View Poll Results: What type of battery has given you the longest service life?
Lead Acid 3-4 Years 1 2.70%
Lead Acid 5-6 Years 16 43.24%
Lead Acid 7+ Years 8 21.62%
AGM 3-4 Years 2 5.41%
AGM 5-6 Years 1 2.70%
AGM 7+ Years 7 18.92%
Gel 3-4 Years 0 0%
Gel 5-6 Years 0 0%
Gel 7+ Years 2 5.41%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-11-2015, 07:42 PM   #1
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Poll: Battery Type and Longevity

What's the longest a set of batteries have lasted in your boat and what type are they? This can be the last set you changed out or the set you currently have aboard. Just list the type and years of service, rounding up or down for fractions. Mine are AGMs, 4.6 years.
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:55 PM   #2
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The Lifelines we took out when we bought the boat were about 10 years old.
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:11 PM   #3
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1350 AH AGM bank made of 6v 'golf cart' type.


8 years and acting like new
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:17 PM   #4
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Battery Type and Longevity

I have 8 year old Lifelines that are on their last life. But the boat was a repo so not sure if they were well managed.
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:22 PM   #5
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Lead Acid GC's in their 5th year and still going strong. 6 GCs forming a 12V 660AH bank.
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Old 04-12-2015, 12:14 AM   #6
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Surrette's, close to ten years. I've heard of people getting 12 out of a set of Roll's/Surrette's.
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Old 04-12-2015, 12:37 AM   #7
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L/A, one replaced at 5 years, it`s twin a year younger is showing similar signs of age and gets replaced as soon as I find a good 8D at a good price. My batts have to be dual appln type, the new one is 225Ah,1280CCA.(I`d like to discuss sealed v serviceable,a new thread is best.)
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Old 04-12-2015, 12:58 AM   #8
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5 Gels - 8D
-- Engine are 1994 X 2
-- House are 2002 1 failed last year. was three , now two. All house will be replaced this spring.
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Old 04-12-2015, 02:32 AM   #9
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Battery Type and Longevity

Had 2 x Sonnenschein Gels made in 1994. Replaced them both last year as one failed. Bought 2 new G31gels for start (series for 24v), have 4 older gel G31s which are 2000 vintage in parallel/series for house (24v).
Gels might be the most expensive but they are "fit and forget" and have the longest service life.
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:55 AM   #10
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The poll should be split between house and start. On many vessels the house bank units are designed very differently than start. Golf carts are designed for longer life. Start batteries not necessarily. Then how about thruster batteries which are different again in many cases.

So for the record, my starts are L A 8Ds 12V, house are LA 6V golf carts and thruster AGMs 24V. With 3 different charging systems which creates another variable for battery life. The first set of golf carts were into their 8th year and running strong when replaced, it seemed time with LAs so cheap in comparison, why not.

My thoughts then - the poll is too simplistic as battery banks are only part of a complex system with life impacted by many variables including owner neglect or non battery component failure/design flaws.
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Old 04-12-2015, 08:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
The poll should be split between house and start. On many vessels the house bank units are designed very differently than start. Golf carts are designed for longer life. Start batteries not necessarily. Then how about thruster batteries which are different again in many cases.

So for the record, my starts are L A 8Ds 12V, house are LA 6V golf carts and thruster AGMs 24V. With 3 different charging systems which creates another variable for battery life.

My thoughts then - the poll is too simplistic as battery banks are only part of a complex system with life impacted by many variables including owner neglect or non battery component failure/design flaws.
Also part of longevity is the number of duty cycles. If you spend a lot of time at the dock vs anchoring out 6 months a year, the dock wins.

The temperature where your boat's batteries are mounted is a consideration; in the engine room or out. Boats in in a cooler environment, ie; PNW vs FL, those batteries in PNW will last longer.
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Old 04-12-2015, 08:44 AM   #12
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There is another major consideration. What type of battery charger do you have? If you have a "smart charger" your batteries will outlast a "dumb" charger by a long shot. If you have flooded batteries and a smart charger you will be watering your batteries far less frequently than if you have a dumb charger.

Magic has two 8D lead acid flooded batteries for start and 12 volt house use, two 8D AGMs which provide 110 volt through a 2500 watt inverter/charger, and one sealed lead/acid group 24 as a generator starter battery. The house/start and group 24 are charged by a Promariner 40 Amp smart charger while the AGMs are charged by the inverter/charger (Xantrex, pray for me).

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Old 04-12-2015, 08:49 AM   #13
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How about a different poll: what is the shortest battery life you have experienced. Divide the responses among: FLA starting batteries, FLA dual purpose batteries and FLA with an amp hour rating. I already know the answer.

I do believe that once you install true deep cycle FLAs, gel or AGMs, battery life is more a function of how you use them and the quality of your charger, not type.

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Old 04-12-2015, 10:13 AM   #14
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Seems like an totally irrelevant conversation to me if you don't measure how many amp hours have been drawn out of them and number of cycles / depth of discharge doing so. A set that is rarely used and drawn down a minimal amount is going to last a heck of a lot longer than one taken down as much as 40-50% twice a day all year around.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:23 AM   #15
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I'd be more interested in short life and why you think the batteries died early. I had flooded group 31s die after couple of years because my crappy Xantrex charger was overcharging the batteries.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:56 AM   #16
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Battery Type and Longevity

This seems like a good idea to keep an eye on battery SOC. Anyone use something like this?

http://www.balmar.net/PDF/SMARTGAUGE%20MANUAL.pdf

Installation looks easy enough even for an electrical idiot like me-- three wires. 😁

This gauge seems like it might a good idea to install BEFORE replacing a battery bank, to make sure the batteries are toast.

Here is a test of the Smartguage...

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/smart_gauge
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Old 04-12-2015, 12:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
This seems like a good idea to keep an eye on battery SOC. Anyone use something like this?

http://www.balmar.net/PDF/SMARTGAUGE%20MANUAL.pdf

Installation looks easy enough even for an electrical idiot like me-- three wires. 😁

This gauge seems like it might a good idea to install BEFORE replacing a battery bank, to make sure the batteries are toast.

Here is a test of the Smartguage...

Smart Gauge Battery Monitoring Unit Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
Some discussion and links here.

Balmar Smart Gauge
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:03 PM   #18
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueYonder View Post
I'd be more interested in short life and why you think the batteries died early. I had flooded group 31s die after couple of years because my crappy Xantrex charger was overcharging the batteries.
I have the same concern about my Xantrex. Both of the house bank sets that failed in 4.5 years are bulging noticeably. Photos from last year show they were that way way when I bought the boat, but I'm sure this bitterly cold winter and not disconnecting them didn't help. I'll get the Xantrex checked out in a few weeks.

I knew this was about as unscientific as a poll could be, but couldn't fit all the variables I'd like into the 10-field limit. Sounds like a lot of good ideas for followups, but someone else is welcome to do the honors.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:26 PM   #20
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I am willing to bet most batteries are killed prematurely rather than Dying a natural death
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