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SanDiegoChip 02-22-2010 01:54 PM

Any recommendations on a AGM starter battery for a 4 -108 Perkins?
I do not know the specs on our alternator.
The PO installed a larger one say 100 amps.
Would we need to change our voltage regulator?
Lifetime batteries has what seems a nice one (LIFELINE GPL-1400) but would it work with the Perkins 4 -108?
AGM Battery - 12Volt - 850 CCA Small Marine Starting Battery* - *AGM Batteries* - *Batteries & Accessories* - *Electrical* - *Downwind Marine Inc
There is sizing calculator also but I do not know the specs of the Perkins. I looked in the Perkins manual but came up empty.
Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle Batteries

JohnRPollard 02-22-2010 03:32 PM


As wwilson says, some more info would be helpful.

For instance, are you replacing an existing starting battery, or are you in the process of adding a dedicated starting battery that you did not previously have?

What size/type batteries do you currently have?

what kind of battery switch do you currently have?


That said, I would think the battery to which you linked should start that Perkins. But that is not the only variable in question. Compatibility with the rest of your system is important.

SanDiegoChip 02-22-2010 04:41 PM

Hi John,
We do not at this time have a starting battery.
The setup is from the PO and is a four house battery bank, they are in the hanging locker in the master state room.
We have a 36’ sail boat. We plan on cruising.
We want to move the four six volt house batteries and add a starting battery. We are going to move the house batteries to under the satee and add two more for a total of six batteries.
The added two and the AGM conversion for the house batteries will be done at a later date, or when the 4-6voters die.
We plan to have all AGM batteries but do not want to throw out the 4 – 6volt batteries yet.
We plan on keeping the AGM starting battery separate using say a trickle charger to keep it up and the alternator to charge it when the engine is running of course.
We are currently installing a host of other equipment and want to keep using the boat.
One reason for the AGM for a starting battery is that the space for one is over the PSS shaft seal and they recommend no gas emitting batteries by their product as it wrecks the rubber. Plus like I said we plan on changing to all AGM in the future.

We have all the equipment except I have not yet purchased the cables.
I thought it best to actually move the batteries facially first then buy the Xantrex cables and windlass cables. Also using some existing cables until we can replace them. This current setup is about 20 or more years old. Original battery charger is 30 years old.
We have two anchor windlasses.
We have three battery selector switches.
We had four; I have remover one to the old bow windlass.

What we are in the process of doing.

Moving 4 – 6 volt batteries
Installing 300 amp fuse
Installing a shunt
Installing a 110 amp slow blow breaker
Installing the Xanterx 2000 charger inverter\ getting cable sizes and lengths
Installing the Link 2000 battery monitor
Installing the Blue Sky controller
Installing a 135 watt solar panel on top of the dodger
Re-routing all the cables from 3 battery isolator switches a two anchor windlasses’.
Removing old original battery charger and some cabling
Installing the anchor windless and battery cables to the new battery bank location about 30’ of a cable run.

Not necessarily in that order.
There is some wood working and other not so miner details but that is the gist of it.

SanDiegoChip 02-22-2010 04:55 PM

Another thought would be to use the engine to charge the house bank and not the new AGM starter battery. Thus eliminating any changes that may be needed to the voltage regulator or alternator. Although I do not think there would be any changes need in the alternator but I am not sure. Do not want to fry the new AGM battery we get.
That would keep us going till we got the rest of the equipment installed. We are just sailing around San Diego currently. So a trickle charger on shore power would keep the starting battery up.
Any thoughts on this plan:)?

SanDiegoChip 02-22-2010 05:33 PM

I called lifeline batteries and they recommended the GPL 24T as the starter battery for the 4 108 Perkins.
Also the SeaTeck trickle charger or the Battery tender.
In the description on the web iI see it sates “These are generally better suited for a powerboat”
At $329.00 on the web it is a bit pricey but it would definitely work.

svHyLyte 02-22-2010 05:46 PM

For what it's worth, we use a Freedom 2KW inverter/charger controlled by a Link 1000 to charge a single large bank of Trojan 105's (450 Amp Hours) and the Echo Charger included on the inverter/charger to keep a single Group 27 "care free" starting battery charged. The starting battery is monitored by a Link 10 and is only used to start our Perkins 4-108 and a Panda 4.2 KW generator. When not on shore-power or the generator, the batteries are charged by a 105 AMP alternator controlled by a Balmar AR5 controller.

