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Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
25218 posts
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On-board battery charger installation options
A little longer than I wanted this to be.

OK this is primary for the guys with boats (I have a bass boat) 18' or less bc we have fewer places to install an on-board battery charger; I just got the Minn Kota MK220-PC. My problem is where to install it on the boat bc the area in the back of my boat where my 2 batteries and fuel tank are is rather 'confined'.

Let me TRY to explain the layout of the back of my boat behind the seats (Lowe Stinger ST175...2012 model). Here's a link to the 2017 model but it's virtually the same....
Lowe

I suck bigtime at posting pics that's why I didn't.

I have 4 different covered areas; live well, larger area that has the 2 batteries, fuel tank, etc but's it's enclosed with stainless steel on the inside so it's rather 'confined' and 2 smaller storage areas on either side of the bigger storage area.

Places where I've considered putting it are: attach it to underneath side of the lid that covers the back area where my batts are, either inside (somehow) or attached to the underneath side of one of the lids of the small storage areas that are on both sides of the batt storage area (these smaller storage areas are plastic lined and are used for either temporarily storing tackle or can be used as a small ice chest (they have drainage tubes). Bc they're are plastic lined I don't think just putting them inside is a smart option bc the charger gets pretty warm.

OK with all that said, what's the most inventive way or place have you installed an on-board charger or have seen one installed?

TIA


DeoreDX
Member since Oct 2010
2237 posts
 Online 

re: On-board battery charger installation options
Do you need the charger on the boat? If you don't have space why not just put some leads to the battery like with an anderson connector in a way you can access it easily to charge the batteries?

And FYI lead acid batteries make hydrogen as they charge and the hotter the battery is the more hydrogen they make. You do NOT want the battery to be in an enclosed space with no ventilation with a battery charger generating heat as it charges the battery. Could lead to a very dangerous situation.


Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
25218 posts
 Online 

re: On-board battery charger installation options
Thanks....I open everything when I charge so there's plenty of ventilation. Also I DO NOT want to mount it unless I can use SS bolts & nuts with nylon locking threads.

I was going to edit the OP to add 2 other options I have which are:

1 - Not installing it but hooking it up each time I charge my batteries

2 - I'm installing 2 Talons within the next month and was thinking about making a bracket and mounting the charger "off" of the bolts that go through the transom for the Talons.
This post was edited on 5/11 at 7:35 am


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purplengold98
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Aug 2004
238 posts

re: On-board battery charger installation options
Recently installed one in my boat. I was able to move the battery trays just a few inches tighter together and make enough room for mine on the inside wall of the battery/gas compartment. Without knowing your layout is this possible? Also, keep in mind with the heat the charger produces, don't mount it to carpet or metal, rather use a piece of plywood. I cut a piece to fit and mounted my charger and breaker then attached this board to the boat. I've got about 3-4" clear around my charger, so it's still tight, but works.

Like you, I also considered mounting to underside of the lid, but did not b/c this would mean you'd have either bolt heads or nuts on the topside which is unsightly and could make a tripping hazard depending on how much they stick up.

One other idea is that if you can get longer leads, you might be able to mount it under your driving console where your feet go, then fish the leads to the back where your batts are.

My boat is a 97, so even older than yours. They certainly weren't designing space for onboard chargers back then, so it takes a little creativity. You can figure it out, take your time and think it through.


TexasTiger
LSU Fan
Katy TX
Member since Sep 2003
5183 posts

re: On-board battery charger installation options
can you install the charger under the storage area of the driver or passenger seat. "based on the link you provided" it looks like you could use those areas.

Installing under the main lid would be fine as well. The head of the bolts would be on the outside of the lid and they would be flat enough to hardly be noticeable. Especially if you painted the heads of the bolts close to color of your carper. A little marine sealant on the bolt holes would also keep any water from getting in there.


Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
25218 posts
 Online 

re: On-board battery charger installation options
quote:

I was able to move the battery trays just a few inches tighter together and make enough room for mine on the inside wall of the battery/gas compartment. Without knowing your layout is this possible?

This could be an option (not near the boat right now, just going off of memory). Like I said in 1 of my posts, I want to make sure that I can use a nut AND bolt and not lag bolts or alike.

quote:

Like you, I also considered mounting to underside of the lid, but did not b/c this would mean you'd have either bolt heads or nuts on the topside which is unsightly and could make a tripping hazard depending on how much they stick up.

