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Old 10-04-2019, 18:30   #1
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All types cheap battery charger?

I'm 26, inherited a beautiful boat that needs work. Was wondering a great suggestion for a great priced battery charger for all types of 12v batteries (AGM, gel, wet, etc.). I just recovered from hand surgery and am low on cash so I'm hoping best advice from senior sailors.
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Old 10-04-2019, 18:33   #2
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Re: All types cheap battery charger?

What size bank(s)? And current use of the boat?
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Old 10-04-2019, 18:37   #3
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Re: All types cheap battery charger?

the best multi chemistry battery charger is the Sterling/ProNautic. All others that cost less are a false economy as batteries are not cheap.
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Old 10-04-2019, 20:22   #4
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Re: All types cheap battery charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Berg View Post
the best multi chemistry battery charger is the Sterling/ProNautic. All others that cost less are a false economy as batteries are not cheap.
X2^^^ But if youíre just keeping it for daysails while you restore and just need to maintain a single start/house battery a small solar cell may get you by as the good chargers that can charge a decent bank will be north of $500-$1000 by the time you get the charger, cable, fuses to do the job properly. Once you exceed a 20amp charger the price jumps are prettty drastic.
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:13   #5
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Re: All types cheap battery charger?

As RBK says prices skyrocket for big chargers but generally you only need a charger when plugged into the dock with 24hr power. a charger that will give a C20 rge charge rate is probably enough. If you don' mind slow delivery and some risk take a look on Allybarber. There are some good cheap chargers but some risk. I have got some really good stuff from there but don' expect the warrenty to be worth much, usually the return postage would be more than the replacement cost! Most of the known brands are made there anyway so why not buy direct.
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Old 11-04-2019, 13:05   #6
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Re: All types cheap battery charger?

What Roland Stockham said
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Old 11-04-2019, 13:32   #7
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Re: All types cheap battery charger?

I just bought a Victron IP 65 charger for $130. It is a 12V 15 amp. Will charge a
200 amp. Bank That is about as cheap a good charger you can get. This charger
Has Blue tooth and will charge all types of batteries even lithium. Or go on eBay
And buy va used one. But be careful, lot of junk on eBay.
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Old 11-04-2019, 17:07   #8
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Re: All types cheap battery charger?

Wow. Thank you everyone. I will research all the suggested posts.
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Old 11-04-2019, 17:11   #9
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Re: All types cheap battery charger?

Should note that to size the charger to your bank it should provide minimum 10% of your total capacity 20amp for 200 ah bank; 40amp for 400ah bank and so on. You can use a 15 amp charger on a 600ah bank but will reduce the life of your charger and run the risk of not fully charging your batteries when charge times are limited.
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Old 11-04-2019, 18:11   #10
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Re: All types cheap battery charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Berg View Post
the best multi chemistry battery charger is the Sterling/ProNautic. All others that cost less are a false economy as batteries are not cheap.
I have a Cal246 and have installed two 200AH banks with 4 Golf cart batteries. Over the winter they were serviced by a 2/4amp triple charger the died and the batteries went down to about 8 volts total. I am now looking for a charger and the Sterling looks good. I was recommended a BlueSeas unit but they are not in stock after their factory fire. I want to be pushed toward this sterling so I can get on with projects.
One other question about the Balmar SG200. Can I use just one of those to monitor both banks. Currently there is an A/B Both switch and a toggle switch to read an old analog meter that has the scale flaking off. Voltage only.

Hope this post here is OK.
Thanks for help. Love this forum lurk here almost every day for years.
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Old 11-04-2019, 18:56   #11
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Re: All types cheap battery charger?

Sterling and pronautic are virtually identical. The balmar will monitor both banks. Do you have it wired for two 12v separate banks or in series and parallel for one 12v bank? Second is best option and a regular 12v dedicated starter with an ARC to auto charge the start.
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Old 11-04-2019, 19:34   #12
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Re: All types cheap battery charger?

The setup is from 1976 when the boat was built There are now two banks and a dedicated Starter battery. They are all charged by the engine alternator through a "Sure Power" Mod 2708 Multi Batter Isolator. I have questions about that device.
I have considered joining the two banks to make one 400 AH bank but that leaves the possibility of running the whole works dead.

Solar panels are in the future also. The Refer is AC only and works but for how long?
What does ARC stand for?
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Old 11-04-2019, 20:45   #13
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Re: All types cheap battery charger?

Quote:
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The setup is from 1976 when the boat was built There are now two banks and a dedicated Starter battery. They are all charged by the engine alternator through a "Sure Power" Mod 2708 Multi Batter Isolator. I have questions about that device.
I have considered joining the two banks to make one 400 AH bank but that leaves the possibility of running the whole works dead.

Solar panels are in the future also. The Refer is AC only and works but for how long?
What does ARC stand for?
Iím typing on my phone with a broken hand so Iíll refer you here. Read all of this site:
https://marinehowto.com

Then report back. In short your 40 year old equipment isnít doing your bank any favours and itís due for an upgrade. Your sure power is an auto combiner (ARC is a brand name) and your alternator is most likely internally regulated, might consider external regulation to keep your banks healthy. You could keep the ac refer if youíre doing coastal hops or your plans allow for it. Might be time to upgrade that as well but Iíd look at your bank and charging and get your battery replacement intervals as long as possible, itíll save you money in the long run.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:57   #14
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Re: All types cheap battery charger?

Greetings and belated welcome aboard the CF, Char99.
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Old 16-04-2019, 09:01   #15
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Re: All types cheap battery charger?

I just installed a new Pronautic 1250P. It is amazingly great, because it solved all my battery issues. You could probably get by with a 1230. It's well worth the money.
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