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Discussion Starter #1
Good Evening,
I am finally getting my 44' Gulfstar back in the water after 2 years spent on the hard following a demasting incident. I'll be sailing her from Marathon FL to TX in mid april. The boat has not had a charger or or anything on its set of 4 6v group 24 batteries. The batteries are approximately 3yrs old and had very little use prior during that time. I am assuming they are fully discharged at this point. Is there any likelihood that they are still good, or should I just assume I'll have to replace all four before I make the jump across the gulf?
Thanks,
Lloyd
 

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I would check the volts and acid levels, if the cells are not dry I would charge them to full then disconnect charger and let sit a few days, then test to see if it holding the charge.
 

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If the batteries haven't been charged in two years, they're likely dead, since battery plates tend to start sulfating when they're discharged for long periods of time. Even if they were fully charged to begin with, with the temperatures in the storage location, they'd discharge about 1% per day... so have sat for over a year fully discharged.

BTW, I've never see Group 24 6V batteries.
 

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As SD said. Ask any battery manufacturer, and they will tell you the same thing. After 30 days without a charge, precipitation forms in wet cells and some of it is insoluble and will NOT go back into solution no matter what anyone promises. From that point on, the longer they sit the more permanent damage occurs and after two years sitting? You might as well throw them out and save yourself the time and aggravation of playing with them. *IF* you manage to put any charge back in them, the odds are that one $75 deep cycle battery from WalMart will have more power than all of whatever you have left.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not 100 percent sure on the case size. They're the standard 6v sea volt 225ah jobbers from west marine. Like everyone has said, I think they're probably toast. I was hoping to save 500 bucks but it's probably the safer bet to replace them all and call it a day. I'll post pics of the demasting when I get back to my home computer. The main port chain plate split at the seam, apparently due to poor forging when it was originally made. According to the metallurgy lab, it was an accident waiting to happen. Unfortunately there was no way to inspect this particular plate as it was sealed up inside the interior paneling with no access. Luckily nobody was injured and we were only about 35nm south of Marathon when it happened. 30K later thanks to BOATUS Insurance, she's ready to go again.
Thanks for the advice,
Lloyd
 

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"The main port chain plate split at the seam, apparently due to poor forging "
Stainless steel? Welcome to the world of crevice corrosion, the trend is to replace all stainless structural parts (turnbuckles, etc.) every 10-20 years as they may simply fail in the saltwater environment. And fail rather dramatically.

Turns out the bronze isn't obsolete after all.
 

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I'd agree with HS. The chainplate failure was probably due to crevice corrosion, especially if the boat is older and the chainplates were 304 instead of 316 stainless.
 

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Two more votes:

1. The old batteries are toast. Don't bother to play with them. If they're 6V 225AH, they're likely to be golf-cart size batteries. Replace them with T-105 Trojans or other high-quality battery. And, if you don't have a proper charging setup aboard to keep these babies fully charged, you're gonna have a replay and fork out more $$$ before long.

2. If one chainplate busted, it's a pretty good bet that others are compromised as well, thru the process of surface corrosion. I pulled all mine and had them tested in Tortola; all of them failed. Some of the 1/2" thru-bolts securing them also failed while being extracted. Be darned sure your chainplates and rigging screws are up to the job. Only real way to do that is to replace them. Cheaper now than later.

JMO,

Bill
 

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Couple of related questions:

1) Is there an easy, nondestructive way to tell what form of stainless steel a component is? Assuming it's already bolted on your boat, not sitting on a shelf in the store.

2) What's the expected lifespan of an SS chainplate?
 

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Adam—

Marine grade (austentitic) stainless steels are non-magnetic. However, the magnet test will not tell you whether it is 304 or 316 stainless. If the magnet sticks to it, then it is not a marine grade of stainless steel, and probably one of the cheaper, less corrosion resistant martenistic grades.
 
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