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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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Old 09-25-2010
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what batteries to choose?

Am in the process of designing my electrical system. Am debating the sears diehard platinum 31M at 190 a piece AGM 100 AH - in which case I'd get 3 for a 300 AH bank. The standard diehard is 90$ and 115 AH in which case I could get 4 or 5 for a 460 or 575 AH bank. I live on the boat and am wondering if as the weather cools and the hatches close more and I have heaters in the cabin if gassing and fumes might be a health hazard? I was going to look for some kind of plastic giant tupperware like container to put the in and then maybe get some hose and vent the batteries out through maybe the stern lazarette but this may not be very feasible without drilling a new hole. The boat came with two Group 27 flooded exide nautilus batteries that are sitting in the engine bay with no special ventilation other then the blower (atomic 4). Are the AGMs worth it for the health factor? How serious is the gassing ie will it make one sick? I can have twice the capacity if I stick with flooded and I doubt I would be swapping out the starter batteries as they seem to be in good shape. I could use the money on a better charge controller or another large PV cell. All advice greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-25-2010
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Welcome
I'd stick with flooded. 6 Volt golf cart batteries like Excel GC2 or Trojan T105 are your best value. 2 of these and you have about 225 AH, 4 for 450 AH.
The number you need will depend on space and your energy needs.
For engine starting a 12 volt flooded is all you need.

What are your plans for charging 2 banks? A good solution is all charge sources going to the house bank and the start battery charged with an EchoCharge or ACR.

Ventilation is needed but shouldn't be hard to achieve.

What size boat do you have and what is your intended use? Daysailing or offshore?
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The boat is a Pearson 10M 33 feet. I am currently just day sailing her on long island sound but want to get her outfitted for cruising and hopefully sail her south maybe to the Bahamas. For charging the banks I have a wind generator and 6 solar panels with a plan to maybe add an additional 100 watter to my transom if I decide I won't be increasing windage and decreasing seaworthiness in doing so. I am not keen on drilling holes in my boat at all.

I had been sold on 4 golf cart batteries but can't find them for sale anywhere except BJs and I don't think its worth getting a membership to buy a few batteries. Sears seems to be my only bet (west marine is a rip off, not sure if the walmart batteries are any good and the one near me didn't seem to have anything but automotive). Where can one buy golf cart batteries without joining a club? Would a sears standard flooded group 29 for $90 be a poor choice?
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Old 09-25-2010
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Hi
I'd skip the Sears standard flooded. If you go thata route get group 31 - not much larger and a better value.
Where are you? Golf cart batteries should be available almost anywhere.
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Near Bridgeport, CT. What sort of retailer's would stock them? Not a member of the wholesale clubs like BJs etc don't want to pay to join. Sears doesn't have golf carts nor does walmart. Never been in the market for something like this no one seems to even know what golf cart batteries are in stores. Would be willing to drive a ways for a bargain but nobody's got em?
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Bridgeport has many marine suppliers. Call a few and ask for their recommendations.
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Old 09-25-2010
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If you're going cruising stick with flooded. I went to AGM's and am now back to flooded. AGM's don't seem to like seldom being fully charged and while cruising I'm usually using the band between 50% and 85%. The last 15% is hard to get in when charging, takes too long.
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I got 5 years out of my last set of diehards. They were still holding a charge when I switched them out. Enough to start the engine but not enough to keep the fridge running all night when we anchored out.
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Brian's right. Golf carts are the way to go with your plans. Do it only once and you're good for 7 to 10 years.

Google golf cart batteries and Trojan and they'll show you their local dealers. Also check out American Batteries.

It's not that hard to find this kinda stuff online.
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Old 09-26-2010
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Yep, another supporter of flooded cells. I have a set of batteries made by Century Yeasu (Japanese) which are identical clones of the Trojan 105. I went for these because where I am the Trojans carry a considerable premium in price and the Yeasu has done very well on my boat.

Where you are the Trojan is probably a better buy.
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