Electrical power for a small fishing boat.

Discussion in 'Boat Modification Journal' started by Old Bill, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Messages:
    448
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    When I bought my Richline 14-foot aluminum V-bottom fishing boat it had bow and stern running lights mounted, but no battery or wiring.

    Most of my fishing is when I’m camped at a lake side campsite. I park the boat on a sandy beach some 100 yards from the campsite. The reason I’m telling you this is so you will understand why I don’t wish to lug a heavy deep-cycle battery from the boat to my campsite to recharge the battery! My little motor doesn't have a battery charging system.

    I needed a light weigh electrical source with enough amps to operate a fish finder, running lights, and maybe recharge a cell-phone and GPS. Something light enough for me to carry back and forth without straining my back.:cool2:

    An automobile 300 amp Jump Starter battery unit was my solution to my boat’s lack of electrical power. No doubt you have seen these in automobile stores. Several different companies make them and in general they are all very similar…a small self-contained colored plastic case with two jumper cables and a 12-volt cigarette lighter socket, an on-off switch, and a charging jack. They come with a small charger.

    I bought a Jump Starter from my home-away-from-home Wal-Mart. I choose the smaller PowerPro 300 amp starting power model…because it was lighter and cheaper than the next larger size.:smile2:

    Needing a place to place the unit, I decided to place it next to the transom where it would out of my way. Not wanting it to slide around I found an old milk crate and made a plywood partition to fit into the milk crate to hold the Jump Starter unit in place. The other larger side is used to hold bait containers. Since the milk crate was sitting in the area between the last bench seat and the transom, I also mounted my newly purchased water separator fuel filter on the milk crate so I wouldn’t have to drill holes in the boat’s transom for the filter.

    Here is some photos showing the Jump Starter I bought, and how the milk crate was used to hold the Jump Starter in place.

    http://oomur.pair.com/wwpotter/images/Jump Start 3.JPG

    http://oomur.pair.com/wwpotter/images/Jump Start 5.JPG

    http://oomur.pair.com/wwpotter/images/Jump Start 2.JPG

    I wired the wires for the bow and stern running lights, and the power cord for the fish finder into two fuse containers, one for the lights and one for the fish finder; I then wired these wires onto a shortened piece of automobile 12-volt extension cord. The male end of this cord fits into the female socket on the Jump Starter.

    The 300-amp Jump Starter has a AGM 7 amp battery and will power the running lights for about 2.25 hours before the battery charge drops to 12.10 volts…50% of capacity.

    At this point the bow and stern lights are still bright, and I believe they could safely operate for at least 30 minutes longer. However, letting a battery charge drop below 40% of capacity (11.96 volts) will, in time, lead to premature failure of it’s cells.

    This simple electrical power source is great for my use since I spent very little on the water at night. It will operate my Humminbird fish finder for about 10 to 14 hours before the battery needs to be recharged.

    The largest negative aspect of the battery is the small charger that comes with the unit. With the battery about 50% discharged, it takes about 12-hours to recharge the battery.

    Of course, if I fished a lot at night, like many of you do, I would have to lug a very heavy deep cycle battery up and down that dang hill! Or better still…buy a motor with a charging system!:wink:

    Bill
     
  2. fishnfwl

    fishnfwl New Member

    Messages:
    3,334
    State:
    South Cent
    Well Sir that looks like a right nice set up! also might look into LED lights if you do start staying after dark, they save power or I've been told that?
    Just a side thought, when we are at the fishn shack on our little river I have found that an old movers dolly with pneumatic tires added works very well on saving the back, also added a cross member to set the smaller engine on, we have to go with the battery as most is after dark but that old yard sale dolly has been great to move the items.
     

  3. Grimpuppy

    Grimpuppy New Member

    Messages:
    3,556
    State:
    Concordia, KS
    Sounds like you have a pretty good setup for your needs. I keep one of them jump packs on my boat also. I have 3 batteries on my boat but I use the jump pack for my spotlight on the river at night so I don't drain my cranking or trolling batteries.
     
  4. porboy

    porboy New Member

    Messages:
    629
    State:
    TX Panhand
    Bill, You just keep coming up with great ideas.
    Randy, A good idea with the dollys.
    Thanks Fellows.
    Bill
     
  5. porboy

    porboy New Member

    Messages:
    629
    State:
    TX Panhand
    Jay, Good idea with the spotlight.
    Thanks
    Bill
     
  6. Hawk33

    Hawk33 New Member

    Messages:
    97
    State:
    West Virginia
    What about a lawn mower or motorcycle battery>?

    How long do you think that would last>???

    I'm a firm believer of trying to keep weight to a low !!!

    I got a great big "woss-gozzler" deep cycle marine battery i use for my lil' 12 ' jon with trolling motor for smallmouth fishing and it'll last three day's on full charge !

    But on my bigger jon I feel it's just to much weight for all i run on my boat.

