Making a Battery Box for a
box or dedicated battery locker will make sure your batteries are well
Apart from safeguarding against the health dangers associated with
batteries a well designed box will help to maintain those crucial
Even if you never suffer a knock-down, swamping or stranding the
movement of any boat will be detrimental to an unsecured battery. And acid spills are
certainly not something you need
in a Wooden Boat.
I would recommend you use the 'gel'
battery, especially in
a Wooden Boat..
They are the safest where there is a lot of movement, when things get
They produce less gas and they tend to hold their charge much longer
in use, provided they are isolated.
However, they do have
Faulty, or poorly installed electrical systems are danger
to you your
crew and the boat.
Short circuits and overheating cables are a common cause
Hydrogen is a highly flammable gas that is produced when
batteries, it is easily ignited by low energy sparks.
Boat electrical systems must be designed, installed and
minimise the risks of explosion or of fire.
Your electrical systems must be capable of being safely
disconnected from the power source in an emergency.
Battery compartments which contain unsealed or open-vented
be ventilated overboard to prevent a build-up of flammable hydrogen gas.
The battery compartment needs to be sealed to prevent acid
from a spill
or cracked or damaged case escaping.
Batteries should not be installed within 12inch/300mm of
any petrol or
LPG system components.
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Battery Box Design.
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The box is one of the few places
where, even on a traditional wooden
boat, that epoxy and glass fiber should be used.
The box can be made from
All the interior joints should
be sealed with epoxy resin
with a filler, and the external corners fiber-glassed.
And the box should then be
There are some epoxy resins
available which are
supposedly acid resistant such as fluorocarbon resins.
However, normal epoxy
fiberglass should be sufficient for
all except the most extreme situations.
But do not use the cheaper
polyester resins as the bonds will be weaker.
The batteries need to be held
securely to prevent
However there should be
breathing space around the
battery as well.
Two or three wooden slats
fixed to the inside surfaces of
the box will hold the battery secure yet clear of the box sides.
Strips of neoprene glued to
the slats will help dampen
any vibration or knocks.
While there is the need to
hold the battery secure it
shouldn't be so tight as to make removal difficult.
When designing a battery box
and deciding where to position it, consider how easy it will be to
replace the battery.
Batteries are heavy and
handling them in a confined space
could lead to physical injury.
In some installations it may
be necessary to lift those
heavier batteries out sideways.
The box could be made
with a removal
However I would recommend at
the very least a having a
lip at the bottom so that the is a sealed tray to collect any spilled
The side panel will also need
to have a gasket seal of
some sort such as neoprene to contain any gasses produced while
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When charging batteries produce
Hydrogen gas which could
The older the battery the more
likely it is to produce
Hydrogen gas is extremely
flammable the slightest spark
will set off an explosion.
This is why battery boxes
especially those in the
accommodation areas should vent to the outside.
will need to provide a
vent from the highest point of
the box to outside of the boat.
As hydrogen is lighter than
air it will rise up until
A simple hole in the top of an
compartment will suffice.
However this gas must not be
trapped in the
So any interior battery boxes
should have vents and
venting pipes fitted to the very top of the battery box.
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over looked advantage of a well built 'water tight' battery box is
as well as keeping in any acid spills and gasses, it will also help
Keeping all the
above the bilges and the
risk of water ingress is always a problem when fitting out a small
The main difficulty is
How to keep these heavy
objects as low and central as
possible, so as to keep the center of gravity low and central, yet keep
well out of the reach of any sloshing bilge water.
While most things on a small
boat are a compromise a well
sealed battery box could also help make the stowage problem less of a
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