SV Pilgrim - 1979 Morgan 382 - Homeport: Beaufort, NC

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Securing the House Battery Bank

One of the final components of re-locating the house battery bank was securing the batteries. 

Per Full River’s Specs each 6V battery weighs in at approximately 66 pounds.  Presently our house bank consists of four 6V batteries = 264 pounds.  We plan to expand the bank to six 6V batteries = 396 pounds.   Preventing this 400 pound mass from sliding around during normal conditions is critical to the long term health of our electrical systems.  Eliminating the possibility of this 400 pound mass from becoming a projectile in the event of a knockdown is critical to life and limb.

We designed the new battery box to fit snugly around the batteries.  The fit will limit side to side and fore to aft motion of the batteries.

Installing the new fiberglass over plywood battery box in the space under the center salon seat.
The new battery box is mechanically fastened, six ¼” counter sunk, flat head screws, to the Morgan 382’s internal glass unit (IGU).  The IGU is a structural member in the Morgan’s hull that provides strength to the hull and a mounting surface for the cabin sole.

Since we are two batteries shy of our desired six battery house bank, we constructed temporary filler to prevent the existing bank from sliding fore and aft.

Four 6V batteries plus the temporary filler in the new box.

Ok, this set up takes care of movement under normal conditions. 

Next we installed the system’s wiring.

House battery bank wiring complete.

We installed the wiring to allow space for bars to run across the top of the batteries.  Initially I envisioned having some stainless steel bars fabricated to fit across the space, but custom fabrication = $$$.  In the end we decided to keep it simple.

We purchased two 3’ long sticks of ½” diameter stainless steel all thread rod. 3’ was more than enough length to span the distance across the top of the battery box and thru both adjacent 3/4" plywood walls.

Using the 1/2" all thread rod to locate the hole on bulkhead aft of the battery box.

We began by drilling a ½” diameter hole in the plywood wall forward of the battery bank.  Running the rod through the hole and across the top of the battery bank aided in locating the position for the hole on the wall aft of the battery bank.  After drilling all the holes and test fitting the rods, we removed the rods and  cut them the proper length.

We sheathed the rods in 5/8" id hose. 

When re-installing the rods, we sheathed them in 5/8” id hose to prevent chafe or the possibility of a loose wire shorting out to the steel rod.

The ends of the rods are secured with nuts on both ends.

Nuts and washers installed on the ends of the rods under the galley sink (center, right below black water pump).
Nuts and washers installed on forward face, below the center salon seat.

We are confident the batteries are secure.  The next and final step in our battery re-location project is to fabricate a lid for the new house bank installation.

Please check out our Battery Re-location Photo Album for additional images and notes on this project.


  1. Have you done a post describing your choice of the Full River batteries? Very interesting. I'll be looking for batteries for Tardis soon, and am very respectful of your equipment choices for Pilgrim, since you guys seem pretty sharp on solving the cost/quality equation.

    1. We are very happy with the performance of the Full River 6V batteries. We have also used generic wet cell 6V golf cart batteries and West Marine Gel Cell 6V batteries. We feel the Full River AGM are superior.

      We purchased the four batteries now aboard Pilgrim for use aboard our M34 in Fall 2012. They served as our house bank on the M34 for nine months. Wish I could tell you we did through research on the Full River Batteries, but it is not the case. A 50 something foot Little Harbor in the boat yard was in the process of replacing all their batteries aboard with Full River Batteries. We joined in the order to save on shipping cost.