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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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Old 03-15-2014
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What battery should I buy?

I need to replace the batteries in my boat this spring and would like your opinion on what style of battery is best. I currently have one starter battery and two house batteries. All are traditional, unsealed design. Stay with unsealed? AGM? Gel?

Should I use an automotive style battery for the starter and deep cycles for the house bank?

The boat is plugged into shore power with a battery charger when not in use, if that matters.

This is my first boat, and I am realizing it is a little more complicated than stopping at Autozone to pick up a new battery on my way home from work.
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Old 03-15-2014
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Re: What battery should I buy?

Presumably, your charging system is set up to properly charge what you have now. If you were to change it, you could have mods necessary to that as well.

Being on shore power does allow you choices, so it comes down to what your needs are.
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Old 03-15-2014
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Re: What battery should I buy?

Some chargers will not let you charge different kinds of batteries. Read your charger manual and go from there. If your power requirements have increased since your last set was installed, you might want to add some amp hours; if not, then don't bother.
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Re: What battery should I buy?

Do you have a charger that can charge anything other than wet cells? Even if it's a smart charger and does different battery types many can only be configured for only one type of battery type at a time so you can't mix wet cell, agm, or gel. Similar issue with alternator charging.

I'm cheap and like wet cell but they need a certain amount of maintenance. Other people I know use agm. I don't currently know anyone using gel.

I have a 37hp diesel that starts up just fine with storage batteries. I have read that as engines get bigger and need more current for starting there is a point when a starter battery is preferable for starting.

There is a lot of material out there. Start reading and pick your poison. :-)
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Old 03-16-2014
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Re: What battery should I buy?

I would suggest flooded batteries as they are the best value and can last as long or longer than Agm batteries which can easily cost twice as much. This assumes that you have good access for the 5 minutes of maintenance required each month or so. The best value is 2 golf carts in series for the house bank and a group 27 for starting.
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Re: What battery should I buy?

Thanks for the feedback, guys. I think I will stay with flooded batteries to keep it simple and economical.
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