gel, AGM, Lead acid - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-07-2012 Thread Starter
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gel, AGM, Lead acid

OK this has probably been talked to death. I see a good price on AGM Batteries (well good for being on Saint Thomas) I need 450 amp hours of batteries. They have 105 amp hour batteries on sale so I figure four of these would be close enough.
Now the dilemma? which is the better battery AGM, Lead Acid or Gel. I am limited on my budget but don't want to spen foolishly.
Your input is appreciated.
Thanks,
Jim
S/V Osprey
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-07-2012
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Re: gel, AGM, Lead acid

Unless you can regularly charge them up to 100% AGMs don't last on a cruising boat. Do a search you'll find lots of info on that aspect of AGMs.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-07-2012
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Re: gel, AGM, Lead acid

+1

Don't be lured by any sale price. As Rick said, AGMs need to be fully charged frequently and they often don't last as long as you'd think they should in cruising boat applications.

Further, unless you have an advanced charging system, you can't really take advantage of the "advantages" of AGMs in terms of charge acceptance. AGMs can easily take their AH rating in charge current when they're down by 50% or so (that would be >400 amps charging current in your case).

Best bang for the buck is still the flooded battery. These, especially golf cart batteries, tend to take more abuse and last longer (more cycles) than AGMs. However they, too, need to be kept as fully charged as possible to avoid the dreaded sulfation of the plates, which reduces battery capacity.

FWIW,

Bill
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-08-2012
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Re: gel, AGM, Lead acid

Lead-acid for me.
Keep them well-charged, and watch the electrolyte.
Don't work them too hard.
Have a separate dedicated starter battery, however.
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-08-2012
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Re: gel, AGM, Lead acid

As has been stated above lead acid is the best bang for the buck. If however, you are like me and have a long history of ruining batteries because you never seem to get around to checking the electrolyte level because the batteries are all but inaccessible you might think about AGM's:-)) They require no maintenance and if you have the ability to charge regularly to 100% as I do they seem to last a good long time (but even so they are going to cost more overall than wet cell).

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