Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

View Poll Results: How low are you comfortable letting your FLA battery charge on a regular basis
not less than 90%, I keep those batteries charged 2 5.56%
between 80-90% 2 5.56%
between 70-80% 8 22.22%
between 60-70% 11 30.56%
between 60-50% 7 19.44%
50% or less and/or I don't even play attention to their charge level 6 16.67%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-02-2018, 05:37   #1
Are you serious?
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 15,373
Charge comfort level

I really try to not overly worry about my batteries (FLA). Yes they are very very important, but they are cheap in the big picture as long as you don't just completely abuse them. But I wonder if I'm still giving them more attention than needed, so cruisers a poll please.

FWITW - there's no need to start another battery type discussion or that "it is better to fully charge all the time"etc., this is just practical real world question of what people are really doing
__________________

__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2018, 06:02   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 7,286
Re: Charge comfort level

I put 70-80, I do start to get a little twitchy in the upper 70’s, they’re only down that far with several days of windless rain though. Below 70 and I can’t do anything but obsess and start the engine to preserve my sanity.
__________________

Sailmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2018, 06:11   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Probably in an anchorage or a boatyard..
Boat: Ebbtide 33' steel cutter
Posts: 4,624
Re: Charge comfort level

Where's the 100% several ties a week option ?? Ain't that hard.


Different when you might not be anywhere near a country where good ones are actually available.

Many kinds of cruising
conachair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2018, 06:20   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 7,286
Re: Charge comfort level

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Where's the 100% several ties a week option ?? Ain't that hard.





Different when you might not be anywhere near a country where good ones are actually available.



Many kinds of cruising


Good ones what? Batteries?
Sailmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2018, 06:34   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Probably in an anchorage or a boatyard..
Boat: Ebbtide 33' steel cutter
Posts: 4,624
Re: Charge comfort level

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Good ones what? Batteries?
Yep. Or end up with some car batteries which will be lucky to last a while in an anchorage and a long passage .

Away from the marina and shops most cruisers tend to try to look after everything and make it last. Throw away consumerism is not really all that common around the globe.
conachair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2018, 06:38   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Oz
Posts: 894
Re: Charge comfort level

We run the generator 1 - 2 hrs a day at daybreak (some clear long sunny days not at all if the solar panels 720W can do the job - which struggle if use all 2 fridges and freezer). At the same time make 26+ gallons of water and heat 15 gallons of water and every now and then run the clothes washer.

Batteries hardly ever below 75% charged. These are Gel batteries now 7 years old.
Bean Counter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2018, 06:51   #7
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 26,377
Re: Charge comfort level

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bean Counter View Post
We run the generator 1 - 2 hrs a day at daybreak (some clear long sunny days not at all if the solar panels 720W can do the job - which struggle if use all 2 fridges and freezer). At the same time make 26+ gallons of water and heat 15 gallons of water and every now and then run the clothes washer.

Batteries hardly ever below 75% charged. These are Gel batteries now 7 years old.


Iím doing that now, however today Iím delaying the run so that I can heat some water for the Wife to shower. Itís going to be a warm day.
I try to keep the SOC as high as I can.
Summer Iím hoping the panels can do it mostly alone 1,000W
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2018, 07:00   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Easton, MD
Boat: Catalina 22 Capri, 15' Catboat, Bristol 35.5
Posts: 2,284
Re: Charge comfort level

What's the best batteries, FLA, AGM, Gel, Lithium, ?

I don't even think about charging until 70% discharged and I sleep just fine. And I only use solar to charge.
kmacdonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2018, 09:03   #9
Are you serious?
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 15,373
Re: Charge comfort level

When I was researching cruising the standard story was cruisers generally maintained their batteries between 50-75%. I bet in truth this is still fine, but us forum people would be having a nervous twitch going on by then.

