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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-05-2007
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SeaVolt AGM vs. Lieline AGM

I am about to invest in 2 new 4D's for my house bank (replacing 2 4D wets that are old - charge up to good voltage but produce small amps before voltage drops, even after equalization, 3 years old E Penn's, been worked hard). I have been considering Lifeline AGMs and wincing at the cost ($600 each here in the carib). But now I see SeaVolt 4D AGM's at West Marine for $359 and I think, humm, perhaps that is the best route.

Has anybody had any direct experience with SeaVolt's? Who makes them?

Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2007
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I have 3 Group 31 Seavolt AGM's on my boat that have worked well. I chose the Seavolts over Lifeline for price, and because any problems with the Lifelines requires sending them back to Lifeline, not a dealer. I'm not positive, but I believe the Seavolts are made by Decca. Also, if you know someone with a Port Supply card, the Seavolts become even cheaper.

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Old 08-06-2007
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How long have you had them? Type of use and charging?

My use is heavy, live aboard daily charging with high output alternator and solar, backed by good regulators.

Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2007
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Gil...Sea Volts are Deka's (SeaMate) made by East Penn...I would suggest that you can find them for less than at West. I have deka's 8d's on my boat with a Heart 130a charger off the generator and Balmar110 alternator & ARS4 regulator and they performed in an excellent manner over a winter in the Bahamas on the hook. Cannot speak to ultimate life cycle yet but they show no signs of deterioration after a couple of years. I take care of them with the right discharge/charging regime and a full 100% top off every couple of weeks at least which I think is critical to avoid sulphation. I like them a lot compared to my old wet cells and recommend them.
Here's a link to their spec page which you will see compares exactly with the SeaVolts...and the site may lead you to local distributors.
http://www.eastpenn-deka.com/assets/base/0245.pdf
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Old 08-06-2007
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I have the lifelines, but I have not been cruising with them. I will tell you that I have had no issues to this point. I will also say that (IIRC) the Lifelines are a bit of a different breed. I believe they rated at over 1000 cycles versus the low 300's for Deka. You will need to verify the later as I do not have time to look it up - but I am pretty sure.

Before you buy, call Lifeline and ask them why their batteries are that much better. I did. They convinced me. Here is the number: 626-969-6886, ask for Andrew. He is a straight shooter. Others seem very knowledgeable too.

On the flip side, Cam has been happy with his Dekas so they may fit your needs?? At least it is worth a call.

- CD
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CD...I think the Dekas are rated for 500 cycles but it is not included on their spec sheet so I can't be sure...I've written them so hopefully I'll get a firm answer.
I think some of the cycling stuff is marketing fluff since there seems to b no industry standard test. Lifeline claims 1000 cycles at 25-40% discharge...others claim less but at 50% discharge. Bottom line is that the internal chemical reaction is more or less the same and the Lifeline 8d's weigh only 4 lbs more than the Deka's. I assume that some of that is in construction enhancements and the rest in lead...but 4 lbs. on 158 doesn't give you a 2x advantage over others me-thinks! You can tweak some extra life out of the same amount of lead with good design but 100% more is a bit much to expect IMHO.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
CD...I think the Dekas are rated for 500 cycles but it is not included on their spec sheet so I can't be sure...I've written them so hopefully I'll get a firm answer.
I think some of the cycling stuff is marketing fluff since there seems to b no industry standard test. Lifeline claims 1000 cycles at 25-40% discharge...others claim less but at 50% discharge. Bottom line is that the internal chemical reaction is more or less the same and the Lifeline 8d's weigh only 4 lbs more than the Deka's. I assume that some of that is in construction enhancements and the rest in lead...but 4 lbs. on 158 doesn't give you a 2x advantage over others me-thinks! You can tweak some extra life out of the same amount of lead with good design but 100% more is a bit much to expect IMHO.
You might be right. I am like you in being hesitant on the marketing fluff!! That is why I will hold off and see how they do in the real world before I give them never ending parise. But I know many folks that have been very happy with them.

One other comment to anyone that is about to engage this endeavor: You better get some buddies to help you with those batts. They are awkward to move and lift and it is VERY difficult to get them down the companionway except by yourself and one other. Plan that into your install.

- CD
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Old 08-06-2007
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Thanks for the words of experience. Someone else said they only got barely 2 years out of the Deka AGMs and has switched over to Lifelines. They treated them well, but they did not last in a tropical live aboard situation.

The deciding factor was at WM in Fajardo, PR... the SV AGMs are not the same sale price as in the states. They are $510 vs $359... and Lifelines can be had down here for $600... decision made.

Thanks!
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