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 Attaching Motor to Battery
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mulvaneym7
Deckhand

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USA
19 Posts

Initially Posted - 06/18/2021 :  12:16:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi- I think this is a relatively easy question but just don't know the answer so I wanted to ask for someone's help. I bought a new motor (a Mercury 9.9) that has a remote start. Basically how do I attach the wires to the part from the battery that are sticking out back towards the opening in the stern by the boat? Just electric tape? Anything safer/sturdier?

Thanks in advance for your help.

dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4562 Posts

Response Posted - 06/18/2021 :  13:32:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A variesty of methods are used. On my boat, the wires from the motor were passed through a very small opening in the stern to the area where there is a small wood access panel inside, then secured to heave cables running under the quarter berth to that same space, secured together by a nut and bolt, then wrapped in electrical tape. Others have mounted a plug like one used with a trolling motor.

DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8727 Posts

Response Posted - 06/18/2021 :  19:02:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can't picture what you're describing as the "part of the battery that are sticking out back towards the opening in the stern by the boat." There are no such parts I can think of... The battery or batteries on a C-25 go under the cabin seat on the port side.

The motor has has a cable with two wires, red and black. One way or the other they connect to the positive and negative poles of the battery. Since the motor's cable isn't long enough, generally a set of terminals are mounted in a place like the quarterberth (where they can reach), and separate cables are run from there to the battery. This involves crimping connectors to the wires... If this is all new to you, I'd get some help--the wires need to be the appropriate size, and done wrong, this can burn up a boat.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV,
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 06/18/2021 19:04:49
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canadiansailorkid
Deckhand

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Canada
12 Posts

Response Posted - 06/18/2021 :  19:58:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree, twisted stranded copper wires and electrical tape might work the first few times in the Harbour, But it is a recipe for disaster later on. Solder and heat shrink or terminal posts is the best method and really not out of the realm of DIY. Then again I'm an industrial electrician and wiring is second nature to me... safety should be paramount here. Whether that is saving your boat from potential fire or just being stuck with no motor starter at the wrong time should make anyone want to spend a few more dollars for the
piece of mind.

1978 Catalina C25 Standard Rig Swing Keel
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Leon Sisson
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1838 Posts

Response Posted - 06/18/2021 :  21:33:36  Show Profile  Visit Leon Sisson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Like David said above, boat battery wiring is no place for cut corners or half-ass workmanship.  Boat electrics are already in a hostile environment.  Try to give your boat's electrical system all the help surviving you can.

When wiring up boat batteries, I suggest including some sort of over current protection, such as a 100 amp circuit breaker in the positive cable close to each battery.


Any wiring powering a 10hp electric start engine should probably be 4 AWG boat cable.  If you can find it in duplex, that's an extra layer of insulation included in the price.



The typical assortment of crimp connectors probably won't cover anything over 10 AWG, so look for battery cable ends.

Check your local auto parts store for smaller quantities.

The typical stamped steel electrical crimper pliers won't touch these.  Wrench-driven swaging tools are the most versatile, and used to be the least expensive.

However, the price of bolt-cutter-style swaging tools has come down lately.

Applying either type of wire rope swaging tool to electrical connectors is "off label" use, so you're on your own regarding which tool will work on which connector.  Vise-grips, a propane torch, and solder have also been known to work in a pinch...

Don't forget the heat shrink tubing.  Smearing some RTV silicone sealant under it gives results almost as good as those classy hot-glue-lined heat shrink crimp connectors.


A heat gun is safer to use on shrink tubing than a Bic lighter, and more effective than your wife's hair drier.  I find the ones with a small nozzle work well in tight places without cooking anything else, including fingers.


Good luck with your boat wiring projects!

ó Leon Sisson
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bmwtourer
Deckhand

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Canada
17 Posts

Response Posted - 06/19/2021 :  18:36:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am about to do the same, my remodeling of my catalina is almost complete, I hope to splash next week.
The motor electrical part is not completed, but 2 large cable are run from the battery swich to near of the engine. under the seat I will place two car racing type battery junction post so I can connect the motor and the battery cable securely. here are the battery terminals:
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B084D4QY2D/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
As far as security concern, put a 40 am fuse on directly on the battery, I read that 40 amp is sufficient for a 2 strokes 9.9hp.

Serge Pelletier
#161 1977 Catalina 25 swing keel
Serenity
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mulvaneym7
Deckhand

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USA
19 Posts

Response Posted - 06/20/2021 :  01:30:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks so much all- and, particularly Serge. I think that's the solution. I am going to order the connectors now. If anybody else has safety tips (I'm nervous about playing with the electricity), I'd love to hear them. Thanks all!

https://www.amazon.com/photos/shared/iZ_qat9hTYiK9qn20rmyRQ.dDb4ia_Ho6TiCA0xdtjisu
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3857 Posts

Response Posted - 06/20/2021 :  05:47:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I used a Blue Sea Dual PowerPost to connect the engine to the cable that runs to the battery. I mounted it on the interior transom above the little shelf. You need a way of disconecting the engine if needed and twisted wires and tape just doesn't work. The engine cable comes through the transom and connects to the power post and has a clam shell cover over the hole. You can see it in the photo.


Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8727 Posts

Response Posted - 06/20/2021 :  10:36:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Scott's is about like what I rigged--my posts were on quarterberth wall that's the side of the cockpit foot-well, and I put a rubber boot with a drain-hole instead of the clamshell cover on the transom. (Who knows what Voyager Bruce has there now.) I like Scott's connection covers--mine were simpler rubber caps. You don't want any accidental brushing against both posts...

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV,
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 06/20/2021 10:40:15
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3857 Posts

Response Posted - 06/20/2021 :  12:00:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I will ad that the ABYC requires the cable to be fused within 7" of the battery so I used a Blue Sea System Terminal fuse block with a 40amp fuse. These fuse blocks mount directly on the battery post then the cable is attached to it. Can't get any closer than that.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4821 Posts

Response Posted - 06/20/2021 :  15:16:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh yeah, Voyager still has screw terminal posts with large SS wing nuts connecting to crimped lugs . Rubber caps over top of that. If it ainít broke, donít fix it. Several years back when I rewired the battery and panel I also replaced the engine fuse and cables leading from the battery to the terminal block. I chose to make these cables direct home runs to the terminal block, bypassing the battery switch. My reasoning there was if I needed to disconnect the engine from the battery, I could disconnect the wire. If it were an emergency situation, the fuse would blow and disconnect the circuit.
The battery cable is happily protected by two fuses. The battery fuse is a 40A for the starter circuit. The alternator fuse is a 15A unit for the 12A alternator circuit.
Itís good to be double protected in this case since either end of the system can conceivably start a fire.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain ó Milford, CT
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8727 Posts

Response Posted - 06/20/2021 :  19:40:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All good stuff... My current boat has two batteries and a selector switch about 4' from the big outboard, and terminal fuses on both batteries. If just about anything happens, the fuses or the switch can shut everything down--but this means everything... which raises another consideration--communication.

I have a fixed VHF at the helm for normal use, but a hand-held VHF with built-in GPS in my floating ditch bag. If I have an electrical fire and need to shut down the whole system (or it already is trashed), I can still communicate. Cell phones are not the same--on any "big water" you want to be able to raise any vessel within reach, as well as the USCG, marine police, or whomever. That's VHF CH 16.

Maybe this is a hijack... I'm pretty focused on marine safety in a world that appears to be increasingly unconcerned. I've been on a boat on the Pacific with smoke from burning wire insulation coming out of the cabin and cockpit lockers... The first step was to shut down the electical system. Then what?

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV,
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 06/20/2021 19:43:58
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