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Old 17-08-2008, 14:06   #31
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Originally Posted by Acoustic View Post
My brother has two Sam's Club GC2 6V batteries made by Johnson Controls and they are now six years old and have been used on a dumb regulator system with a two phase charge
Anecdotal evidence and one or a few experiences are usually not a firm basis upon which to base any decision. I'm sure there are examples of someone getting something for nothing for which they were pleased.
I could (but won't) discuss how my $88 Trojans are going on 8 years still strong but won't argue the point. No doubt the price is higher today but even if they were $100 more than the cheap stuff, that works out to a grand total of $12/year which I guess someone will find fault with - it's your choice...

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Old 17-08-2008, 15:18   #32
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For what it's worth; I put Kirkland batteries into my previous boat 5 years ago. They worked perfectly with little/no maintenance. (Disconnected and left aboard over Canadian winters) I've just replaced the batts in my new boat with Kirklands. I have nothing but good things to say about them.

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Old 17-08-2008, 16:24   #33
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I have never had a bad experience with a Costco/Kirkland brand. They do a great job of sourcing and working with the manufacturers to put a great product out at a good price. And they have great warranties.
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Old 17-08-2008, 16:29   #34
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Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post

I know I couldn't buy any of the food, but the staples might be worth a look...
You could always buy a sh#t load of toilet paper.
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Old 17-08-2008, 18:02   #35
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Now to get Costco in Florida...with dockage as it is, we need more savings!

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Old 17-08-2008, 18:04   #36

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Sully, Costco has some good things to eat at time. Like New Zealand lamb [contents: lamb, period] in the frozen meats, and "just meat" in the cooler counter. Some folks swear by it, others say it is no bargain, probably varies by store. But they were ahead of the salmonella scare--requiring the greens to be tested and held before shipping to them. Eveything they have is not a bargain, but a lot can be.

Nuts [contents, just nuts] can be a bargian there, too. And they certainly will be cheaper than Whole Foods for what they have. Including pomegrante juice--refrigerated with no additives. It can be worth a look.

All the battery companies (East Penn, JCI, etc.) make "white box" product on contract spec. Whatever contract spec Costco sets--is the product thye bid on contracts on. Costco also sells seasonal goods, i.e. lawn chairs in the spring but don't look for them after July. They sell what turns over fast, to maximize profit.

Also sometimes an exceptional price on wines (in the stores) and hard liquor (in the store next door) and very competitive on pharmacy and optician in-house, as well as electronics. They were one of the first large channels to drop vacuum-tube TVs and go "flat screen only" last year, and they are one of the few places that you can buy computers and eletronics--and return them within 90 days with no penalty.

However they contract to buy batteries--they have an excellent rep for customer satisfaction, the way Sears used to do it. No questions asked.

Whether their toll-free national number would tell anyone what the spec is on their battery contracts, I don't know. I've never seen marine batteries in the ones I have been in, either the wrong time or the wrong place.<G>
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Old 17-08-2008, 18:44   #37
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Old 17-08-2008, 19:13   #38
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Some years ago my wife's brother came with the visit from Toronto and went to check our local Costco store here in Kelowna, British Columbia.
He came home very excited because there it was,right in the middle of the store, a mini submarine, that would fit two, for a mere thirty thousand dollars, and it was made here in Kelowna . This is what I call a "seasonal" sale, as this was in the middle of the summer.
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Old 17-08-2008, 20:08   #39

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Batteries in the auto shop makes sense to me. Dunno why, they rack them inside with the motor oil in the ones I've been to. Haven't checked to see if the deep cycle ones are racked with the tires--not that deep cycle users usually pick up tires at the same time.<G>
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Old 05-09-2008, 18:30   #40
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Where did you get your ideas about Costco?

Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
There is no such thing as a Costco label battery - as someone already pointed out, there are only a few battery mfgs in the U.S. and costco isn't one of them. Rather, they buy typically off-the-shelf old inventory and therefore discounted batteries from any one of a number of these mfgs so at any given time, you have no idea how old or who made the so-called Costco battery. You certainly can get lucky but just as often not so the question becomes why take the chance?
Amortized over the life of a good battery, figure out if you are saving more than a few dollars per year...
This is not true at all. Costco doesn't buy 'remnants.' You take no chance buying at Costco, as they have the best return policy and service on the planet. Their maximum markup is 14%, and if they put their name (Kirkland brand) on something, it is a very good product at a very good price. I don't work for them, but I have sold to them, but not batteries.
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Old 18-09-2008, 12:23   #41
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Guess I have been lucky

Guess I have been lucky with those "remnant" Costco batteries.

I use a bank of 2 batteries and both are Kirkland. The two in use now were bought in 2000 and are still performing like new. My cruising season is from the beginning of April until the end of October. I do maintain them and remove them for the Northwest winter but check them throughout the year. Save one for starting and use the other for all the "goodies" on the boat.

Will probably replace them this year just because it has been so long. The replacements will definitely be Kirkland batteries. They are group 27.
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Old 17-10-2008, 03:13   #42
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Costco Batteries are great

Bought 5 Costco Marine Batteries. I weighed them on a scale and they weighed the same as Leading West Marine batteries. They lasted 4 1/2 years and we could sit at anchor for a week without running engine.
( Used ice not refrigeration). Oh also charged them with 35 Amp Yanmar alternator. No problem............
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Old 17-10-2008, 05:10   #43

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Actually, your described experience suggests that the cheaper batteries are higher quality. I hope you'll pardon my skepticism.
Gord, I was faced with making a battery decision in June and began the research. What I found helpful were the R/V forums. The Walmart / Sams batteries are heavily favored there.

I bought a pair of Group 27, 12V, deep cycle, 115 amp hour, wet cell batteries which were $60 bucks apiece. They work great. Cheaper can in fact be better or rather "bang for the buck" is better. In this forum, the data on the Walmart batteries is just beginning to be noticed. But if you take a look in some of the R/V forums. Guys have data going back years. The deep cycle, cheap Walmart batteries are lasting 5 years or more.

Remember, small Yanmar diesels require very little starting current in a warm, tropical environment. I would argue that starting batteries are in fact not necessary in the Tropics, for a sailboat where CCA is not a factor.
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Old 17-10-2008, 05:49   #44
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Originally Posted by Tropic Cat View Post
... Cheaper can in fact be better or rather "bang for the buck" is better ...
... Remember, small Yanmar diesels require very little starting current in a warm, tropical environment. I would argue that starting batteries are in fact not necessary in the Tropics, for a sailboat where CCA is not a factor.

Cheaper is seldom “better” (in absolute terms); but can certainly represent better “value” (bang for the buck).
Dedicated starting batteries aren’t required for most small diesel engines, including Yanmars.
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Old 17-10-2008, 06:31   #45
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Shortly before I executed on my battery plan I was given two used deep cycle marine batteries. They were labeled 100amp hours and the brand was something "state"- the logo was green. Can't remember more.

Anyway, West Marine tested them and said they showed both dead and unhealthy so I went ahead and bought four of the Costco 115amp deep cycle marine batteries- they were 80ish each. The ???state batteries were FAR heavier than the Costco batteries. This mad/makes me a little nervous but not enough to change directions.

Today I rip out the old battery box (just right for two car batteries but not big enough for two group 27s) then install 4 single battery boxes and wire in the second battery for each bank. I also add the 100amp alternator and fridge.

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