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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Strange But True
|Author||Topic: Strange But True|
posted 09-04-2009 08:17 PM ET (US)
I just got back from another week long cruise. My boat has two lead-acid flooded cell batteries, conventional cranking batteries. No AGM batteries. Repeat. No AGM batteries. No dual-purpose deep-cycle-cranking batteries.
I know this may be hard to believe, but my engine started every day without problems. We used the cabin lights every night for reading. And the batteries are two and three years old! And they did not cost $375 a piece.
I understand that this sort of reporting is considered to be heretical. But it is true.
I even left the GPS receiver on for hours when the engine was not running!
Please, believe me. I am not making this up. I was able to go boating for a week, and in some cases stay out away from shore power for more than 48 hours, and I did not have an AGM battery!
posted 09-04-2009 09:44 PM ET (US)
Yeah but I'll bet those batteries share the same color as, well you know, Mercury!
posted 09-05-2009 12:00 AM ET (US)
With your backround Jim, I suspect those batteries are tended to on a regular basis(if not babied) and the connections are clean. You have a new Etec if I remember right. Those as well as other motors introduced recently have beefier charging systems to support our love of gadgets.
Are you implying that the use of spiffy batteries is a form of compensation for lacking one or all of the above conditions? The weekend warrior with 20 amps of load, 6 amps of noisy charging, 1 K Ohm to ground, 100 to -20 degree temp swings, a $12 "battery maintainer" and account at the Optima distributer.
posted 09-05-2009 12:03 AM ET (US)
Nice touch to add the 3 battery outlets on the banner by the way.
posted 09-05-2009 05:55 AM ET (US)
I attribute some of my good fortune with the flooded cell lead-acid cranking batteries to a couple of unusual circumstances:
--no enemy artillery rounds punctured the battery cases;
--the boat was not operated in an inverted mode, that is, keel up, for any time.
These two fortunate circumstances helped prevent the electrolyte from leaking out.
posted 09-05-2009 07:23 AM ET (US)
As it is sometimes said: "less is more".
posted 09-05-2009 04:06 PM ET (US)
Don't let your tongue poke a hole in your cheek there oh white bearded one! Nicely done and glad you had an enjoyable and safe trip with your new E-Tech.
posted 09-05-2009 04:56 PM ET (US)
You guys here are a bit colored blind, it's silver bearded.
posted 09-06-2009 10:32 AM ET (US)
I think Jimh was just stating a fact about his boat,,take care of your equipment and it will take care of you,,buy the best that you can afford and than upgrade when you can,,im not in Jim's area but im sure many are glad he is out there and has good sound equipment and knowledge to help when help is needed
posted 09-06-2009 03:19 PM ET (US)
Jim, Besides being and staying in good condition, could it have anything to do with the 55 Amps the E-tec is pumping out?
I say this, because I've been amazed at how my two batteries
are always fully charged at the end of a day after heavy use.
posted 09-06-2009 04:35 PM ET (US)
We were boating in a border area, where there have been some disputes between the two nations. However, things have been rather quiet there since 1812, almost two hundred years, so we took our chances that hostilities would not suddenly erupt and we might be caught in a exchange of artillery salvos or interdicted by riverine patrol boats. A .50-caliber round passing through our lead-acid flooded cell "bats" (to use the popular shortened form I see tossed around so much) would have ruined us. It was risky, but we survived.
posted 09-06-2009 09:56 PM ET (US)
Just to add some more anecdotal experience on this issue...
I have two group 24 lead acid flooded cell batteries on my C-Dory. One is the starting battery for a Honda BF90D and the other is a house battery. The truth is, however, I never really use the starting battery because it's easy enough to use the house battery for everything and just keep the starting one as an emergency backup.
I've spent up to a month at a time on board. I normally move every day, but sometimes for just a few miles at displacement speeds. My Honda has a powerful alternator which helps, I'm sure. I've gone up to two days without running the engine or charging the batteries with shore power and never have had a problem. A normal night consists of running the diesel heater (power for fan and fuel pump), lights, anchor light, stereo with satellite radio, and charging iPods/phones. I've never had a problem starting the engine on the house battery after a two days and nights of this.
posted 09-06-2009 10:16 PM ET (US)
Jim - you are obsessed with this AGM thing - give it a rest. If you want to use regular lead acid batteries , good for you. I'll use something else. [Changed topic to offer his opinion of my writing style and website.]
posted 09-06-2009 10:59 PM ET (US)
Glen--There have been so many descriptions, reports, and anecdotes offered about other kinds of batteries, that I thought the flooded cell lead-acid cranking battery could use one. My offering of anecdotal reports of successful use of flooded cell lead-acid batteries should not be seen as anything different than the many anecdotal reports given by others about operating of their boats with different kinds of batteries. As I said, I know that offering a report of successful operation of a boat with a lead-acid battery is considered to be heretical. I guess your entry into this discussion to tell me to stop doing it shows how much I have diverged from the new orthodoxy of boating battery choice.
posted 09-08-2009 12:08 PM ET (US)
Qurious? Would that be able to happen with an older outboard with a charging output of 3-9 amps compared to new outboards outputting 30+ amps.
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