Crab and Shrimp Pot Pullers / Haulers

Crab and shrimp pot pullers lead a hard life. Pullers and haulers are one boat part that is exposed to the elements, harsh weather, hard operation usage and general negligence for it’s entire service life. Whether it is a small pocket puller used in an oarlock or a gas or electric pot puller pulling hundreds of pounds, pot pullers must do the work without fail.

There are three main types of pot haulers; manual, electric and gas operated. The choice of this marine part is based on how often you intend to use the hauler (recreational or professional), the weight of the pot and the power source available on-board the vessel.

Manual Pot Pullers

Manual crab and shrimp pot pullers are great for smaller vessels with limited power and limited use with pot weights less than 100 pounds. The smallest pot puller is designed to be used in a dinghy or rowboats oar lock. The Pocket Puller fits right into the oarlock (which you could mount on the transom) and allows hand line hauling without being near the gunwale or transom.  The Handy Hauler is a davit with a block on the end of it. Rated at 300 pounds capability, the Handy Hauler may be used by hand or with a user supplied motor for the davit or on the gunwale.

Electric Pot Pullers

The most common pot puller arrangement is 12 volt electric powered. The options for pulling total pot weight range from 100 to 300 pounds. There are two main styles of pot pullers; The first where the puller motor is supported on a swivel at the end of the davit and the second is where the puller motor is mounted on the davit, over the gunwale and the line is run through a block. For those working in the Pacific Coast shrimp and crab industry, the davit end mounted puller motor is more familiar and common. The puller motor mounted to the davit is more typically seen on the Atlantic Coast in the lobster, crab and shrimp industry. The choice of styles depends more on what a fisherman finds comfortable using and the vessel they are using it on. The Ace +40 Line Hauleris a recreational hauler that can handle up to 100 lbs pot pull. For a davitless installation or for use with the Handy Hauler, the Quick Catch pot puller can be gunwale mounted recreational use. Quality Productsbuilds recreational to light commercial pot haulers of both puller motor styles and accommodating continuous pot pulls with the:

  • Sports Safe-T-Puller and Safe-T-Hauler pulling 100lbs with a 1.1 HP motor
  • Alaska Safe-T-Puller and Safe-T-Hauler pulling 200lbs with a 1.6 HP motor
  • Light Commercial Safe-T-Puller and Safe-T-Hauler pulling 300lbs with a 2.1 HP motor

Gas Pot Pullers

The Honda powered gas pot puller is an option for those boats that want to avoid electric motors. The biggest advantages are the incredible line speed of 180 feet per minute coupled with the heaviest lift capacity of 550 pounds. For the professional who needs speed and hauling capacity as well as the rugged reliability of the Honda engine, this puller meets the needs.

The Proper Care & Feeding of your Marine Fuel System

75500MAX Go2marineThe Proper Care & Feeding of your Marine Fuel System

One of the primary needs of your vessel’s internal combustion engine(s) is clean fuel. On many boats, an effective fuel filtration system is often overlooked when the boat is manufactured. With today’s fuel injected gasoline powered boats, fuel quality must be almost pristine to avoid problems with these engines. Contaminated fuel can cause the myriad of electronic sensors on these engines to give all mannerisms of improper signals to the engine’s computers and also give improper diagnostic codes to the mechanic attempting to troubleshoot them. Diesel-powered boats usually have a fuel filter on board, but even those can be upgraded to ensure that contaminant free fuel is getting to the engine.

Purchase Fuel Filters at Go2marine.com

The most common problems usually begin with the introduction of water into the fuel. Water is commonly found in fuel systems and can come from a variety of sources. Condensation, fuel handling and environmental conditions are the main causes of contamination. Humid marine environments will increase the presence of water. Water contaminated fuel can lead to very severe engine damage if it is not detected and treated.

Contaminated fuel contributes to damage caused by oxidation (rusted metal parts) and suspended particles of iron oxide, microbiological growth and sulfuric acid damage, normally seen in diesel fuel. Fuel provides lubrication to the fuel injection system. Water displaces the fuel’s lubricating qualities increasing the chances of premature wear and galling.

Most factory installed filters such as those found in carburetors, fuel pump canisters and engine mounted filters do not have the capability of removing water. For this reason, the addition of a quality fuel filter/water separation unit is absolutely necessary to prevent the causes of engine damage. On most small gasoline powered boats, this can easily be accomplished with the addition of an accessory spin-on style fuel filter/water separation unit. These inexpensive units are commonly available at most marine supply stores and boat dealership parts counters. Be sure to size the system for your engine’s horsepower and fuel flow needs. These filter assemblies are usually very easy to install near the fuel tank in your boat. Always include a couple of replacement filters to add to your boat’s spare parts locker. If you encounter a bad case of water contamination while underway, which is caused by the fuel sloshing around in the tank mixing with the water, you will have the ability to drive the boat home rather than row it if you carry extra filters. This is because the water in the fuel will not pass through the filter and will plug the filter media decreasing the flow of fuel. You will notice this as a marked reduction in engine rpm’s which usually gets worse. Remove the contaminated spin-on filter, put it in a bucket for proper disposal later, and install a fresh filter. When you get back to shore, check into the problem as soon as possible to avoid further damage. When installing a fuel filter/water separator on your boat, be sure to follow United States Coast Guard guidelines for materials used and mounting locations.

