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Old 06-01-2019, 07:22 PM   #1
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Firefly versus other lead acid types

I post a lot from Jeff Cote here, I find he is a solid knowledgeable guy. I am posting this more for newbies who are looking at or have just acquired a new to them boat that might be in need of new batteries.

So far I have only purchased one thing from Pacific Yacht Systems and that is 6 Fireflies, 4 for my battery bank and 2 for my new Exturn external bow thruster.

And now to Jeff (note: this does not include a conversation about Lithium batteries)

The comparison:



More about Fireflies:

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Old 06-01-2019, 11:04 PM   #2
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So these are basically advertising videos from Pacific?
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:17 AM   #3
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I've been eyeballing these for a while now. In a perfect world, I'd have a spring starter and a single bank of Firefly's. We're light on power consumption.

Our boats are about the same size, and by the vintage of yours I'm assuming you don't have much in the way of electricity gobbling do-dads like a microwave...how many days can you stay on the hook and not fire up the engine with 4 of them in your house bank?
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Old 06-02-2019, 01:36 AM   #4
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So these are basically advertising videos from Pacific?
I think calling these videos (and most [but not all] videos from PYS) advertising videos is inaccurate. There is a ton of good, helpful information in these two videos. Iíve benefited a lot from watching PYS videos in the design/build of the electrical system on my boat, and I never bought a single component from them. In fact, when I contacted them to buy Firefly batteries for my house bank, they referred me to Fisheries Supply in Seattle because shipping costs for the batteries are so high and Seattle is closer to me than Vancouver BC.

Love my Fireflys, appreciate PYS.
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:14 AM   #5
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I think calling these videos (and most [but not all] videos from PYS) advertising videos is inaccurate. There is a ton of good, helpful information in these two videos. Iíve benefited a lot from watching PYS videos in the design/build of the electrical system on my boat, and I never bought a single component from them. In fact, when I contacted them to buy Firefly batteries for my house bank, they referred me to Fisheries Supply in Seattle because shipping costs for the batteries are so high and Seattle is closer to me than Vancouver BC.

Love my Fireflys, appreciate PYS.
I'm not saying they're bad videos or unhelpful, but they are advertising videos. I do regularly refer people to write ups and videos on sites that are also advertising videos. Teak Decking Systems has excellent videos on maintaining and repairing teak decks, but they are advertising as well. Jimmy Rogers has some of the best write ups of why to use brokers and maintenance schedules and types of propulsion I've seen but it's also all advertising of himself as a broker.

PYS is extremely knowledgeable and helpful but they're also in business to sell Firefly batteries. They are not a completely independent resource. However, they do sell many other products so can be a great source of comparative information. I'm very impressed with their knowledge and videos, but the videos are advertising videos as are any on the site of a company selling the product in the video.

Just need a little disclaimer, "PYS is a marine supplier and sells Firefly batteries."
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:50 PM   #6
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So these are basically advertising videos from Pacific?

I think this is one of those cups half full deals. If putting out solid information, in the case of Jeff Cote, then it is advertising, but its the kind of advertising I like, if that is the case.

Many of Jeff's video's are taken from his Seattle and Vancouver Boat Shows where he is asked to present, yearly. He writes for Pacific Yachting and the newer Northwest Yachting. He has written for Pacific Yachting for some time now. He is an accessible smart knowledgeable guy. At some point, you have to believe some one about anything, in this case marine electronics. I trust him due to his credentials, experience, recognized skill in the industry, and the fact his business is booming.

If you have more money than brains and your very large yacht is somewhere with limited electronic human resources, he will fly down, at your expense of course, a team to assist. His teams have flown to multiple countries.

And to the poster who said my boat had simple electrical needs due to its age - wrong! My boat is sitting on the hard (almost painful this time of the year with all the blue warm days out there) while it undergoes a extensive refit. Anything electronic, including electrical wiring have been removed, in fact sitting to my right on my desk is an electronics schematic I am suppose to review for tomorrows meeting; it is not simple.

