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Old 01-18-2018, 05:21 PM   #1
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Bow Thruster Battery

Should I use Deep Cycle or Starting batteries with my bow thruster.
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Old 01-18-2018, 05:25 PM   #2
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Starting. High current draw for a short time.
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:45 PM   #3
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While I agree with Comodave above, I don't think it makes that much difference. If you have a decent sized house battery bank then you can use it to power the bowthuster as it draws maybe 200 amps and a pair of GC batteries can easily supply that much current.

But if you are installing a dedicated battery in the bow, then use a starting battery. A Group 27 in the bow with the proper sized charging wiring, fuses on both ends and an ACR would be perfect.

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Old 01-18-2018, 07:31 PM   #4
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I recently replaced the batteries for my thruster. Because the thruster is 24V, it has a dedicated bank in the bow with its own smart charger. The batteries I replaced were Optima Blue tops, they were on the boat when we purchased it, and were trouble free for over 8 yrs. I replaced them with new, same configuration. The blue tops are a dual purpose spiral wound AGM, and easily handle the high amp short draws. I'd use them again. Otherwise, I'd use a starting battery. Better suited for high current short duration as others have recommended.
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:19 PM   #5
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Just know Optimas nowadays are made by Johnson Controls, nothing near as good (long lasting) as the ones Enersys the inventor used to make.
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:57 PM   #6
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100% deep cycle



Starting battery's are exactly made for starting .You may only use the bow and stern thruster short bursts but those short burst eat up the amps quicker than you think
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:49 PM   #7
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No reason not to go proper deep cycle long as enough AH, a $200 pair of Duracell Deka is 200+AH.

Starter certainly won't last as long.

But the ideal if you can is a bigger House bank and heavy enough gauge wiring.
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:21 AM   #8
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Starting , the loads are short term as most thrusters have a very short ON time allowance ,

THe thruster batts may be the easiest to grab for an emergency engine or noisemaker jump start.
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maerin View Post
I recently replaced the batteries for my thruster. Because the thruster is 24V, it has a dedicated bank in the bow with its own smart charger. The batteries I replaced were Optima Blue tops, they were on the boat when we purchased it, and were trouble free for over 8 yrs. I replaced them with new, same configuration. The blue tops are a dual purpose spiral wound AGM, and easily handle the high amp short draws. I'd use them again. Otherwise, I'd use a starting battery. Better suited for high current short duration as others have recommended.
Interesting. When (2015) I converted my bow thruster from 12 to 24 volts (swapped motors), I installed 2 Optima red top batteries. Contacted Optima for guidance and didn't think they fully grasped what the duration pulse was. So I went with the red tops. For my application, 3 second pulses are about all I ever need. On rare occasions I might do 2 or 3 of those when in a lock.

This pic is during the conversion process. Had voltage loss problems with the original 12 volt setup, so converted to 24 volts and moved the batteries to the thruster compartment. Already had the 4/0 cable, so figured there was no reason not to use it.

Click image for larger version

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Ted
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:23 AM   #10
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whats the pvc thing in the pic?
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:50 AM   #11
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Excuse my ignorance but what's the advantage of running the positive up to a bus bar first, instead of straight to the battery? Or is that a fuse and I just don't see it?
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:03 AM   #12
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whats the pvc thing in the pic?
I think it is an gravity feed oiler for the thruster.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:05 AM   #13
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Excuse my ignorance but what's the advantage of running the positive up to a bus bar first, instead of straight to the battery? Or is that a fuse and I just don't see it?
BD
It looks like a fusible link and the insulator mounting for the link. Those wires probably jump when he hits the thruster just from the starting current and it needs to be secured and fairly solidly built.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:38 AM   #14
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Bow Thruster Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
No reason not to go proper deep cycle long as enough AH, a $200 pair of Duracell Deka is 200+AH.

Starter certainly won't last as long.

But the ideal if you can is a bigger House bank and heavy enough gauge wiring.


Many house banks are typically 12 VDC but the thruster bank is 24 VDC. Many of us have dedicated thruster banks located forward. The cable runs are shorter.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:58 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by what_barnacles View Post
whats the pvc thing in the pic?
The original oil reservoir cracked (cheap plastic, oily mess to clean up ). The replacement was pricey. So I made my own out of PVC pipe fittings. You can see the clear hose going to the lower unit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BDofMSP View Post
Excuse my ignorance but what's the advantage of running the positive up to a bus bar first, instead of straight to the battery? Or is that a fuse and I just don't see it?
BD
The black object is a fuse holder. The ANL fuse is in the tray to the left of the battery.

Ted
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:36 AM   #16
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There it is, of course. Thanks.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:56 PM   #17
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well, i can tell you from my own personal experience that using a deep cycle for hi amp short bursts can and most probably will kill the battery

i was about 2 or 3 months into an "emergency" deep cycle in my f150, had to have one, was in middle of nowhere right before closing, only thing the auto parts had in the size/post configuration i needed....
then it sort of became out of site out of mind, it was working great so i said forget it and forgot it, lol

until it left me stranded in a parking lot one day, worked great until it never worked again......



edit: forgot to say.... yea, on those optima batteries, they are considered not much better than junk(or were anyway) in the after market any more..... they are nothing like the originals from before the sell out
i sold them for three years and in that time a solid 25% came back for warranty issues
maybe they got their shit together and fixed the issues, its been a few years since i dealt with them
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:08 PM   #18
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Maybe we should start a poll
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:29 PM   #19
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I use a basic flooded starting batt on my thruster. First one lasted about five years then performance got weak. Second one is at about four years and still doing ok. I watch the panel meter when thrusting, if it goes below 10v under load, it's getting to be batt time.

Other batt types might last longer, but at much higher cost.

I would not use a deep cycle for this.

Not worried about H2 generation. That is usually only an issue with gross overcharging that comes from a shorted cell or crappy charger. I have enough ventilation for what H2 is created. And when I leave the boat I check charger amps, close to zero and I know batts are happy and H2 not a risk.
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:41 PM   #20
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I havent done the research or the math...based on responses...doesnt sound like many others did...

Golf carts with 4 guys and clubs seem to leap off the line when the pedal is hit....wonder how tbat compares to a windlass pulling up chain...not the whole boat into the eye of a hurricane.

It would seem to me deep cycles might be fine, but so would stating batteries....hmmmmm.

I have no thruster, but if I did, I might run the amp draw and average amp hr draw to see which battery specs best met the job.
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