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Author Topic:   Opinion on Batteries?
onlyawhaler posted 03-16-2003 03:56 AM ET (US)   Profile for onlyawhaler   Send Email to onlyawhaler  
Just getting an early start on the season. I have discovered after reinstalling and topping off battries that I have had one fail. The other is 4 years old. I am off on Monday to get two new ones. Any advice on type, brand and amp? I have a late 80s Outrage with a Johnson 150. Thanks for any help
Onlyawhaler
Barry posted 03-16-2003 10:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
I use and recommend Optima batteries. www.optimabatteries.com/ . I just bought another Optima deep cycle. I puchased it here www.batterymart.com/ . They aren't cheap. I also use a VDC BatteryMINDer 12-volt battery charger/maintainer/conditioner www.vdcelectronics.com/batteryminder.htm .

If this is out of your budget, Consumer Reports has rated the Diehard batteries very highly.

Jerry Townsend posted 03-17-2003 12:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
I have been using ONLY Diehards in all of my vehicles from Sears for years. Excellent performance and service. I laugh remembering one failure (post fell off, probably from fatigue). I laugh because I went into Sears, got another battery and not remembering when I bought the battery, asked the technician if there was an adjustment they could make. He checked the punched tag on the battery and said "Hell- you gotta be kidding, this thing is almost 10 years old".

This discussion brings my own battery in my OR to mind. I have some off-brand battery that came with the boat - and I'll exchange that for a Diehard this spring. Should have done it long ago. --- Jerry/Idaho

captbone posted 03-17-2003 02:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for captbone  Send Email to captbone     
For anything other than a trolling motor battery I would strongly recommend the DIEHARD also. Tried using others and the diehard is the best built and warrenty.
Florida15 posted 03-17-2003 10:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Florida15  Send Email to Florida15     
I don't know if it was a fluke or they have improved but I had a Diehard that I used with a trolling motor back in the mid-70s.
It just didn't last. Back then the warranty wasn't that great. I think I got about a year out of it. Ever since then, I have shied away from Diehard. Maybe I oughta give
them another look.
Anyway,I use the Stowaway brand.
reelescape1 posted 03-17-2003 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for reelescape1  Send Email to reelescape1     
Sears is not in the battery manufacturing business. I have had them last 3 years...no longer. I just replaced one and bought it from Wal-Mart, identical battery, Sears wanted $90....Wal-Mart price was $60...same exact battery...same warranty.
raygun posted 03-17-2003 11:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for raygun  Send Email to raygun     
I also highly recommend the Optima batteries. They really take a pounding, don't spill and seem to hold their charge much better than conventional batteries. (very handy if you aren't able to use your boat as often as you might like)They aren't cheap in price compared to regular (spillable) batteries, but you get what you pay for.(IMHO) Costco has a lookalike at significant savings that I haven't yet checked into to see if it is made for them by optima.
gss036 posted 03-17-2003 01:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for gss036  Send Email to gss036     
The ones at COSTCO are not look a like. They are OPTIMA batteries. Costco will not sell cheap imitations of anything.
gss036 posted 03-17-2003 02:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for gss036  Send Email to gss036     
Barry, I ordered a battery minder from Battery Mart, they were $20.00 cheaper that VDC, just for you info. I have 2 batteries on my boat and it sometimes sets for a couple of months, depending on our dependable weather. :-}
lhg posted 03-17-2003 05:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Batteries are like electronics, etc. Everybody has a different opinion and brand loyalty, problems encountered, etc.

So here are mine, for what it's worth.

I used Sears Diehards exclusivly for years, and found them short lived, for some unknown reason. I always bought them because they are easily replaceable, with so many Sears locations. Sears marine batteries only have an 18 month guarantee. Then, like Reelscape, about 3 years ago, I tried the Walmart Everstart "Extreme" brand. Two year warranty, and they last much longer, for less money. I'm completely sold on them. I always buy the combo starting/deep cycle style. And Walmarts are practically everywhere you'd travel on vacation.

lhg posted 03-17-2003 05:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Batteries are like electronics, etc. Everybody has a different opinion and brand loyalty, problems encountered, etc.

So here are mine, for what it's worth.

