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Old 20-10-2009, 11:40   #16
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Nope, This won't be a weekend gig. The boat is under refit for liveaboard and Carribean/GOM cruising. We have the standard lighting requirements, radar, chartplotter, etc.; plus reefer and air-con are already installed. Of course, we're getting the cart before the horse I guess because the refit isn't complete so we don't know yet what the total load will be.
FLA's are out of the question! Not a matter of maintenance, just long term reliability. I don't see that in FLA's.

Quote:
Do you have a space limitation and the need for a large battery bank?
yes
Quote:
Do you have to put the battery bank in the lazarette because of space limitations?
yes, aft of the cockpit is the "battery box". this will all be moved to the starboard lazarette which accesses the engine compartment under the sole.
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Do you have a well ventilated engine room
yes
Quote:
with a flat, 4' x 4' area
no
Quote:
Do you have a power hungry bow thruster that needs its on battery bank?
no, but extra electronics most likely. PC, stereo, etc..
Quote:
Are you a weekend boater with moderate electrical needs that can be served by a 300 A-hr bank?
nope(weekend); maybe (300ahr)
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Old 20-10-2009, 15:57   #17
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Fishman-My Q & A were provided as different generalized scenarios to try and illustrate the point that there are many, many variables to consider when designing a battery system.
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Old 20-10-2009, 17:01   #18
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LOL, I know. I was feeling silly, it's been a rough day. Actually, we plan to be electronically top-heavy but are replacing ALL lighting with LED, so that'll help some. The reefer is an older Adler-Barbour w/evaporator(may be wrong about the type). the air-con is engine driven compressor but DC blower. The usual electronics with 4kw radar, dual gps, chartplotter, older style instruments and transducers, desktop(built-in)PC, stereo, VHF and possibly SSB right out the gate.

Guess the best thing is to "get 'er done" and then break out the "clamp-on" and check the load with everything running. Then go from there.

My main concern was the usability of Optima D31M AGM vs true gel cell. But I guess when it gets down to it, one should use group 8D for cruising house batteries instead of group 31 where space is an issue. As pricing is less for for capacity using G8D vs the same in G31, i.e. it would cost more in group 31's to match the capacity in group 8D; in dollars and in space required.
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Old 26-11-2009, 14:04   #19
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Well...after reading the forums over the last week and trying to review some battery information, I think I am even more confused than at the start....lthought perhaps making some headway. I figure the "idiot" thread is as good as any for me to post njub questions in.


I just got my first sailboat. I am over my head and trying to learn as much as I can. We are on a 1985 Taratan 34. Sailied it on Lake Erie for our first *very" green season and did OK (by OK I mean didn't cause any damage to the ship, ourselves or others. )

Anyway, we had been told that the 2 batterries on board were supposedly replaced in August, 2008. However, toward the end of the season we started having some trouble starting the engine after being on the water daysailing for a few hours. At lift out this fall I pulled the batteries and noted that the stickers are actually 8/2005. They are Interestate SRM-24.

I am hoping to learn enough over the winter (I'm giving myself 5 months to figure this out...slow learner) to purchase the correct batteries for next year.

We are weekenders only with a couple of planned week long trips this coming summer. We're on shore power in the marina otherwise. I like to run our stereo when out (and need to power from the cigarrette adapter for the satellite radio receiver to do so). I would like to hook a laptop to learn chartplotter software.

I am trying to figure out which batteries to buy.

Care to make some brand/model recommendations?



Happy Thanksgiving too!

Thanks dergon
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Old 26-11-2009, 17:24   #20
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When was it written? Maybe it is some old stuff? Maybe Sterling have/had problem building a decent AGM charger?

I like AGMs, they charge fast so if charged from the alternator with a decent regulator they less noise less fumes and heat is made.

They are a bit expensive, true. But money is issue to some, not to others.

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Old 27-11-2009, 07:47   #21
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In my personal opinion, I wouldn't touch an Interstate battery if it is to be left on a constant trickle charge. We used them @ the phone company on backup generators and at least one or two would short out every year and have to be replaced. We have to take meticulous care of backup power here due to everything from your phone to 911 services depend on it.
JMHO
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Old 27-11-2009, 09:52   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dergon View Post
Well...after reading the forums over the last week and trying to review some battery information, I think I am even more confused than at the start....lthought perhaps making some headway. I figure the "idiot" thread is as good as any for me to post njub questions in.


I just got my first sailboat. I am over my head and trying to learn as much as I can. We are on a 1985 Taratan 34. Sailied it on Lake Erie for our first *very" green season and did OK (by OK I mean didn't cause any damage to the ship, ourselves or others. )

Anyway, we had been told that the 2 batterries on board were supposedly replaced in August, 2008. However, toward the end of the season we started having some trouble starting the engine after being on the water daysailing for a few hours. At lift out this fall I pulled the batteries and noted that the stickers are actually 8/2005. They are Interestate SRM-24.

I am hoping to learn enough over the winter (I'm giving myself 5 months to figure this out...slow learner) to purchase the correct batteries for next year.

We are weekenders only with a couple of planned week long trips this coming summer. We're on shore power in the marina otherwise. I like to run our stereo when out (and need to power from the cigarrette adapter for the satellite radio receiver to do so). I would like to hook a laptop to learn chartplotter software.

I am trying to figure out which batteries to buy.

Care to make some brand/model recommendations?



Happy Thanksgiving too!