And if you watched the video, he will sell you any of the three types his company carries. As he says in many of his videos, the best way is the way that suits your boat, your circumstances, your budget, and your needs.

In fact while typing this I thought, why don't I send the schematic over to Pacific Yachting Systems and let them do a review of it. The peanuts this will cost could save some headaches latter on. It's not that I don't have confidence in my guy, but I'm a "two heads are better than one" kind of guy.
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Old 06-02-2019, 02:20 PM   #7
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So these are basically advertising videos from Pacific?

I think this is one of those cups half full deals. If putting out solid information, in the case of Jeff Cote, then it is advertising, but its the kind of advertising I like, if that is the case.

Many of Jeff's video's are taken from his Seattle and Vancouver Boat Shows where he is asked to present, yearly. He writes for Pacific Yachting and the newer Northwest Yachting. He has written for Pacific Yachting for some time now. He is an accessible smart knowledgeable guy. At some point, you have to believe some one about anything, in this case marine electronics. I trust him due to his credentials, experience, recognized skill in the industry, and the fact his business is booming.

If you have more money than brains and your very large yacht is somewhere with limited electronic human resources, he will fly down, at your expense of course, a team to assist. His teams have flown to multiple countries.

And to the poster who said my boat had simple electrical needs due to its age - wrong! My boat is sitting on the hard (almost painful this time of the year with all the blue warm days out there) while it undergoes a extensive refit. Anything electronic, including electrical wiring have been removed, in fact sitting to my right on my desk is an electronics schematic I am suppose to review for tomorrows meeting; it is not simple.

And if you watched the video, he will sell you any of the three types his company carries. As he says in many of his videos, the best way is the way that suits your boat, your circumstances, your budget, and your needs.

In fact while typing this I thought, why don't I send the schematic over to Pacific Yachting Systems and let them do a review of it. The peanuts this will cost could save some headaches latter on. It's not that I don't have confidence in my guy, but I'm a "two heads are better than one" kind of guy.
Might be smart to get a second opinion from them. Yes, like the other examples I used and like presenting at shows, a useful way of publicizing your knowledge and services. No question he is knowledgeable. I'm still waiting for reports from more long term users of Firefly, but just not that many yet.
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Old 06-02-2019, 11:31 PM   #8
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And to the poster who said my boat had simple electrical needs due to its age - wrong!
What I said was:

Quote:
I'm assuming you don't have much in the way of electricity gobbling do-dads like a microwave...
...or air conditioning, or a house sized refrigerator, or a washer & drier, etc.

Still curious how long you can stay at anchor with 4 Firefly's. That's about 460 amp hours in total, correct? Doesn't that mean you have about 370 amp hours to play with?

Seem to remember you have an Efoy to extend your time at anchor...how long can you go before you have to pull anchor and romp around to recharge the batteries? Also, must be nice not having to take them to a full charge to avoid sulfation...is that why you have 4 in your house bank, to get enough amp hours in quickly before they go into float?
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:22 AM   #9
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Still curious how long you can stay at anchor with 4 Firefly's. That's about 460 amp hours in total, correct? Doesn't that mean you have about 370 amp hours to play with?

Four Firefly G31s would be about 400 Ah total, beginning capacity.

If claims are true that drawing down to 20% SoC is OK... that'd be about 320 Ah usable before recharging.

That last sentence started with an "If..." -- although Rod (CMS, MaineSail) has indicated the claims do seem to be showing promise...

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Old 06-03-2019, 11:30 PM   #10
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My thanks to the OP for his post re Jeff Cote and his company, Pacific Yachts. About 6 months ago I first ran across another video by Jeff Cote. On matters electrical he is, in my opinion, an excellent resource. I've looked at literally dozens of different Cote videos since the first one I saw, and find them very helpful and informative on electrical matters -- a subject which is not my strongest.

But of course on all matters it makes sense to come to one's own conclusions based on one's own particular situation and research. This is a point Mr. Cote makes repeatedly in many of his videos and written articles. And in this particular battery comparison video.

