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post #1 of 24 Old 02-21-2016 Thread Starter
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New boat/battery question

Hi, all- I'm about to purchase a new-to-us Tartan 37 (1988 Tartan Center board Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com). I've had the survey done and the sea trial went well, but one little issue popped up about the batteries. These are roughly 3 year old Lifeline GPL-27T batteries (4 each) and when the boat was put on the hard, the battery switch was left on "both" something was left on, and there was not enough charge left even in the start battery to crank the motor, so we plugged in and waited about 2 hours, then continued with the sea trial (I believe the broker admitted to leaving the batteries on). Anyway- when we got back to the dock, the only outlet available to the boat was 50 amps and we had no pigtail for the 30 amp cable/charger on this boat. That was 2 days ago, so today I went to WM and bought the right adapter (eel 30amp/50amp pigtail) and the boat is now charging after 2 complete drains on all 4 batteries with only a partial charge (2 days ago while we were running the motor for about 1.5 hours). I know for a fact that determining a true state of charge for these batteries will require taking them somewhere to be bench tested, but I'm guessing that could be expensive. Now to say I'm a bit upset that this $1200 battery bank was mishandled, but what do most buyers do in a situation like this? While it's not yet my boat, I can't help but be a bit miffed...

Ray

Last edited by Irunbird; 02-24-2016 at 05:44 PM. Reason: clarification
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post #2 of 24 Old 02-21-2016
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I don't know what the answer is re what to do. I guess negotiate.

On the thought of the batteries, they will be stuffed. Well, trully, stuffed.

You don't need to take them to be load tested. Just grab a multi meter and record the voltage and time from when you disconnect the charger and put on some appliance like a fridge. Note every 15 minutes and report back to this forum and someone brainy will tell you for sure.

But I would think they are cactus rectus.


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post #3 of 24 Old 02-22-2016
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Re: New boat/battery question

Negotiations for the cost of the batteries, worth a try and nothing to loose.
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post #4 of 24 Old 02-22-2016
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Re: New boat/battery question

A bad set of batteries would not be an uncommon finding in a survey. Ask for new. When you made your offer, you knew they were roughly one-third through their useful life. Ask for 2/3rd the cost of new, you kick in the other 1/3 and you get a boat starting fresh. Good deal. You could just get 2/3rds the cost off the price of the boat and take your chances, but I always thought that looked conniving, like you were just trying to knock the owner down. If you actually negotiate for a replacement, where you are owning up the initial depreciation you knew about, you look more legit.
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post #5 of 24 Old 02-22-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: New boat/battery question

I'm pretty sure these have been equalized and there are two banks of two batts each. I could take just one to be tested to confirm what I think. The owner is a friend of mine, and this boat has been recently upgraded with so much stuff that I think he's really due something from the broker.

Thanks guys!

Ray
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post #6 of 24 Old 02-22-2016
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Re: New boat/battery question

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Originally Posted by Irunbird View Post
I'm pretty sure these have been equalized and there are two banks of two batts each. I could take just one to be tested to confirm what I think. The owner is a friend of mine, and this boat has been recently upgraded with so much stuff that I think he's really due something from the broker.

Thanks guys!

Ray
Perhaps it's on the broker. That's going to be tough, if you're dealing with a friend, as no one can really prove what condition the batts were in. AGMs can be very particular.

Unfortunately, I've seen only one ruined battery among a bank, so testing half of them doesn't translate.

However, you'll only be testing to determine if they are acceptable to you. If they were fully dumped, they lost some usefulness. It's just a question of how much.

Good luck.


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post #7 of 24 Old 02-22-2016
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Re: New boat/battery question

Might it be worth the $45 for one of these testers?
Solar BA5 Battery Tester

You don't need to have the batteries fully charged to test, and you wouldn't have to take them anywhere, just disconnect one at a time and test w/no load and not connected to the rest of the bank.

(My advice is worth what you paid for it, my battery knowledge is not super sophisticated and knowledge of AGM's even less).

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You shouldnt have to do a thing, the seller and or broker should replace the batteries or simply reduce the cost of a direct repacement. I would choose the later, then put whatever you want in their place. AGM may not be the best choice depending on your charging systems.

Nice boat BTW, I rather fond of them
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post #9 of 24 Old 02-23-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: New boat/battery question

Well- I finally was able to get through to the yard and have a technician go over and analyze them. I'm pretty confident that they'll check each one (including the start battery) allowing them to rest 4 hrs after disconnecting shore power. It may take the better part of today, so we'll see.. I'm paying for this and thinking about it as an extension of the survey. If they are as toasted as I think they are, I'll do my best to replace them with Firefly's.. it looks like they are slooowly making it out onto the market. Last year, I couldn't even get a call back from the company, and now Bruce Schwab seems to be handling much of the distribution.

Thank you all for the thoughts!

Ray

Last edited by Irunbird; 02-23-2016 at 07:09 AM. Reason: sentence structure
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post #10 of 24 Old 02-23-2016
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Re: New boat/battery question

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Originally Posted by Irunbird View Post
Well- I finally was able to get through to the yard and have a technician go over and analyze them. I'm pretty confident that they'll check each one (including the start battery) allowing them to rest 4 hrs after disconnecting shore power. It may take the better part of today, so we'll see.. I'm paying for this and thinking about it as an extension of the survey. If they are as toasted as I think they are, I'll do my best to replace them with Firefly's.. it looks like they are slooowly making it out onto the market. Last year, I couldn't even get a call back from the company, and now Bruce Schwab seems to be handling much of the distribution.

Thank you all for the thoughts!

Ray
Ray,

Save your money re: having a "technician" go over and analyze the batteries. The ONLY way to check the health and actual remaining capacity of AGM batteries is via a 20-hour controlled discharge. MaineSail has recently posted on t his very issue. Even the very expensive testers DO NOT WORK WELL with AGMs. I know....I have one and have used it for several years. The ability to "hold a charge" means nothing.

In your stead, friend or not, I'd hold out for new batteries, their cost either partially or wholly defrayed by the seller and/or the broker who screwed up. You want to start with a new boat having new batteries you can have confidence in.

Bill
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