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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-26-2002
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davealves is on a distinguished road
battery lifespan

Hi All,

I was wondering what type of life I can get out of a set of batteries. They are the old flooded cell type, and had a tough existence for the first few years (infrequent charging mostly, they have always been kept up with cleaning and water). They have never failed to start up the diesel. They are a large 4D for the house battery and a smaller one for engine starting only. Now I keep them charged with an electronic regulator and a high output alternator and an electronic charger for those few times I''m at a dock. It''s going on five years now and I''m gearing up for a long cruise, should I replace them? Are large batteries available throughout the Caribbean? At what price?

Thanks for all the info
Dave
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Old 08-26-2002
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battery lifespan

I always replace batteries at 5 years even if they appear good. If they have been repeatedly discharged to 50% capacity or beyond they should be replaced sooner. When they go they go and this is cheap insurance.
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Old 08-26-2002
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windship has a little shameless behaviour in the past
battery lifespan

Hi Dave,
I replace my house batts when there starting to go. That is when they won''t hold around 12.3V or so,however, since you plan an extended cruise, you should definatly replace them before you leave.I''m sure batts are much cheaper here.
Think about going with multiple 6V batts instead of 12V batts. They hold up better in the heat and humidity,there are less cells to worry about, they hold more liquid in their cells, their easier to handle,they can be split into multiple banks(six 6V batts can be three banks eight can be four etc.),the amp hours are cheaper, weight can be more evenly distributed and you can get more ah per bank.To me it''s a no brainer.
If you can swing it, may I also strongly suggest you fit your yacht with a wind turbine.It doesn,t make sense to me to run a ten thousand dollar diesel to charge a few hundred dollars worth of batts over and over again.
Hope this helps.

Dennis
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Old 08-28-2002
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Constantin is on a distinguished road
battery lifespan

Check out the battery FQ at windsun.com. The life of your cells depends a lot on the construction quality, environment, and maintenance.

Flooded cells can last anywhere from 4-6 years to 20. AGMs weigh in around 8 years.

If the batteries you bought were of the cheap variety, I''d load test them and see where that leaves you. If in doubt, buy new ones now, as the supply in the Carribean is tighter and the prices much higher.

Cheers!
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Old 08-29-2002
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WHOOSH is on a distinguished road
battery lifespan

Constantin gave excellent advice & info; I''ll just add two pieces:

1. An excellent, simple description of how to load test both battery(ies) and the circuitry that charges them is given in Calder''s Mechanical/Electrical book. All you''ll need is a VOM (multi-meter) of some kind; analog is fine.
2. An exception to battery supply and pricing in the Caribbean is Chaguaramas (the ''yachtie ghetto'' outside Port of Spain) Trinidad. One vendor there brings in excllent quality Trojan T105 6V batteries by the pallet via barge; the price was better than at WM when they carried them.

Having said that, don''t try to limp along if cruising plans are in your future - nothing seems to contribute to quality of life aboard ship like an efficient 12V electrical system.

Jack
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Old 08-29-2002
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battery lifespan

Don''t be cheap! You got your money''s worth.If you are going off-shore it''s suicidal to go with cheap or poor batteries.
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Old 08-29-2002
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windship has a little shameless behaviour in the past
battery lifespan

Interstate 6V batts are the heaviest 6V batts (that is to say they weigh the most)for the money and weight is the number one criteria for battery comparison. I had Trojan 6V batts before my Interstates and they were good but the Interstates are heavier.

Dennis

P.S. I very much agree with TDanz87646
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