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Author Topic:   Battery: Life After Deep Discharge
eportfolio posted 07-16-2007 02:18 PM ET (US)   Profile for eportfolio   Send Email to eportfolio  
In a previous post:

Chuck wrote:
"Be suspicious of that battery from here on, esp. if it was
a "starting" battery (as opposed to a "dual-purpose" battery.
Lead-acid batteries don't like to be run flat, ESP. the
"starting" battery sort. The dual-purpose ones are much more

I had a battery [problem] this weekend as well. My Montauk has problems starting and I need to shoot some ether into the carbs for the first start. After that, the engine works fine. I'm going to have it looked at by my mechanic in a week or two...

Anyhow, since this is a used boat, but new to me...this was the first trip I've made in it, I still haven't quite learned how to start it. I guess I cranked it too much, maybe flooded it, and of course the ether [problem] all complicated the starting enough that I drained the battery and had to get towed in. It's amazing how many people enjoy watching a Whaler being towed.

I'm recharging the battery today since it's dated June 2007, but Chuck's comment has me concerned now that I've drained it down completely. Should I purchase another new battery and keep this one as a spare? Or will re-charging it be dependable?

jimh posted 07-16-2007 07:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I do not know of a good way to assess the remaining life in your battery after it has been deeply discharged. Because your battery was relatively new, and here I am inferring that the date you provided, "June 2007", is indicative of its date of manufacture, then you are probably going to be able to recharge the battery and have it reach its full capacity.

My experience matches the advice given by Chuck: older cranking batteries which have been deeply discharged tend to have poor recovery afterwards. However, I also have some experience in your situation. I had a new car and its battery was deeply discharged right after I bought it when an interior light was left on overnight. The battery was too discharged to crank over the motor, but after a long and slow recharging it came back to full charge. That battery lasted about five years, which is the typical life span of a car battery in our climate. So by that measure I would say it was not damaged too much by that deep discharge.

I recommend you put the battery on a good charger and let it slowly recharge and acquire its full capacity. This will probably restore it to normal operation.

swist posted 07-20-2007 08:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
I still cannot fathom why boats are sold with a single starting-only battery. The combination deep-cycle/starting are not that much more expensive.

Cars rarely have any battery drain of significance when the engine is not running (unless unintentional). In boats, at the very least, tilt/trim pumps run with the engine off, not to mention bilge pumps, anchor lights, and other such things.

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