New Owner - Battery and Electrical Question

Bigdecked

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Afternoon everyone!

Just picked up a 2016 24 SPDX a few weeks ago and have been loving life on the tritoon! Recently, I've come across and issue and an additional question (or two) regarding electrical and batteries in this boat that were not able to be answered with some extensive forum searching.

First off, the boat had just over 100 hours on it when purchased and has been babied by the previous owner who bought it new (really does shine!). Running a Yamaha F150 motor that works great, and has a dual battery setup (among many other upgrades) which is where I get to the first part of the question:

In this layout, the two batteries are currently located under the rear chaise seat next to the battery switch.... from what I can tell, I'm curious if this is the stock setup or if the previous owner did a battery relocation, because there looks to be a battery mount and leads under the galley/sink area that are currently unused. Can anyone comment on whether this is normal, or what might be going on here?

The next question, which I don't think is related to battery location (but, perhaps it is in some way related to how they were hooked up) is regarding the Radio ACC switch circuit.... I've found many posts on here from owners having similar issues, but I've yet to find someone with the same issue: The ACC switch light works, and the breaker beneath said switch does not pop out. The radio and GPS will infrequently start and then the radio will die shortly after getting power and, if the Garmin was started before then the Garmin will keep working, HOWEVER, if I turn the Garmin OFF after the radio dies, or if I did not start it while the radio had power, it will not turn back on. All the while, the ACC switch light is still indicating it has power and the breaker is not tripped. No inline fuses seem burned out, but in checking the fuse on the head unit (sony model, not the upgraded version) I switched said fuse and had to remove the wiring harness plug to do so. It worked briefly, then back to the same story. Originally, when test running the boat electrics, radio was fine (in driveway, on trailer) and it worked for the first 2 outings until it stopped, mid day, and the problem then began.

Here is what I am thinking:

It's likely not a breaker or fuse at the battery itself, otherwise I would not be seeing the ACC switch indicating power. Have found no in-line fuses that are burnt out, but if there was one I would not get the short-lived power before it quits. Possibly, it could be a breaker between the switch and the head-unit circuit (maybe the one under the ACC is fried?) OR, more likely, I'm thinking I need to check all the pins on the head unit wiring harness to make sure everything is seated correctly and making contact.

Really weird stuff here, not entirely sure why the problem seems to affect both the head unit and the Garmin, it seems like the Garmin is downstream from the problem in the head unit but that doesn't explain why the Garmin would continue to work after the head unit dies but won't turn back on if I turn it off. Maybe some sort of short somewhere in the line that is permitting minimal power flow to the garmin while not enough for the head unit? I'm a bit stumped here, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Otherwise, great boat! (photos for reference: battery location and enough to see what I mean by the 'galley'. Will take more photos this weekend if problem persists, any requests can be met).

Oh, and P.S.: I haven't been able to find a fuse/breaker box at the battery location, is this common for these boats? I've seen a lot of references in other posts to these fuse boxes and I don't seem to have one (looks like in-line breakers).

Thanks again!
 

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Rssuttle

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Your picture of battery? The ground isn’t hooked up did you do that or is that the way it is. Loose ground or maybe not enough can cause issues. If you didn’t remove the ground maybe the owners did to same battery life when sitting. Electrical issues are difficult to solve sometimes. You should check radio after it goes off with a 12v tester to see if you have power.
Probably not much help
 

Vikingstaff

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because there looks to be a battery mount and leads under the galley/sink area that are currently unused. Can anyone comment on whether this is normal, or what might be going on here?
Congratulations on your new to you boat. Feel free to share more pictures of your boat. A lot of us love seeing everyone’s new boats.

Question for You:
Did you get the 7 year warranty for that model year transferred over to you by an authorized Bennington dealer when you bought it? Just checking since it likely has one more year of warranty left in it unless it was part of a boat rental fleet prior to your ownership.

Addressing Your Questions:
I know some have a battery area near galley/sink set ups to power a mini-refrigerator, or other potential galley item. My guess is that is what this extra batter mount with leads is there for. Might have simply been a built in with that galley option or it might have originally also had the additional battery powering something at the galley.

Otherwise, your dual battery compartment with Perko switch looks to be the stock set up for your boat…it can vary a lot by year model and floor plan.

Ditto the question above about the ground not being hooked up…? Otherwise, I will leave other members with better electrical trouble shooting knowledge to address your other question/problem.
 

Bigdecked

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Your picture of battery? The ground isn’t hooked up did you do that or is that the way it is. Loose ground or maybe not enough can cause issues. If you didn’t remove the ground maybe the owners did to same battery life when sitting. Electrical issues are difficult to solve sometimes. You should check radio after it goes off with a 12v tester to see if you have power.
Probably not much help
The battery photo was from the seller, but that is correct in the location and wires going to/from the battery (except they are hooked up when this issue occurs). I'm heading out Saturday morning, early before the heat rises, to go through circuit testing. :)
 

Bigdecked

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Congratulations on your new to you boat. Feel free to share more pictures of your boat. A lot of us love seeing everyone’s new boats.

