Chef2Sail, Maine Sail, thanks to you both for the help! I suppose I might as well add some more detail (sorry for the length)...
As Maine Sail said, there's no room on a Sabre 34-I for 4 6Vs. We're only talking about 2 6Vs. I'll explain. We currenty have two wet G-31s, one in each bank. We're trying to double our house and add a reserve battery, likely a Group 24, which will not fit in the original compartment with the 31s. Here was the plan:
- House = two G31s in original compartment. Add reserve Group 24 below the nav station. Problem: requires some major mods, including cutting a large teak "door" in the teak bulkhead below the nav for access, building a custom tray, etc. Also, long battery cable runs and significant work hours, plus the loss of storage.
I wasn't completely satisfied with this option, but the only way to discover a better option would be to have the batteries in hand to see how things really fit. Steven's Battery Warehouse (helpful folks) loaned me some empty Lifeline cases. I found two options:
- House = two Lifeline 6Vs, reserve = Lifeline Group 24, all in the original battery compartment with out any significant mods. Whoa, this was news. Wets 6Vs couldn't do this--it's that close a fit.
- House = two G31s, reserve = Lifeline 1400T, a very small starting battery with about 33 amp hours. These would all three fit in original compartment. Problem: It would probably start the engine, but it's not a lot of reserve (compared to a G24).
I know having just one pair of 6Vs has its drawbacks. But two G31s come at the expense of either a very small reserve in same compartment, or a G24 reserve but with major mods to the boat.
As for charging, we have a Balmar 75 amp 9-series alternator with a Balmar ARS-5 voltage regulator already in place. We haven't bought our charger, but would probably opt for a 30-40amp Sterling or similar. A Victron battery monitor, Yandina battery combiner, new battery cables, and fuses are also planned--all of which we'd be doing either way.
So anyway, that's why we're talking about Lifeline 6Vs.
Maine Sail, Chef2sail, I'm certainly open to hearing your thoughts on our plan. We're not thrilled about spending so much on batteries, but it might be worth it if the overall installation is simplified. Thoughts?