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Old 08-21-2014, 06:43 PM   #1
sailah OP
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Deep cycle marine batteries

Ok shiny crew, I diagnosed a faulty windlass solenoid on my boat back to a crap battery. This is the smaller of the two banks on the boat and consists of (1) group 31 battery. Currently has a west marine AGM that was new in 2009 so has lasted 5 years with intermittent use.

My boat stays on a mooring and gets run 2-3 times a week so batteries are always topped off. They very infrequently get used for anything heavy, worst would be a 3 minutes anchor raising with engine on.

I've heard good things about diehard marine platinum from Sears. Their group 31 runs $220 with a 3 year replacement warranty.

On the other cheap end of the spectrum are group 31 lead acid batteries from napa and sears for around $100 with half the warranty.

I will be pulling all the batteries out this fall and storing them inside on tenders.

I forgot to mention the boat has 2 banks, I use the main bank almost all the time. The bank we are discussing has the windlass wired directly to it so really it's main task is running the windlass, maybe an occasional start or run the house lights at anchor etc.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailah View Post
Ok shiny crew, I diagnosed a faulty windlass solenoid on my boat back to a crap battery. This is the smaller of the two banks on the boat and consists of (1) group 31 battery. Currently has a west marine AGM that was new in 2009 so has lasted 5 years with intermittent use.

My boat stays on a mooring and gets run 2-3 times a week so batteries are always topped off. They very infrequently get used for anything heavy, worst would be a 3 minutes anchor raising with engine on.

I've heard good things about diehard marine platinum from Sears. Their group 31 runs $220 with a 3 year replacement warranty.

On the other cheap end of the spectrum are group 31 lead acid batteries from napa and sears for around $100 with half the warranty.

I will be pulling all the batteries out this fall and storing them inside on tenders.

I forgot to mention the boat has 2 banks, I use the main bank almost all the time. The bank we are discussing has the windlass wired directly to it so really it's main task is running the windlass, maybe an occasional start or run the house lights at anchor etc.

Thoughts?
Swapped out last boat's batteries for AGM's after a bank died during 3rd season. New boat was ordered with AGM's at a $1500 premium.

So, you know, I like AGM's.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:51 PM   #3
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Yeah I'm leaning towards the AGM. The other bank consists of (2) group 31 wired in parallel and I feel like they are on the way out too.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:17 PM   #4
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Keep them topped up!

If your out on a hook, you might consider a solar charger / maintainer. Generally nothing kills battery banks quicker than leaving them in a discharged state for weeks / months / years. It is assumed that both the engine start bank and house / windlass bank get charged when the engine(s) is operating.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sailah View Post
I've heard good things about diehard marine platinum from Sears. Their group 31 runs $220 with a 3 year replacement warranty
I subscribe to the "Small boat, large ocean" theory.

I looked into the Sears Diehard Platinum. The specs were identical to the highly regarded Odyssey AGM.

Couldn't find anything better....
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concow Mower View Post
If your out on a hook, you might consider a solar charger / maintainer. Generally nothing kills battery banks quicker than leaving them in a discharged state for weeks / months / years. It is assumed that both the engine start bank and house / windlass bank get charged when the engine(s) is operating.
Cheers
Dave
I typically motor off the mooring and run at 1800 for 15 minutes and do the same on the return. Usage is a GPS, instruments maybe some tunes. When the boat goes on the mooring it's tippy top and I switch both banks off. I have zero water on the boat and bilge pumps never run. I have a Balmar high capacity alternator and regulator so I know I'm putting good amps to them. I have zero drains on the batteries when I'm off the boat and I'm running the boat 2-3 times a week.

That said this boat is new to me so I don't know how well the previous owner cared for them. I do know it was left on the hard for two years and I suspect the batteries were never removed or cared for in any way. They probably had some extended discharges during that time.

I'm a much better care taker and plan to be very careful with my batteries. I've thought about a small solar but I hate the look of them and I don't think I'm missing amps from my equation. I just want longevity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by garandman View Post
I subscribe to the "Small boat, large ocean" theory.

I looked into the Sears Diehard Platinum. The specs were identical to the highly regarded Odyssey AGM.

Couldn't find anything better....
From my brief research odyssey makes them for sears so it would make sense the specs are similar. Lot cheaper though. So when we having a boston adv sailing Gam?
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:52 PM   #7
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I like the support that AGM gives, vs. a flooded cell battery, especially on something with no suspension(your boat pounding through rough waves).

What about Optima batteries? I'm pretty sure they have a group 31 size case.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:33 PM   #8
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My boat is full displacement sailboat, no pounding. It's about as gentle as you can get. Although it does heel over quite a bit when pressed which is one reason for the sealed battery type I guess.

I've always thought Optima to be good batteries but apparently they were sold and everyone is complaining they are no good anymore? Just what I read. That same research led me to the Sears which I would have never considered had I not read all the good reviews. The blue top is ragged on especially in a bunch of forums and not cheap at 275.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:28 PM   #9
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I like Panasonic VRLAs (I use them in UPSs), but I don't know if they come in a Group 31 size.

Edit: I did some poking around and found a model number, but it may not be available in the U.S. Look for an LC-XA12100

http://www.panasonicbattery.cn/produ...100-E-0810.pdf
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Old Yesterday, 01:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I like the support that AGM gives, vs. a flooded cell battery, especially on something with no suspension(your boat pounding through rough waves).

