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Old 10-17-2018, 11:37 AM   #1
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City: Holmes Beach FL
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Battery questions for 34' Mainship P

Couple questions:
1. One week batteries working great. Next week after packing for overnight cruise 8D battery DEAD. Main panel looked OK no definite reason. Is this common?
2. Even tho generator battery was fully charged (via hand held volt meter) generator would not start. Why wouldn't generator start with fully charged auxiliary battery?
3. Now that new 8D battery is installed everything is working properly, BUT volt meter on main inside panel registers zero volts. Any suggestions ?

Gary Duncan
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:57 PM   #2
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Can you provide more details about how the multiple batteries (sounds like 2 banks?) are connected to loads, charging devices, each other (or not), and to/through the distribution panels?

Were you able to monitor the battery's voltage drop with the start button pressed? Fully charged doesn't always mean fully capable.

Batteries do fail at the most unexpected and inconvenient times, but there can be warning signs.
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Old 10-17-2018, 03:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwduncan View Post
Couple questions:
1. One week batteries working great. Next week after packing for overnight cruise 8D battery DEAD. Main panel looked OK no definite reason. Is this common?
2. Even tho generator battery was fully charged (via hand held volt meter) generator would not start. Why wouldn't generator start with fully charged auxiliary battery?
3. Now that new 8D battery is installed everything is working properly, BUT volt meter on main inside panel registers zero volts. Any suggestions ?

Gary Duncan
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Welcome Gary,


1. Not common, but it does happen. When I bought my boat everything worked great at the survey. A couple weeks later the genset wouldn't start. The battery was toast. No reason other than it died of old age and starting the genset at the survey was its farewell performance,


2. New boat to you? It doesn't make any sense that the genset wouldn't start with the genset battery and yet start fine after replacing the house battery. Are you sure it is the genset battery? It is actually connected to the genset starter? Were the two batteries combined and it was really the old 8D that was doing all the work and now the new 8D is doing the work?



3. Something is wrong with either how it is wired or something odd with your switches somewhere.


Time to start tracing cables for both batteries and draw up a schematic.
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Old 10-17-2018, 05:57 PM   #4
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Gary
Welcome aboard TF
I'm not familiar w/ the MS Pilots but will only make some comments relative to what I know about our '08 MS 34HT set up:
There are several switches on my Kohler gen set up... 1 batt on/off sw in aft deck elec panel - must be on
Sw on the gen itself - Run/Off/Auto - ust be On
Start / Stop on gen - start when above is in Run position
Remote start - in elec panel - starts only when Run/Off/ Auto is "Run"

If you are new to the boat it is worth tracing at least main wiring and drawing a schematic of your set-up. I have found MS info / manuals rather lacking.
Several Pilots owners / previous owners here on TF so guessing you will get some better responses
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Old 10-17-2018, 07:31 PM   #5
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I am a recent former Pilot 34 owner but I totally agree with Dave's thoughts in post #3:


"Something is wrong with either how it is wired or something odd with your switches somewhere.

Time to start tracing cables for both batteries and draw up a schematic."


IOW the problem is not specific to the Pilot 34, but how it is wired, used and the condition of those batteries.


And I will say for the Nth time: there are very few real 8D deep cycle batteries suitable for house use. Any in that service probably won't last very long as a result of being unsuitable.


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Old 10-18-2018, 08:23 PM   #6
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I had a similar issue on a 2000 34 single engine ..I can’t remember all details but I had to rewire also- professionally done - and added some sort of switch/controller with a trickle charge to gen set battery rather it being fully loaded. Boat in Florida and going this weekend and will try to take a pic of the “controller “
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:06 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the comments. Sorry for the late response.
I not very knowledgeable with the wiring of the generator battery.

I did not monitor gen battery while attempting to star gen. But there was NO response when I attempted to start gen before new 8D.

Now, with shore power off and 8D battery off the generator starts up easily with only the old gen battery.

Also, this from guys who work on my boat:
[I]The generator is wired to the small battery but the third battery switch (small on/off switch) is a combining switch which combines the big battery with the small battery it was on. So we suspect that when the big battery died it brought down the small battery so it did not have enough juice to start the generator. I don't recommend changing the wiring but do recommend turning the switch to the off position unless emergency start is needed.

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Old 10-19-2018, 04:09 PM   #8
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That makes sense. It will take some time to figure out all the switches. Sounds like you are in good shape.
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