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  #1  
Old 08-28-2013
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Battery & etc opinions...

New to the forum! I've been lurking for a year or so and have read many great posts. Now it is my time to ask the ubiquitous battery question. Understand, I've read a great deal from posts in the past, but wanted to get some fine tuned help.

So, the back story: 1982 C-30, no auto-pilot, weekend sail 95% sleeping at the marina w/ shore power. No refrigerator, no inverter, no TV. Really only loads are depth/speed/stereo, VHF and occasional running lights. Cabin light or two if at anchor (but again rare).

Currently, I have two "dual-purpose" interstate batteries (Previous Owner) and a portable charger (westmarine again P.O.). One battery has gone south, but the other holds a charge and is fine.

MY PLAN: Make the single "dual-purpose" battery a back-up or auxillary (start) battery - Bank 1 on the connection. BUY A NEW CHARGER and then do one of the following for Bank 2 (House): Option 1: two "dual-purpose" batteries in parallel. or option 2: two 6v golf cart batteries in series.

HELP#1: Would a 12amp charger be sufficient (looking at Promarine) or would I be better served with 20amp? I cannot afford to buy an echo charger for the "auxiliary" bank at this time, so the charger would be set for both banks.

HELP#2: Should I go with two dual purpose batteries (Costco) or two 6v batteries (Costco). I understand my limitations with 6v (ie if one cell goes, then the entire 12v is out), but if I have the auxiliary bank, I can at least start the boat and get home. I cannot afford to buy two additional 6v golf cart batteries at this juncture... but that might be the plan down the road...unless that is a bad idea since that new "group of two" batteries would be then wired in parallel with the older golf carts...

FINALLY: without getting too deep into it now (I really need to finalize Help 1 and 2 soon), would the theory be use the Auxillary for start purposes (or)... use that for "emergency purposes only"? Should I have the alternator charging both banks or just Bank 2 (house) (I have a feeling an echo might be the way... but that might be several months from now).

Thanks!
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Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Battery & etc opinions...

With such low daily amp draw requirements and being plugged in most of the time, I'm not sure why you wouldn't just replace the existing dying battery one-for-one and call it a day? Unless you plan to add more loads or anchor out for days at a time I'm not seeing the need for expanding your house bank.
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Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Battery & etc opinions...

HELP#1: For shore side charging, I only use the 2A setting on my charger (cheapo, no name unit but has settings for 2A 6A & 12A as well as Flooded, AGM & Gel). At the dock, you've got the whole day (week? month?) let the power trickle in.

HELP#2: Look at the total amp/hours per dollar; I went with 2 AGM group 24 instead of one group 31.

FINALLY: What I've seen most often:
Selector goes to BOTH while the engine is running; both banks charge up.
Selector goes to HOUSE while sailing, anchoring, grooving to the tunes
Selector goes to ENGINE to start up the iron beast when it is time
Back to BOTH once the engine is running

Ken
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Re: Battery & etc opinions...

4arch,

I think the plan is to be able to spend a few more nights out on the hook. We will routinely sail for a while and then anchor for a few hours to swim, eat, etc. Would you recommend keeping the "dual-purpose" battery as the auxiliary and then get a more solid "deep cycle" for the house?

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Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Battery & etc opinions...

On my boat I have two Costco 6V (golf cart) batteries, a 50Ah AMG reserve "bank", a Yandina battery combiner, a 20W solar panel with a MorningStar controller, and a Guest 10A (5/5) shore power charger. The loads I use are probably similar to yours, so the golf cart batteries are probably overkill. But it's nice to have the extra power available if need be.
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Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Battery & etc opinions...

In that case the two 6V golf carts wouldn't be a bad choice. As others have stated in past threads, it's hard to find a true deep cycle 12V battery while the 6V golf carts are deep cycle. I wouldn't worry about the bad cell situation. That's what the starting battery is for. In the rare event of a cell going bad, you're still stuck replacing two batteries whether it's two 6V or two 12V.

As for management, I have mine set up so all charging goes to the house bank and I do all starting from the house. The starting battery is just for emergencies and it is charged from an Echo, although I do occasionally start the engine off it to make sure it still cranks. Without the Echo, you can use a two bank charger to keep both banks charged then add the echo later, disconnecting the second bank output.

A 12A charger should be fine for your use though you will want the 20A if you ever think you might add DC refrigeration.
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Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Battery & etc opinions...

Essentially, you rarely use battery power at all. I would replace the existing battery with another of the same. Add a solar panel, which will take care of all your charging needs and you could probably eliminate the shore power connection.

I purchased and installed Grape Solar 100-Watt Monocrystalline PV Solar Panel for RV's, Cabins and 12-Volt Systems-GS-S-100-Fab36 at The Home Depot that I got from Home Depot last winter - it works great.

Gary
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Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Battery & etc opinions...

Quote:
As others have stated in past threads, it's hard to find a true deep cycle 12V battery...
You should be able to find deep-cycle batteries at any medical-equipment or wheelchair-repair company. We always kept group-24 and -27 batteries in stock. You might want to give them a day to top off the charge.

Fair winds & good luck.
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Old 08-28-2013
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Re: Battery & etc opinions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
Essentially, you rarely use battery power at all. I would replace the existing battery with another of the same. Add a solar panel, which will take care of all your charging needs and you could probably eliminate the shore power connection.

I purchased and installed Grape Solar 100-Watt Monocrystalline PV Solar Panel for RV's, Cabins and 12-Volt Systems-GS-S-100-Fab36 at The Home Depot that I got from Home Depot last winter - it works great.

Gary
That large a panel is probably overkill in this situation, but otherwise Gary is right. The 20W panel on my boat seems to pretty easily keep everything topped off (in sunny Southern California, anyway).
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