An important thing to always remember is DO NOT use automotive fuel system additives or fuel dryers. This is because most of these products contain alcohol which ATTRACTS water into the system, compounding your problems. Always use marine fuel additives.

Diesel fuel systems, though more complex, will benefit greatly with the addition of a properly selected fuel filter/water separation system. Any vessel making long distance or offshore passages will be best served using a duplex system. This system uses two or more filters with a manifold and valve that allows the engine to continue operating on one filter while the other filter is being serviced. Most of these units utilize a vacuum gauge to determine filter efficiency and forewarn you of impending blockage. Vessels not going offshore will be improved with the addition of a properly sized single fuel filter/water separator assembly, but a dual system, though more expensive, provides an excellent margin of safety and reliability.

Most diesel fuel filter/water separator assemblies are sold with 2 micron filters however, the secret to the most effective and efficient fuel filtration is STEP-DOWN filtration. RACOR Filters states in their catalog, “A 30 micron filter (or primary filter) is used to filter raw fuel (or poor quality fuel) before it can be further filtered by finer medias such as a 10 or 2 micron. A 10 micron filter (or secondary and even final) is used to filter fuel which is known to be of very good quality. A 2 micron filter (or final filter) is the finest filtration available and is the last filter used prior to engine ingestion.” In other words, the first filter in line from the fuel tank (primary) should have a larger micron rating than the filter (secondary) located further on down the line or on the engine. The secondary filters are commonly 10 micron rated. If you use a 2 micron primary filter, a larger micron rated secondary filter will be doing absolutely nothing while reducing the overall efficiency of your system. The primary filter should be either a 10 micron or 30 micron rated filter. Keep in mind that using the small micron rated filters will also require more frequent filter changes. Exceptionally high fuel-flow engines, such as Detroit Diesels, should use the largest micron rating as the smaller sizes will restrict fuel flow and will need to be changed more often than necessary. Remember, it is fuel flow, not fuel consumption that determines the correct size of the fuel filter/water separator unit you use. Many engines use a fuel bypass system that routes unused fuel back to the fuel tank after it passes through the filtering system. Additionally, many small diesels are equipped with equally small fuel lift pumps. Using a small micron rated filter increases the load on these small pumps which can lead to premature failure. A properly sized primary filter used in conjunction with the engine mounted secondary filter will provide all the filtration needed to guarantee good fuel quality.

Fuel filter/water separator assemblies are available in both spin-on and drop-in element styles. Gasoline spin-on replacement filters are available almost everywhere. For diesel applications, the drop-in replacement element is considerably less expensive and much easier to find than the spin-on styles if you cruise to remote areas. A good rule of thumb, especially if you have difficulty servicing engine mounted secondary filters, is to change the primary filter twice to every secondary filter change.

It is surprising, but you can routinely find rust, sand and other small particles in your fuel. Sometimes even larger items can be present. Oxidized organic semi-solid contaminants such as carbon, gums and varnishes are the most common causes of plugged fuel filter elements. Efficient fuel filtration devices must be capable of retaining solid particle contaminants while also providing sufficient capacities for the natural organic contaminants found in diesel fuel.

In areas known to have contaminated fuel problems, pre-filters are commonly used. While these aren’t really filters as we normally think of them, they are very effective at removing contaminants and extending filter life. These pre-filters are cleverly designed to trap contaminants and be drained as necessary at regular intervals. Commercial fishing and charter vessels have successfully used these for some time and now, many pleasure boaters are installing them.

Whether you have a gasoline or diesel-powered vessel, the proper care and feeding of your boat and its total fuel system will provide you with many happy and trouble-free hours of boating pleasure.

Get out and enjoy your boat. If you need any parts, please visit us at Go2marine.com, or call us toll free at 1-800-998-9508, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. P.S.T. Monday – Friday. Happy Boating!

Michael Weller

Engine, Propulsion and Steering Systems Specialist

Are your dock lines good enough?

Father Time and Mother Nature take their toll on dock lines. Are your dock lines good enough? Are they strong enough to withstand the elements? The dock line seen here is good enough, right? It just has a little wear on the outer braid that carries half the line load. The inner braid is up to the job of carrying the other half of the load. Right?

Maybe and maybe not.

If you are constantly on your boat and checking your lines regularly, then you can put off replacing them. On the other hand, your boat may only get visited occasionally over the winter and a line in this condition can degrade rapidly. Remember, the inner braid’s condition may be compromised by the environment and not up to the job of keeping your boat where you left it tied to the dock or mooring buoy.
A set of dock lines is inexpensive insurance for your peace of mind and safety of your boat. Get a new set of dock lines as an easy to keep New Year’s Resolution, rest easy till boating season and get in a winter visit down to the dock to change out the old lines.

It is a real good idea to replace all your dock lines at the same time just like your car headlights. You change them out in sets. Right?

Fire Extinguishers and your Boat

Fire extinguisherNothing causes as much concern for a boater than a fire aboard while underway. Here is what happens in a boat without an automatic engine room extinguisher. Most boat fires start in the confines of the engine room, killing engine and electrical power to the vessel. One or two 2BC extinguishers cannot put out the enclosed fire.  The fire then spreads quickly to the rest of the vessel through all the flammables that are readily available, such as the wood trim and foam cushions. Soon the very fiberglass the boat is built from is burning. Ultimately, leaving no alternative but to abandon the vessel. The vessel burns to the waterline.

The key to fighting a boat fire is done at the dock before you leave the marina.

Here are the USCG minimum requirements for fire extinguishers onboard pleasure craft

  • For boats under 26′ – At least one B-I type approved hand portable fire extinguisher.
  • For boats 26′ to 40′ – At least two B-I OR one B-II type approved hand portable fire extinguisher.
  • For boats 40′ to no more than 65′ – At least three B-I OR one B-I plus one B-II type approved hand portable fire extinguisher.

Keep in mind that these minimum requirements are exactly that; the absolute minimum. A B-I type extinguisher equals 2 pounds dry chemical. A B-II type extinguisher equals 10 pounds dry chemical. These portable fire extinguishers are also rated to the class of fire they will be able to put out.

  • Class A: Ordinary Combustibles Includes wood, paper, cushions, canvas, fiberglass, rubber, many plastics, and other materials that burn easily and account for many boat fires. These can be extinguished with water.
  • Class B: Flammable Liquids Includes gasoline, propane, diesel fuel, oils, grease, paints, tars, lacquers, and flammable gases.
  • Class C: Energized Electrical Equipment Includes wiring, fuel hoses, circuit breakers, machinery, and appliances.

You will likely be using an approved BC Class (although it may be ACB) extinguisher. Using a portable dry chemical extinguisher will allow you to fight a fire ONLY if it is in the first couple minutes of a burn and you can spray the extinguisher at the base of the fire; after that, you are using the extinguisher to fight the fire as you exit the vessel. A portable fire extinguisher should be kept handy between the galley and the exit and a second one near the engine room.

Now for the engine room. Because of it’s caustic, noxious agent, discharging a dry chemical extinguisher into a fire may cause damage or even destroy the items that you are trying to protect. There is a superior, modern extinguisher medium (agent) called FM-200. This unique product leaves no residue and is safe to discharged near any electrical or mechanical equipment. FM-200 is even safe enough for discharge in occupied spaces! FM-200 systems reach extinguishing levels in 10 seconds or less, stopping ordinary combustible, electrical, and flammable liquid fires before they cause significant damage.

For use in enclosed spaces like an engine room, there are two operation modes available for Sea-Fire FM200 systems; automatic and manual / automatic models. A Sea-Fire automatic extinguisher is activated by the attached temperature sensor valve. Discharge will occur when the sensor valve temperature rises to the system activation point as shown in the specification table and on the label attached to each unit. The manual / automatic offer the ability to lead a manual discharge cable to a position outside the enclosed compartment (often the helm station) so that the extinguisher may be operated remotely. If an automatic / manual extinguisher is not activated manually, it will work as a normal automatic model and discharge when the system activation point is reached.

Sea-Fire manufactures FM-200 FD Series manual and automatic fire extinguishers for areas as small as 175 cubic feet and up to 1500 cubic feet.  The Sea-Fire FG Series are made to fit small engine rooms an other closed areas, from 25 to 240 cubic feet. Sea-Fire also manufactures the FT Series which are supplied with long, flexible narrow tubing that can reach into hard to access areas; such as the backside of electrical panels for spaces from 25-150 cubic feet.

In summary, dry chemical fire extinguishers are fine for trying to put out a fire on the stove, heater or open area. Sea-Fire FM-200 extinguishers are useful in enclosed spaces, occupied spaces and hard to reach spaces.

Shore up your battery for winter storage

shore up your battery - trickle charger

Shore up your battery for winter storage.

Shore up your battery for winter storage. When prepping your boat for winter storage don’t neglect your marine battery. Battery care in the off season will increase the useful life of your battery and get you out on the water faster come next season. You will want to protect your battery from freezing, corrosion, and storage discharge.

Weather you remove your battery or store it onboard you need to keep it from freezing. A charged battery is less likely to freeze that a discharged one so connecting a maintenance or trickle charger helps prevent a frozen battery but in extreme cold weather a heated storage area is needed.

It is best to disconnect and swab down your battery even if you store it on your boat. A disconnected battery is safe from any slow power draws that may exist on your boat. A good wipe down with baking soda water followed by a good wipe dry cleans things up and neutralizes any acid build-up.

Along with disconnecting your battery, putting it on a maintenance charger prevents storage discharge. Also known as, float, slow, or trickle chargers, these units will keep your battery topped off without over charging your boat battery.

