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Old 09-12-2014, 05:27 AM   #1
Scott
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Question 1986 Wellcraft 23 foot Nova XL

I purchased this boat in June 2014. Having starting problems. Will run both batteries down and will not start. May run for 30 seconds and then dies. I cannot find an old manual for the boat. I would like to know if the manual tells you how to properly start the boat. When it does start, the boat runs great. You can turn it off and on while on the lake with no trouble at all. But if the engine does not get turned on for over a week, I have this starting problem. A new starter was put in last year and one of the batteries is new. The engine is a Mercury 5.0. Any help or ideas would be useful. Thanks/Scott
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:08 AM   #3
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look for a manual for the motor and drive. there is not any manuals for the boats themselves. I would check the alternator and charging system. and as Chris said add a disconnect switch. There are many thing that can drain a battery in a week.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:30 AM   #4
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I purchased this boat in June 2014. From a dealer? How old is the boat?

Having starting problems. Will run both batteries down and will not start. So it cranks the engine until the batteries are dead? Or they are just dead after sitting?

May run for 30 seconds and then dies. This is a running problem not a starting problem.

You can turn it off and on while on the lake with no trouble at all. But if the engine does not get turned on for over a week, I have this starting problem.
This sounds like a charging system issue. Alternator or wiring are likely culprits. You could also look for an open system that is constantly drawing power (Bilge pump switch, stereo, loose connections etc) Install a battery switch and turn it off while not in use. (good idea anyways)
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Old 09-12-2014, 04:23 PM   #5
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this REALLY sounds like dead batteries, OR something is prematurely draining them.

But, the "runs for 30 seconds, then dies" probably not electrical. Ignition system, carburetor...just bad gas...

If you have bad or weak batteries, they will discharge QUICKLY with too many start attempts, then if the engines haven't run for long, the alternator wont charge them back up.

really easy take batteries out and have them load tested. any auto parts store, even walmart.

if bad, replace. also, do whatever maintenance is required on the motor to make it start better...then, make sure none of your systems are left on, as previously mentioned. If the batteries test good, got a short to find.

I have left my exhaust fans on once or twice.... not noticing til I put it in the garage. that will eat battery quick.
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Old 09-12-2014, 06:00 PM   #6
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But, the "runs for 30 seconds, then dies" probably not electrical. Ignition system, carburetor...just bad gas...
I'm thinking that if there's enough juice to get her started once but, the alternator is not supplying enough to keep it running. The battery is flat, having used everything to get it running so, there's nothing left for spark... It sounds like an alternator (remember one battery is new).

I'd still put a battery switch in while you're there.
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:39 PM   #7
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I'm thinking that if there's enough juice to get her started once but, the alternator is not supplying enough to keep it running. The battery is flat, having used everything to get it running so, there's nothing left for spark... It sounds like an alternator (remember one battery is new).

I'd still put a battery switch in while you're there.
right on, think I took it as his alternator is fine, because: "You can turn it off and on while on the lake with no trouble at all"

if thats the case, its battery or connection.

if it was mine, Id stick the multimeter on it, make sure the voltage is high enough while running.

then check it again sitting.

I just had a head scratcher on my wife's pathfinder...Its had a couple hiccups lately, like the key gets left on ever so slightly... then its dead 30 minutes later... that happened a few weeks ago twice, stranded us once. On the way to town, the ENTIRE electrical system dropped out for about 3 seconds. it was BIZARRE. also, I had an issue with the batter connection being loose. SO I thought, I'd fix it that evening. didn't make it.

the battery just ate it HARD. and fast... like it would show voltage, and charge fine, but as soon as you flip the key on, it drained immediately. It was weird.

it had no amperage left. PLUS, the positive terminal, was worn down, and wouldn't clamp tight, I had assumed it was the clamp.

Batteries are weird, and the more electronics you throw at them, the stranger it becomes.

another time, on a yamaha raptor 700 (EFI) a friend had a very heavily modified engine...we went for a night ride, and it just died. Battery so weak, not even the charging system, which tested fine, could keep it alive enough to run the electronics.

that seriously sucked. lol
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:08 PM   #8
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Well, she needs attention for sure. These things do not fix themselves however, a tech on site could probably narrow all this down pretty quickly.
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