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Old 10-09-2010, 21:24   #16
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I am sure I saw T-105's advetised for $110 just a few days agao. I realize that you are where you are, but have you tried the local golf course? Getting in on an order might be a possiblitiy and I can bet that they don't pay $168! Your addition to their order might just make them happy.
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Old 10-09-2010, 22:23   #17
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Well....the problem with this argument is that in this case, the Trojan's and the Costco's weight almost exactly the same!!

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Thomas
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:54   #18
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I presently work in a Marine store, our rep for batteries informed me that there are only 3 companies that actually make batteries...If that is true many of the off name batteries must be made by the same company?

On Tivoli we use Trojans and have been very happy, 5 years and going strong..
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:41   #19
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I presently work in a Marine store, our rep for batteries informed me that there are only 3 companies that actually make batteries...
Just a thought. It is possible for one company to many different battereis without them being the same. When it comes to quality products if a company makes say 10 batteries. The batteries with their name on them are the best ones they know how to make. It's the same with a lot of things. To say that two batteries are the same because:

1. Only three companies actually make batteries (not really true)
2. The weight is the same

Just isn't very much for the comparison. Even the amp hour rating can be deceiveing too. T105's for $110 I really don't think so. It's been a very long time since they sold that cheap. I like them myself and replaced mine about 4 years ago and they are doing fine. Well cared for you can get 7 years maybe 10 under perfect condions or light use.

I know where I bought mine and you can't buy them wholesale for $110 even 3 years ago.

If you follow Passage Maker they do pretty decent battery reviews and therre is a lot more to which batteries perfrom better for various applications. The problem with CostCo batteries is they don't always get them from the same supplier so they may not be the same battery year to year. With Trojan they make and sell only their batteries and they do a larger percentage of their business in the deep cycle market. Not all deep cycle batteries are made for the same job either. The T105's have a long reputation in the marine battery bank application. The track record has been exceptional both in terms of performance and the many many years on the water.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:50   #20
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Some people have mentioned weight as an indicator of plate thickness, number of plates or some other indicator of quality. Please do not make that mistake when choosing batteries as some mfgs who shall remain nameless for this purpose, know that myth and intentionally increased the case size, thickness and weight to appear heavier. This is not an uncommon practice in marketing in general and is true with some battery companies as well.

Brand name and price are far better indicators of quality.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:54   #21
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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Some people have mentioned weight as an indicator of plate thickness, number of plates or some other indicator of quality. Please do not make that mistake when choosing batteries as some mfgs who shall remain nameless for this purpose ...
What purpose is served by keeping the alleged manufacturer's name a secret?
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:19   #22
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Trojan T-105 6V Golf Cart Battery

Just a quick search, the google listing for price and I haven't looked further. I know that shipping adds and so much more. My recolection was $110 but the price advertised is $115...I guess my thought was that perhaps combining an order with a golfcourse or even a group of boaters in your local might reduce the price of the real thing to being not that much more than the potentially inferior product.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:20   #23
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I have NEVER had better experiences with pedigree batteries than I had with good quality no-name brands. Sure, I have seen others with pedigrees who claim "my battery is 15 years old and still going strong!" Hard to believe.

Batteries remind me of bottom paint. The difference in performance between the pricey stuff and the cheaper stuff is great while the performance difference is small. OH, and over the last 10 years or so I purchased my batteries from Wally World and I have no problems with their performance. Prior to that I purchased no name stuff from a battery shop after losing the allure of pedigree brands.

The culprit responsible for most early battery failures is sulfation. Smart battery chargers eliminate or at least minimize this problem today.

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Old 11-09-2010, 08:56   #24
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Pblais,

Point well taken...
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:20   #25
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WOW!, I just reread my post


"Batteries remind me of bottom paint. The difference in performance between the pricey stuff and the cheaper stuff is great while the performance difference is small. "

That should have been:

Batteries remind me of bottom paint. The difference in PRICE between the pricey stuff and the cheaper stuff is great while the performance difference is small.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:12   #26
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I shopped around, was quoted $1000 for 2 8d Decca AGM's. I went to Florida West Coast Batteries (NO Affiliation) and paid $325 each. I think I will add one more on the house bank.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:30   #27
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The culprit responsible for most early battery failures is sulfation. Smart battery chargers eliminate or at least minimize this problem today.
The biggest culprit for flood battery failure is poor charging systems that don't compensate for temperature, failure to maintain fluid levels and failure to be equalized properly. They require more maintenance than AGM batteries and cost more to recharge and make more heat due to the lower absorption rate. The cost of the battery is not the whole cost. The penalty for improper maintenance is also pretty high. Anecdotal stories can't really sort out the abuse from the battery quality.