    Might use your idea thanks a bunch !!!

    HAWK
     
  7. cathooked

    cathooked New Member

    Messages:
    437
    State:
    north carolina
    The dolly is a way to go then ya can get a solar panel at harbor freight to charge the battery in the day time for about 40.00 i think im thinkin of a solar panel myself for my ark,they are not too big and its a free charge,,i like that part...
     
  8. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    I used this,
    http://www.catfish1.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=26300&d=1181742919

    And made a detachable(from the boat) box for it from sheet aluminum. Mounted the box(two holes in the back of the box and two bolt heads protruding from the front of the bench box to hang it on) to the forward left of the middle bench of this,

    http://www.catfish1.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=26299&d=1181742919


    I have not run it dry yet but got a total of 4 1/2 to 5 hrs of running lights and maybe an additional 1 hr (off and on)of the old depth sounder at the longest stretch so far.

    The depth sounder just plugs in to female leads from the junction block and the lights are hard-wired through a push-pull switch(like the lights on an older car) Pull one click for stern light, all the way out for both stern and bow lights.

    The depth sounder is now mounted, in a similar detachable fashion, to the right rear of the middle bench. just under where it is in the picture.

    BTW Mounted in an small aluminum boat, I now know why they were called Humming Birds. There is no forgetting that you have it on. LOL!
     
  9. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Messages:
    448
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    Randy, using a dolly is a great idea! I have a old one that I use around the house for moving a lot of stuff.

    Bill
     
  10. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Messages:
    448
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    Don, a good friend of mine uses a small solar panel on her sailboat and is very happy with the results. She spend weeks at a time sailing, and living on the 15 foot boat.

    I used to have a motorhome with two very large 75 walt solar panels on the roof. My wife and I lived in the MH in the California desert for months without any outside electrical power.

    Bill
     
  11. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Messages:
    448
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    Lawrence, that is a neat looking battery. Is that the kind that is used with deer feeders? If so, I was considering using one, and the only reason I didn't was I didn't want to buy an extra charger for that size battery.

    What make of boat is that, and what size is it? Looks nice.

    Bill
     
  12. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    Bill, what's the deal on these things? What kind of battery do they have, how long do they last, and can you buy replacements, or do you replace the whole enchilada when it goes south?
     
  13. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Messages:
    448
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    Dave, I'm no expert on batteries, but from what I understand most, if not all, Jump Start Units contain a fairly small sealed lead-acid "Advanced Glass Mat" (AMG) battery. (The whole unit only weighs 8 pounds.) One the smaller units like mine contains a 7 amp battery, but other larger units can have a 15 to 18 amp battery.

    Wnen you compare that 7 to 18 amp with the 75 to 100-plus amp hour deep-cycle marine or RV batteries, it's not much horsepower!:big_smile: But, it doesn't weigh 45 to 50 pounds!

    On a previous boat I use a Jump Start unit for about 2 years, and it was still going when I sold the boat. However, I never let the battery get discharged too low. On that JS it had three charging diode lights...red for discharged, yellow for half discharged, and green for fully charged. When the yellow diode came on i knew it was time to recharge the unit. Which took about 10 to 12 hours!

    I believe these are throw away units with the enclosed batteries non replaceable. But, then again, I've never tried to take the case off one.

    The owners "manual" states the following items should run for: Cell Phone.....10 hours, Radio......7 hours, Camcorders.....4 hours, Electric coolers....1 hour, and Notebood computers....45 minutes.

    For my use it is great, but it would never take the place of a full size deep cycle battery if a person is using a trolling motor, or is doing much night fishing.

    Hope this answers your questions,

    Bill
     
  14. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    "Is that the kind that is used with deer feeders?"

    Yes it is similar but 12 volt 8 amp hour. Kind of a generic battery. The terminals are like a male for a spade connector. The weight is about 5 1/2 lbs
    As I recall it was less than $20.

    I use the 1 amp charger for my Motorcycle battery. Any trickle charger would probably do.

    A web search of the number should hook you up. UB1280.

    Tractor Supply may have them but the one up my way only had 6 volt batteries.
     
  15. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    "What make of boat is that, and what size is it? Looks nice."

    Thanks, That's my little ten footer, The Dangerous Child, with a 3 hp Johnson on the back.
    The Make I am not sure of, It may be a 60's something Apache. I have no clue who made them. I would love to know.

    I am guessing that on account of a friend of mine has an Apache that could be the twin of mine.

    She is due for some new paint this year but my "new to me" 12 foot V bow is getting the attention right now.
     
  16. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Messages:
    448
    State:
    Oklahoma City

    Thanks Lawrence! That's a nice battery set up. And, I really like the name of your 10' boat..."Dangerous Child"!:smile2::smile2:

    Bill
     
  17. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    Yep, boat names can be tough, but that one seemed a natural!:smile2: