Folkboats Around the World
IF drawing International Folkboat
Tech Tips

Battery Shelf Under the V-Verth
Grace, Ken Kurlychek


Grace's 12-volt battery has always been stored in the lazarette on the opposite side from the outboard well. Although this worked fine, I was always concerned about it getting wet everytime water came up through the well. I considered re-installing it in the port cockpit locker but felt that Grace could benefit from having some of her weight shifted forward. Beside the battery, there is the fuel tank, outboard motor, myself and any crew members, all sitting in the aft portion of the boat.

Another possible relocation site I considered was the bilge just forward of the aft bulkhead. However, there is room only for a small 12-volt. I had purchased one previously as a backup and it fits in there perfectly but I do not want to count on that as my primary source of electrical power.

battery shelf The best location I found was under the V-berth. The major disadvantages were that I had to use thicker gauge wire to avoid a drop in voltage during the long run aft to the electric panel, and there was no level area on which to secure the battery. I felt that both problems were worth dealing with to get that bulky weight out of the stern. I used 3/4-inch marine grade ply bevel-cut to fit the area. I cut up short lengths of solid teak saved from my previous boat, for the battery box braces. Along the width of the V-berth riser I bolted a three-inch wide, 1/2-inch thick fir brace to which I screwed the shelf in from above. I also cut small squares of 1/4-inch plywood to cushion the hard corners of the shelf from any friction against the hull. Rather than glass it in which seemed too permanent to me, I chose instead to use 3M's 5200 polyurethane. If at some later date I decide this location is not appropriate, I can cut through the 5200 easier than through fiberglass (I think).

battery sitting on shelf   
I just did this modification in November and can't testify as to whether it is good or bad. All the lights and electronics work as before, so I am optimistic. But, I did not remove the old wiring just in case. The yellow bag with the word "Pellets" on it holds my Fortress folding anchor. It was stored in this location before and still fits under the shelf. What I will lose to the battery is the space where I stored my tool bag. The heavy duty rubber tie-down is hooked to holes drilled in the supports for the V-berth. I expect to replace this with a wider tubular nylon strap with a buckle.

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