Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Battery Placement"
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Thread: "Battery Placement"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Battery Placement

Nathan Langford

I'm considering relocating my battery bank into the aft lazarette, stored inside a polypropylene vented battery box and strapped down securely. The 2 deep cycle batteries weigh 114 lbs all together.

Formerly, the batteries were located on either side and forward of the engine. I've found that setup cumbersome as you have to reach through an assortment of hoses to get to the batteries. It also requires an extra mess of wiring which would be reduced if they were combined into a single bank right next to each other. Plus there's a very slow diesel tank leak on the starboard side which gets under the starboard battery. (I'm in the process of emptying the starboard diesel tank, so that I can replace it.)

I just picked up 2 new deep cycle batteries as the old ones were pretty much flat, but haven't wired the new ones in yet. I'd be interested in any opinions other Westsail owners might have of locating the battery bank in the aft lazarette.

Werner Hamp


I have two Group 24 batteries located in the aft lazarette in a fiberglass battery box that I have dedicated as the "backup" for my "main" house batteries which are located in the same area of the engine room as you have described. The box was purchased from a guy who had it custom made. I had an area of dry rot on the floor of the lazarette so I cut the offending section out and mounted the box so it portrudes somewhat into the area below. Took care of the dry rot and conserved space in the lazarette as well. This setup has been on board now for 15 years with no issues. It is a trial to swap out the batteries in the engine room as you say I have to pull my scupper drain hose to do so for the forward battery. When the time comes to replace the group 24's in the aft lazarette I will probably go with four 6V golf cart batteries and then designate that combination as the "main" bank.


Last modified: 12 Sep 2011 8:43 PM | Werner Hamp

Aaron Norlund


I don't think there is anything wrong with having the batteries in the laz, but it seems like they'd take up quite a bit of the space in there, and considering it is the only deck-accessible storage bin, I like having as much space in there as possible. We keep spare lines, fenders, a BBQ, paint/varnish, solvents, oil, antifreeze, cleaning supplies, 4 life jackets, a throwable, and an anchor rode marker! I would be really annoyed if I had to move all of that stuff just to check my batteries :/

Our alternative was to locate four 6-volt Trojan T-105s in a battery tray we built to go in the starboard battery area. We bought a watering system for the batteries, so all we have to do is plug a hose in (easily accessible from the cabin's access), pump the ball with the end in some distilled water, and the batts get filled to full (but not overfull). We also have a single Gp 31 starting battery to port.

You can see photos of our whole rewiring process from 2007 below. There are photos in there of the battery tray and stuff, although I don't think there are photos of all four batteries with the watering system. You can look waterers up on the net:


Just what works for us!

Norm Rhines

Another option is to use an AGM type battery. And fill one or two of the spaces down low in the main cabin.
Gets the weight out of the ends and down low = a better ride in my opinion.

I have two 8D size AGMs amid ship. for the past 8 years. with good luck. Never any gas.

Things I would change.
1.) 165#/ bat is to much weight to muscle into place, I would go smaller, less than 100#/ bat/
2.) AGMs like to be fully charged before discharging, I would love to have a 14V charge battery that the engine and the solar filled to 16V and have a charge regulator passing on some of this to the main 12V bat bank. i.e. the 14 would go up and down allot and cutout at 13.8V low voltage, but the 12s would on most days come back to fully charged before discharging. There is more to this wish, but you get the idea. (a topper battery with a short life)
3.) I like the no watering on the AGMs. so far so good. I will let you know in another 4 or 5 years. I get 10 to 12 years out of my batteries normally. Take care of them and don't do to many deep, more than 50% cycles, and they can last a few years.

A further though; my boat is all ready heavy in the backside, why would I add more lead to it.

Last modified: 13 Sep 2011 11:10 AM | Norm Rhines

Werner Hamp


I didn't know such a thing was available. I found this one on the net. Is this what you have?

Flow Rite Qwik Fill on Board Battery Watering System


Aaron Norlund


Yeah, that's precisely what we have (I couldn't remember the name when I responded earlier.) It works flawlessly; my only gripe is that they're pricey. But it's worth it to avoid contortionism.


Werner Hamp


Thanks for the response. That forward battery is a real pain to service even when you are in the engine room anyway. I have a tendency to let that one slide with the inevitable result. It takes a mirror and some yoga to get it done and this is just the ticket.

Thanks again,


Anyone interested in a group buy attempt?


Nathan Langford

Thank you for all the replies. I hear the part about using up a convenient storage space, and getting weight down low. I think I'll try it out for a while and see how it works out.

ray b

hello RB here. sorry off the subject, but i wanted to ask Arron were he found his custom circuit panel?

Aaron Norlund

Hi Ray,

We worked with Mark at MMES Custom Panels to design and have it built. We were going to use pre-fabricated Blue Seas Systems panels, but by the time we bought all of them and spent time getting them put in and wired up, it would've cost nearly the same. Mark built our panel, an shipped it fully assembled and ready to be hooked it. It looks great and we love it!



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