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    Letting boat Idle

    Hello All, I just got a new Element E18 with a 115 HP 4 Stroke and had a question for the more experienced boaters. I like to listen to a little Jazz sometimes while fishing. Is it safe to idle in neutral (With motor trimmed down to eliminate exhaust fumes) so that the radio is running off the alternator versus the battery?

    #2
    The radio runs off the battery. The alternator just keeps the battery charged. If you have a good battery there is no need to run the engine while playing the radio unless you have it on for many hours. You should be ok for 2 or 3 hours or even more.
    1999 Bayliner Ciera 2655
    5.7 Bravo 3

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      #3
      Agree. Many guys also add a battery for backup just in case.
      Dave
      Edmonds, WA
      "THE FIX"
      '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
      (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
      The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
      Misc. projects thread
      https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

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        #4
        Coolcam, the amp draw of most radios is so low you could operate it for days on a fully charged, good battery. That said, I’d look at adding a second battery to your boat with a selector switch so you always have a good battery, radio or not.

        https://www.walmart.com/ip/Perko-Med...SABEgJJCPD_BwE
        Jim Gandee
        1989 3888
        Hino 175's
        Fire Escape
        Fyrflyer@ca.rr.com

        Comment


          #5
          I'm with builder on a second battery. I suggest installing an easy to reach switch so the starting battery is off line while you are fishing.
          P/C Pete
          Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
          1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
          Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
          1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
          MMSI 367770440
          1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
          Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

          Comment


          • builderdude
            builderdude commented
            Editing a comment
            Yep, did this to my 1800, just like the bigger boats, it's always a good idea to have reserve power to start the engine.

          #6
          A radio draws about .75 to 1.5 amps running at normal listening volume... it can draw up to about 6 amps if playing the music at a high volume or when playing CD's or cassettes....BUT, if you are running an amp with large speakers, then the sky is the limit... some systems require 40-50amp fuses.
          at 1.5 amp draw from a good fully charged G24 battery, you are easily good for about 10-12 hours before any concern is necessary.... if you have a second battery, then you have no concerns for a much longer time.


          NU LIBERTE'
          Salem, OR

          1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
          5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
          N2K equipped throughout..
          2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
          2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
          '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
          Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

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            #7
            It's also likely that at idle, your alternator isn't "excited," meaning that it isn't charging anything until it's spinning via enough rpms (likely around 1200 or so).
            1995 Bayliner 2452 Mercruiser 5.7L Alpha 1 Gen 2

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              #8
              FWIW, someone in my household, most likely the wife, although she’ll never admit to it left the stereo powered on in our boat for at least 5 days while I was on the road. When I got back, the boat fired right up without issue or hesitation. It’s a new battery so that obviously helped. The voltage was low and instead of showing 15 or so on the gauge I think it was down around the 10 mark. But after 5 days it still started up easily. Put it on a trickle charger over night the next day and fortunately the battery seems unharmed.

              Comment


                #9
                To answer the question about idling damaging the engine. The answer is yes and no. Idling has a tendancy to pit the rod bearings and wear the piston skirts some however most boat engines don't last long enough to get to that point. Usually there is something else more catastrophic that happens to them and the engine needs replaced but not due to idling too much.

                I have a mazda that i use for work and it idles a crazy amount. Especially in the winter and it has 200,000 miles on it never been in the shops still gets great economy burns no oil and runs great.

                i have a 10,000 watt portable gas welder / generator that is 30 years old spends more time at idle than welding when running . Still works great. So i dont know at what point the damage occurs to the point of bad. Probably not in your boats life time.

                With all that I would probably add a second battery for peace of mind rather than idle it. From experiencing Murphy's law i wouldnt run the radio on a single battery but that is just me.
                1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
                twin 454's
                MV Mar-Y-Sol
                1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
                Twin chevy 350's inboard
                Ben- Jamin
                spokane Washington

                Comment


                  #10
                  Never hurts to have a backup, maybe a fully charged ...

                  https://www.sears.com/plus-start-por...SABEgKEXvD_BwE
                  Be good, be happy, for tomorrow is promised to no man !

                  1994 2452, 5.0l, Alpha gen. 2 drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

                  '86 / 19' Citation cuddy, Merc. 3.0L / 140 hp 86' , stringer drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

                  Manalapan N.J

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Originally posted by coolcam20 View Post
                    Hello All, I just got a new Element E18 with a 115 HP 4 Stroke and had a question for the more experienced boaters. I like to listen to a little Jazz sometimes while fishing. Is it safe to idle in neutral (With motor trimmed down to eliminate exhaust fumes) so that the radio is running off the alternator versus the battery?
                    Does Jazz increase your fishing success?

                    Are you asking if it is safe because of the potential of gas fumes (carbon monoxide poisoning) or wear on the engine (or both)?

                    If you are not idling you don't have to worry about either of these. Idling for looooong extended times will only increase the wear on your engine especially having the water pump/impeller running all of the time.

                    Shut it off. By doing so you are not putting out emissions into the air and you are saving fuel. No brainer really. The gas you save will pay for a second battery or you can alternatively take some source of back-up power pack in case you need a boost.

                    Hope you have some cool jazz listening and hot fishing in your future.

                    Comment


                    • coolcam20
                      coolcam20 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Unfortunately the jazz does not have the same affect on the fish lol.

                    #12
                    Cool cam,
                    Congratulations on the new boat. I am also a Jazz fan. My boat came with (3) batteries. I added a fourth as a dedicated stereo battery. I don’t want to worry as I run an amplifier also. Adding a second battery to your boat would be a wise investment. Plus it’s better to listen from a battery instead of having the background noise of the motor - which also spooks the fish. Add a battery selector switch also.
                    Good Luck
                    Gibraltar, Mi.
                    1986- 3870- Hino 175's - Just purchased May ,2017
                    34' Tollycraft- sold
                    88 26' Shamrock/ Diesel
                    14' Zodiac Bay Runner

                    Comment


                      #13
                      These are all great tips and I believe the take away is invest in a 2nd battery dedicated to the radio. I greatly appreciate your responses.

                      Comment


                        #14
                        The radio itself isn't that much of a draw, it's the amp and speakers. What are the components of the system you are running? If you look at each, they should have an amp and ohm draw that can be computed to a battery requirement. Simple radio, two speakers, talk above volume = very low draw. Big amp, boom boom speakers, bass cranked. & loud = huge battery.
                        P/C Pete
                        Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
                        1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
                        Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
                        1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
                        MMSI 367770440
                        1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
                        Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

                        Comment


                          #15
                          We have a 2016 E18 and it came with a cranking battery. After several outings with radio going for 6-7 hours and blowing up large toys with a 12V pump, and leaving the sonar/GPS/fish finder on while anchored, (engine not running) then just a short run back to the ramp, and not recharging it, it bit the dust. So I installed a marine deep cycle battery. (had to change the battery tray!) After using it all summer, haven't had a problem doing the same things. Except now I put a solar charger on it, tested it with a multimeter and it stays up about 12.7 - 12.8. $24 Schumacher 2.4V solar battery maintainer from HomeDepot, great investment! I leave it sitting on top the cover, in storage, with a small line and some zip ties so it won't blow away... No one has bothered it yet!
                          2016 E18 115 Merc

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