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Author Topic:   Strange But True
jimh posted 09-04-2009 08:17 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
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!

Bella con23 posted 09-04-2009 09:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
Yeah but I'll bet those batteries share the same color as, well you know, Mercury!
roloaddict posted 09-05-2009 12:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for roloaddict  Send Email to roloaddict     
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.

roloaddict posted 09-05-2009 12:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for roloaddict  Send Email to roloaddict     
Nice touch to add the 3 battery outlets on the banner by the way.
jimh posted 09-05-2009 05:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
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.

swist posted 09-05-2009 07:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
As it is sometimes said: "less is more".
Nauti Tauk posted 09-05-2009 04:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Nauti Tauk  Send Email to Nauti Tauk     
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.
number9 posted 09-05-2009 04:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
You guys here are a bit colored blind, it's silver bearded.
deepwater posted 09-06-2009 10:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
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
LuckyLady posted 09-06-2009 03:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for LuckyLady  Send Email to LuckyLady     
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.
jimh posted 09-06-2009 04:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
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.

20dauntless posted 09-06-2009 09:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for 20dauntless    
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.

glen e posted 09-06-2009 10:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
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.]
jimh posted 09-06-2009 10:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
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.
Don88outrage posted 09-08-2009 12:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Don88outrage  Send Email to Don88outrage     
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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