Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-09-2016, 05:27   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Putney VT
Boat: Pacific SeaCraft 31 Mariah
Posts: 9
Right batteries for cruising

Batteries: 6 volt in series or 12 volt in parallel ?

Looking for the better way to go for cruising. A well respected friend mentioned that when he was sailing/cruising 15 years ago, 6 volt golf cart batteries were the way to go. However, he raise the question if with the new technology thsi may no longer be true.
__________________

__________________
yellotaxi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 06:06   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43
Posts: 6,099
Re: Right batteries for cruising

Hang on, while I get the popcorn...
.
.


OK,
What battery technology are you considering, Lithium of some type of LA?
If the latter, FLA, AGM, Gel?

How large a bank (how many Ah)?
__________________

__________________
StuM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 06:16   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43
Posts: 6,099
Re: Right batteries for cruising

This should keep you going for a while until the debate starts yet again:

Pros & Cons of 12 volt vs 6 volt batteries

12v batteries vs 6v

One More Time: 6V or 12V?

12v vs 6v House Bank

(Hint, I located these in a few seconds by clicking on Search at the top of the page and entering "batteries 6v or 12v" into the Google Custom Search box)
__________________
StuM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 06:25   #4
Registered User
 
DDabs's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Caribbean
Boat: Caliber 40LRC
Posts: 1,490
Images: 16
Re: Right batteries for cruising

I use golf cart batteries, they have been going strong for almost 3 years now with extremely low maintenance. I have solar panels that keep them topped off at all times but I'm very happy. They were very affordable and if I need to replace, I can pretty much get one anywhere.
__________________
DDabs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 07:52   #5
Registered User

Join Date: May 2014
Boat: Morgan Out Island 41
Posts: 683
Images: 2
Re: Right batteries for cruising

alot of it comes down to preference. GC2's ( 6v golf cart) are popular due to their energy density and weight. you might have to carry double the number of batteries but a GC2 generally weighs around 70lbs an can be carried by one pwerson. 4D or 8d needs the help of others to move as they weigh alot more. GC2's are also high volue batteries which tends to lead to lower costs per battery. EG I bought my GC2's at sams club (Identical to west marine as they're the same manufacturer) for $85 each. Westmarine in comparison ( for the same identical battery except for the label) chargers $240.... the math is pretty good in favour of the Sam's club GC2's
__________________
pcmm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 07:55   #6
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 16,829
Re: Right batteries for cruising

I never use 6V in a 12 or 24V system.

Asked others the answer seems in a big boat only 6V units are easy to manage without a crane. I agree.

As long as the boat bank is not 'huge', I would always use 12V units in a 12V wired boat.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 08:04   #7
Moderator
 
Adelie's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: El Ciudad del Mission San Diego de Alcalá en Alta California, Virreinato de Nueva España
Boat: Cal 20
Posts: 3,611
Re: Right batteries for cruising

The analyses I've seen indicate that the best bang for the buck by a large margin is golf cart FLAs, with 6v batteries having some cycle life advantage over 12v.

LIon: Unless you want to home brew your own battery system with cells over the internet you would pay $3200 for a 180ah battery of which 140ah is usable, plus upgrades to your charging system so it doesn't get fragged by the battery. Alternators need special regulators to limit output, otherwise the alternators overheat and die.

Gel: You can get significantly more cycles out of Gels than FLAs if they are treated perfectly. The extra cycles probably probably comes close to making the money equation even for upfront purchase, but to get the life you also need to upgrade the alternator system with a smart charger. Unfortunately any damage from incorrect charging is pretty much permanent with at least a little decrease in capacity.

AGM: AGMs can't even match the number of cycles of FLAs and cost more. To get the advantage of faster charging that is regularly touted for AGMs you need to install a high output alternator and regulator for something in the vicinity of $1k plus maybe a new serpentine belt for several hundred dollars more. At the very least you need to install a special regulator on your alternator to limit output since, like LIons, it will accept very high initial charging currents which will kill the alternator.

Battery manufacturers are advertising higher cycle life for AGMs than golfcart FLAs and recent developements in AGM may actually mean that is true, but I am doubtful and am waiting to see what outside sources say in several more years.

For golfcart FLAs, the 6v batteries have a longer life expectency than 12v so in general they are the better deal.

That said, I am going with 12v for my own boat. My boat is a special case, it is very small and fitting in 2 batteries is a push. I am choosing the 12v because with 2-12v batteries if one dies I still have capacity I can use until I make it somewhere to replace the batteries. With 2-6v batteris if one cell in a battery dies I get 10.8v which may or may not do what is needed.