I used Sears Diehards exclusivly for years, and found them short lived, for some unknown reason. I always bought them because they are easily replaceable, with so many Sears locations. Sears marine batteries only have an 18 month guarantee. Then, like Reelscape, about 3 years ago, I tried the Walmart Everstart "Extreme" brand. Two year warranty, and they last much longer, for less money. I'm completely sold on them. I always buy the combo starting/deep cycle style. And Walmarts are practically everywhere you'd travel on vacation. It is a good product.

whalerdude posted 03-17-2003 07:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerdude  Send Email to whalerdude     
Barry:
I am thinking of buying 2 new Optima batteries for my 22OR.

Where is the best place to buy Optima batteries?

kglinz posted 03-17-2003 08:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
There are three different Optima Battery types. I think "Blue Top" are the marine batteries. Costco has "Red Top"
Barry posted 03-17-2003 10:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
whalerdude, I ordered my last one from www.batterymart.com . Cheapest place on the Internet I could find. The battery showed up 2 days later.

Optima makes both starter and deep cycle batteries. The Blue Top marine versions have both top posts and top studs. The warranty is 36 months. The Red Top auto starter batteries have either top posts or top posts and GM side posts. The Red Top starter warranty is 72 months. The Yellow Top deep cycle batteries only have 24 month warranties.

tvon posted 03-18-2003 08:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for tvon  Send Email to tvon     
I am on thew Florida Sportsman forums quite often and this very topic came up just the other day. Other than the expensive Optima's, this was mentioned:

"I buy Costco Kirkland deep cycle. They're manufactured by Jhnson Controls and are the same as Sears DieHard for a lot less $$. They have a three year exchange warranty (not prorated). I use them exclusively."

Chap posted 03-18-2003 09:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chap  Send Email to Chap     
Hello,
As always take with a grain; new article;

www.yachtsurvey.com/boat_battery_basics.htm

Those Opti's look nice. Probably better on the electrics for those who installed their batteries in the console.

Can you still get a snug, movement free mount in the Whaler box? They look small.

Thanks
Chap

Barry posted 03-18-2003 02:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
I added some padding to one end of my BW tan battery boxes to keep the Optimas from sliding around.
raygun posted 03-18-2003 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for raygun  Send Email to raygun     
I thought i saw all 3 colors at costco!
larimore posted 03-26-2003 07:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for larimore  Send Email to larimore     
I was always having battery trouble. Until I got a top of the line gelcel from West marine and an "aircraft" type deep cycle from west marine... Both are doing fine - I'd recommend the gelcel if you do not do overnighting. I think I saw a consumers report article that was not kind to the Optimas.
Backlash posted 03-27-2003 10:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     
I have two Delco Voyager Deep Cycle Maintenance Free batteries that are going on their 7th season. The original starter batteries installed in my boat failed within the first 2 years due to becoming totally discharged. I always take my batteries out of the boat during winter storage and keep them in the basement.

I would highly recommend deep cycle batteries because they are designed to fully recharge after being totally discharged time after time. Starter batteries, if totally discharged, may never again reach full charge.

5 mi E of Milwaukee posted 03-27-2003 02:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for 5 mi E of Milwaukee  Send Email to 5 mi E of Milwaukee     

There are a bunch of newer battery technologies out there, and they’re all EXPENSIVE.

In the “bang for the buck” department it’s still hard to beat flooded lead acid batteries.

Starter batteries are designed to provide a high current for a short time, deep cycle batteries to provide a lower current over a longer period. (Heck, we all knew that.) These demands affect the internal construction; many thin plates for a starter battery and fewer thicker plates for a deep cycle battery. Guess what, besides withstanding deeper charge/discharge cycles gracefully, thicker plates are more mechanically rugged. This is important to anyone who takes a small boat into big seas because sooner or later you’ll come off a big wave and “belly flop” into the trough, and that pounding WILL damage a typical starter battery.

The fact that starter battery technology is so strongly influenced by the weight conscious automotive market exacerbates the situation.

I have been very pleased using what are called “Dual Purpose” batteries. As the name suggests, they’re a compromise between starter and deep cycle batteries. And, their primary market is small boats, so they’re designed for the beating they’re going to get. They crank an engine effortlessly, yet take a pounding, and aren’t irreversibly affected if you drift or anchor with your electronics on but the motor off for an extended period. This time of year Bass Pro Shops always has them on sale.

Lead acid cells can have a remarkably long life if they’re not damaged by physical abuse and if they are “equalized” once a season. See http://www.trojanbattery.com/customercare_batterymaint10.html for a brief description of the equalization process. (www.trojanbattery.com has a great number of informative pages about batteries if you surf the links)

--scott

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