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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-11-2011
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Gel Batteries Vs Sealed Lead acid

I would appreciate some opinions based on ACTUAL experience with house batteries. I have two 8G4D 12 volt Gel batteries on my live aboard under the bed. They are shot and I have looked into replacements. $425 each for the Gel, $300 each for the same in a non gel or Sealed lead acid. I have a Heart interface Link 2000 Monitor-charger.
Are the gel worth the extra money?? If so why. I don't mind spending the extra, I just need some HANDS ON advise and this site has been great in the past.
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Old 04-11-2011
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I think 6V Golf cart batteries are tough to beat... bang for the buck.
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Not familiar with golf cart batteries. To achieve the same performance as 2 "working" 8G4Ds what should i expect as far as cost and the amount of room I would need to accommodate these puppies.
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Old 04-11-2011
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Costco 6V Golf Cart batteries are 220Ah and cost $80/ea at my local store.
You wire them in series to get 12V
They might be a little taller then what you have now, but you should be able to fit 2 6V in the same spot as your old battery.

How much are those big batteries? If they're around $600 the 6V solution is about half price. I doubt the AGM batteries would get twice the performance.
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Old 04-11-2011
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Gel cell batteries can handle a higher charge rate than liquid cell batteries. When you are sailing, will limited charging time, they will do better than liquid cell batteries. If you are primarily on shore power, it may not matter and you might as well go for price.
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Old 04-11-2011
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Go with the 6 volt agm lifelines. Their footprint is much less than most 6 volts, they can even be laid on their sides. They accept a charge faster than gel or wet cell, and I beleive can be deep cycle many more times. You pay a good price for them, but they are worth it. I prefer the 6 volts as they are portable where an 8 d is just too damn heavy.

6 volts are the way to go.
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Old 04-11-2011
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I agree the 6 volts are the way to go but there is no evidence that AGM will cycle more than a good flooded golf cart. In many cases they withstand many less cycles. They also will not tolerate not being fully charged regularly. If on shorepower that is not a problem but it can be if cruising long term.
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Not familiar with your charger, but if it doesn't have a desulfator function, you might try one. There is evidence to suggest that I brought my wet cell 6V golf cart batteries back from the brink with Power Pulse desulfator.
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Old 04-12-2011
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Charger has equalizing feature, isn't that the same as the desulfator. Are you suggesting I try this on my old batteries? Instructions say it's not normal to do this on gel batteries, but doesn't say DON'T.
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Will I need a storage tray if I go away from gel? Leaks,fumes? And will I have to get rid of my start battery which is gel if house are non gel?
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No, I don't believe you can equalize gel batteries, but you can desulfate them. I have wet cell house batteries (6V Golf Cart) and an optima red top AGM starting battery, combined with a combiner. Also,(at work, can't look it up right now) either pulsetech or their competitor has a procedure for determining if your batteries are too far gone to save. See FAQ here -> TechTalk FAQ
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