Question for You:
Did you get the 7 year warranty for that model year transferred over to you by an authorized Bennington dealer when you bought it? Just checking since it likely has one more year of warranty left in it unless it was part of a boat rental fleet prior to your ownership.

Addressing Your Questions:
I know some have a battery area near galley/sink set ups to power a mini-refrigerator, or other potential galley item. My guess is that is what this extra batter mount with leads is there for. Might have simply been a built in with that galley option or it might have originally also had the additional battery powering something at the galley.

Otherwise, your dual battery compartment with Perko switch looks to be the stock set up for your boat…it can vary a lot by year model and floor plan.

Ditto the question above about the ground not being hooked up…? Otherwise, I will leave other members with better electrical trouble shooting knowledge to address your other question/problem.

Thanks! I have been in contact with a local dealer and I'm sending over the transfer paperwork this week.

Ok, that helps relieve a lot of questions regarding the dual battery setup.... it would make sense if that under-galley battery pan & leads were just unused stock setups since the sink itself and the hose underneath it all have a power switch to power them (though they run off of the other two batteries). Would be nice to have a fridge, though! I've been looking for options that might fit, but thought that the under-galley pan would be a great place to add an additional house-current battery for future projects we have in mind (ICECO or similar brand of portable fridge, maybe an inverter for charging or plugging in laptops or other gear).

Since last post, I have hashed this out with a family member with a lot more experience with electrical than myself, and we're narrowed it down to some likely culprits (on the radio power issue): thinking that we have a loose connector, possibly an inline glass fuse that has DC'd beneath the cap of said fuse instead of burning out, potentially a short in the 12v charging port, or a loose/corroded connection at the switch or fuse itself. Going to trouble shoot this saturday to see what I can find, but my money is on the loose wire in the head unit harness or that 12v charging port has a short.

I'll take and post up some more pictures! I have a few already, but you guys don't need to see my goofy ass in there!


Thanks again!
 

Vikingstaff

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Good luck! Sounds like you have a good trouble shooting plan. Hoping you find it early in your flow chart check list.
 

Bigdecked

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Thanks! Fingers crossed that I will have some good news (and pictures) to share this weekend!

Great community, btw, looking forward to seeing everyone around the forum!
 

CLDave

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One more idea to try - if you're running only 1 or 2, try running 1+2 and see if that helps. One (or both) of the batteries might be weak - and the way the radio is working it could just be low volts. Test batteries or replace (6 or 7 years is pretty close to end-of-life, especially without knowing how the batteries were maintained) and see if that helps.

Good luck!
 

Bigdecked

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One more idea to try - if you're running only 1 or 2, try running 1+2 and see if that helps. One (or both) of the batteries might be weak - and the way the radio is working it could just be low volts. Test batteries or replace (6 or 7 years is pretty close to end-of-life, especially without knowing how the batteries were maintained) and see if that helps.

Good luck!
Thanks CLDave, I'll add this to the checklist!
 

Bigdecked

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Update: Still troubleshooting, but new information

Ran through wiring under helm, no shorts or problems there. Looks like batter #2 (accessory battery, not starting battery) has gone completely dead. I think it has been draining over time and just finally flatlined based on all of the accessory circuit behaviors. Suggests either I got a problem with the charging circuit on it or the battery itself is bunk. Gonna explore more this weekend, starting with the battery. Battery 1 (starting battery) seems A-OK.
 

Vikingstaff

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With it being a new to you 2016, do you think the batteries were original? Are you able to contact original owner and ask? If so, I think I would change our both the dead battery and the currently working start up battery. How are connections down at the batteries. Otherwise look good?
 

Bigdecked

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With it being a new to you 2016, do you think the batteries were original? Are you able to contact original owner and ask? If so, I think I would change our both the dead battery and the currently working start up battery. How are connections down at the batteries. Otherwise look good?
Batteries were new this year according to the seller/original owner, he had been taking off the negative leads on the batteries when not in use to 'minimize draw when not being used' (this makes more sense now that I've figured it out!!!). Was thinking the same thing: had a battery that maybe s**t the bed, but that was something that I was looking to avoid if possible. Connections look good, but I'll post the solution here momentarily!!
 

Bigdecked

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So, first: Apologies for the photos if this is too much, I took these to make sure I was looking at this correctly while at the sandbar and always figured that more photos is fine so long as it's not overkill (pushing the limit!)

Anyway, I FIGURED IT OUT!!!! Thanks everyone for the help in troubleshooting this, your assistance was absolutely critical in helping me wrap my head around it.

Here Goes:

Short story: it was a battery relocation error!!!

Longer version:
You can see in the photos that the two batteries were located next to each other, where the battery selector switch was installed. If you look closely, the battery on the left (If you look with the switch on the top, call it Battery Two) has some interesting wiring on it, not just the larger leads you would expect for a battery hookup. I've included the photos of the tray and leads under the sink as well to show the other location that I assumed (correctly, it appears) that this was the original location for the second battery.

