Originally Posted by NautiG
I see your quoted info as a failsafe issue, which is a good point and reason enough to connect the leads to separate batteries. I'm still trying to noodle out why connecting them that way would make a difference as to there longevity.
Gemini Catamaran Split Decision
Because the end connected battery sees more use/activity than the others especially when you have batteries with low internal resistance. Now stack poor terminations on top of that, corrosion on the posts etc. etc. and the batteries don't "load share" as well as when cross connected. When not under load they all eventually balance out but when taking a charge or being loaded they usually do not share and share alike.
I quite often take measurements of used batteries that are both end connected and cross connected. The cross connected batteries are almost always is significantly better balance. The end connected batteries always show the "connected" battery in the worst shape and then it moves towards best shape. This is because the first battery is seeing more work and the "circuit" simply wants to move though it rather than through the bank to complete the circuit.
It is not common to find the far end of the string still within spec but the first battery to be toast. My test equipment does not know from Adam how the batts were connected but it tells the performance story quite well...