Bad batteries or electrical shortage

by Gene
(Tuscaloosa, Alabama)

I have a 1999 ProCraft Fish/ski with a 125hp outboard Mercury that I have had for about a year. It has two deep cycle marine batteries and marine battery for starting (I must qualify this by saying I know very little about these systems as this is my first experience with this type boat. I had old ski boat for many years with no "bells and whistles!) Anyway, I know one of the deep cycle batteries need replaced, the other and starting battery are good according to guys at part store (they checked it a few weeks back). I have on board charging system (10amp Dual Pro Charger??) and I charged all batteries before going out. Today as I was going down the river, I noticed the RPM gauge going crazy and also the gas gauge. I stopped and shut it off. At first nothing when I tried to crank it and the tilt would not work. I checked connections on all batteries and they looked good (I had just taken the boat out two days earlier with no problems or any past issues with this). I tried the tilt for the motor and it worked and then the boat cranked. I headed back to the landing and the gauges continued to be erratic and tilt would not work again while moving. Luckily when I got back to landing the tilt worked so I could get it loaded on the trailer. Nothing when I got home but put it on charger for cranking battery and, for the moment, tilt is working and motor turned over fine. I am not the most mechanically inclined person in the world, but can do some basic stuff. Sorry for the long post and I realize it is very difficult to diagnose online, but any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I was wondering if this is a short/fuse issue or, because of the potential battery concerns I just need to replace those?? Thanks in advance for your help!!

ANSWER I would suggest you check not only the positive circuit connections but also the negative ones, often the negatives come together in one place and if any are loose then you get multiple circuit problems.

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