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post #1 of 10 Old 05-17-2012 Thread Starter
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battery question

Splashing the boat tomorrow and the only thing we run off of the batter is the Nav Lights, but we have a monster battery weighing about 48 lbs that I set a solar panel up too for when it is back at the dock. Should I consider swapping to a lighter, smaller batter? I feel like this is a tad overkill. Hopfully I will be getting an alternator on the 8hp Merc but until then as stated above I am only running the Nav Lights. Any input?
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-17-2012
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Re: battery question

48lbs isn't that much of a monster. I just hauled four new batts aboard last weekend. 80lbs each. And they are considered manageable compared to many over 100lbs.

Weight isn't the determining factor for overkill. You need to know Amp Hrs capacity and usage to figure it out. Generally speaking, you don't want to drain below 50% of capacity.

No bilge pump?
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-18-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: battery question

No bilge pump. Its not really the weight that bothers me, I just feel it may be a tad overkill is really what it comes down to, and when it needs charging in case the solar panel hasnt done its job. its a very akward spot to get to and fit it without slamming it about.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-18-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: battery question

Its a Santana2023 water ballast swing keel so there is no bilge to pump.
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-18-2012
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Re: battery question

Unless you're intending to take some relatively long cruises that involve overnight anchorages, or nighttime sailing, you really don't need anything larger than a small, lawn and garden tractor battery. You're apparently not using it to start the outboard, and most of today's lights are LED, which draw negligible current, therefore there's no reason to have a huge battery onboard. In contrast, if you add a GPS/Plotter/Depth Finder, some interior lighting, VHF Radio, AM/FM Stereo/CD Player, and a few other niceties, that larger battery may come in handy.

Hope this helps,

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Re: battery question

It 23 ft and only draws 12 inches with keel and rudder up so all the fancy gadgets arent necessary. My VHF is handheld. I do alot of night sailing but as i said its only the lights that are run off the battery and the solar charger keeps it charged pretty well but its a tight akward squeeze for the battery location.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-18-2012
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Re: battery question

An ordinary garden tractor batter would be more than adequate for what you described. Take a look at http://www.amazon.com/18Ah-Sealed-Lead-Battery-Terminals/dp/B001C20T9C/ref=pd_sim_sbs_auto_5 If your lights are LED, you could run for a week on one of these.

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post #8 of 10 Old 05-18-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: battery question

thank you!
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-19-2012
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Re: battery question

I have not looked at the link for the battery above listed, BUT, West Marine has, other places also have a size U1?!?! IIRC, you can get this size in a house battery style vs a starting or dual style. I've had some interstate versions thru the years to use as a light usage in a Wells Cargo trailer, along with two trailers with electric brakes. No real need to run what you have, probably a size 24 at the wt you have mentioned, These are around 20 lbs, would run even non-led running lights for some time.

Issue you may need to look at, ie how long do you run the lights at night? if you end up using lights for say 8 hrs, useage is 10 AHRs per hr you have used 80 AHr's of battery, draining a typical size 24 5 AHrs beyond the battery itself!

Here is a link to the AGM version WM has, in store are some lead version's, Interstate has lead versions etc. Just remember size u-1. Here are actual base specs for the battery.
AGM 12V Battery, Group U-1, 32 Ah, 240 MCA, 48 Res. Min., 8.3"L x 5.1"W x 7.25"H, 24lb

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post #10 of 10 Old 05-19-2012
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Re: battery question

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Originally Posted by DivingOtter View Post
Splashing the boat tomorrow and the only thing we run off of the batter is the Nav Lights, but we have a monster battery weighing about 48 lbs that I set a solar panel up too for when it is back at the dock. Should I consider swapping to a lighter, smaller batter? I feel like this is a tad overkill. Hopfully I will be getting an alternator on the 8hp Merc but until then as stated above I am only running the Nav Lights. Any input?
Unless you've converted to LEDs, nav lights are pretty power hungry. On my boat I count two 25W bulbs at the bow, a smaller 21W at the stern, and the steaming light I don't know, because I've never been up there, but probably of the same order. That's 6 to 8A altogether. That 18Ah battery will be down from 85% to 50% in 1 hour!

If you plan on doing any serious night cruising have another think about the battery budget. Bear in mind that the true available power from a battery is as little as 35% of the rated capacity.

Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay

Last edited by MarkSF; 05-19-2012 at 01:35 AM.
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