Follow these tips and as long as you have a good battery this fall you should be able to reconnect and turn your engine over for a roaring start to the next boating season.

An added benefit to maintenance chargers is their ability to prevent sulfation, the buildup of sulfate crystals on the negative plates of lead acid batteries, that will shorten the useful life of the battery. Lead acid batteries benefit from regular full capacity charges that reduce and slow the inevitable sulfation and the resulting loss in performance.

Replacement and Installation of Marine Engine Mounts

Marine Engine Mounts have come a long way from the days when an engine was welded or bolted directly to the engine bed or stringer. When this was a common practice, the engines were huge, heavy, low rpm engines. These engines were so heavy and slow turning they absorbed whatever vibration that might have been generated. Today’s modern gasoline and diesel engines are much lighter in weight and operate at considerably higher rpm’s than older generation engines. This change is largely due to the never-ending race for more horsepower.

In order to develop more horsepower and efficiency, and also meet the new, more stringent EPA requirements, lighter weight, high rpm engines are becoming the industry standard. The lighter mass of these engines does not allow them to absorb the harmonic vibrations that are found in all engines at various operating speeds, so vibration isolating engine mounts are needed. Also, as the engine weights decrease and power (thrust) increases, the functions an engine mount must perform become much more complex.

How Engine Mounts Work

An engine vibrates in three different fields of motion; fore and aft (longitudinal), side to side (lateral) and up and down (vertical). All of these motions are controlled by the engine mount but not always to the same degree for each motion. Most engine mounts are designed to severely restrict longitudinal, fore and aft thrust and vibration yet allow some lateral and vertical motion to dissipate vibrations. A plain rubber doughnut mount will absorb vibration but in a marine engine, you also have the forward and reverse thrust (shear) generated by the propeller that must be controlled by the engine mount.

There are a wide variety of mount styles to choose from. Smaller diesels with one, two and three cylinders are more apt to use rubber doughnut style compression mounts which allow the engine to move the same in all directions. These mounts are built fairly stiff to control engine vibration and absorb propeller thrust. Generally, compression mounts are shorter and can fit in many applications. Find the correct engine mount with the engine mount cross-reference guide.

On larger, more powerful engines, propeller thrust is much greater so a shear type mount is used to control the thrust but it allows for greater lateral and vertical movement to isolate engine vibrations. This means the mount can be softer for better vibration isolation but is preloaded for superior control of longitudinal motion which also helps maintain better shaft and engine alignment.

If too stiff a mount is selected, the vibration control is minimized which means that engine vibration will be transmitted directly into the boat hull which will act much like a big loudspeaker with unpleasant results for the boat’s occupants. Proper sizing is very important to prevent this from happening.

One of the most common installation errors occurs when the engine mounts are installed on the engine bed improperly. It is imperative that the mounts are perpendicular to the engine’s crankshaft; so that when the mount stud goes through the engine bracket it is not pulled to the side, or fore and aft, preloading the mount. Also, the bottom adjusting nut on any mount should not be more than 3/8 of an inch off the base of the stud. Raising the engine too high greatly increases the engine mounts dynamic load and the mount will not function as designed. It is best to put a shim under the mount rather than raise the nut too high.

Mounts do age, fatigue and even fail, so periodic replacement is a good preventative maintenance measure. Some engine manufacturers recommend mount replacement every five to seven years. If you are replacing a broken mount, it is best to replace all the mounts due to fatigue caused when the intact mounts take on the additional load from the broken mount. If you choose not to do this be sure to replace the mount with the exact same mount. Using a different style or weight mount could induce failure of the old mounts. Too stiff a mount will break when used with softer mounts because it will not move as much as the softer and older mounts.

Mounts with cast aluminum bases are preferable because they offer better corrosion resistance. Steel components of the mount are usually zinc plated and passivated to resist corrosion. Some mounts offer a metal shield over the rubber damper to protect it from petroleum contaminants. Also, some mounts are mechanically captive which means the stud will not pull out of the mount in roll over or severe impact situations. If your vessel strikes a submerged object that damages the propeller or shaft, be sure to closely inspect your mounts for damage or breakage. This is sometimes difficult to determine so use a bright light and a mirror to check all the way around the mount for cracks, broken studs or a displaced rubber damper in the mount. It is not uncommon to find broken mounts on recently surveyed vessels so it pays to periodically check your mounts and replace them if they are fatigued or damaged.

You can enhance the life of your mounts by keeping them clean and free of corrosion and oil coatings. To ensure that you get the marine engine mounts best suited to your application, always follow the engine mount manufacturer’s guidelines.

Refresh your bottom paint

October is the perfect time to consider refreshing the old Bottom Paint  The weather in most places is just about perfect for an outdoor application of paint, the yards are coming off their rush-rush, do-it-now season and now have more patience to do it correctly. There is generally less demand to have the boat out on the water. Also, you will probably get a discount at the haul-out yard because you are doing the work off-peak season.

