Default

    I have similar setup as folks here with a battery switch and have never had a problem with it. But like the OP I'm always a bit worried about it. I don't really trust batteries at all so I don't carry a battery back up but I a small generator to recharge with just in case. Its a tiny little 2-stroker that is easily stashed out of the way but its still enough to get me back up and going. I saw one on craigslist awhile back for not a whole lot more than a new high end battery. Just a thought.

  9. #9
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    947

    Default

    I yank started my DF 140 Suzuki


    ONCE, just to see if I could. and yes it sucked. I carry a jump box (portable battery you can get at Costco, Schucks, Freddies, etc.

    We had to pull start my buddies Honda 90 a few times. It didn't suck near as bad.
    2000 Bayliner Ciera Express 2452
    5.0 Mercruiser Alpha 1

  10. #10

    Default

    One thing to remember... make sure the ignition key is in the run position, or it won't start no matter how hard, or how many times you pull. Embarassed voice of experience here.

  11. #11
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    Or if you have forget the deadman switch doo hickey in place. Fortunately I wasn't starting it manually, but I'd done some re-wiring and it wouldn't start afterwords. I had that sick to my stomach feeling that I'd really messed something up.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    53

    Default

    Absolutely no problem with pull-starting a 115 - just practice with it. On my previous boat I only had 1 battery, but I did carry a spare power pack. Still, a good idea to know how to pull start it. Read over the directions, and it should fire up with 1 pull.

  13. #13
    Member Ak Bird Brain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sterling, AK
    Posts
    359

    Default

    Just my .02, make sure it is all the way in neutral before wearing your self out trying to figure out whats wrong.
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.

  14. #14
    Member Waterlover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    126

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by akdube View Post
    I carry a small battery pack...Just in case it has saved me before...Do you have a deep cycle battery and a cranking battery?
    Costco has the battery packs for CHEAP!!! Nice units as well!

    FF
    "The Nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.
    In memory of our troops...defenders of our freedom."

  15. #15

    Default

    Unless you have installed a special charge relay running with switch in both will ONLY charge untill the voltage regulator reads 13.4v ( or what ever) so if one battery gets to 13.4v? and the other battery is at 12v the regulator stopps the charge, so you will never fully charge the weakest battery.
    Charging is based on voltage detected.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,246

    Default

    Adding to what alaskapiranha said, when you stop running the higher voltage battery will drain into the other battery, now you have two batteries that are not charged to there maximum. The 115hp Yamaha 4-Stroke outboard alternator puts out a maximum of 25A. When you subtract what it takes to run the engine and the boat you’re charging current could be nothing more than a trickle charge heading out the fishing grounds. This is a common problem with all outboard engines trying to charge a house battery.

  17. #17
    Member cormit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Tustumena Lake Road
    Posts
    355

    Default

    Charging batteries with the selector set to both does not always work as you would think. I learned this the hard way outside of Kachemak Bay with two dead batteries when I expected the un-selected battery to be fully charged. Charging current does strange things and does not always charge both batteries equally. I now keep the battery selector on one battery at a time and try to switch every other trip. An electrical gadget called an isolator is supposed to charge multiple batteries while using just one. When my batteries went dead I also was using a Yamaha 115 FS and trying to start it with the pull rope was almost a laughing matter for me. Check out the advice for battery maintenance and installation in the West Marine catalog for system design suggestions.

  18. #18
    Member Mort's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Niceville, FL
    Posts
    459

    Default

    This is a great thread, since I did not know about the pitfalls with charging in BOTH position.

    That said, I have one battery that seems a bit anemic. I went to replace it, and the tech tested the old battery and proclaimed it fine (no, I was not attempting a warranty exchange). So I went ahead and bought a new, third battery. It sits in place with a full charge in case the other two poop out. My concern was generally for overnighters in PWS where we might be out of sight, out of mind, out of cell coverage. Sometimes that #2 battery would not start a motor after a night of running the anchor light, GPS (anchor alarm), and perhaps some stereo/heater.

  19. #19
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alaska - I wasn't born here, but I got here as soon as I could!
    Posts
    3,279

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mort View Post
    This is a great thread, since I did not know about the pitfalls with charging in BOTH position.

    That said, I have one battery that seems a bit anemic. I went to replace it, and the tech tested the old battery and proclaimed it fine (no, I was not attempting a warranty exchange). So I went ahead and bought a new, third battery. It sits in place with a full charge in case the other two poop out. My concern was generally for overnighters in PWS where we might be out of sight, out of mind, out of cell coverage. Sometimes that #2 battery would not start a motor after a night of running the anchor light, GPS (anchor alarm), and perhaps some stereo/heater.
    I also carry a spare (3rd) battery. It sits in a box out of the way, and thankfully (knocking on wood) I haven't needed it yet, but I'm always a bit leary of the condition of my batteries after sitting on the hook all night with anchor lights, depth alarms, cabin lights etc. Redundancy is a good thing sometimes!

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,246

    Default


    The battery test the technician performed on your battery was to find out if it would start a vehicle, not run every thing over night. Because of all the variables, size of and condition of battery, amount of charge, battery drain and how long you are sleeping to name a few; the only way to determine if the battery will last is to use it over night and see what happen and that does not make sense. There is several ways to let you sleep better at night, the problem is unless you remember to put the battery switch in the proper position you could wake up to a dead battery. Blue Sea makes a DC Millimeter with a programmable alarm; this could give you a safety net if set to alarm at say 12.44v (app. 50%).



Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •