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Old 09-02-2013, 12:17 PM   #1
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Batteries

I am looking into replacing my current set of batteries which consist of 5 wet cell group 27 batteries....4 house/start and one generator battery.

I am looking into AGM. The cheapest I can find retail are the West Marine brand Sea Volt at $280. These are Dekka made batteries and I have found them as low as $180 on line. Which isn't bad.

Now I have found that Sears makes an AGM Die Hard in the $150-180 range. They do call them "deep cycle" with a CCA rating around 800. But they do not show an amp/hour rating since they are not targeting a marine application. Just curious if anyone has tried these batteries? I am not saying I am going that route but I would be willing to bet that Sears would likely have the best warranty support....and these Diehards have a 3 year non-pro rated full replacement warranty.

I am open to suggestions. I am looking for value. And I would be willing to listen to arguments if a battery such as Lifeline is worth the extra money???

I have always had relatively simple 12 volt systems on my boats and they have always served me well. I do not spend tons of time at anchor on battery power only.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:33 PM   #2
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Can't answer your question John but thanks for finding out Sears has my new batteries
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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I've had good luck with Interstate AGMs.

Group 31 100 AH.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:08 PM   #4
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Bought a Dekka 8D AGM in 2011. It died this spring. One cell went bad. My dealer offered to prorate it. They offered a very small percentage. I said no thanks as I could buy 2 or 3 Lead Acid for the same money as an AGM. Have 2 8Ds in the boat and am back to replacing the house battery every other year and the engine battery every third year. Regarding AGM, I remain unimpressed with the product relative to the cost.

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Old 09-02-2013, 01:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker View Post
I am looking into replacing my current set of batteries which consist of 5 wet cell group 27 batteries....4 house/start and one generator battery. . . . . . .

I have always had relatively simple 12 volt systems on my boats and they have always served me well. I do not spend tons of time at anchor on battery power only.
If your battery system is working for you, is there a reason you want to change your system? Unless you need more battery capacity, it sounds like your "simple 12 volt system" has served you well? How many years do your current batteries last you? That's usually a good measure of your battery systems health. Anything over 7 or 8 years and you're doing good.

I know someone else already mentioned them, but Interstate batteries are an excellent choice. Well made, heavy duty and many years of service. With the advent of smart chargers, I cycle out my battery banks at 10 years. I actually did 11 years on the last bank. The battery bank ages are staggered, so I have a bank of less than one year old batteries and a bank thats 5 years old. They're all wet cells.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:41 PM   #6
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What is the reason for using AGMs? Before you spend the extra money you should determine what you are getting that is not available from lead acid batteries at 1/3rd the cost.

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Old 09-02-2013, 01:50 PM   #7
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I replaced my old AGM's (5 yr old Optimas) with Deka group 34AGM's from Sams Club for $110 each. They are not labeled Deka but Duracell. I must used AGM's as my batteries are inside a cabinet in the cabin so wet cells that gas are out.
I did have one fail in about 6 months and it was replaced with no problems.Also, Deka's are still made in the US...at least last year they were!
One consideration with AGM's is to make sure that your charger can charge them correctly. My old Newmar charger does not have a AGM setting but the charging rates and float rates are very close to AGM rates and I get good life from the batteries
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:52 PM   #8
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I am not a fan of AGMs given the cost/performance equation.

But given that you are going to use AGMs, I don't think that there is a nickels worth of difference between a "marine" AGM and a generic one.

But there is a big difference in flooded cells. There are almost no Group 27 true deep cycle batteries with thicker plates, more depth under the plate to accumulate sulfate without shorting and at least in the case of golf cart batteries, more headroom over the plate for electrolyte.

Get the picture. Replace your 4 Group 27 house bank with golf cart batteries wired series/parallel. Use a Group 27 battery for the propulsion engine and genset starting or a separate Group 24 for the genset if you want the redundancy, although 4 GC batteries will start most engines easily, which gives you the redundancy.
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:39 PM   #9
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Now I have found that Sears makes an AGM Die Hard in the $150-180 range. They do call them "deep cycle" with a CCA rating around 800. But they do not show an amp/hour rating since they are not targeting a marine application. Just curious if anyone has tried these batteries? I am not saying I am going that route but I would be willing to bet that Sears would likely have the best warranty support....and these Diehards have a 3 year non-pro rated full replacement warranty.

Last time I looked, Sear Platinum Plus AGMs were made by Odyssey. Two sizes, one Group 31, one smaller (might be the size you're considering).

Odyssey calls 'em dual purpose batteries, and the larger of the two (PC2150 is Odyssey's number) offers major CCAs. The smaller Sears one is maybe Group 24, 27 or 34 equivalent, not sure... Anyway, you can look up specs on the Odyssey site, if those the Sears AGM batteries you're thinking of.

On sale prices at Sears are said to be very good, and of course if you can pick up locally, you (sorta) save separate transportation costs.

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Old 09-02-2013, 04:37 PM   #10
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I am not a fan of AGMs given the cost/performance equation.

But given that you are going to use AGMs, I don't think that there is a nickels worth of difference between a "marine" AGM and a generic one.

But there is a big difference in flooded cells. There are almost no Group 27 true deep cycle batteries with thicker plates, more depth under the plate to accumulate sulfate without shorting and at least in the case of golf cart batteries, more headroom over the plate for electrolyte.

Get the picture. Replace your 4 Group 27 house bank with golf cart batteries wired series/parallel. Use a Group 27 battery for the propulsion engine and genset starting or a separate Group 24 for the genset if you want the redundancy, although 4 GC batteries will start most engines easily, which gives you the redundancy.


That's my setup and I agree I think AGMs are overated for what you get for the cost.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Edelweiss View Post
I know someone else already mentioned them, but Interstate batteries are an excellent choice. Well made, heavy duty and many years of service. With the advent of smart chargers, I cycle out my battery banks at 10 years. I actually did 11 years on the last bank. The battery bank ages are staggered, so I have a bank of less than one year old batteries and a bank thats 5 years old. They're all wet cells.
I have Interstate, also, and can't remember when I bought them (Would have to look it up.) They (3-8Ds) have been great, no worries, smart charged, AGMs.

I guess they are still in here.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:05 PM   #12
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Our assistance towing fleet had miserable luck with the interstate dual purpose marine batteries...and the towing company was an Interstate Batt Dealer when getting them off the truck.

My personal truck had Interstate starting batts and they seemed to be pretty good.

Maybe it's a model thing or a year group thing...but I always try for Decca as they have had the best rep around here for a long time.

West Marine batts are Dekka I believe unless they have changed and West did their own research for good batts.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:20 PM   #13
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I guess they are still in here.
That sentiment in a nutshell is exactly why I am switching to AGM. Battery maintenance cuts into my leisure time.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:58 PM   #14
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I've had no issues with my 24-volt, 200AH, AGM batteries.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:46 PM   #15
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I bought my dinghy used, three years ago. Came with an AGM of indeterminate age. That same year I bought a lawnmower with the same size wet cell battery. The Dinghy always starts, even after a 6 month winter off. The lawnmower never starts without at least 12 hours of charging, and this has been the case for two summers now.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:04 PM   #16
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Most people have wet cells in their cars...never do a thing for 3-5 years..no complaints.....

It's all how you care for and feed a battery much more so than what it is.. AGMs have their plusses...but at the cost...many will dispute that if you understand and properly take care of wet cells (and for me that's about 5 minutes a year) that AGMs give you your moneys worth.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:17 PM   #17
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I bought my dinghy used, three years ago. Came with an AGM of indeterminate age. That same year I bought a lawnmower with the same size wet cell battery. The Dinghy always starts, even after a 6 month winter off. The lawnmower never starts without at least 12 hours of charging, and this has been the case for two summers now.
I get the flooded v AGM comparison. A practical aside, buy the lawnmower(ride on?) a small maintenance solar panel, put somewhere it gets light during winter.
Many boat owners need a compass to find the house in the lawn jungle. I`d rather steer the boat than the lawnmower.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:16 AM   #18
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The very few boats with a large DC bank and the ability and desire to charge quickly is the market for AGM.

Otherwise why bother?
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:20 AM   #19
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That sentiment in a nutshell is exactly why I am switching to AGM. Battery maintenance cuts into my leisure time.
My thoughts exactly. My batteries are somewhat of a pain to get to. So it would be nice not to have to maintain them.

BTW, they are 4 years old and group 31s. I will definitely look into Sams club.

I had an Optima generator start battery on a previous boat. I owned the boat for 7 years. That battery came with the boat and was still in the boat when I sold it. It's ONLY charging source was the alternator on the generator. That battery left a very good impression on me for Optimas and AGMs in general.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:42 AM   #20
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PS.... Based on the logic of the people who like wet cell batteries, we'd all be driving gasoline powered boats!!....ie diesel engines provide only slightly better performance and efficiency and are easier to maintain, but they cost a whole heckuva lot more money!!!
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