Since the starting battery is used only for that purpose, and both our engine and the Panda seem to start very quickly, usually within 1-2 seconds, the starting battery is never really drawn down much and so is usually always fully charged. If it does become low, however, we have a solenoid switch controlled by a momentary switch on the engine control panel adjacent to the ignition that will connect the house bank and starting battery to allow the house bank to give the starter a "boost". This system has worked very well for 8+ years now without difficulty (and we have never needed the interconnect between the house and start batteris).


Further, while I do believe in redundancy, I am curious why you have two Windlasses on a 36' boat?

JohnRPollard 02-22-2010 05:49 PM


Wow. That is quite a project you've got going there. Lots of variables.

Generally speaking, an AGM will be okay on a wet-cell charging profile, but it will not be optimum. Which is not to say that it's okay to mix chemistries -- only that you might be okay with the current alternator/regulator when you switch to AGMs. The usual recommendation is to not mix battery chemistries.

But a project of this scope is well beyond my pay grade.;) Hopefully some of our electrical gurus will check in (e.g. btrayfors or Mainesail) and maybe offer up some advice/direction.

Anyway, sounds like you've i.d.-ed the starting battery.

Best of luck.:)

SanDiegoChip 02-22-2010 09:03 PM

For a short term AGM starter battery I am thinking of a WM one. That way if I fry it I am not out all the big $$ for a big time AGM battery.
We will keep it charged by using a trickle charger and will not have it connect to the other battery bank.
The alternator will stay connected to the current house batteries.
I will move the current house batteries and old charger over to the new location.
Keep everything the same and then start adding more pieces as we go along.
Kiss is the motto here.
The reason for the two windlasses.
The PO who bought the boat brand new in 1978 when he was 59 years old and kept the boatt at Ventura Keys at his private dock at his house. He sailed it to the Chanel Islands and anchored there.
At the Chanel Island I am told you use a stern anchor a lot. The PO told me he got a good deal on the stern Windlass which is in the aft lazerett. The PO sold us the boat last year (single owner boat) he was 89 and was climbing all over the boat, spry guy. Bought himself a new Miata! It is a good size windlass and he used it to retrieve the rope and chain fluke anchor. It is a nice setup and we plan on keeping it. Only modification we will make is the chain houser is open to the rain where it comes into the boat through the cap rail. We will install one with a cover. Sol Cal does not get much rain but Costa Rica etc in the rainy season well….
There is a battery selector switch for that windlass also. Do not know whether to leave it or remove it.

Also when we get things closer to finished I am going to have an electrical guy or gal come in and check it out.
Or could be sooner if I run into problems.

Maine Sail 02-22-2010 09:23 PM

You may want to run a Balmar Duo Charger between the house wets and the AGM as this will provide proper output charging voltages & profiles for the AGM and the wets.

You will probably want an external regulator when you go full AGM. The reason is not so much voltages as the massive acceptance capabilities of AGM's. AGM's tend to cook alts by running them flat out for way to long. With a good Balmar you can turn down the output to about 15-20% less than the rating on the alt, this and temperature compensation will help it last longer.

You'll also want temperature compensation for the alt and the batteries.

A solar panel on a dodger, where it can be shaded by the boom, can drastically alter the performance of it. Even 10% shading can cut the output by a large amount. If you're cruising you may want to consider davits then mount the panel there to get the most out of it.

As John said more information about the current alternator and belt sizes would be helpful.

SanDiegoChip 02-23-2010 10:55 AM

Maine Sail,
I'll look into an external regulator. Sounds like a good way to handle the alternator.
Both the solar controler and charge have battery temp cables and over temp protection.
We are putting a 135 watt on the dodger and two more on the bimini when we get it done (in progress) and one other like a 135 or 80 on the bimin for a total of 4 (3 on bimini). Not sure of the last size on the bimini. It will depend on if we decide on a window in the bimini. Four 135 watt panels will about fill the controller capacity. So if we move the boom over the sun should stay on the dodger top. Also I was told if you hook up the panels in a series they are a bit less efficient but if one is shaded the rest still work fine and most of the shaded one also.

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