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Author Topic:   Battery Life
baja_alabama posted 02-04-2008 05:33 PM ET (US)   Profile for baja_alabama   Send Email to baja_alabama  
I pulled my Montauk's battery for a check up and was surprised to see it dates from 2002. It still holds a charge and load tests ok. I would be interested in experience of others: would you replace [the starting battery in your boat] on the basis of age alone?
Jefecinco posted 02-04-2008 07:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
If I had a single battery I would replace it if it was six years old unless it had some special charcteristic.


contender posted 02-04-2008 07:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
You guys are lucky. I end up replacing mine about every three years
swist posted 02-04-2008 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
It depends on how the boat is used, but starting batteries do typically have a shorter life in a boat than in a car. They age quickly if they are even partially discharged. Electrical accesories like lights and electronics are more likely to be used with the engine off (or at idle where there is not much charging current available) on a boat than on a car.

And even if the above does not apply, the consequences of a dead battery on a boat are certainly more severe than on a car, dictating more frequent replacement, even if there is no sign of trouble.

I personally think it is a mistake to use a pure starting battery as the only battery in a boat big enough to have a number of electrical accesories.

jimh posted 02-04-2008 10:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The life span of a battery depends on too many factors to be able to make a generalized statement. However, in spite of that, I would guess that a high-quality flooded-cell lead-acid battery which is properly maintained, kept in a high charge state, and not deeply discharged should be able to last over ten years. However, I don't think it is prudent to go boating with a ten year old battery.

If you have a motor which cannot be pull started and cannot run without a battery attached, you should carry two batteries. And one of those two ought to be less than five years old.

baja_alabama posted 02-05-2008 07:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for baja_alabama  Send Email to baja_alabama     
Thanks, everyone. That's helpful
Chuck Tribolet posted 02-06-2008 09:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
FWIW, I got 14+ years out of the last battery in my Corvette.
However the car is only driven occasionally and lives on
a Schumacher smart trickle charger. What killed the battery
may have been a dying alternator -- it went out a thousand
miles after the battery was replaced.


Jefecinco posted 02-07-2008 07:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Battery life down here in Lower Alabama is significantly less than in more northern or weatern climes due to our long hot and humid season. Automotive batteries sold here are of a somewhat different design than those sold in most other areas. Other Gulf Coastal states have similar issues with batteries as well as the Florida Atlantic Coast area.

I've had three OEM automotive batteries fail completely within the vehicle warranty period within the last ten years. No warning at all. Just park it, come out to go again and the battery was so flat it would not turn the engine at all.

With a single battery, replacement at about five years is simply good preventive maintenance on the south coast.


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