Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The never-ending project to fill my hole in the ocean while bailing it out

Preparing for Sailing Season '04
Installing a Second Battery and 4-Way Switch

Click thumbnails for a larger picture


I decided, before I launch for the season, that I want a second (back-up) battery for my planned month cruising up the coast of Maine.  The first step was to mount the four-way battery switch. My first thought was to drill the 3-5/8" hole in the fiberglass cabin liner bulkhead just below the step into the cockpit, but at the suggestion of Dick King I decided to save the fiberglass and mount the switch on the keel winch handle panel just below the bilge pump switch and dual-battery volt meter.  (June 4)

battery_switch.jpg (16125 bytes)

The Blue Sea Systems Compact 4-Way Battery Switch (Model 9001e) at left will connect the two batteries:

Battery One:  An Exide-Nautilus Group 27, Dual-Purpose Deep Cycle & Marine Starting - 95 Amp/Hrs., 700 MCA* - 160 Mins. Reserve;

Battery Two:  A Seahawk Group 24, Dual-Purpose Deep Cycle & Marine Starting - 65 Amp/Hrs., 650 MCA* - 120 Mins. Reserve.

*MCA = Marine Cranking Amps

bswitch02.jpg (263679 bytes)

This morning I used a 3-1/2" hole saw (the closest size to 3-5/8" I had available) to cut the hole, then a half-round file to finish it off to perfect size. My concern that it would protrude too far inviting guests to kick or trip over it was unfounded; counting the knob it sticks out only an inch from the panel face, no more than the bilge pump toggle switch above it.  Good thinking Dick, it was a perfect fit!

wiring_diagram.jpg (135559 bytes)

The next steps are to mount the second battery, then begin wrestling with the wiring project.

bswitch03.jpg (272417 bytes)

The backside of the winch handle panel with the 4-way switch wired up to the dual-switch voltmeter.

bswitch04.jpg (275232 bytes)

I had the boatyard build an oak frame to secure the second battery. After taking this shot I cut and sanded a bit to fit the battery box into it (see pencil marks) then coated it with epoxy. Tomorrow I'll secure it in the starboard bilge roughly opposite the primary battery, insert the new battery box and Seahawk dual-purpose 650 Group 24 battery, then begin the wiring.

bswitch05.jpg (286866 bytes) The new battery box and frame are ready to install.  (June 5)
bswitch06.jpg (291690 bytes)

The battery box frame secured with epoxy and West System's collodial silica.

hoses01.jpg (330522 bytes)

While installing the new starboard-side battery and box, I eliminated the hose coming from the sink drain and its shut-off valve (center). I'd removed the sliding galley last year and the extraneous hose was only in the way (and a needless potential leak). I recalled that last year when I replaced the gate valve behind the "volcano," the nylon t-fitting (bottom right) developed a hairline crack from over-tightening on the gate valve.  I'd epoxied then banded it with a hose clamp, but decided now was the time to replace it (bottom left) along with the hoses and clamps as well.  (June 8)

hoses02.jpg (331725 bytes)

At the suggestion of Bob "Hobie" Davidson on the C22 discussion group list some time back, I replaced the cockpit drain hoses with clear reinforced hose; better to see if they get clogged and what's clogging them. The area around the battery box is now less cluttered without the unnecessary sink drain and shut-off valve. The brass t-fitting didn't crack when I tightened it this time!

bswitch07.jpg (267369 bytes)

The new battery and box installed.

(I later added a small solar panel to keep the batteries topped off especially while on the mooring, and my 9.9 hp Tohatsu outboard has an alternator that charges either/both batteries when running.)

bswitch08.jpg (328005 bytes)

I mounted two additional busses; one positive and one negative. Both run to a pos/neg terminal block I installed last year to which all other wiring is connected. After wiring up the busses for the 4-way switch, I covered the positive one and began organizing the wiring with plastic ties. All that remain to be connected to the busses are the outboard motor cables.

bswitch09.jpg (270502 bytes)

Yesterday, with the panels still off, I gave the system a dry run -- and everything worked! Today I'll put the panels back on and the job will be done.  (June 12)

bswitch09_2.jpg (269886 bytes)

A closer view of the switches.

bswitch10.jpg (230134 bytes)

In this shot you can see the new hinged door to the settee seat backrest panel I cut out this past winter (in the open position). I now have easy access to all that unreachable wasted space.

Moving on with Season 2004 improvements
It's never-ending ... but spring has arrived at last, the projects have begun!

Return to Top of Page