 

 

If now is the time, here are a few important things you can do to make your work pay-off is to follow these simple steps:

  • Purchase the desired bottom paint in advance of your haul-out and then take the time to read the can and its application instructions. Go2marine offers many top brands and types of bottom paint to meet the needs of many. Make sure to match the paint to the boat and the intended use of the boat. Special consideration should be given if paint type is being changed from the previous brand and type.
    • Contact the manufacturer if you have any questions. The process of painting the bottom of a boat is time consuming and expensive so make the most of it by being as prepared as possible. Manufacturers are standing by ready to help.
    • Arrange for the haul out and tell them that you are planning on doing a bottom paint job. Ask if they have any special considerations for the bottom or the boat (take down the furler, tenting, electrical needs, extra blue tarp, allowed sanders, haz-mat considerations, etc). Try to plan on dry, weather, if possible
    • Be there in advance of your scheduled time and haul out the boat. The yard will instruct you all the way into the sling at which time you can assist by providing knowledge of where best to position the slings. Stay with (not aboard) your boat all the way until it is secured in the stands. If something happens or if they have questions, you will be there.
    • Clean the bottom paint that is there when the boat comes out of the water. Many yards include a “free” power wash as the boat is lifted out but before it is put on the jack stands. Either tell the yard you would like the deluxe, pre-paint job power wash and are willing to pay for it or slip the person doing the job a $20 or two to give it extra attention. This will save hours later and it is generally more environmentally friendly than sanding as for the most part yards capture and pre-process the run off waste water.
    • You will know it is an ideal time to reapply bottom paint if, following the pressure washing the remaining bottom paint appears to be consistently thin, possibly even mottled with the undercoat barely peeking through.
    • Inspect the hull for loose or degraded bottom paint that remains and remove it properly. If there is a lot or it is coming off in big flakes, consider stripping the entire bottom. This may also be required if the type of bottom paint is changing and there is concern (see above about checking with the paint manufacturer) that adhesion may be a concern.
    • Do a once over for damage to the hull that may have occurred since the last haul out. Now is a good time to pay attention to everything that lurks below the water line, including inspecting and possibly rebedding thru hulls transducers and instruments.
    • Tape a rain and or dew gutter above the bottom line so that in the event of precipitation, it doesn’t roll down onto the intended work area.
    • If all of the previous bottom paint is missing, consider applying a new barrier coat before the bottom paint is applied. If so, consideration should be given to using a barrier coat to two part epoxy that is of contrasting color to the new bottom paint so that future wear-though is apparent.
    • Sand and scuff the now clean bottom paint, taking special precaution for yourself and the environment. Most bottom paint still on boats is toxic by design.
    • Wash it so that the new paint is adhering to a clean bottom, not a dusty one where adhesion will certainly fail.
    • Consider a base coatthat is different to the final coat color so that you have an excellent progress indicator for future wear.
    • Take time to mix the paint thoroughly. If the new paint contains copper, it takes time to mix it into the paint evenly.
    • Using painters tape, tape the waterline well so that when you strip the tape the new line is crisp and even. Also consider protecting underwater thru-hulls and transducers with tape so that they are not accidentally coated with fresh paint.
    • Apply several thin coats rolling consistently from top to bottom, keeping a single wet edge. This work is benefited by a second painter tipping and touching up as the line of wet paint moves down the hull. We have seen warranty claims against paint manufacturers go nowhere good because the paint was applied too thickly with too few coats.
    • When going for those little 12 inch squares under the jack stands, don’t move them without involving the yard. This should be a no-brainer but many a boat has tipped during painting because shortcuts were taken here.
    • If using copper based-based paint, take care to avoid coating any underwater aluminum parts as it is incompatible and may cause permanent damage.
    • Let the new paint dry a couple of days, especially if the weather is cool and damp.
    • Don’t forget the prop. A prematurely fouled prop is a bad thing. We recommend a good coating or two of Pettit Barnacle Barrier. If properly applied, it will last about a year.
    • Peel the tape and Install new anodes. We have those too and while you are at it, buy a couple of spares because they have a way of disappearing over time.
    • Record the date, and conditions and type of paint used. Consider referencing the paint batch numbers as well.
    • Take plenty of photos below the water line, especially of the locations of specific hardware. A side profile is great to have that you can provide to the yard the next time the boat is hauled. Print the photos out and place them aboard in the maintenance log for future reference.
    • Splash it and enjoy.

Though dealing with yards is a topic unto itself, it is always advisable that any time the boat moves from the water to jack stands and back that the owner be there to witness it from start to finish. If something goes wrong and it occasionally does, it is best that it be witnessed and discussed immediately between the yard manager and the boat owner.

