What is a Marine Battery Box or Tray?
Many people who have a boat do not know what a marine battery box is, much less what it would be used for and why it is necessary. The short answer is, it keeps everything to do with your battery safe from damage.
The more detailed answer is that it keeps the battery acid from spilling out, but it also has other more important jobs to do. If you have a deep cycle marine battery on board, it will give off a gas when you are running it.
If you have a battery near your fuel tank, that could also pose a problem if you do not have your battery covered. This is one of the main reasons they are gaining popularity on boats that have trolling motors on them.
Should You Use a Marine Battery Box?
If you do not want marine battery boxes on your boat, you may be able to get away with a double walled battery, but again, you may need to check with the state and or your boat’s manufacturer to find out if it will work.
As a person who is curious about marine battery boxes, you may want to know more about what is available. Some people do not feel that they are very attractive on a boat.
Boat Battery Box – Coast Guard Regulations
The official coast guard regulations for installing batteries require that the batteries are secured against both horizontal and vertical forces so that it can’t move by more than one inch in any direction.
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Installing the Marine Battery Box
I was lucky that my boat had a shelf in the engine compartment made of fiberglass-over-wood. This meant I could safely screw into it.
Note: Do not screw into your boat hull! That is a bad idea and you’re just asking for your core to rot out. If you do not have a convenient shelf to mount to, you can fiberglass one in. This is extra work, but it’s well worth it.
Properly securing the battery box to the boat is the most critical part of installing the batteries properly. I can’t overemphasis how important this is. This not only ensures that you’ll comply with coast guard regulations, it is also one of the most common ways I see boat owners damage their hulls.
In my case, I used 3/4 inch long, #6 wood screws with a washer. I installed four in each battery box. The first time I secured the boxes, I forgot to install the strap.
Since I only have one battery bank, I wired these two batteries in parallel. Once all the wiring was done, I installed the lids and tightened them down with the straps. The screws secure the box to the boat.
So don’t forget these helpful tips regarding the benefits of battery boxes and how to install them. 1) Get to know your battery box, what it is and why you need it; 2) find out if you have other options that are going to be as helpful; and 3) make sure that you know how to install it properly.
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