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Old 08-06-2009, 12:12   #1
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Which Golf Cart Batteries ?

I was reading one Don Casey's books on the boat this weekend and in one section he was recommending golf cart batteries as an inexpensive option for house bank batteries. He's was explaining how they are very similar to deep-cycle batteries (less cycles) but could be bought for around $60 (the year the book was written).

Now that I'm looking into them on-line, I'm finding all different kinds of golf cart batteries. I've found gel, AGM, maintenance free, etc.

In the book he has all these batteries in different columns in a chart with golf cart being in their own column.

Does anyone know which kind of golf cart batteries he's referring to? I'm hoping there's standard 12v one. He was specifically referring to inexpensive ones.



(I've searched CF will little success)
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:34   #2
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I have four 6 volt golf cart batteries - Trojan wet cell
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:39   #3
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Casey referred to the Trojan 105's as the best value in his book on sailboat electrics and for many years sailors preferred that battery for the house bank. It's a 6V battery originally used widely in golf carts and then adopted by sailors. Unfortunately Trojan dramatically raised its price for that battery a couple of years ago so it is no longer the bargain it was before the price increase.

I don't know if there is any consensus now on the bast value battery for a house bank.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:42   #4
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I have four 6 volt golf cart batteries - Trojan wet cell
Where is your battery compartment on your Beneteau, and what battery do you use? Mine is under the quarterberth and I don't think there is enough height there for the Trojan 105.
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Old 08-06-2009, 13:31   #5
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Freerider,

Sorry, there's no Free Ride anymore! (just couldn't resist:-)

Trojan has raised their prices for the ubiquitous T-105, but it's still very highly regarded. I have 10 of them....8 on the boat and two at home to power my radios.

Flooded golf-cart batteries are certainly the price-point in house batteries. Two of them (6V each) will net you about 225AH @ 12v of power for around $200-250, or just about $1 per AH.

AGMs and gels cost anywhere from 2 to 4 or more times as much, though there are savings in recharging costs.

High-end flooded deep-cycle batteries (Rolls/Surette) cost about the same as AGMs, but have a life expectancy of 10-15 years, compared to the 3-5 years for run-of-the-mill flooded golf-cart batteries.

If you treat them well, you might get more than 5 years (my radio batteries are now 5 years old and test very good; have been continuously under charge with an Iota 45A charger...pulse-charging and periodic equalization). If you don't treat 'em well, you can kill them in under a year.

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Old 08-06-2009, 13:38   #6
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I use the West Marine 215AH 6V wet cells and have gotten good results. On their 4th year now.
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Old 08-06-2009, 15:12   #7
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Freerider,

Sorry, there's no Free Ride anymore! (just couldn't resist:-)-
But that's my thing!!

So these all seem to be 6v batteries you're talking about, which i assume you can make work with a 12v system? My electrical knowledge is still in the progression mode.

What about these batteries, anybody have any experience with them? They seem to be more in the price range he was talking about, although there could be a very good reason why they're cheap.

UPG U1 Golf Cart Battery

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Old 08-06-2009, 15:18   #8
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Be VERY CAREFUL when trying to compare batteries. The "golf cart" battery you referenced IS NOT a golf-cart size battery in the general usage of the term.

Golf cart batteries are 6V, about 225AH, about 10" tall, and weigh about 60lbs. This one is 12V, only 35AH (if you can believe it), only 7" tall, and weighs only 24lbs. Altogether a MUCH smaller battery, and much less powerful.

Look at the specs for a Trojan T-105 (Google it); these are the "gold-standard" of golf-cart batteries, though there are lots of others in the approximately same category which sell for less money. Sometimes less turns out to be more, though :-)

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Old 08-06-2009, 15:26   #9
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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post

Golf cart batteries are 6V, about 225AH, about 10" tall, and weigh about 60lbs. This one is 12V, only 35AH (if you can believe it), only 7" tall, and weighs only 24lbs. Altogether a MUCH smaller battery, and much less powerful.
That's the reason for the price then!

Thanks for the help so far!
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Old 08-06-2009, 16:07   #10
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The most popular Golf Cart size batteries are definitely the Trojan T105, but if you are looking for more bang for your buck then you can probably use the US2200 or other similar batteries that you can find cheaper than the Trojan.
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Old 08-06-2009, 17:43   #11
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Ok can someone clarify this:

For 6v instead of 12v batteries do i have to run 2 6v in a series to make 12v. Then run my series (1,2 or 3 of them) in parallel with each other to make a 12v bank.

Is this how its done?
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Old 08-06-2009, 17:45   #12
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Freerider:
Two identical batteries in SERIES sums the voltage but keeps the combined amperage the same. Two batteries in PARALLEL sums the amperage and keeps the voltage the same.
So, two 6V high amperage batteries in series gives you a high amperage 12V system. For instance the two West batteries that I use are are 6V 370AH (amp hour) batteries which I use in SERIES to get a 370AH 12V house system. It would take many large 12V batteries in PARALLEL to get that much amperage.(It would take 4 large group 31 12V West batteries to give me slightly more AH than the two 6V)
The 6V deep cycle battereis also give me more charging cycles before they die than most 12V batts.

If you wnat a higher amperage system you could run two 370AH 6v as a pair in series and another pair in series connected to the first pair in parallel to get a 740AH 12V system.
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Old 08-06-2009, 17:49   #13
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Check out prices at costco for 6v golf cart batteries. I had someone on the mainland look into it and then verified with the manufacturer. These are 220ah 6v's at around $80 each. Comparable to the T-105's.

Unfortunately the logistics and costs of getting them down island was too much to handle. I ended up going locally with T-105's for $189 each (x4) for Island Hops - not too extreme for STX prices but a lot more boat bucks than anticipated.
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Old 08-06-2009, 17:56   #14
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Old 08-06-2009, 17:59   #15
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Thanks!

I think I'm figuring this all out, this boat going to teach lots of random stuff!!
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