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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,149

    Default Lost all Battery Power to outboard

    Lost all Battery Power to outboard

    So that others might learn...…. and those that cant help themselves can have a pop.

    Went out yesterday on the little 4.5 m Narwhal and the sea was very calm. Got across to the Mouth of the Orwell and noticed the power tilt and trim was not working. Engine coughed a couple of times. Looked at my chart plotter to see the voltage was down to 12.3 volts meaning battery not charging. I had to decide whether to limp to Levington Marina risking conking out in the very very busy port of Felixstowe or beaching in a reasonably safe place knowing I would not be able to raise the engine so would have to beach some way out as it was quite a fleet beach. I would also have to switch of the engine and a restart would not be possible. I went for the Beach option.

    Once beached I investigated the issue and I had a very low voltage to the outboard but had 12.2 volts at that point to the plotter and other equipment.


    I managed to contact a friend who was on the water and because of the very calm sea state he towed me back to my home slip in the River Deben.


    I usually have a very good set of tools in my old Disco 2 and a spare battery and jump leads etc. Because I had swapped all this to my newer Discovery for a caravan trip at the weekend and had not remembered to put it all back in the older Disco I was not well placed to fix the issue. I called my wife who skipped of work early and brought me the tools etc I needed.


    I needed to get my engine up in order to get it on the trailer and be able to safely tow the rig.


    Upon inspection and with the right tools and spare battery I was able to diagnose that it was the battery isolation switch that had failed.


    So lessons learnt:


    1) Add the correct sized spanners to my on board toolkit... an adjustable is no good.

    2) If you have an accessible switch at the rear make up a short jumper cable so that you can bypass the switch quickly and easily. I intend to make a loop of thick wire across the terminals of the switch at the back with a plug in its middle so that if the issue arises again I can just lift the seat and plug in the two wire ends.

    3) Another option is to make sure all the terminal ends to the switch and battery are the same size and if all things are close you might be able to just swing the switch one over to the other at the switch. This is not always easy and again requires the right spanner often in a confined space. Hence the jumper idea with a plug type break that is easily accessible and quick and easy to plug in.

    4) learn how to lift the engine with no battery power to it. You tube is your friend here.





    My issue with the tools not being in my car was I was rushed when I went out and it is well worth standing back and asking if you have every thing you need.


    Thanks to Orwell Boy for the tow back...… I owe you one


    There you go either have a think and maybe learn somthing or have a pop it is up to you
    Only ever look down on a person when you are bending over to help them up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Poole
    Posts
    343

    Default Re: Lost all Battery Power to outboard

    Good to hear you got to the bottom of the problem.
    Those battery isolation switches (90 degree red key type) are carp!
    I ended up replacing 2 on my old Avon SR4 rib. The second switch only lasted two years!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,149

    Default Re: Lost all Battery Power to outboard

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar24 View Post
    Good to hear you got to the bottom of the problem.
    Those battery isolation switches (90 degree red key type) are carp!
    I ended up replacing 2 on my old Avon SR4 rib. The second switch only lasted two years!
    I know they are poor but in the space I have and the holes etc already drilled I cant seem to find an alternative hence my idea of the wire behind as a bypass when plugged together
    Only ever look down on a person when you are bending over to help them up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,308

    Default Re: Lost all Battery Power to outboard

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar24 View Post
    Good to hear you got to the bottom of the problem.
    Those battery isolation switches (90 degree red key type) are carp!
    I ended up replacing 2 on my old Avon SR4 rib. The second switch only lasted two years!
    Hmmm, the battery switches on my windy that sound very similar to your description above are now 14 years old and still working fine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Poole
    Posts
    343

    Default Re: Lost all Battery Power to outboard

    Quote Originally Posted by julians View Post
    Hmmm, the battery switches on my windy that sound very similar to your description above are now 14 years old and still working fine.
    Is your battery isolator switch on your windy on the "outside" and exposed to the weather?
    just asking as mine was on a RIB and was routinely splashed with sea water and the rain. Unfortunately fault finding was problematic as using a multi meter would show good voltage across the switch when it was made, but as soon a a large load was put through it (i.e engine cranking) it would fail.
    My current boat has a similar switch but it is "indoors" and doesnt suffer water ingress, so far so good :-)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,308

    Default Re: Lost all Battery Power to outboard

    It's out in the cockpit, but behind a panel/door, so probably doesn't get too wet

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,149

    Default Re: Lost all Battery Power to outboard

    Put in the new switch which looked better quality than the one I took out. And then made up the rear bypass wire. Now all I need to do if the new switch fails is to lift the seat and remove the inner shelf in my and connect the two wires together and the switch will be bypassed.

    I used XT150 Connectors which claim to be good got 150 -250 amps. All I know is is started the engine ok







    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Bigplumbs; 30-08-19 at 15:39.
    Only ever look down on a person when you are bending over to help them up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    fareham hampshire
    Posts
    1,723

    Default Re: Lost all Battery Power to outboard

    Simple cure place a bit of packing under the isolated key and off you go to buy a new isolater

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,149

    Default Re: Lost all Battery Power to outboard

    Quote Originally Posted by stelican View Post
    Simple cure place a bit of packing under the isolated key and off you go to buy a new isolater
    Tried that did not work... Twas well and truly knackered...… Hence the bypass which is a simple and fail safe quick fix should I need it
    Only ever look down on a person when you are bending over to help them up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South
    Posts
    16,746

    Default Re: Lost all Battery Power to outboard

    Must be an EFI type outboard? ... to need battery voltage to keep running?
    Obviously a different beast to my little 2-stroke on the tender.

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