What about Optima batteries? I'm pretty sure they have a group 31 size case.
Otima AGM's are light: I have them in my WRX and Outback because they weigh 35 lbs vs 45 lbs for OEM and 50 for Odyssey. But they had quality problems a few years back stemming from Mexican production and their reputation took a hit. Had them 2-3 years so far with no problems including cold starts down to -20 F. So far, so good.

Their Blue Top marine batteries are "dual-purpose" starting and deep cycle batteries mostly used in powerboats. Most powerboats have the bilge pump wired directly so a lot of rain can run them down. Some isolate a starting battery, some don't.

They don't seem to make the kind of the truly deep cycle house batteries used in cruising sailboats.
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Old Yesterday, 01:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailah View Post
I'm a much better care taker and plan to be very careful with my batteries. I've thought about a small solar but I hate the look of them and I don't think I'm missing amps from my equation. I just want longevity.
A small solar panel (I think 15 watts or less] is easy to mount temporarily and stow and doesn't usually need any control circuitry. A couple of suction cups or some velcro and you can counteract any parasitic loads.

Quote:
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From my brief research odyssey makes them for sears so it would make sense the specs are similar. Lot cheaper though. So when we having a boston adv sailing Gam?
When we bought one for my wife's minivan they were about the same, well over $200 for an automotive battery versus less than $100 at Costco. I would have purchased an Odyssey anyway but the closest dealer wasn't close.

"Buy once, cry once." I even have a $250 LiFeP04 EarthX battery in the Tiger as they are supposed to last much longer.

Our boat is a Melges 24 "Interceptor" and it is moored in Dorchester Bay. We bop around the harbor on weekends.
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Old Yesterday, 02:00 AM   #12
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Iam in the process of swapping out my house batteries on my live aboard yacht, 4 x 120 ahrs agm 36kg each ($1500) for 12 x 100 ahrs (300 ahrs) ($3000) all up 40kgs. This will give me more usable capacity, quicker recharging hopefully a lot long life cycle.
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Old Yesterday, 05:39 AM   #13
sailah OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troidus View Post
I like Panasonic VRLAs (I use them in UPSs), but I don't know if they come in a Group 31 size.

Edit: I did some poking around and found a model number, but it may not be available in the U.S. Look for an LC-XA12100

http://www.panasonicbattery.cn/produ...100-E-0810.pdf
I'm not sure that's the best option for me. The posts are different than the marine connections I have cabled. Plus I want to keep this normal, don't need to save weight, warranty issues etc. Just want the longest lasting, best bang for the buck locally available battery.


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Originally Posted by garandman View Post
Their Blue Top marine batteries are "dual-purpose" starting and deep cycle batteries mostly used in powerboats. Most powerboats have the bilge pump wired directly so a lot of rain can run them down. Some isolate a starting battery, some don't.

They don't seem to make the kind of the truly deep cycle house batteries used in cruising sailboats.
That's a good point regarding dual purpose batteries. Most of the big cruising boats i have been on use a dedicated isolated deep cycle house bank. It used to be golf cart 6V batteries were the way to go for this not sure if they still are.

Honestly for my type of coastal cruising these days having a bank #2 that is a hybrid start/deep cycle is ideal as I am very careful to not drain down the batteries. I don't use my fridge at all and my electronics usage is minimal. I think the biggest drain is my hydraulic autopilot circuit. I plan to install a Victron battery monitor this winter to keep an eye on ahr used during autopilot sailing. It uses a 500A shunt on the ground cable to monitor current.



Quote:
Originally Posted by garandman View Post
A small solar panel (I think 15 watts or less] is easy to mount temporarily and stow and doesn't usually need any control circuitry. A couple of suction cups or some velcro and you can counteract any parasitic loads.

"Buy once, cry once." I even have a $250 LiFeP04 EarthX battery in the Tiger as they are supposed to last much longer.

Our boat is a Melges 24 "Interceptor" and it is moored in Dorchester Bay. We bop around the harbor on weekends.
I just hate superfluous crap on my boat. I try and keep it clean an unfettered. I always put the boat away having just motored in so I know I'm leaving them with full charge. maybe if I was cruising extended I might do that. But 15 minutes of running the engine costs $1. When I bought the boat this spring it came with all these beautiful stainless bimini hoops in addition to the dodger as well as Forespar davits. I couldn't stand the look of the boat with so much clutter on the deck that I ripped it all off and so much happier. A clean looking boat is a faster boat.

I agree on bikes I have a Shorai on my custom bike and it's been great. But very intolerant of being misused as I found out. For what I spent on 2 of those for 12 Ah, I am looking at 10 times the capacity.

Re Melges, OK so I have a bit of waterline length on ya but I'm sure you are faster into the wind. We could get some ADVers out on the water and sail over to Peddocks or something. I'm in Hingham at the shipyard, Dickerson 37.
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Old Yesterday, 05:41 AM   #14
sailah OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc W View Post
Iam in the process of swapping out my house batteries on my live aboard yacht, 4 x 120 ahrs agm 36kg each ($1500) for 12 x 100 ahrs (300 ahrs) ($3000) all up 40kgs. This will give me more usable capacity, quicker recharging hopefully a lot long life cycle.
Not following you mate. I get what you had but what are the new batteries chemistry wise?
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Old Yesterday, 05:46 AM   #15
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//It used to be golf cart 6V batteries were the way to go for this not sure if they still are.
I think those were popular because cheap.

Dickerson PHRF NE rating is 177. That would be typical for cruising boats and isn't really indicative since "Gentlemen don't sail to weather." The Melges will power up in 5-8 knots and we can cruise around the harbor while everyone else is bobbing around. My kids want a cruising boat....
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