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Installing Blue Sea Add-A-Battery....

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  • Installing Blue Sea Add-A-Battery....

    I have a 1999 18' Bayliner with a 120HP Force outboard on it. I want to install a second battery with Blue Sea's Add-A-Battery. (Why? Because I want some insurance when I'm out on the Bay of Green Bay. I've had close calls in the past)

    Here's the wiring diagram they provide (page 4): http://bluesea.com/files/resources/i.../990310020.pdf

    My main questions is: What do you do about the common bus bar and how do you ground it? I don't see a common bus bar anywhere on my Bayliner.

    Also, any recommendations on wire size? Where do you get battery cables with fuses in them, or do you build them from scratch with a fuse holder, etc?

    I have spent half the day searching these forums and elsewhere, but haven't found these specifics.

    Any feedback would be much appreciated!


  • #2
    Re: Installing Blue Sea Add-A-Battery....

    Notice that in their diagram the common busbar connects the two battery negatives, and provides a connection for the negative leads to other devices. If you simply have a cable connecting the two battery negatives, you can attach to either battery negative terminal. There is also a negative busbar under the instrument panel, but that would be too far away from ACR to make sense to use.
    Bob, Orange County NY
    '88 Bayliner 1700 Capri Bowrider, 85 HP Force O/B, "Sea Weasel"
    Want a vessel safety check? Click here. Want to join the Coast Guard Auxiliary? Click here.
    Disclaimer: Although I am a member of the USCG Auxiliary, the opinions and advice in my replies are my own and do not necessarily reflect CG or CG Auxiliary policy or regulations unless so specified.


    • #3
      Re: Installing Blue Sea Add-A-Battery....

      That's what i figured, but the diagram showed an independent ground, which I assume is accomplished through the ground wire from the engine.


      • #4
        Re: Installing Blue Sea Add-A-Battery....

        The battery negative primary distribution bus is identified in the Blue Sea Systems literature as "COMMON BUS BAR." If you have a non-metallic hull, the battery negative primary distribution bus is usually bonded to the engine block. The engine block is usually bonded to something in contact with the sea, often a galvanic corrosion sacrificial anode. Sometimes a special electrode is used to provide a contact with the sea, often made from a very noble metal like bronze. This would constitute a ground on a vessel.


        • #5
          Re: Installing Blue Sea Add-A-Battery....

          By the way, if you buy all of those additional components recommended by Blue Sea Systems in their installation diagram, you will find you have spent more money on fuses, terminals, bus bars, added wiring, and so forth, than the cost of the battery switch and the automatic combining relay. Following the Blue Sea Systems recommended installation results in a rather complicated and expensive system.


          • #6
            Re: Installing Blue Sea Add-A-Battery....

            You can order cables, lugs, fuse holders, buss bars, etc. from many different marine suppliers. I don't think you will find large battery cables with in-line fuse holders built in. Car stereo installation shops usually carry large gauge wire and fuse holders but it's questionable how well it will hold up in a marine environment. It might be worth a look. Another business that will usually have or be able to make battery cables is an automotive battery supplier. Also, an electrical business that deals with solar systems, specifically off grid systems, will be familiar with large gauge battery cables. They typically use these to hook inverters up. I happen to be in this business.


            • #7
              Re: Installing Blue Sea Add-A-Battery....

              I assume I don't need larger cables than what are coming out of the engine, which appears to be #4 gauge? That is the largest current draw?


              • #8
                Re: Installing Blue Sea Add-A-Battery....

                4 guage should be PLENTY