SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Start Battery Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-25-2006 02:01 AM
haffiman37 Enjoy Your holiday and the reading and FEEL FREE to CHOOSE and use whatever You find for comments to posts on the board!
12-24-2006 11:51 PM
camaraderie Haffiman...well said! You did it and it was a choice made from studying the alternatives and having a plan and that is the foundation of good seamanship.
I just took a look at your website briefly...looks great and I think I will be doing some reading over the holiday!! Merry Christmas!
12-24-2006 08:53 PM
haffiman37 Cameraderie:
I did not choose boat or equipement according to my life style, I had quite different parameters as base.
I did not go cruising because a long lasting dream of exploring the sea and living the life of a 'sea gypsy'. We had planned to move to Malaysia, and why not take the oportunity and do it by sailing?
I chose the boat size and type after what I considdered safe for mostly single handed sailing as my wife was rather unexperienced. I chose the SO37 due to its construction and not to forget its 'certified' pay load capacity. I chose equipement according towhat would give the less maintance and problems and not to forget parts availability if needed. That was the main reason for going with the standard battery set up and not adding gels, generator(s)/regulators, except for a Honda 1000 gen set and a seperate trickle charger which was more used by other yachters charging their huge banks while they were waiting for spare parts to their own generators, wind mills, solarpanel regulators that had failed and had to be shipped from US/ Europe! My fridge and autpilot was running 24 hours a day, but I left out the air con and the TV.
Planning a trip like mine is not only about adding according to a 'whish list', it is perhaps more about evaluating what You have according to Your needs and requirements. Then if needed, add or modify. I had in fact no budget, I got the equipement I felt needed, we stayed in marinas, enjoyed the restaurants ashore when available and convenient. The only time we stayed at a hotel was in Panama when the boat was hauled out for a bottom job.
And for a replacement cost of 200US$ which was what I paid locally here in Langkawi I might even do the same choise again.
And that is the beauty of cruising: You are free to choose!
12-24-2006 01:11 PM
camaraderie Goodnews...Generators...we have still don't wanna be running it too much as even the quiet ones are too darn noisey...but it is great for charging the batteries and putting thre air conditioning on while you do it!

Haffiman...exactly right on the lifestyle thing...everyone cruises in their own style according to taste and budget. We worked hard for years longer than necessary to go cruising but just long enough to go while maintaining our own desired lifestyle. I have no issues with those who prefer a more spartan OR a more luxurious approach. I did not intend to choose my lifestyle based on my batteries ...maybe you should get a 1000 amp bank so you wouldn't be choosing your batteries according to YOUR lifestyle! ...but I would point out that even with 1/2 of our "lifestyle need" the AGM's are still a better $$ deal for full time cruisers over the long term.
12-24-2006 07:38 AM
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Now I figured that I wanted a battery bank of 1000amps for our lifestyle so the difference in price between 8D wet cells and 8D AGMS is times 4 or about $1200 bucks. For a $1200 buck differential ya gotta do more than save me the the water fillup routine! (The boat may be big but I'm CHEAP!!)
Nothing like a battery discussion, it might go on forever!
However the above quote is perhaps the main 'answer' to the question.
Turn it a bit around and put it like this:
Choose batteries according to Your life style or choose lifestyle according to Your batteries.
12-24-2006 01:46 AM
Goodnewsboy If one is really dependent on electric power, isn't there a point where a generator might be a simpler solution?
12-23-2006 12:54 PM
hellosailor haffiman-
"The 'old' lead acid costs around 1/3-1/4 of the gels, lasts perhaps 1/2 to 1/3 of the time of gels, needs no super chargers, may be bought almost everywhere."
Sounds like you got some bad numbers there. With the exception of the Optima brand, AGM's are nowhere near that expensive. Optima carries about a 25-33% premium over other AGM batteries and a lot of people think they are the only AGM battery source. That's a myth.
The premium you will pay for flat plate AGM's, compared to flat-plate wet cells from a brand name, is about 20-25%. Or was when I checked last year. That's all.
Now, can you buy wet lead cells cheaper? SURE. But in some areas, Costco and WalMart don't sell deep cycle batteries at all, so that's really pushing the comparison to troll for bottom prices in markets everyone can't get to. To be fair, you need to compare common markets and brands.
And even then, the folks who build those batteries will be the first to tell you they are custom OEM products which may not be the same as their brand-name products coming out of the same plant. If one plant makes 20 brands--they aren't all made the same.

