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Old 10-23-2014, 09:13 AM   #21
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@QB. You are correct. I have both, and it is the Duo Charge I was thinking of. My apologies.

"Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis." - Jack Handy
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:38 AM   #22
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Personally, I would go with Charles. They are American made and have excellent product support. They are not cheap. It sounds like Newmar is along the same lines. When I was changing my batteries last year, I wanted to go from flooded to AGM. My boat is a 2001 model and the Charles charger in it is OEM(yeah, I guess Carver uses good shit on occasion). Back then, AGM was not all that popular so it does not have an AGM setting. I called Charles for the flooded cell charging profile and they provided it immediately. I called Odyssey(who makes the Sears Die Hard G31 I was buying) to see if it would work. They said the Charles on the flooded setting should do just fine. Their only concern was that AGMs desulfate during the charge cycle and that if you do not have enough "grunt" from the charger, they will not desulfate properly(I have 550 amps with an 80 amp charger). They still said, in the grand scheme of things it should not drastically reduce battery life. But in theory, it might knock off a little.

The big picture moral to the story....Charles and Odyssey have excellent support that you call and get on the line in a moment's notice. They speak English(motherf*cker...DO YOU SPEAK IT) and are extremely knowledgeable about their product. It kinda sucks that we live in a day where we are surprised when we get good service from a product manufacturer. But I am just glad there are still a few companies that include it in their business model.

*Pardon my vulgarity above. That is just a blurb from the movie Pulp Fiction and sometimes how I feel when on the line with "customer service" that does not speak/understand English.

Prairie 29...Perkins 4236...Sold
Mainship Pilot 30...Yanmar 4LHA-STP...Sold
Carver 356...T-Cummins 330B
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:00 AM   #23
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Welcome back John!!
You never really learn to swear until you become a boat owner!
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:37 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Marin View Post
Don't know if this description will be of any help or not......

About a year after we bought the boat in 1998 we had the original "dumb" charger replaced with an inverter/charger. At that time we had three batteries to charge: 2 8Ds and a 4D. The 8Ds served as house and start and the 4D was dedicated to the generator.

So we wanted the capability of charging all three (but separate) batteries when we were on ground power or the generator.

On the advice of the proprietor of the marine electric shop we use, we had him install a Heart Freedom 25. At the time, this was the smallest inverter/charger that had two echo chargers.

The main "leg" of the smart charger were connected to one of the 8Ds, the one we used for house power. The two echo chargers were connected to the other 8D (start) and the generator battery. The echo chargers provide only the third stage of the smart charger, which is the so-called "float" charge. This will charge a battery at a much slower rate than the three-stage smart charger and then hold them at a full charge. This "echo charge" is sufficient for the start and generator battery.

This arrangement has worked extremely well. More recently we replaced the two 8Ds with six, 6vdc golf cart batteries, threee in each 8D box. Two of the GCBs have replaced the 8D start battery, and provide roughly the same 100 ah power.

Four of the GCBs replaced the 8D house battery, and provide about 200 ah, roughly twice the capacity of the previous 8D.

The charger connections remain the same--- the full smart charge connection to the four GCB house bank, one echo charge connection to the two GCB start bank, and the other echo charger to the generator's 4D battery.

Were we doing all this today, we'd probably use the same setup with the exception of the brand of inverter/charger. Ours is a Heart from the days when they were an independent company with a great reputation. This repuation went considerably downhill after Heart was acquired by Xantrex. So we would most likely look for a more reputable and reliable brand of inverter/charger.
Marin, from what I can tell, so far, this is how our inverter is set up as well, except the echo charger charges the thruster battery and the main engine battery.

Why would the manufacturer install a shore charger?
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Old 10-23-2014, 12:02 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
Golf Cart and 8D are battery sizes. Lead acid and AGM are battery types. It's possible to have GC LA and AGM and 8D LA and AGM. ...

Until earlier this year, I had an undersized multibank charger to charge my house and start banks. I recently changed to a single bank charger for my house with a combiner to share the charge with the start battery if needed. I use my boat at least once a month and often more often than that. I have found that the start battery does not require a constant shore charger input. It hold its voltage just fine for several weeks.

If I need to boost it, I can activate the combiner and charge it with the shore charger. Otherwise, the port alternator does just fine. If you're a single engine/alternator, you might want to activate the combiner when underway. Either way, I doubt a constant shore charger charge is really needed for a start battery.
The above is basically my setup, in that I have a combiner if i need to use the house bank to start the engine, but have never needed it, not even close, even without starting the engine for weeks or the time i couldn't start it for three days.

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