I was initially trying to find some smooth black round headed bolts but I got some stainless steel rounded machine head bolts instead that I can use a phillips-head screwdriver on. Yes you'll be able to see them but they won't be a tripping hazard (a little black Sharpie or black paint will hide them good enough). Besides it's in the back and I fish off the front

quote:

One other idea is that if you can get longer leads, you might be able to mount it under your driving console where your feet go, then fish the leads to the back where your batts are.

I've briefly thought about this too but wouldn't the longer leads affect the charging of the batts? Maybe I should consider it more seriously.
quote:

You can figure it out, take your time and think it through.

I will and I'm not getting in a hurry. Once I get my Talons on, I'll see if mounting off bolts that come thru the transom is an option too.

I appreciate all the suggestions.


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Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
25218 posts
 Online 

re: On-board battery charger installation options
quote:

can you install the charger under the storage area of the driver or passenger seat. "based on the link you provided" it looks like you could use those areas.

I didn't think about this but will look when I get home...THANKS



purplengold98
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Aug 2004
238 posts

re: On-board battery charger installation options
Whichever you chose, I would say mounting to underside of lid should be your very last resort. And if you must, then think this through very carefully. I just don't feel like this is your best option.

Several things to consider, most importantly how much depth from the inside of the lid to the top of gas tank & batteries? Is it even deep enough to do this? You do not want the charger resting on top of the gas tank and certainly not directly over the top of the batteries. Godforbid the thing wiggle lose or bend downward and touch across your battery poles and create a dead short right next to your gas tank.

Wire management would be a pain too, every time you open that compartment you'd be lifting the weight of the charger and all the wire connected to it.

Like I said before, you can make another location work, it might just take a little more labor installing. Good luck.


Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
25218 posts
 Online 

re: On-board battery charger installation options
OK I looked at my options in a lot more detail last night & have maybe 3 real options.

Options that I'm dismissing - under the seats (live well & fuel tank to navigate around) & under the console (just not wanting to cut & splice add'l wire and then feed it to the back area).

Viable options:

Underneath the lid - will work and I can use locking nuts & bolts. The location on the lid where I would install it there's nothing under it (when closed) but batt cables so if for some reason it came loose and fell it wouldn't hurt anything. Virtually the only upside to this is I can use locking nuts and bolts which I would like to use.

Next to my batts - I have room to mount it on the same 1/4" aluminum "surface" as my batts; one 1 side is the fuel tank, 1 batt on another side and the remaining sides are 1/4" aluminum "walls". I believe Minn Kota wants 6" clearance all the way around & I don't have that but it's not touching anything; I'd say 2 maybe 3" all the way around. Upsides are: easier install, cables can be neatly arranged and for the most part it's out of the way. Downside: I'd have to use lag bolts or alike (will consider any suggestion you guys have concerning type of bolt here).

Option 3 is ????? for now. After I install my Talons (within the next month) I believe I can make or have made a bracket that can be bolted on to the 4 bolts that come thru the transom for 1 of the Talons (I may have to get longer bolts). On that bracket I can mount the charger. I actually like this option best bc it places the charger away from everything but will be a PITA to do.


Tigerhead
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2004
400 posts

re: On-board battery charger installation options
I have two Minn Kota onboard chargers. One is under my console next to my trolling motor batteries and the other is mounted on the bottom side of a hatch lid that provides access under my deck, away from my starting batteries. I prefer that mounting location. When I was running lead acid batteries for my trolling motor, the vapors produced by the batteries when charging were corrosive and ate the finish off of my charger. I did switch to AGM batteries and that solved that problem, but it was an expensive solution. I am still using LA batteries for starting batteries, but because they are away from the charger, I don't get any corrosion. When I start charging, I just throw the hatch lid back and that charger gets plenty of ventilation.
This post was edited on 5/12 at 6:15 pm


xcoach
LSU Fan
North LA
Member since Dec 2010
69 posts

re: On-board battery charger installation options
Call Gary at Woods Marine in Ruston. He can tell you everything you need to know.


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Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
25218 posts
 Online 

re: On-board battery charger installation options
OK I mounted the charger in the back "next" to the batts and have at least a 3" clearance from the cranking batt & fuel tank.

Appreciate all the suggestions.


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