Last year I installed two 6 V golf cart batteries as a 240 AH house bank, keeping one 12 V multi-purpose as a starting battery. All three of these batteries fit (just) on the platform built into Spirit--originally, by the look of it--behind the aft bulkhead, stb'd side, accessed through the stb'd cockpit locker. I rigged an automotive seat belt and buckle so that I can tighten it down across all three batteries, locking them in place, theoretically, through a 360 degree roll. Battery boxes will not fit on the platform. I put a rubber mat over the top of the batteries so they can't be shorted out by a dropped tool, etc.-- but acid leakage would be a problem in a knockdown or worse. So it goes. . .


I have two new large (220Ah) AGM batteries mounted against the forward bulkhead of the stbd cockpit locker, where the wet batteries were, and one Optima (spiral) starting battery against the fwd bulkd of the port cockpit locker.!

1585 Feb 23, 2002

To All,

Does anyone know the restrictions (per ABYC) on what equipment can or cannot be mounted above batteries? I want to locate a start battery port side in the area just aft of the galley bulkhead. I also want to relocate my water pump to a new shelf built on the fore/aft bulkhead (which is perpendicular to the galley bulkhead)just above the start battery. My surveyor complained about the battery charger being located above the house batteries on starboard side aft bulkhead. Thoughts are welcome...

Bill S.


Feb 23, 2002

Dear charger,

My battery charger has been located on the starboard side since 1982 and is just above the forward battery bank. What reason did the mechanic give for not wanting it located there? Thatís twenty years of service for mine and its at this very moment on and keeping the batteries nicely charged.

Don Bundy

1587 Feb 24, 2002

Housing anything above a battery is probably a bad idea. It can limit access to the battery, be corroded due to off gasing, is a short hazard, and probably a dozen other things that I canít think of right now.

Does anyone care to guess where I had my charger for many years and will now put my inverter?


1593 Feb 25, 2002

Dear Bill: Four years ago, I installed a start-up battery (spiral: I would replace it today with a pure AGM for closer compatibility with my housebank, now that AGMs have come down in price to the level of spirals) in the area you target, with nothing above it, as I agree with the safety and corrosion argument against putting equipment above a batterty. However, my water pumps are on the same shelf, inside ie closer to ship center.

Make sure to install some sort of battery combiner to protect your starter battery. I use a cheaper solenoid that has worked well, even with a start-up of a somewhat different type from the big housebank. I can parallel my big housebank if my starter battery gives up. That indeed happened after 4 years, including one year of heavy service offshore.

My housebank of 2x220Ah AGM is located across on the port side. I am so far a happy AGM customer, they can winter on board, with no maintenance at all, except that I avoid cycling them below 50% capacity (it happened only twice), more typically 25-35%, thanks to 2x75A solar panels and halogen lighting.

Fair winds, Bert dF/Pianissimo 80K

1628 Mar 1, 2002


Another thing you should know is that your batteries banks need to be fused with an appropriately rated heavy duty fuse depending on the amperage of each bank. They need to be right off the battery and need to be inline with the positive battery cable circuit. They are fitted into heavy duty fuse holders with either 3/8 in. or 5/16 studs. The ABYC standards give the maximum allowable distance and I donít know it off the top of my head, but I believe that it is around two feet maximum. At the Ancor marine electrical website you can read or print out the main points regarding boating wiring and electrical system parameters. This is a good thing to look at since the ABYC manual costs a little over 100 dollars.

James, Niko (91)