This is also ignoring the "real serious" batteries, the industrial grade deep cycle batteries (made as AGM or wet) and not seen in the consumer market either. The Trojan "golf cart" batteries cross into this territory, you won't find them in retail stores. The folks who do sell them, probably also sell industrial cells.

What you get for the 25% premium is a battery that doesn't leak, and can't be topped up. That also means if they are submerged in salt water, they will not release toxic chlorine gas, and they will still be functional when they come back up. AGMs accept charging 25% faster, so you can burn less fuel and make less noise. And it supplies more power to high loads. Long term performance? Ah, that's being debated and the real answer is probably "it depends on construction" so there's no way to be sure yet, aside from warranty and reputation. And, it may need some adjustments to the charging system to be charged properly.

Prices? Yah, that's going to vary, regionally too. But *overall* only about 25%. What gets harder is finding a local course of AGMs, unless you go to the Optima brand and pay for their advertising budget. And, you'll get 5-10% less power in each cell, because of the spiral technology. It's supposed to be a robust, rugged, cost-efficient alternative to flat plates, and it probably is. But it puts round pegs in square holes, so it wastes capacity, and the patent holder apparently is extracting a stiff premium for it.
12-23-2006 11:39 AM
camaraderie Goodnews...Absolutely. Look, its not such a big deal for casual sailors and I never paid much attention to them when I was bay sailing and taking 2 week trips during the summer and plugging into marinas.
When you are living on the hook with refrigerator/freezer and other goodies you start paying more attention if you don't like to eat canned tunafish every day and want to be able to go sightseeing for a day or two without losing all your food! (Or fork over a couple of boat bucks a year for new batts)
Now I figured that I wanted a battery bank of 1000amps for our lifestyle so the difference in price between 8D wet cells and 8D AGMS is times 4 or about $1200 bucks. For a $1200 buck differential ya gotta do more than save me the the water fillup routine! (The boat may be big but I'm CHEAP!!)
12-23-2006 10:30 AM
Goodnewsboy Nice study, but are we becoming battery-retentive here?
12-23-2006 09:12 AM
camaraderie The point was that someone was saying the Bumfuzzlers sailed around the world with auto why shouldn't we use the same cheap batteries? My point was that just because the BF's made it around the world, doesn't make them authorities and that they did a lot of things that not very many people would think were good choices and managed to luck out without a disaster though they came close a couple of times. The BF's are a major topic on several other sailing sites and respond in kind so I won't feel too bad about "bashing" them so severely. While I certainly disagree with them about some of their choices...
you can't help but admire their adventurous spirit and honesty about everything on their trip logs.
Getting back to the topic at hand...I think your reasoning is incomplete on the "economy" of lead acid over AGM's. Constantine VonWentzel has made a rather interesting study of the true cost of batteries over their service life (and has a WONDERFUL website on the subject of batteries on boats) and he comes to the following conclusion:
Chuck Husick made a number of assertions in his responses about battery costs, so I looked into those as well. A cost model later, I had a number of startling results. Namely, that AGMs worked out to be less-expensive for my marine application, despite having a high initial cost, due to their superior features. Over the life of the AGMs we would save a lot more on lower maintenance costs, fuel consumption, etc. than the premium we spent initially (when such a premium exists).

Link to the data and graphs which support this conclusion is:
I would note that this applies ONLY to cruisers using engines and fuel to charge their batteries and not to passive systems or those living at the dock or doing occasional sailing. It further applies only to those who have the alternator capacity to take advantage of the AGM's unlimited AMP acceptance in bulk charging. Take a look if you fit those parameters!
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome