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post #1 of 59 Old 03-25-2016 Thread Starter
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Dedicated Starter Battery or All Deep Cycle

Hello...Mike here from NJ...I have a question regarding batteries. The previous owner of my new to me Pacific Seacraft 37 had 4 Lifeline Deep Cycle batteries that are due for a refresh. One battery is on "Bank 1" which is dedicated for starting and three batteries are on "Bank 2" or the house batteries. My question is, should I purchase a purposely built starting battery for cranking or should I purchase four deep cycle and crank the engine with a deep cycle battery on Bank 1.
The engine is a Yanmar 4Jh2E and fire right up. Funny thing is, the deep cycle battery on Bank One is the battery giving me some trouble. It will not hold 13.5 v for long and discharges rapidly. I wonder if all these years of using a Deep Cycle battery for cranking killed it?
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post #2 of 59 Old 03-25-2016
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Re: Dedicated Starter Battery or All Deep Cycle

You can find lots of threads on this from people far more knowledgeable than me, but I have read them all, and I would only use one of two options for a small auxiliary sailboat with no generator and no electric windlass.

1) One bank of deep cycle batteries you use for everything. Keep things simple and just have one bank. Use it for everything. The only downside of this is if you somehow discharge your bank deep enough to not start your engine, you would need outside help. This is of minor concern if you are reasonable conscientious, staying in the US, and have towing insurance.

2) One bank of deep cycle for the house bank, and a single cranking battery for starting the engine. This is the option I use, just because we wander off the beaten path again. It is more complicated, and more expensive to install, but worth it to me for the extra safety. I have never actually needed this yet, but might someday. Probably not.



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post #3 of 59 Old 03-26-2016
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Re: Dedicated Starter Battery or All Deep Cycle

I'm like rain dog, not really good on electrics. I've read a lot and talked with a lot of people, and went with a house bank and a dedicated starter battery.
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post #4 of 59 Old 03-26-2016
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Re: Dedicated Starter Battery or All Deep Cycle

Really depends on the starters amperage draw and size of the battery. Have used group 27 deep cycle batteries for start batteries on 20-30hp diesels. Deep cycle batteries never an issue though could be that a Group 24 battery would have sufficed so battery was minimally stressed. Have heard some people have had issues with start batteries on larger diesels with not enough amperage burning up starters. Deep cycle batteries are designed for long discharge at moderate levels. Start batteries are designed for short duration high amperage discharge. If your diesel doesn't have a particularly high amperage draw, deep cycle work fine.

Batteries won't hold 13.5 volts for any length of time once off the charger. Static voltage for a lead acid battery is 12.8 volts, plus or minus. Under load a battery will show lower voltage but recover quickly once the load is removed.
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post #5 of 59 Old 03-26-2016
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Re: Dedicated Starter Battery or All Deep Cycle

Until recently, I had the same set up. I decided to go with a dedicated starting battery and house bank. After a bit of research, I removed the old battery switch and installed a Blue Sea add a battery system. This system seperates the banks but allows you to switch to an emergency position should your starting battery die. The install was relatively easy. I did relocate the switch to the bulkhead on the port side of the engine compartment. I can turn it on very simply by lifting the hinged access door. It also takes that very ugly switch off the bulkhead inside the cabin. The system cost around $125.
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post #6 of 59 Old 03-26-2016
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Re: Dedicated Starter Battery or All Deep Cycle

Do we really need a start battery? I say no... i have always used my BAT 1 House to start the enginw with no issues, for the batteries nor the starter.

Although when I overhauled my battery set up a couple of years ago, I installed a house bank (BAT 1) and a starting battery (BAT 2), I have never needed the start battery. With a "jump start battery pack" aboard as a back up for the back up... if I did it again I doubt I would bother with a "start battery". I would probably just have two house banks and the jump start pack or just one house battery set up and the jump start pack.

As mentioned, consider the battery cable size, and CCA for your engine.

Shawn


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post #7 of 59 Old 03-26-2016
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Re: Dedicated Starter Battery or All Deep Cycle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmike View Post
Hello...Mike here from NJ...I have a question regarding batteries. The previous owner of my new to me Pacific Seacraft 37 had 4 Lifeline Deep Cycle batteries that are due for a refresh. One battery is on "Bank 1" which is dedicated for starting and three batteries are on "Bank 2" or the house batteries. My question is, should I purchase a purposely built starting battery for cranking or should I purchase four deep cycle and crank the engine with a deep cycle battery on Bank 1.
The engine is a Yanmar 4Jh2E and fire right up. Funny thing is, the deep cycle battery on Bank One is the battery giving me some trouble. It will not hold 13.5 v for long and discharges rapidly. I wonder if all these years of using a Deep Cycle battery for cranking killed it?

1- 13.5V is surface charge

2- How is the start battery benign charged?

3- What are the charge voltage settings for absorption & float.

4- Lifeline batteries, by design, are both deep cycle capable and intended for starting.

5- Using a deep cycle battery for cranking a small aux engine will not harm it and in most cases, when properly charged, they will outlast a starting battery even when used for starting engines. They will also perform reserve duties better.
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post #8 of 59 Old 03-26-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Dedicated Starter Battery or All Deep Cycle

Many thanks for the recommendations. I'll go ahead and replace both banks with deep cycles. This is what the previous owner had set up so I'll continue the tradition. What sparked my curiosity is the weakness of the deep cycle battery in Bank 1 (starter bank). It will drop down to 8.5 volts but quickly jump to 13.5 once the charger is switched on. Definitely shot and will need replacing. The charger by the way is a charger/inverter combo. Thanks again!
Mike
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post #9 of 59 Old 03-26-2016
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Re: Dedicated Starter Battery or All Deep Cycle

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Originally Posted by Madmike View Post
Many thanks for the recommendations. I'll go ahead and replace both banks with deep cycles. This is what the previous owner had set up so I'll continue the tradition. What sparked my curiosity is the weakness of the deep cycle battery in Bank 1 (starter bank). It will drop down to 8.5 volts but quickly jump to 13.5 once the charger is switched on. Definitely shot and will need replacing. The charger by the way is a charger/inverter combo. Thanks again!
Mike
Mike
So the reason I went from a setup similiar to what you are proposing to do to one with a one large bank (in my case 4 Trojan T105 golf cart batteries) for the house and a separate starting battery (Optima) was that it made no sense to deep cycle only half the house battery capacity if I split up the bank into 2 banks and left the switch on Bank 1 or Bank 2.

You could do Rain Dogs option 1 by leaving the switch on All or put the house bank on Bank 1 and a starter battery on Bank 2 for Rain Dogs option 2. But there are better ways to wire it and to charge the starter battery (using a DC-DC charger fed by the house bank).

Best
Marc Hall
Crazy Fish - Maintaining, Upgrading and Sailing a Crealock 37
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post #10 of 59 Old 03-27-2016
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Re: Dedicated Starter Battery or All Deep Cycle



Yes, you do need a starter battery for the engine. And yes, using a deep cycle battery as a starter battery may have contributed to early failure.

Deep cycle batteries are designed to do exactly what the name says. Starter batteries will give more amps (cold cranking amps) in a short burst, then be recharged by the running engine.

The Walrus, Collins Bay, Lake ON
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