Btw to the 1 vote so far for the 50% less and/or don’t play attention. I’ve met a few of you out cruising and I think you might be on to something. Near as I can tell you are getting reasonable battery life,and the shorted life is pretty low cost really, and you aren’t worried about them all the time.
__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2018, 10:41   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Easton, MD
Boat: Catalina 22 Capri, 15' Catboat, Bristol 35.5
Posts: 2,284
Re: Charge comfort level

The battery companies love people to use only 50% capacity-----they sell more batteries and people get the privilege of paying a greater cost per cycle by using only 50% capacity. It's a win-win for them and a lose-lose for the cruiser.
kmacdonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2018, 10:47   #11
Registered User
 
goat's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Everywhere (Sea of Cortez right now)
Boat: PSC Orion 27
Posts: 1,360
Re: Charge comfort level

I can't vote, only have the mobile website. Are you guys disconnecting your batteries and letting them rest to check the voltages, or just checking the voltage first thing in the morning before the solar starts charging?
The lowest I've let mine get is 12.3V. No idea whether I charge to 100%. I go to float around noon here in sunny Mexico. Usually turn the fridge on around then so the beer's cold when I need it.
I should probably care about stuff more, but the beer is cold.

goat
goat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2018, 10:59   #12
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 26,377
Charge comfort level

Iím on the mobile site as well.
However battery chemistry is also a deciding factor, the LifePo folks donít want 100% and will gladly accept less than 50 for example.

I think the numbers are 50 to 85 for lead acid as you can get to 85 usually pretty quick and stay in bulk doing so, above 85 I think is when the acceptance rate really begins to drop, so if your burning fuel and putting hours on a motor to get there, itís diminishing returns after 85 or thereabouts.

Myself, I think many cruisers have no idea what their SOC is, somebody told them to crank the motor when the analog meter shows 12 and run it for two hours, repeat as necessary.
That was my game plan early on although we were just weekending on the Walmart batteries the boat came with.
Itís only when people start buying big high dollar alternators and regulators, etc. and after they buy their first bank that they begin to take notice, I think.
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2018, 11:20   #13
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 6,745
Re: Charge comfort level

ďComfortableĒ is a subjective and relative state of mind. Iím "comfortable" with the batteries dropping low if I know tomorrow will be a sunny day. Iím ďcomfortableĒ if there is wind blowing so my wind gen will pick up the slack. Iím uncomfortable if there is a three-day forecast of fog or heavy overcast skies with no wind.

Normally we reach float almost every day. My general practice is to only run the portable generator when weíre down to around 60%-50% AND the forecast for the coming 12 hrs looks bad for solar and wind. Last season I had to run the generator 1.5 hrs over a six month season.

I will say, I donít really trust my SOC meter. I view it as a general guide. I put more trust in the simple volt meter, and my charge controller.
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2018, 11:20   #14
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,306
Re: Charge comfort level

I just replaced the FLAs in my Airstream trailer. I got 8 years out of them. They were not even deep cycle batteries.

You will not damage your batteries by running them down to 10%. You'll only get half as many cycles as you would running them to 50%. But cycles are not what kill batteries except in industrial environments where they are cycled every day (forklift, floor machine, etc). In a marine environment your batteries will age out before you hit 1000 cycles.

Good quality deep-cycle FLAs die from age and heat, loss of electrolyte due to overcharging, and damage due to being left fully discharged for lengthy periods (more than a few hours). In cold climates it is also possible to damage them by freezing while discharged.

So I run the down to 10% when it makes sense.
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2018, 12:00   #15
Are you serious?
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 15,373
Re: Charge comfort level

Whatever spin reply you wish to post, please vote
__________________

__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
vetus waterlock-how level is level? Halifax Sailor Engines and Propulsion Systems 0 15-07-2016 05:56
To echo charge or not echo charge..... Swift Drift Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 11 11-11-2015 05:56
Sterling Charge Pro Ultra Conditioning Charge? mukilteomaniac Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 12 13-07-2015 03:46
Tortola Theory, To Charge or not to Charge? alexleclainche Atlantic & the Caribbean 5 29-01-2008 16:30
To Charge or Not to Charge... alexleclainche Engines and Propulsion Systems 2 12-06-2007 21:31



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:32.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.