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On Board Charging System Question

Discussion in 'Boats and Motors' started by VIPERCOUNTRY911, Jun 29, 2005.


    VIPERCOUNTRY911 Portage Lakes

    I have a two bank on board charging system in my new boat, it has three batteries. Should I get a three bank system or add a single bank for the extra battery? How is the normal bass boat rigged up? Not really sure.
  2. Reel Lady

    Reel Lady Dreams DO come true!

    A 3 bank charger would definitely simply things. Otherwise you will have to run 2 cords out to your boat...

  3. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

    When you say that you have 3 batteries I assume you mean 2 for the trolling motor and one starting battery.

    If that is the case your 2 bank will work exactly as it's intended to charge the trolling batteries. The starting battery is charged by your motor's alternator. I have the same setup and only need to charge my starting battery once in the early spring after the long winter storage.

    If you fish out of the way places and your trolling batteries would be hard to use in an emergency start situation I would suggest that you add a second starting battery with a switch to to alternate between them. That way you always have a backup, charged battery (motor's alternator again) to ensure you always have power to start your motor.

    I had a internal short (plates broke free) in battery caused by the bouncing and banging you get running on Erie. Fortunately it happened in good weather very close to port. I added a second battery as insurance against it ever happening again in a bad situation like bad weather and big waves. That would be VERY BAD!!!
  4. I have found if you are using livewell aeroator, fish finder and other electronics on your boat and not running great's a good idea to have that 3rd bank charger to keep everything charged.

    Engine alternator will not keep up with heavy electrical use ......that's been my experience.
  5. This may be a stupid question, but do all motors have an alternator to charge the battery. For example, I have an 89 Johnson 25hp.... does it have an alternator?
  6. mrfishohio

    mrfishohio Recovering Fishaholic

    I think any with an electric starter do.
    So far as having a spare starting motor battery, it's a good idea, but as long as you have good power in your trolling batterys, you can get a set of jumper cables & just jump start if you are on a budget ;)
  7. UFM82

    UFM82 The one others want to be

    Not all engines have them; however, all have a current generating system. Most small engines under about 75hp have a magneto system that will generate current. They only produce about 6 amps of useable charging current but it beats a blank. Bigger engines have the HP and space available for alternators but it varies from make to make. I think my 150 produces around 25 amps if I remember correctly. I may be wrong on that though.

    If you do indeed have the three batteries in the 2 trolling motor, 1 starting battery set-up, don't worry about the starting battery. Unless you do run a lot of accessories off your starting battery, it doesn't need any more attention than your car battery does.

    However, if you do run things like livewells, lights, etc off your starting battery, you will want to have someway to maintain that battery, especially if you don't run the engine very much while you are fishing. I will usually have the anchor light, the floor lights, an LED floodlight and an aerator going while I catfish and I may have that on for 7 or 8 hours, but I am running the engine from spot to spot. I try to minimize power needs as much as possible. Eventually I hope to have all LED lighting and an oxygen generator in my livewell. That will bring my energy usage down to nearly nothing.

    I would stick with the two bank and hit the main battery only if you really work it during a trip. Otherwise let it go.


    VIPERCOUNTRY911 Portage Lakes

    Thanks everyone for the info on the batteries. I got everything wired up and went out this morning. Figured it out after looking a little closer, two batteries were deep cycles hooked to the trolling motor, the third battery is a crank hooked to the motor and electronics. I don't use the electronics very often so things work out well just the way they are intended. I did however throw an extra deep cycle in my storage just in case I need it out on the water some time.