 

How to Select a Balmar Charging System

alternator

 There are numerous reasons to upgrade your charging system. Here are some common complaints:

  • I can’t keep my battery charged!
  • My current alternator does not keep up with my electrical requirements/load.
  • I don’t want to run my engine just to charge the batteries.
  • I don’t want to run my generator to charge the batteries when my engine is already running.
  • I’ve added several batteries to my house bank, but I don’t think they are being charged effectively.
  • I operate predominantly at idle speed, but my battery bank doesn’t charge at idle.
  • I keep burning out alternators and/or batteries.
  • I have two engines, but my alternators don’t work together to charge the battery bank effectively.
  • My alternator charges my house bank, but I want to charge the engine start battery too without remembering to flip a battery switch.

Balmar Charging Systems can solve all these problems and more…

Selecting a charging system upgrade for your vessel can be a confusing task, as there are many inter-related variables to consider. The following guide steps you through a logical progression of questions and choices which must be made to select the best charging system for your needs. The selection process includes the following steps:

Step 1: Determine Your Vessel’s Electrical Load
Step 2: Identify Your Existing Battery Bank Technology and Capacity
Step 3: Select Your Optimum Alternator Output

Step 4: Identify the Alternator Mounting Style Present on Your Engine
Step 5: Determine your Belt and Pulley Requirements
Step 6: Select Additional Charging System Options

These 6 important steps are fully described below – Read on!

DC Load ChartStep 1: Determine Your Vessel’s Electrical Load
Skip this step if you are confident in your house bank’s ability to service your existing vessel loads
.

Accurate load calculations require precise measurement of your vessel’s equipment. Refer to equipment manuals for actual load ratings or consult with a qualified marine electrician to determine your actual needs. The chart at the right provides typical DC marine loads and an example of load calculations. Use this example to configure and calculate your vessel’s electrical load. Click here to upload Balmar’s interactive Load Calculator and save it for your personal use.  You can manipulate the Load Calculator in either Microsoft Excel or Google Docs.

(Device Load x Duty Cycle) x (# of Devices) = Total Load

House battery capacity is typically derived based on the ability to meet approximately 24 hours’ worth of typical demand, but could be longer if you don’t expect to be connected to shore power for extended periods. For example, if your vessel’s typical daily electrical load is 300 Ah, then your battery bank should be sized to provide 300Ah of power storage. Since your batteries will be damaged if you discharge them beyond a 50% State of Charge (SoC%), then 600Ah of rated storage is required.

Add batteries to your bank if you need them!

Step 2: Identify Your Existing Battery Bank Technology and Capacity

Battery bank capacity has a dramatic impact on the size and type of alternator required to keep the batteries healthy. Identify your battery bank technology and capacity, then calculate an acceptance requirement.

(A) Standard and Deep Cycle Flooded Batteries can accept a charge load up to 25% of their capacity.
(B) Gel Cell Batteries can accept a charge load up to 35% of their capacity.
(C) AGM Batteries can accept a charge load up to 40% of their capacity.
(D) Lithium Batteries can accept an almost unlimited charge load.

Contact your battery manufacturer to confirm their recommended charge loads and profile.

(Battery Storage Capacity) x (Battery Charge Acceptance Rate) = Maximum Alternator Output Current

For example, a bank of 3 AGM batteries, each with an individual capacity of 100Ah provide a total capacity of 300Ah. With an AGM acceptance rate of up to 40%, a 120A charging alternator could be utilized (300 Ah * 40% = 120 Ah). If you have a really large bank or a battery technology that calls for an alternator output that exceeds available alternator technology, then it will just take longer to charge your bank. Simply choose the highest alternator power which meets your budget and pulley constraints.

Mounting StylesStep 3: Select Your Alternator Output

Now that you know the battery bank technology and charging profile, you can choose an alternator output which will optimally charge your bank. The chart at the bottom of this page shows Balmar’s most popular range of small-case, high-power alternator choices for your vessel, along with an appropriate multi-stage regulator and related temperature sensing cables. (Balmar provides a discount when you buy the package).

For 70A – 120A requirements, choose a 6-Series Alternator Package.
For 165A – 200A requirements, choose an AT-Series Alternator Package.

Step 4: Identify the Alternator Mounting Style Present on Your Engine

It is critically important to determine how your existing alternator is mounted to match with the alternator you have chosen. Marine alternator mountings generally fall into one of four possibilities:

(A) 1″ Single Foot “Spindle” (Motorola-style – Westerbeke, Lehman, Hino, Pathfinder)
(B) 2″ Single Foot “Spindle” (Delco-style – Volvo, Deere, Perkins, Mercruiser, GM-based)
(C) 3.15″ Dual Foot “Saddle” (Hitachi-style – Yanmar, Westerbeke, Lehman, Perkins)
(D) 4″ Dual Foot “Saddle” (J180-style – John Deere, Cummins, Caterpillar)

Examples of these mounting styles are shown on the right. Review your existing alternator mounting to determine the appropriate mounting for your upgrade. Each Balmar alternator mounting style is identified by a unique part number.

Step 5: Determine Your Belt and Pulley Requirements

Engine drive belt style and width is also a critical factor when selecting a Balmar replacement charging system. Higher output alternators require more drive power to be taken off the engine. All belts have specific limitations regarding the amount of power take-off (“PTO”) loads they can support. Failure to specify an adequate belt/pulley system could result in premature belt wear, belt slippage and potential damage to the alternator and engine. Balmar alternators are shipped with pulleys which are appropriate for the alternator’s output.

