Mak­ing space to change the bat­tery

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin: Experts -

Q Our boat’s pre­vi­ous owner added a sec­ond leisure bat­tery, put both leisure bat­ter­ies in the orig­i­nal two-bat­tery com­part­ment, and made a new box for the starter bat­tery along­side.

Un­for­tu­nately, he seems to have fit­ted the box with the bat­tery al­ready in it, and glued it to the counter – in such a po­si­tion that the fuel fil­ter is im­me­di­ately above, leav­ing in­suf­fi­cient ver­ti­cal clear­ance to lift the bat­tery out and put in a new one (which we in­tend to ask our ma­rina to do). Even if they take the fuel fil­ter off, there might still be in­suf­fi­cient clear­ance; also they will have to bleed the fuel sys­tem af­ter re­fit­ting the fil­ter.

Be­fore I re­place the box com­pletely, what is the reg­u­la­tion re­quire­ment for bat­tery con­tain­ment in nar­row­boats?


A TONY REPLIES… I am sure there is a description in the Boat Safety Scheme guide, boat­safe­­tex­am­i­na­tion/pri­vate-boats/ and follow the link by the lit­tle pic­togram to­wards the bot­tom of the page. Guid­ance is that the bat­ter­ies must have less than 10mm move­ment in ei­ther hor­i­zon­tal di­rec­tion and must be con­tained against ver­ti­cal move­ment.

If they are in a box or re­cess that reaches at least half­way up the bat­tery, that is deemed to com­ply with the lat­ter re­quire­ment. If you take a saw and care­fully cut the side/end out of the bat­tery box so it is only half way up the bat­tery, does that help?

My own engine bat­tery sits on a wooden plat­form with 18mm bead­ing all around the base to stop hor­i­zon­tal move­ment. The back has a full height up­stand to which is hinged a lid, again with bead­ing plus some rub­ber hose on the un­der­side. I use a sim­ple ny­lon cord plus a cleat to hold the lid tightly on top of the bat­tery. That way you could undo the cord and all but slide the bat­tery out.

Talk to the ma­rina be­cause it will be far eas­ier (and prob­a­bly cost only a lit­tle ex­tra) to cut the box about with the bat­tery out of the way.

I would also com­ment that pro­vid­ing the start bat­tery is well charged, many mod­ern en­gines are self-bleeding.

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