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Old 05-28-2011, 08:06 PM   #1
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City: Sidney, BC
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Battery Question

Are any of you using Costco batteries on your vessels.

I am having to buy all new batteries as the previous ones did not survive the 6 years of being on float charge / cycling etc. while Penta was being refurbished.

I was just at Costco and if the batteries are any good at all they certainly are cheaper than anything else I can find. I am not being cheap but rather trying to get as much for what money I seem to have left after accounting for the re-caulking, hauling and launching to say nothing about the two 250 gallon fuel tanks that are bone dry !!

Any comments re the Costco batteries would be appreciated.

John** "Penta"

Sidney, BC

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Old 05-28-2011, 11:12 PM   #2
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RE: Battery Question

Penta, I've heard good things about them. They are Interstate batteries. I just put in 6 Golf Cart batts in as my house bank. I only have a couple months and no overnights on them, but so far, so good. I do like their return policy.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:55 AM   #3
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RE: Battery Question

Learn to read the build date code stamped in the top of the batts.

Take your digital Volt meter ($15 at radio shack) and get the only the batts above 60% full charge with same build date.

$10. may get you the date the NEXT shipment of golf carts is due to go on the shelves.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:47 AM   #4
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RE: Battery Question

John, As said previously, these are Interstate batteries. We have been using the 6 volt golf cart Interstates for decades as house banks. We do very extensive cruising so the house bank gets a lot of use and abuse. We average seven years for a pair and usually replace the pair, but not the entire bank, even if only one has gone south. Chuck
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:33 AM   #5
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RE: Battery Question

Thanks guys, that is just what I was wanting to know. I had heard that they were made by Interstate but hearing it again just sort of reinforces my decision.
FF - I don,t have to worry about the date of the golf cart batteries as the local store does not stock them and would bring in what I want but I think your idea is one that I will use anyway - might as well be safe.
My original battery bank consisted of 14 Interstate golf carts for the house and two series 27's for the start battery so its a lot of money to get that many again. I think to soften the blow I will stat with 6 for the house and see how it goes. I was in a position to be able to get the original batteries from the distributor and they were all "cosmetically blemished" which in most cases meant that the labels were not on straight but who cares when the price was as attractive as it was then.
Well I guess its off to Costco on Monday morning to drop a few more big ones
Thanks again, this list "rocks"
John
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:48 AM   #6
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RE: Battery Question

"My original battery bank consisted of 14 Interstate golf carts for the house"

Was this used for a 120V DC system?

IT is HUGE for a 12v setup, do you anchor out enough to require this many amps?

14 times 105 is 1460+ , divided by 1/3 gives almost 500A to use at 50-80% SOC the cruisers norm.

It might be a consideration to lower the demand , as refilling 500A of DC will take loads of charging time.

The new 6 will give 200A to use , which even with a cheapo house fridge and $200 inverter should work for a weekend .
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:56 AM   #7
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RE: Battery Question

Fed - yes it was a huge bank but there were several reasons for me having it.
First, I needed ballast and second the batteries were cheaper than lead. At the time my job entailed purchasing a large quantity of golf cart batteries every spring and for many years the same battery distributor was the successful bidder. He had ended up with a pallet load of "cosmetically" blemished batteries that he "almost" gave to me so it was a win-win situation.
I ran a domestic under-counter fridge and freezer units via a 1800 watt inverter plus all the usual lighting from them. Most of the lights were interior light units which had one or two halogen lamps and were power suckers.
The charge system is a 250 Amp Leese-Neville emergency vehicle alternator controlled by a Balmar regulator and two Zantrax 40 amp chargers at the dock. When shore power charging I split the bank in two.
This set up gave us a very comfortable 6 days min. on the hook and probably would have given more but I never stayed longer at one time.
The new electrical system will have the same alternator / regulator and the chargers are still available however the load will be much reduced as ALL the lights on board are now LED and the new freezer draws much less (but still a domestic version)
Because I have new ballast (lead and concrete) I do not need the battery weight plus I won't need the capacity so the house bank will be much smaller and probably will not get bigger than the 6 purchased next week.
Being retired now will allow much greater variations in our cruising and will probably see us on the hook for no more than a couple of days at a time while long distance cruising (BC coast and up the Inside Passage areas)
Thanks for your comments Fred, they are always enjoyable.
John
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:56 AM   #8
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RE: Battery Question

250 Amp Leese-Neville + Balmar (hopefully with temp sensor)

Great choice it should pump 200A with ease , allowing an 800AH to 1,000AH bank to be refilled as fast as wet lead can accept the charge.

It is always 10X better to lower the loads than worry about charging a monster bank.

Perhaps the next freezer will be a Sun Frost , or at least an Engle?
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