Strategy:
  • I tested the voltage of Battery 2 with Switch OFF= Nearly flat dead from use and previous attempts to use. This was not surprising, it was expected.
  • Tested Voltage of Battery 2 with Switch ON Battery 1= Same as off
  • Tested Voltage of Battery 2 with Switch ON Battery 2= Same as off
  • Tested Voltage of Battery 2 with Switch ON BOTH= Same as off
  • Tested Voltage of Battery 1 with Switch OFF = Fully charged, makes sense because I have no issue with this battery
  • Tested Voltage of Battery 1 with Switch ON Battery 1= Slight voltage change
  • Tested Voltage of Battery 1 with Switch ON Battery 2= Same as off
  • Tested Voltage of Battery 2 with Switch ON BOTH= Same as Battery 1 ON
LightBulb: Battery 2 and Battery 1 are not sharing the load (as indicated with switch on BOTH, no change in battery 2 voltage but slight draw on battery 1). THEORY STARTING TO CONFIRM: Battery 2 is NOT hooked up correctly; starting to realize that Battery 2 is not in the loop on the switch. It appears that only the ACCESSORIES are tied into Battery 2, which explains why (1) ACC drawdown does not seem to be affected by the running motor and (2) ACC drawdown does not seem to change when batteries switched to BOTH.

SO, I ask "Was this a mis-wiring in pulling leads over from original place OR was this someone who didn't understand that the leads needed to be pulled over in the first place??"

Testing the original position:
  • Batt Switch at OFF: Nothing
  • Batt Switch at 1: Nothing
  • Batt Switch at 2: Nothing
  • Batt Switch at BOTH: VOLTAGE!!!!
  • Eureka!!
The charging loop was never changed when the battery location changed! I started the boat on Battery 1, switched to BOTH, and saw voltage increase from non-running motor to confirm that the charge was, indeed, coming through.

So, looks like the Battery 2 was moved but it was never rewired for the new location. Instead, it looks like only the accessories were wired to Battery 2. This would have worked if there had been an ACR in between the two, to some degree, but there was no way for Battery 2 to charge. This makes sense now: The boat is super low hours (104 at purchase, I've since added 16 hrs) so they were likely only running the accessories for a very short period of time, not enough to notice the draw down to non-functionality. Additionally, the time off would let the battery recover somewhat, but this also explains what he meant by 'drawdown' he referenced when he was explaining why he disconnected the batteries entirely when not in use!!!!

So, I moved the battery back, hooked up the ACC lines to the output of the Battery Selector, started up on Battery 1 and took a nice cruise after switching it to "Both". Low and behold: Battery 2 started somewhat down then started recovering over time. By the time we were ready to call it a day, it was testing at full voltage both underway and at rest. The next test comes when we go back this weekend to see how well it's held charge...Fingers crossed it's full and recovered!

Anyways, thanks again folks, love a great community like this for a sounding board in this types of situations. Still have real pictures yet to come of the boat, I haven't forgot.

P.S. All tests were done with full wiring diagrams, voltmeter, and over-cautiously connecting/disconnecting/testing batteries for safety. Also had a portable jump starter with me in case I lost power or somehow screwed myself up a bit in the process. Thankfully, no injuries, accidents, or jump starters were needed!

P.P.S. I get SO MANY COMPLIMENTS on this boat! I really feel like I got a bullseye (and super lucky) in getting this Bennington. Cheers!
 

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Vikingstaff

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Thrilled you figured it out! I love all the details above. For some of us [people like me…not so intuitively or skill trained handy all the time], these sorts of details are very helpful.
 

Bigdecked

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Thrilled you figured it out! I love all the details above. For some of us [people like me…not so intuitively or skill trained handy all the time], these sorts of details are very helpful.
Thanks! I'm super excited as well!

Glad it wasn't too much detail! I'm very much in the same boat: no training and intuitively questionable....but I can google!
 

Rssuttle

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Thanks! I'm super excited as well!

Glad it wasn't too much detail! I'm very much in the same boat: no training and intuitively questionable....but I can google!
Glad you got it figured out. Looking at your pictures. Both batteries are starting batteries. Normally you’ll have a deep cycle battery and a starting. I see the 135 min in battery but that’s not the same as Amp Hours
 

Bigdecked

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Glad you got it figured out. Looking at your pictures. Both batteries are starting batteries. Normally you’ll have a deep cycle battery and a starting. I see the 135 min in battery but that’s not the same as Amp Hours
That's what I was thinking as well: will need to update to a deep cycle for house current! Fortunately, I'm also doing this in my tacoma (just need to buy the battery) so the wiring is familiar enough so far..... Might end up putting an ARC splitter in there somewhere to ensure the house batt doesn't drain starter after switching to both underway.
 
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