6-Series Alternators from 70A-100A can ship with either a Standard 1/2″ Single Deep Vee, Dual Deep Vee or K6 Serpentine Pulley.*
6-Series Alternators from 120A-150A can ship with either a Standard 1/2″ Dual Deep Vee or K6 Serpentine Pulley.*
AT-Series Alternators can ship with either a Standard 1/2″ Dual Deep Vee or K6 Serpentine Pulley.*
Pulley Kit* Note: Balmar’s 1/2″ Deep Vee Pulleys (Single or Dual) can accept a 3/8″ and 7/16″ belt.

Identify the pulley style and size present on your engine and water pump before upgrading the charging system. If the alternator output you have chosen exceeds the capability of your existing belt/pulley system, you can upgrade the pulley system using one of Balmar’s patented Altmount Pulley Conversion Kits. Click here to find the applicable AltMount Conversion Kit for your engine and alternator choice. Here are some additional rules-of-thumb to guide your choices:

  • Balmar 6-Series Alternators from 70A-100A can perform with a 1/2″ Single Vee pulley. If you need to charge above 100A, then you will need a Dual Vee or K6 Serpentine pulley system to be present on your engine to avoid a pulley upgrade. If a Dual Vee or Serpentine is not present, then an AltMount Conversion Kit is required.
  • Many boaters choose to limit their charging system upgrade to a 100A 6-Series Alternator Package to avoid the additional purchase of a pulley conversion.
  • Unless you own a recently produced engine which already contains a Dual Vee or Serpentine pulley system, the superior power afforded by the AT-Series Alternator Package will in most cases require an AltMount Conversion Kit upgrade.
  • Choose wisely! Need more help? – call Go2marine Technical Support to review your existing configuration and needs.

With the completion of these 5 steps, you have reviewed all the critical variables required to choose the correct charging system upgrade for your vessel. The chart below identifies common small case configurations of 6-Series and AT-Series charging systems. Use our interactive Charging System Configurator to determine your exact needs.

Small Case Alternator Kit Selection Chart – Common Configurations

Balmar Product Family Output Power Take Off Mounting Alternator Part Number Balmar External Regulator Temp Sensors Alternator Kit Number AltMount
Pulley Kit
Required?
6-Series(2) 70 A 2.8 HP 1-2″ Single Foot (Spindle) 621-70-SV ARS-5-H(1) MC-TS-A & MC-TS-B 621-VUP-70-SV No
621-70-DV 621-VUP-70-DV
621-70-K6 621-VUP-70-K6
3.15″ Dual Foot (Saddle) 60-70-SV 60-YP-70-SV
60-70-DV 60-YP-70-DV
60-70-K6 60-YP-70-K6
100 A 4.0 HP 1-2″ Single Foot (Spindle) 621-100-SV 621-VUP-100-SV
621-100-DV 621-VUP-100-DV
621-100-K6 621-VUP-100-K6
3.15″ Dual Foot (Saddle) 60-100-SV 60-YP-100-SV
60-100-DV 60-YP-100-DV
60-100-K6 60-YP-100-K6
120 A 4.8 HP 1-2″ Single Foot (Spindle) 621-120-DV 621-VUP-120-DV Yes

If a Dual Vee or
Serpentine Pulley
is Not Already
Present

See the
AltMount
Conversions
Page

621-120-K6 621-VUP-120-K6
621-120-J10 621-VUP-120-J10
3.15″ Dual Foot (Saddle) 60-120-DV 60-YP-120-DV
60-120-K6 60-YP-120-K6
60-120-J10 60-YP-120-J10
70A, 24V 5.6 HP 1-2″ Single Foot (Spindle) 621-24-70-DV MC-624-H 621-VUP-24-70-DV
621-24-70-K6 621-VUP-24-70-K6
621-24-70-J10 621-VUP-24-70-J10
3.15″ Dual Foot (Saddle) 60-24-70-DV 60-YP-24-70-DV
60-24-70-K6 60-YP-24-70-K6
60-24-70-J10 60-YP-24-70-J10
AT-Series 165 A 5.2 HP 1-2″ Single Foot (Spindle) AT-SF-165-DV MC-614-H AT-SF-165-DV-KIT
AT-SF-165-K6 AT-SF-165-K6-KIT
AT-SF-165-J10 AT-SF-165-J10-KIT
3.15″ Dual Foot (Saddle) AT-DF-165-DV AT-DF-165-DV-KIT
AT-DF-165-K6 AT-DF-165-K6-KIT
AT-DF-165-J10 AT-DF-165-J10-KIT
200 A 6.0 HP 1-2″ Single Foot (Spindle) AT-SF-200-DV AT-SF-200-DV-KIT
AT-SF-200-K6 AT-SF-200-K6-KIT
AT-SF-200-J10 AT-SF-200-J10-KIT
3.15″ Dual Foot (Saddle) AT-DF-200-DV AT-DF-200-DV-KIT
AT-DF-200-K6 AT-DF-200-K6-KIT
AT-DF-200-J10 AT-DF-200-J10-KIT

UBB (Rotate)(1) An MC-614 Regulator can be substituted for the ARS-5 when support for a second alternator or twin engines is required. Smartgauge
(2) 6-Series Alternators are “Smart-Ready” and can be installed with or without a Balmar Multi-Stage Regulator.

