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Boat Safety Scheme/batteries


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Hi all,

quick question ,

my broom 30;currently has 2x leisure batteries 1x engine.

these are mounted into the generic plastic boxes ,kinda wherever there was room.

it looks untidy .

I have room in front of the engine where I guess the original hot water tank was fitted.

over winter I’d like to fabricate a sturdy wooden box and lid to house the batteries probably increasing the number to 3 leisure, as I’m planning to also fit a second fridge..,

is a wooden box ok for the BSS as the examination is due in January.



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The BSS has a habit of surprising you. Some things which were acceptable years ago are no longer deemed safe, but if they were fitted that way they pass. If you then change something, the new rules apply. So what we tell you could be out of date!  There's a webpage somewhere with the latest guidelines which would be your best resource.

My three batteires are in a wooden box with a clamp down lid. Kill switches are just outside the box and there is a notice saying where the kill switches are. Logic says batteries should be able to withstand a bit of impact and should have secure wiring but worth checking for any mention of leakage protection.

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1 hour ago, mikeyboy1966 said:

s a wooden box ok for the BSS as the examination is due in January.

This all depends on the batteries. If they are lead/acid type which will release hydrogen vapour if they are overcharged, they must be in a sealed compartment, vented overside by a vent leading upwards as hydrogen is lighter than air.  The size of this vent pipe will be specified in the regulations.

The danger of explosion from lead/acid batteries is under-estimated by most boat owners.  Until it happens to you!

If they are of a modern sealed type which does not "gas off" when overcharged they do not need to be in a sealed box. 

The box must be of an acid resistant material, so not steel.  Ideally of GRP but plywood will suffice, especially if you "glass it in".

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I can testify that battery explosions do happen, I had one in my transit van, I had had the battery on charge, took it off charge, and went to start the engine  - Boom, bits of battery and acid sprayed out of the engine compartment covering a radius of about 20 foot. a new battery was required as well as hosing down the inside of the engine bay.

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