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  #11  
Old 04-28-2012
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Re: favourite marine battery

To the original poster: Why are you restricting this to batteries with the latest technology? I'd caution you against assuming "latest technology" means best or most appropriate.

Personally, for my application, I think flooded 6v golf batteries from Sam's Club are the best solution.
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  #12  
Old 04-28-2012
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Re: favourite marine battery

Again, some will tell tales of failed batteries and vendors, but unless you know whether their charging system was properly set up for them, the reference is not useful. Just because the next purchase worked, could be due to a better match with their systems.
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  #13  
Old 04-28-2012
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Re: favourite marine battery

Depends on your usage. A cruiser has very different needs to a weekend warrior. I fall (sadly) into the latter category; I am very happy with my Trojan lead-acid batteries. Relatively inexpensive, forgiving, and long-lasting.

Also many boats have a separate starting battery from house bank. This can (I am told) really extend the life of the house bank; different usage model, different battery design.
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Old 04-28-2012
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favourite marine battery

My boat came with the plain old west marine starting and deep cycle batteries. Well the deep cycle is still running after 8 years and the starting I just replaced. I got the starting on sale for $75.
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Old 04-28-2012
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Re: favourite marine battery

Plus 1 with a lot of the previous comments! I like my 6 volt Trojan golf cart lead acid batteries for the house bank, and a separate lead acid starting battery(ies). Cost-effective, and with proper charging/maintenance nearly bullet-proof.
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Old 04-28-2012
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Re: favourite marine battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewportNewbie View Post
My boat came with the plain old west marine starting and deep cycle batteries. Well the deep cycle is still running after 8 years and the starting I just replaced. I got the starting on sale for $75.
West Marine batteries are made by Deka/East Penn. The SAME, IDENTICAL batteries can be purchased at many Sam's Club locations for less than HALF price.... Only difference is the sticker..

The problem with anecdotal accounts on-line like;

"I bought Interstate batteries and they died in two years, Interstate batteries suck."

or

"I bought Trojan batteries and they are still going at year 7, I love my Trojan's."

is that these are simply anecdotal. Without using industry standardized test equipment, which almost no boater owns, and industry thresholds for "failure" as 80% of new capacity, these anecdotes are pretty much useless as we have no control or baseline to work from.

Despite exceptions to the rule, the "rule" is often not defined, or varies from one boat owner to another. This is where the confusion comes in with "anecdotal" claims of battery longevity.

I have one customer who's rule is "If I can't make a call on my VHF I need new batteries" he gets "7 years" out of his bank that would have failed any sort of industry standardized capacity testing at year three of four, if that. He has a pull start out board and a small ferroresonant shore charger so starting heavy loads is not in his particular "capacity rule".

If he had a windlass he'd be really pissed that his batteries only lasted three years but he does not so his "rule" for battery life is very different from another boaters "rule" and he "thinks" he gets 7 years from his batteries when by year three or four they are unsafe based on industry measurements........


I can point to my el-cheapo 3 group 31 Wal*Mart batteries, with excellent data, using industry measurements and say confidently that they tested at 94% of new capacity, without ever being "equalized" at the end of year five beginning of year six.


Most folks can't do this because they simply don't have the equipment. Even "cheap" "deep cycle" batteries can last a good long time in a sailboat IF properly cared for and properly charged. Very few boaters take care of their charging needs sufficiently thus even some "good quality" batteries get an undeserved bad rap by a particular owner..

All battery types have their pro's & cons...

See this thread:

5 Year Wal*Mart Battery Musings (LINK)
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 04-28-2012 at 12:05 PM.
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Re: favourite marine battery

My experience with Interstate batteries has always been great. I just replaced two old batteries with Interstate 27s and am giving them a good workout with refrigeration, and they're doing a fine job. Cost was about $100. each. I've never had anything less than excellent performance from Interstates.
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Old 04-28-2012
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Re: favourite marine battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul323 View Post
Also many boats have a separate starting battery from house bank. This can (I am told) really extend the life of the house bank; different usage model, different battery design.
Any house bank composed of deep cycle batteries in multiples of 2 or more has no problem starting a small diesel - under 50 hp or so. 2 deep cycles will have more cranking ability than a single starter battery. It should not have any effect on battery life.
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  #19  
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Re: favourite marine battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
......
The problem with anecdotal accounts on-line like;

"I bought Interstate batteries and they died in two years, Interstate batteries suck."

or

"I bought Trojan batteries and they are still going at year 7, I love my Trojan's."

is that these are simply anecdotal. Without using industry standardized test equipment, which almost no boater owns, and industry thresholds for "failure" as 80% of new capacity, these anecdotes are pretty much useless as we have no control or baseline to work from.
.........
Exactly right! This is a relatively simple concept which most folks just don't get. I don't know why.

Put in the simplest terms I know of:

1. all batteries begin to deteriorate from the time they leave the factory;

2. this deterioration is the result of numerous factors, though chiefly sulfation -- collection of PbSO4 lead-oxide crystals on the plates, leading to reduced surface area; and

3. this means that over time batteries LOSE CAPACITY (not charge), i.e., the ability to deliver energy anywhere near their rated amount.

Your batteries might still show a healthy charge, but have only a fraction of their original capacity. You can't measure capacity with a voltmenter....you need either a sophisticated (and expensive) measurement instrument or you would need to do a controlled and measured 20-hour load test.

Anecdotal statements of the type MaineSail mentioned are practically meaningless. "I got 5 years out of my house batteries" or "My house batteries died after only 2 years" are meaningless statements....unless they are accompanied by hard data on remaining capacity, use and treatment of the batteries over their lifetime, etc., etc.

Think of it this way.... Your car battery is no exception. So long as it starts your car, you think it's "good". That cold morning when it fails to start the car, it's no longer "good", and will likely be replaced.

The truth is that it takes relatively little energy to start a car....typically less than 1/2 amp-hour. Your battery has been losing capacity since the day it left the factory. You just didn't notice because it still could deliver the 0.5AH of energy -- in a burst -- to start your car engine.

Truth be told, you had no idea whatsoever that your battery was on its last legs, i.e., had lost most of its original capacity.

Bill
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Last edited by btrayfors; 04-28-2012 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 04-28-2012
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Re: favourite marine battery

i have 4 interstate 6 v golf cart batteries that were installed in 1992. i have a 95 amp alternator with smart regulator. they start the 2GM20F yanmar with no problem. i have an ice box and never let the battery voltage get below 50 % . when they wont hold a charge anymore i will replace them.
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