The level of use plays a critical part. Using batteries 30 days a year isn't the same as every day. The room for error decreases as the number of days increases.

Quote:
My recollection was $110 but the price advertised is $115...I guess my thought was that perhaps combining an order with a golf course or even a group of boaters in your local might reduce the price of the real thing to being not that much more than the potentially inferior product.
That price does not include shipping (add $25+) and the price isn't really valid until you can place an order and find out if they have any. Buying batteries in any quantity can sometimes get you free delivery from a local supplier. For real savings in quantity you need to be talking several 100's of units and even at that there isn't going to be much savings. A friend replaced 14 for his bank. He has a large Krogen trawler with a big genset and massive inverter. He runs household appliances for the most part. He got them delivered no charge to the boat and they took back the dead soldiers so it saved a lot of back breaking work but not any money.

I would use AGM batteries as I really liked them in my last boat. You need a tight charging system for AGM batteries as they don't take being improperly charged very well. You still need an equalization but the maintenance on them is minimal and the higher absorption rate gives you a steeper profile and saves fuel. If you mostly use shore power to charge and have a decent charger then the fuel savings start to go away.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:56   #28
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Hummmm I'm learning a lot here, I love this site!

So, it seems the quality of the battery is only a part of the equation. An excellent external regulator, high quality smart battery charger and remembering to replace the water over time are as if not more important than the batteries themselves. Very expensive top of the line batteries can be turned into toast with poor maintenance, improper charging, etc. As with most things in life, there is not one answer, it is a complex algorithm with multiple factors needing attention.

For now, I think I'm going to just buy 4 Costco's which will serve me well to get the boat back up here from SF. If it turns out premium batteries are the way to do, I'm only out $300. I will also start investigating monitors, chargers and external regulators along with the ins and outs of installation.

Jeeze all this could turn into Work!

As an aside, when I owned a house, doing most anything to it was drudgery. The same task on a boat, pure joy. Funny that.

Regards,

Thomas
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:14   #29
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I will also start investigating monitors, chargers and external regulators along with the ins and outs of installation.

I'm a big fan of monitors. They tell you about what is really going on and where your batteries are at. They can save you from too many batteries and can help you spot early warning signs. With batteries you can tell if the water is low by looking and if the tops are bulging then they are shot. You can see dirty terminals too. That is almost all there is to looking at a battery and knowing anything important. A voltage reading really won't tell you that much.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:30   #30
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Originally Posted by Island Mike View Post
I presently work in a Marine store, our rep for batteries informed me that there are only 3 companies that actually make batteries...If that is true many of the off name batteries must be made by the same company?

On Tivoli we use Trojans and have been very happy, 5 years and going strong..
Your battery rep is either misinformed or just plain lying to you.

I hear & see statements like this bantered around as fact often, and while close, it is not quite true. While there are only a hand full of US makers left there are other choices than just Trojan & Exide or Trojan & Johnson Controls..

U.S. Battery - Stand alone brand builds there own batteries in three US plants. Excellent quality used by many golf courses and in industrial vehicles.

Trojan - Builds their batteries in the US

Johnson Controls - US maker of batteries for many name brands like Sears' DieHard, Auto Zone's Duralast, Wal*Mart's EverStart & MAXX Marine, Motorcraft, Optima, etc..

GNB/Exide - Makes Exide and many other "brands" here in the US

Superior - Small US battery maker who builds under their own brand and also does much private labeling. Builds a very good quality 6V GC2 battery.

Rolls/Surette - Nova Scotia maker of very high quality deep cycle batteries. Used to be in NH.

Deka/East Penn - Another large independent US battery maker located in PA. They make the batteries for American Battery, West Marine and many others.

Concorde/Lifeline - Independent family owned maker of batteries in California.

Crown - Independent manufacturer in Ohio.


The above list is of actual makers, who have factories, & build batteries for themselves and other brands in the US or Canada (Rolls/Surette). There are probably a few more I missed but a large number of the batteries are made by that list..

If you want to go to over seas you'll find Vision in China as the worlds larges sealed lead acid battery maker, GS Yuasa and many, many more that are also imported here with a list far too long to compile.

By the way as far as I can tell good old American made AC Delco batteries are now imported by Powermax and made in Ningbo, China!
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