Let me also mention another similar resource (and also very valuable in my opinion, others may differ of course) very helpful to me and others -- that being the videos and articles posted on his website by Seaboard Marine/Tony Athens. As an example, some years ago I read the Seaboard Marine article on its website re redundant engine alarms. I promptly added several to my boat, which happens to have a mechanical Cummins 6BT engine. These redundant alarms have proved valuable (to me) far more than the cost, ymmv. This is just one of a very large number of excellent videos and articles produced by Seaboard Marine and on its website

My thanks again to the OP for his excellent post. Not bought anything electrical from Pacific Yachts/Jeff Cote yet, but would not hesitate at all to do so in the future. And I've no relationship with Seaboard Marine, other than being a satisfied customer. Cheers to all.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:23 AM   #11
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Still curious how long you can stay at anchor with 4 Firefly's. That's about 460 amp hours in total, correct? Doesn't that mean you have about 370 amp hours to play with?
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Four Firefly G31s would be about 400 Ah total, beginning capacity.

Very sorry for my incorrect initial response. Thought the Firefly G31s offered the typical ~100Ah/battery. Looked them up on the Ocean Planet site, sure enough they say their 20-hour rate is 116Ah... so 464Ah for a bank of four.

Mea culpa.

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Old 06-04-2019, 01:30 PM   #12
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Very sorry for my incorrect initial response. Thought the Firefly G31s offered the typical ~100Ah/battery. Looked them up on the Ocean Planet site, sure enough they say their 20-hour rate is 116Ah... so 464Ah for a bank of four.

Mea culpa.

-Chris
No worries
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:05 PM   #13
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So because I have a 29 foot boat, space as you can appreciate is tight, but not too bad. For those of your familiar with Cutwater, my boat though roughly 50 years old or older (still tracking this statistic down) is much like the Cutwater 30, link below. Amazingly roomy for its size.

C-30 Sedan

I do have room for a microwave but I decided against one, my refitter argued me out of getting one. Microwaving for most of us isn't for cooking but warming up which of course can be done a number of other ways. So I just watched my wife and myself using our microwave. I do at least 50 % of the cooking and I will only use the microwave about once a week. I am a huge barbecue fan with side burner and even cook breakfast using it, keeps the smell out of the kitchen (I'm a Weber freak). My BBQ on the boat is the proverbial Weber Q 1200 which is a fan favourite on the Cruiser forum:

Weber Q1200 Grill on a boat - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

But I also bought a 1380 watt convection oven and I have an induction cooking plate and a toaster. So you all have done the calculation for how many amps I have to burn with 4 fireflies. By the way, I bought 6 and was going to use that for my battery bank, then install cheaper AGM's (2) for my Exturn new bow thruster. I started to get nervous about the added weight (I have also added other stuff in the boat) so I dedicated two fireflies for my bow thruster which will provide me with longer bursts for the thruster. In this issue of Pacific Yachting, some larger boat was reviewed and it was the first time I saw a reviewed boat use 6 fireflies, 4 for the bank and 2 for the thruster, so I thought - what'd ya know, I finally got something right.

As has been noted, I am having the Efoy 210 installed and this combined with the 70 amp charger on my new Merc 6.2 350 stern drive will give me ample juice if I move every three or four days. Mercury and Volvo won't permit larger amp'd chargers on their motors or it voids the warranty.

Running my convection oven for around 50 minutes (remember it cycles on and off) which is enough time to cook a whole chicken will burn roughly 100 amps, the Efoy can easily replace this. You might be thinking why not just cook it on the BBQ which I will be doing mostly when on the hook, but the convection oven will be back up when propane gets low, planning trips into the Broughton's and Alaska. When in a marina, I will mostly use the convection oven and induction plate.

After doing almost three complete home rennovations and living in motorhomes and travel trailers while this all took place, I'm use to using washer and dryers at the RV parks or other areas.
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