AGM Batteries - Making The Choice | SailboatOwners.com Forums

Evans Starzinger has a very good discussion of batteries on his & his wife's website which is currently not responding for me: www.bethandevans.com
__________________
A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
SailboatData
Adelie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 08:10   #8
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,333
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Right batteries for cruising

i use happily 2 banks each of 4 golf cart 6v batteries wired as 12 v for maxistorage of tricities., had considered converting to 12v, but didnt find the pricing to be worth while for me. as i amnot able to lift a 3 man and a boy hernia causing 160 pound 8d, i remain happy with the lighter but still heavier than ..... t 105 type batteries. they last a long time and they are easily maintained.
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 08:22   #9
Registered User
 
DDabs's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Caribbean
Boat: Caliber 40LRC
Posts: 1,490
Images: 16
Re: Right batteries for cruising

I honestly don't understand how cruisers, especially retired cruisers, have huge AGM batteries. How the hell do you lift them out of the boat? depend on others i guess
__________________
DDabs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 08:34   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Full time cruisers
Boat: Krogen 42
Posts: 243
Re: Right batteries for cruising

AGM 6v #70


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
----------------------------------
Terry
meridian28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 08:39   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,105
Re: Right batteries for cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellotaxi View Post
Batteries: 6 volt in series or 12 volt in parallel ?

Looking for the better way to go for cruising. A well respected friend mentioned that when he was sailing/cruising 15 years ago, 6 volt golf cart batteries were the way to go. However, he raise the question if with the new technology thsi may no longer be true.
We preferred big 2 volt battery banks, lead acid. Easy to maintain and easily available throughout the planet. Part of the KISS philosophy.
__________________
reed1v is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 08:54   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Moored in Anacortes, Wa
Boat: Rawson 30PH
Posts: 43
Send a message via Skype™ to Captain Puget
Re: Right batteries for cruising

For total cost of ownership, I chose the Firefly carbon foam batteries.

See: Firefly International Energy
__________________
Captain Puget is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 09:11   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Daytona Beach, FL
Boat: Pearson 36-2
Posts: 37
Re: Right batteries for cruising

+1 for the Firefly Carbon Foam. Going today to pick 3 up. First time building a house bank so we'll see how they do. A few reputable people in the industry have recommended them.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
molo0928 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 10:13   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 5,815
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Right batteries for cruising

Firefly sounds interesting but what do they cost??? With all the new battery technology it comes back to bang for the buck which Golf Cart Batteries seem to continue to win.
__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 10:18   #15
Registered User
 
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,510
Re: Right batteries for cruising

There is no one answer, as there is no one boat or variety (or paucity) of charging sources.

AGMs are expensive and (to my mind) a little oversold in terms of lifetime. On the other hand, if you are trickle-charging them (at the voltage they prefer) on a boat on a mooring, or if the flatness of your bilges means they can lie on their sides happily, they are a great choice.

The newer carbon foam batteries need to go through a cycle of ownership before we can judge.

The Li-Ons are great (particularly for a race boat) but are they rugged enough to go to sea? Are they worth the higher cost per Ah over time? Dunno. I do know I had a Li-On battery in a laptop burn on me once. A full-sized marine battery would be a nightmare shading into "abandon ship". Both carbon foam and Li-On are going to be hard to replace in distant lands. I mean, there's cruising the ICW and the Caribbean, and cruising New Guinea or Micronesia. Very different scenarios.

I have six L-16s, a fairly heavy (120 pounds, but I can manage it) 6 VDC FLA battery. They are series-parallel wired to make one considerable 1,575 Ah house bank. I've got a full keel steel cutter, so keeping 800 pounds of batteries right beneath the mast actually stiffens the boat a bit. I have multiple charging sources but I wanted to extend their life by sticking to the 75%-100% range, which in theory gives me 3,000 discharge cycles if I'm clean and do my care and feeding. So my energy budget is actually only 25% of 1,575 Ah...I'll have to run a tight ship if it's cloudy, I'm not motoring, it's calm and the two Honda 2000s are busted. You can see where I'm going with this. Asking about battery types for cruising is so utterly contigent on so many factors (style of cruising, type of boat, access, where you are going, how do you charge them, how many loads you run, etc.) that there's no one answer. Just best answers for you.
__________________

__________________
Can't sleep? Read www.alchemy2009.blogspot.com for fast relief. Can't read? Avoid www.volumesofsalt.blogspot.com, because it's just personal reviews of sea books.
S/V Alchemy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cruising

Thread Tools
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
I Only Have Two Batteries - Which Batteries Should I Use? LifesAnAdventure Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 11 04-06-2014 18:29
Batteries? We don't need no steenkin' batteries Jim Cate Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 15 06-04-2012 19:33
Golf Cart Batteries vs Marine Batteries Bill Estes Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 52 26-01-2010 23:28
Which Catamaran is Right for You, Right for Me? betachz Multihull Sailboats 28 01-01-2009 10:23
no right way, right? unbusted67 Seamanship & Boat Handling 4 16-12-2006 18:10


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 19:32.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.