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Old 03-08-2020, 09:24   #1
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Location: Owl Harbor Isleton, CA
Boat: Cascade 42HS
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12 6v FLA or 2 12v LiFePo4

I'm fixing up my 42ft 'er to start cruising. But I feel like I need to start watching my budget or I'll run out of money before I even get out. I've been set on getting Li-ion but I'm starting to look at Lead Acid more closely.

I easily have room for 12 Trojan 6v Golf Cart style batteries below, and to be honest, I could use a little extra weight on the bottom. (She's a high side ketch with lots of rigging and once she starts moving side to side, she starts swinging like a pendulum, I'm planning on lightening up her rigging but that's another post) so I'm thinking the added weight is a plus.

Also, I know the FLA take a lot more maintenance but the battery boxes are all easily accessible from the top so adding water will be easy.

Plus all the battery boxes are in the engine room and I hear that LiFePo4 don't like heat. So that makes me lean towards FLA.

And FLA are available everywhere in the world.

What are the cons I should be considering with FLA, beside life expectations? I know they don't like to be heavily drained but with 12 of them, I don't think the drain should be to excessive. But I haven't run any numbers yet. I would like to add a water maker and a freshwater power flushing head, I have a top loading refrigerator and I'm going to look at an ac unit for the aft cabin, and navigation.... I know all that can add up. Hmmm. Do you think 12 6v Trojans with be enough? I will have 4 100w solar panels (I'm playing with idea of separating the panels into port and starboard sides, so when shadows fall one way it won't affect the charging on the other side but that's also a difference post)
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Old 03-08-2020, 11:11   #2
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Re: 12 6v FLA or 2 12v LiFePo4

I've been getting by with two 6v golf cart batteries since the '70s. What are you going to do with more than 1200 amp/hr of battery storage unless you have electric propulsion?? You'll either need a huge engine alternator, 150 amps or more or substantial generator, to charge the batteries in a reasonable amount of time if you ever ran them down. If you use enough amps to run the bank to 50% each day, 400 watts of solar charging capacity will not be enough to maintain the batteries.

Lead acid batteries are very easy to maintain with Remote Battery Watering Systems. Just put the pick up tube in a jug of distilled water, pump the bulb a few times and you are done. Have used similar system for years without a problem. Makes a sometimes onerous, time intense, and messy job into a no mess near instant service. https://www.flow-rite.com/battery-ca...ies/qwik-fill/
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Old 03-08-2020, 12:12   #3
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Re: 12 6v FLA or 2 12v LiFePo4

You make some good points but in my head I wouldn't have 1200 ah. It is my (very limited) understanding lead acid doesn't like to discharge over 30%. Which would give me 360 ah more or less. And I figured 360 ah could be charged by solar. Am I wrong about that? She's a big boat abs has room for 6 solar panels if needed.

Also, thanks for the tip on the remote battery watering system. I'm definitely going to invest in one of I end up with FLA.
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