Step 6: Select Additional Charging System Options

Now that you have selected an appropriate Balmar Alternator Kit, complete your purchase by adding a SmartgaugeTM Battery Monitor and a Belt Buddy Tensioning Kit!

Putting out Fires with FM-200 – Safe, No Residue, Non-toxic & Eco-Friendly

Sea-Fire Marine manufactures a unique fire suppression system that utilizes FM-200,  the most accepted and safest extinguishing agent on the market.

FM-200 Offers:

  • Safe for use in occupied spaces
  • Will not cause thermal shock damage
  • Residual free
  • Electrically non-conductive

Sea-Fire extinguishers are available in sizes to accommodate any vessel, engine room, pilot house or cabin. The fire extinguisher is available in either automatic, or manual automatic. The corrosion resistant container is covered with a 3 year warranty and is USCG, Transport Canada,  South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) approved. Sea-Fire builds extinguisher systems for marine, galley, server room and race car applications.

FM-200 is the most accepted and safest extinguishing agent on the market. FM-200 is safe for use in occupied spaces and engine compartments, it is the same compound used in pharmaceutical asthma inhalers. FM-200 is electrically non-conductive, residual free and will not cause thermal shock damage. It is also environmentally safe; it is accepted under the U.S. EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy and is an accepted replacement for products banned under the Montreal Protocol. FM-200 has zero ozone depletion potential and is recoverable and recyclable at the end of its useful service life.

Because of the unique nature of the extinguishing agent, FM-200 is only factory refillable.

Dual Station Engine Controls

controls

sepOutboard DS UNIT:

The DS unit is designed for those boaters that like using one lever to do both throttle and shift in their dual station boat. The Station Selector allows smooth

operation of dual function controls in a dual station application.

APPLICATION :

The dual function DS unit is great for dual station boats without a lot of room on the dash or if you wanted to use side mounted controls in two stations.

Just put both levers in neutral, turn the selector switch and you have changed stations.

SeaStar Solutions recommends that you only use the 33C cable part number CCX633XX with the DS unit.

FEATURES:

Allows dual function mechanical controls to be used in a dual station boat.

Side mount controls can now be used in dual station boats.

You only require one station selector for both a single engine or dual station boats.

Using the recommended control cables allow smooth control operation.

 

207573 Dual Station Gear Unit 207573 Dual Station gear unit 20757

Single Engine Outboard

Quantity  Part Number Description  Notes
 1  207573 DS Gear Unit  Two Cables in one Cable to Shifter
 1 204993  Station Selector Unit  One Cable from Unit to Gear DS Unit
 1 207572   DS Throttle Unit   Two Cables in one Cable to Throttle
 1 CCX633XX   Cable to go from selector to gear ds unit   xx = cable length in feet
 1 ccx 633xx cable from station 1 to gear ds unit xx = cable lengthgth in feet
 1 ccx 633xx cable from station 2 to gear ds unit xx = cable lengthgth in feet
 1 ccx 633xx cable from gear unit to transmission xx = cable lengthgth in feet
 1 ccx 633xx cable from station 1 to throttle ds unit xx = cable lengthgth in feet
 1 ccx 633xx cable from station 2 to throttle ds unit xx = cable lengthgth in feet
 1 ccx 633xx cable from throttle unit to engine xx = cable lengthgth in feet
1 engine adapter kit for the control cables unless provided by the engine manufacturer
1 dual action control per station = 2 total controls that must use 3300/33c style XTREME control cables ccx633xx

Dual engine outboards

quantity  part number description
2  207573  DS Gear Unit
1 204993   station selector unit
2  207572  DS throttle unit
2 ccx 633xx cable to go from selector to gear ds units
1 ccx 633xx cable from port station 1 to gear ds unit
1 ccx 633xx cable from starboard station 1 to gear ds unit
1 ccx 633xx cable from port station 2 to gear ds unit
1 ccx 633xx cable from starboard station 2 to gear ds unit
2 ccx 633xx cable from gear ds units to transmissions
1 ccx 633xx cable from port station 1 to throttle ds unit
1 ccx 633xx cable from starboard station 1 to throttle ds unit
1 ccx 633xx cable from port station 2 to throttle ds unit
1 ccx 633xx cable from starboard station 2 to throttle ds unit
2 ccx 633xx cable from throttle ds unitS to engines
2 engine adapter kit for the control cables unless provided by the engine manufacturer
1 dual action twin lever control per station = 2 total controls that must use 3300/33c style control cables ccx633xx
1 2