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Battery box on rails

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My boat is a dawncraft rover, which as some of you may know has large spaces under the aft deck either side of the engine room designed to be big enough to fit bunks, like the smaller dandy. In my boat the port side space is filled with a deisel tank, but the starboard side is just wasted space. the galley is to the rear of the cabin and at the back end is storage space.

Now, i'd ike to put the battery box in this wasted space, but as it is very difficult to access I'd like to put it on rails so it can be slid into the more accessible storage space when the batteries need to be accessed. I was thinking the rails could come from a car seat, ideally from a people carrier as these would be longer, thus the mechanism that locks car seats in place could be used to lock the battery box in place. It would need to contain sealed batteries only as these don't need a vent, so that just leaves the cables. I was thinking the cables could be coiled like a telephone lead so that the box could be drawn back and forth, otherwise there could be a straight connection that would need to be disconnected prior to moving the box. The accessible space could then house a set of fitted containers which could easily be lifted out when the batteries need to be accessed.


Does anyone have any thoughts/advice on whether this is feasible/could pass the BSS?



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The main issue as you have already realised is the flexibility of the inevitably large cross-section battery cables. Not sure coiling would work, not to mention the extra undesirable length it would add. Welding cable having a large number of finer strands gives a lot more flexibilty than other forms of battery cable though and may solve the problem.

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Suggest you read up on the BSS guidance notes - here are a couple of 'tasters'


Applicability - if batteries of a ‘sealed’ type are stored in a non-ventilated space verify that storage in unventilated spaces meets with the battery manufacturer’s recommendations by reference to presented documentation from the manufacturer. Applicability – ventilation pathways into accommodation spaces having fixed high-level ventilation or into canopied areas are acceptable. Applicability – battery covers must not allow the accumulation of hydrogen gas. Advice for owners – in the event that no ventilation provision is identified for unsealed or open-vented batteries this may be calculated using the following formula. Ventilation (mm2) = number of cells x capacity in Ah x 1.935. Supplementary guidance is given at Appendix G. Advice for owners – if any batteries are connected to an alternator, or alternative battery charging source, having a maximum charge rate in excess of 2kW (approx. 150 Amps at 13.8 volts) it is strongly recommended to install a fan-assisted ducted ventilation system. Fan-assisted ducted ventilation should be installed with the fan motor placed external to the duct and battery space. The fan should operate automatically during charging and the safe operation of the facility should be checked by a competent person on a routine basis


Restraint :

Are batteries secure against excessive movement in any direction?
Check by visual assessment the extent all batteries, battery boxes, cradles, frameworks etc, can move. Apply light manual force to all battery boxes, cradles, frameworks etc, to verify the extent of possible movement.
All battery boxes, cradles, frameworks etc, must be free of signs of movement or possible movement.
All batteries must be incapable of movement in excess of 10mm in any direction.
Applicability – restraint against vertical movement is generally required. However batteries may be secured by means of a cradle or framework sufficient to ensure batteries remain secure under any condition up to 45˚ to the horizontal. Recesses, cradles or frameworks extending to half the height of the battery meet this allowance.

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post-5311-0-62801900-1442682349_thumb.jpgpost-5311-0-62801900-1442682349_thumb.jpgpost-5311-0-34907400-1442682383_thumb.jpgI have done something similar on a number of cruiser stern steel boats. The batteries fit into a box which is mounted on two pieces of steel angle welded to the uxter plate and allow the box to be withdrawn for battery servicing. Hardwood runners fit round the steel angle and a pin is used to secure the box in place. The cables are welding type multi strand of adequate size and the system has passed inspection many times. Although you cant weld anything to a Dawncraft, it should be possible to use a similar arrangement perhaps using extending drawer runners of the right weight capacity. I can't see the sliding seat runners you mention being able to move the batteries very far.

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