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Old 09-27-2016, 01:16 PM   #21
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You don't know the circumstances of the sale or of the prior owner. They may have far more important issues to deal with or the boat could even be a bad memory or something that hung over them terribly for two years. I can't imagine it personally, but some people are so in need of selling a boat and when that happens want nothing to ever do with it again. I just think it's unfair to judge when one doesn't know.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:24 PM   #22
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There are actually 4 separate banks of batteries, one under the V berth for the bow thruster, one on the forward starboard side of the engine, & two on the aft port side of the engine.. I do understand the clamp on Amp suggestion. The wires are not easily seen, and are bundled neatly, and since there is only one switch,??? I will be able to figure this all out after crawling around the boat & bilge.
Let us know what you find out, I am now curious. Typically, with a 1/2/Both switch one position will be the engine start and another will be the house bank. However, if you have a thruster battery as well I am suspicious that your 1/2/Both switches may only be for the house since the house lights worked in both position 1 and position 2.

Try this, if the switch is in the "Off" position, will your engine start or your thruster run? With the switch in the Off position will your house lights operate?
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:25 PM   #23
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There are actually 4 separate banks of batteries, one under the V berth for the bow thruster, one on the forward starboard side of the engine, & two on the aft port side of the engine.. I do understand the clamp on Amp suggestion. The wires are not easily seen, and are bundled neatly, and since there is only one switch,??? I will be able to figure this all out after crawling around the boat & bilge. I started this thread only to voice my frustration in not being able to get a response from the previous owner. It would be easy for him to answer these questions, even through a third party (the broker).

Logic would dictate that the batts forward would be dedicated to the thruster. Probably charged through an echo charger, separate bank feature on the board charger or an ACR. Next the two batts are probably the house bank. single batt is most likely for starting.

If you are worried about the house bank draining the starting batt... I would install an ACR between the start and house battery... If the switch is installed with position one being the start battery then you can just leave the switch in that position and your house will be isolated..

Just hope logic holds true.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:26 PM   #24
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The thruster bank is probably separate from everything else. Not sure about how you'd configure 3 other banks through only one switch. My prairie has a selector switch (1-2-both-off) for each engine. The rest of the 12V system is powered through another selector switch on the 12V breaker panel (also 1-2-both-off).

If I wanted to expand my house bank, I'd probably end up having to physically split it between two different locations. Could that be how you ended up with what looks like 4 banks?

When I bought my Prairie, the PO had made some very foolish modifications to the battery system. In the end all batteries needed to be replaced and a few mis-wired connections needed to be undone.

My point is, don't assume it makes sense. Trace the wires, use volt a meter or whatever it takes to determine what's connected to what.
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Old 09-27-2016, 02:14 PM   #25
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I guess it could happen. Never ran across a surveyor who knew more than how to collect a check.
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Old 09-27-2016, 02:17 PM   #26
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I guess it could happen. Never ran across a surveyor who knew more than how to collect a check.
Perhaps you need to reassess your process of selecting a surveyor. There are many excellent ones.
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Old 09-27-2016, 02:24 PM   #27
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I never felt that it was the role of a surveyor to diagram the electrical system of a boat. They are there to ensure that stuff works, that stuff is safe, not to necessary figure out switch configuration.
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Old 09-27-2016, 02:36 PM   #28
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I guess it could happen. Never ran across a surveyor who knew more than how to collect a check.
I'm sure they are out there. Probably the same surveyors that say they are too busy after I finish my interview with them on the phone.
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Old 09-27-2016, 02:43 PM   #29
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Just a side note. Both of the previous owners of my boat, "Southerly" are deceased. Totally on my own. dhays is right. My surveyor could only tell me whether system were working or not. You will get the hang of it.

Funny story yesterday. Decided to fill the water holding tank and try the water. Well it didn't work and I was pretty tired. Started trying switches and found FWP. Yup, Fresh water pump. Duh for me! LOL!!

Welcome to the forum and ask any question you would like. You will probably get 50 different answers. All are helpful believe it or not!
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Old 09-27-2016, 03:53 PM   #30
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Given that you have a thruster, house bank, a starter, and "four banks". I would confirm that you do in fact have only a single battery switch. We had switches for each engine, the bow thruster (batteries forward), and the the house banks. Total 4 independent switches similar to the one you describe, and those were in addition to multiple independent breakers. Just make sure you have not missed a switch or two!!
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:10 PM   #31
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A good surveyor should have gone through the various on, 1,2, off connections to verify working not working systems.
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Are you serious?
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Of course. The PO didn't know the answer to a question I had on a boat I bought earlier this year, so I called the surveyor and he gave me the answer.

My surveyor was an idiot.....He just regurgitated the findings on a 1 year earlier survey on the same boat. I knew more than he did with 1 hour on the boat. A TOTAL waste of money IMO.
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:14 PM   #32
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Everyone has there own way to get to know their boat.

I prefer to verify things myself, by cutting those cable ties and following the wiring wherever possible, and make my own wiring diagram. The same goes for plumbing and fuel lines etc.
It is easy enough to tidy the cable runs up again after you've got it all sorted out.
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:44 PM   #33
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OK lets backup a little. One step at a time. Take the covers off the battery boxes and post clean pics of the tops. We should be able to determine if they are starting batts or deep cycle and which are paralleled as a bank.
X2 for KaSeaTa as a best initial guess.
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Old 09-27-2016, 08:33 PM   #34
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When all else fails, have a marine electrician come down for an hour and answer your questions.
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