Thanks dergon
I am by no means an expert, but I've learned a lot about batteries and electrics just by reading this forum, so I will share a couple of thoughts:

1. I think the two best writers on boat electric are Nigel Calder and Don Casey. Consider investing in their books to use to educate yourself. The two Calder books I'd recommend are:

Amazon.com: Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems (9780071432382): Nigel Calder: Books

and

Amazon.com: Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbook: A Compendium for Coastal and Offshore Sailors (9780071350990): Nigel Calder, Nigel Calder: Books

The Casey book I'd recommend is:

Amazon.com: Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual: Including Inspecting the Aging Sailboat, Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair, Sailboat Refinishing, Sailbo (9780071462846): Don Casey: Books

These three books would give you a lot of material to learn from re. batteries and electrics. And they also will give you a lot of great material on diesels, which is the other area that I would encourage you to study. (I assume your boat has a diesel... if it has an Atomic Four gas engine, don't panic, they are great engines too. You just need to go else where to get up to speed on maintaining and repairing it your self.)

A few specific thoughts on your battery situation:

1. Invest in a battery charger that has a "de-sulphating" cycle. Your current batteries might be usable for another year or two if you de-sulphate them. I have this one:

Amazon.com: Schumacher SSC-1000A Automatic Speed Battery Charger: Automotive

2. I'd recommend adding to your battery capacity. If you are able to continue using the current batteries, set them up as your "house bank" and add an engine starting battery and a battery isolator that prevents you from draining your engine starter with your house needs.

3. Have your alternator checked out or check it out yourself. It may not be charging.

4. Consider adding a solar cell to provide additional charging capability.
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Old 27-11-2009, 12:29   #23
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Thanks for the reply. As we speak I am just opening the chapter on batteries in Don Casey's book.

Looks like I'm going to have to get under the cover and check the alternator and what kind of battery charger there is ....after I learn to locate those devices and what things I need to test them

I'll also have to measure up our battery space and see what I can do to upgrade.

dergon_gf's mother (they cruies lots on an old Tartan 30) is just in the process of going to 3 SRM-31 rateds for their extended out time.
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Old 27-11-2009, 12:51   #24
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dergon, one other comment for you.

When thinking about batteries, keep in mind that many sailors here are long-term or liveaboard cruisers, whose battery needs are probably much more demanding than yours will be. Your best bet in a marine battery is probably the standard deep cycle wet cell battery. Stick to group 31 or smaller for ease of handling. I buy mine at Costco for around $60 each. You may also want to consider their 6v golf cart batteries, wired in series to match your 12v system, or the gold standard in 6v golf cart batteries, the Trojan 105 which have been reported to once again be available at reasonable cost in certain locations.
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Old 27-11-2009, 13:51   #25
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dergon,

speedoo is right. Since you will be plugged into a marina a lot, you have many fewer worries about battery chemistry - any name brand deep cycle will last you five years as long as you don't run it flat too many times. Do take the time to clean (or even replace) your battery cables. Here's a guy on ebay I've used who makes great custom battery cables eBay Store - marine electrical: marine wire, boat cable, marine grade

Also, Calder's book has some great suggestions as to more "fool proof" ways to configure your electrical system than the old "1,2,both" battery switch.

Fishman has more choices. As mentioned, new TPPL batteries (Odyssey) "may" be a real breakthrough because they have much higher charge acceptance rates. Instead of 10%-20% charge rates these will accept 100%+. I find this hard to believe but Nigel Calder is finding it to be true on his new hybrid boat. Of course, this only matters if you have a really big alternator or charger. Calder expects that (if this technology works) it will lead to smaller battery banks and higher capacity charging systems. Here's an article Calder wrote for Professional Boatbuilder about the new battery technologies.

Professional BoatBuilder - February/March 2008

You'll also see in the article other unreleased technologies, like Firefly, that have even more promise. Since batteries are an important part of cruising, I expect we will be treated to years of great arguments on this board on whether the new battery technologies are better than the "tried and true" T105s. It promises to be a great show right up there with, "rollbar anchors" or even "mono hull vs. cat "

Carl
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Old 30-11-2009, 10:44   #26
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OK...so I'm now torn. Since I am a simplton I've tried to bring myself to a binary decision.

1 - a pair of Lifeline AGM Group 31

2- a pair of Trojan T-1275


(( i think I am too stupid to run set it up to run 6v in parallel ))


Do the 12v trojans also qualify as "tried and true" in the opinion of this forum?
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Old 30-11-2009, 11:08   #27
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So my battery bank in under our aft stateroom bed..is this a bad place to have it?
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Old 30-11-2009, 12:48   #28
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The batteries I've had go bad have been either from lack of use or a direct short in the battery. Interestingly I've had 3 8D configuration batteries and 2 of the 3 have died early of a direct short! Go figure....
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Old 30-11-2009, 13:57   #29
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What great reading, one more thing needs to be addressed. It is very impt to have the proper ac charger for the battery . We started with standard 8D's and 6V golf . Ferro chargers trickle charged 24-7 and I was adding water monthly (over charged). Only getting 2 yrs out of 8D's. Replaced with new programable step chargers and check twice a yr with very little water added. For 9 yrs have been a rolls man. We live on the hook for 7 to 10 months . Charge my invertor batts up to 100% once a day. I know it is not the 80%-50% rule a lot of cruisors use, but when I check my specific gravity it is always up indicating no sulfation. Keeping the big reds happy,
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:11   #30
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So my battery bank in under our aft stateroom bed..is this a bad place to have it?
The short answer is yes.

By definition, every smartly regulated charging device will take the batteries to the acceptance voltage; typically 14.2 to 14.7 VDC for most battery chemistry in a 12 VDC system at 25 C (77 F). For flooded, lead acid (FLA) batteries, this voltage is the inception of mild gassing. Thus, during every charging cycle, your batteries are producing hydrogen gas in minute quantities that can become greater than minute if the charging source is not temperature compensated or something goes wrong with the charging source.

My recommendation is to not put FLA batteries in a living space unless you take measures to properly vent the battery compartment over the side. Conservative? Absolutely!

Charlie
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