Battery Cables… I Don’t Like ‘Em.

No sir. I don’t like ’em.

Making battery cables is one of those tasks where the enjoyment of building a boat wears pretty thin after doing it once or twice. It’s just tedious and boring. Dealing with stiff 2/0 size cable is annoying. But it has to be done. Making a battery cable generally goes like

  • cut cable to length (with cable cutters DESIGNED for large cable. No, your typical wire cutter/pliers ain’t gonna work.)
  • on the ends, trim the plastic jacket back about an inch (with a utility knife, careful you don’t cut yourself)
  • slip the properly sized lug on the end and crimp (with a crimper DESIGNED for crimping large size lugs. No, squashing it with pilers/channel-locks/vise/whatever ain’t gonna work.)
  • seal the base of the lugs with a generous piece of heat shrink.
If I wasn’t obvious, this is a task where you need the right tools for the job, otherwise you are guaranteed failure. 
Our supplier recently had their annual sale for their regular accounts and we were able to get two 50 foot spools of 2/0 cable around 15% lower than our already low price. With price of copper going up, we took advantage. Anyway, the temporary ‘non-marine’ battery cables have been removed and the permanent ones installed. 

Cables for starter and electronics battery

Cables for both house banks exiting the conduit. Yet to find their way to the battery box.

2 comments for “Battery Cables… I Don’t Like ‘Em.

  1. April 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I've started cutting battery cable with the Fein multitool and a fiberglass blade, works well and can be done in tight spaces. I also cut the jacket with a gas "hot knife". My crimper is a Hobart 770122 Lug Crimper and a BFM.

  2. April 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Gerry. Thanks for the tip on using the Fein to cut the cables. I will have to try that. And, I had no idea lightning was that common down there. In the NW, it is rare to get even close to conditions that might produce lightning.

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