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Old 02-10-2015, 09:19 AM   #21
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Guys, really??

The Cummins 5.9 in my truck that must start in well below zero weather (by design, mine does not need to). Has a grid heater that uses 100+ amps and cycles on and off to heat the charge air even after engine start when cold while the alternator is off line until the grid is done cycling due to the high amp loads.

Funny how the battery requirement for this vehicle is 2 group 24 starting battery's.

Now explain to me why you think a 120 Ford engine starting well above freezing, using no glow plugs or grid heater needs an 8D battery, the same as a 12+ liter over the road truck engine, I don't get it.

I think trawler owners way overdue the starting battery's and under equip the house side.

I use two 900 amp group 24 battery's to start ( more then enough IMO but I have the space to fill) and 8 6-volt GC battery's for the house, with a sep. group 27 to start the gen-set.

I can switch to the house to start if needed but have never needed to, I have jumper cables to use the gen-set batt. to start if all else fails. Thruster, windless and davits run off the house.

Solar keeps the house topped off and a Smart Charger off the house keeps the start topped off.
Balmar Digital Duo Charge

Very few of us need to buy 8D battery's for our starting requirements and there are only 4 company's* that make "Deepcycle" 8D's so using them as house is a dumb expense and heavy as hell when ya need to change them.

*
Charge voltage - SailboatOwners.com
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:01 AM   #22
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Our setup is a 4D to start our Lehman 135 and power the windlass. Engine is always running when we anchor and the battery is connected to our house bank and alternator through a combiner relay, so it remains pretty fully charged by the time we shut the engine down. The charger then gives it more when we fire up the genny that night or next morning. So far, working great.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:17 AM   #23
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I agree with others, pull the 8D (actually get a strong kid to do it) and replace with a Group 31.
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Old 02-10-2015, 11:17 AM   #24
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Better get two strong kids to pull those 8Ds! I am just in the process of replacing all SIX of my AGM 8Ds with twelve 6-volt golf cart wet cells (with watering system). Exactly the same setup that we used on all the Great Harbours - no designated starting batteries - just one huge bank for starting and house purposes. Plus a completely separate Group 27 starting battery for the 13kw genset.
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Old 02-10-2015, 11:46 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
Battery CCAs seem to have gradually increased for the same battery size. A size that would have been inadequate for starting may not be now. Replacing batteries, I often notice CCAs have risen.
Some technology changes in all battery components have improved capacity, but like engine horsepower ratings, different companies methods of determining and measuring capacity aren't always consistent with another.

"Group Size" 24, 27, 31, 4D and 8D is not the capacity of a battery, its the relative dimensions of the box H x W x L measurement (Although a larger box, greater volume, may contain more components material and more capacity.) If you don't like the weight of 4D or 8D batteries, then use two 525 - 600 CCA Group 24's, 27's or 31's in parallel, (like the example of the diesel pickup someone else mentioned), but don't skimp on capacity. If your anchored out in the islands, it's difficult to get a jump start from the local service station.

In LA batteries the weight of the battery is also a good gauge for comparing two similar batteries. I've handled 8D batteries of different makes that had significantly different weights. The lighter, cheaper batteries had significantly less capacity even though the Group Size was the same.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:39 PM   #26
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I just got 15 cents/lb. for my old 4D's at a recycle yard. They were just under 200lbs.
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Old 02-11-2015, 12:21 PM   #27
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Having lived on 12V for many years in my sailing days, I'm going overkill on my (new to me) Boat...

(2) 31's for the start bank (existing 2 yr old batteries that came with the boat, though one was the House). Combined the 2 for the new start bank (200hp Volvo)

(4) 6V new GC's for the house bank = 420 amp hours or so

This set-up will easily fit, but no more (It's a small boat!). Should meet the cruising needs i envision, and keep the beer cold for a few days on the hook. My boat has limited 12V needs other than the Norcold fridge..I rather like the simplicity of it all.

This gives me plenty of house capacity and a big start bank for fallback..
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Old 02-11-2015, 12:28 PM   #28
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Steve, will you have a way to charge at anchor besides the big motor alternator? Generator or solar or wind?
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Old 02-11-2015, 12:38 PM   #29
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Steve, will you have a way to charge at anchor besides the big motor alternator? Generator or solar or wind?
Al...Yes, when we start cruising I'll carry a portable 2000 Watt Generator/inverter with a 30 amp socket that will plug right into the boat for charging through the onboard Battery charger. I may, at some point, upgrade the stock (60 amp) engine alternator to a higher capacity Balmar.. We need to get out there this spring/summer and see how all this works.. We haven't cruised the boat yet having just recently bought it.....
A few 2-3 day overnights to start, then probably a month or so up on the Chesapeake this summer. I'm trying to detail in the systems to work the way we'll use the boat.
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:21 PM   #30
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Great choice! I use mine similarly. I have a 55A shore charger that I power with the Honda. It leaves a little extra capacity if i want to make coffee or run the microwave at the same time. Plus, when just charging, it doesn't run the Honda at full throttle so it's quieter. I carry 2 power cords: one for the shore plug and the other runs to the generator on the FB. When I'm at on the hook, I just swap cords at the boat's 30A plug.

I did the Balmar conversion and it works well for us the way we operate our boat. I like seeing 80-100A flowing into the battery initially, but it ramps down to something less than 60A after a short while. If you motor for a couple hours regularly between anchorages, you might not see any real great advantage to the larger alternator. If you motor a whole lot more than that...maybe 6 or more daily, a smart regulator which provides a float charge might prevent overcharging.
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:27 PM   #31
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Thanks Al....Yup, that's the plan. I expect, being on the move between overnights, you're right on the alternator. I was also planning on putting the generator up on the bridge...I have space there, and it will be quiet and unobtrusive when needed..I need to make up a short cord for that set-up.
As you note, it may be more cost effective to upgrade the onboard charger....It's a Charles 15 amp which is great for dockside, but will take some time with Generator assist on the hook....
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:38 PM   #32
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I had a 30A 3-bank ProMariner that took forever to charge. I think it was dying a slow death with reduced charging capacity, but I was slow to catch on. Once I added my battery monitor, it became obvious.

I switched to a single bank 55A Iota with a switchable combiner to charge the start battery and it's been great. I would have been able to power the 75A Iota on the Honda, but the engine revs would have been high for my liking. This seems like a good fit for our style of boating.

Is your boat diesel?
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:52 PM   #33
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Yes good plan. I can already see the limitations of my Charger in this scenario. I plan to add A Balmar Smart Gauge so I'll have some better information on how this all works. Yes, Diesel 200 hp Volvo Turbo.

Iota seems quite reasonable price wise. I assume you're happy with it?
Are you using the Iota Smart Charger module with it?

http://www.amazon.com/IOTA-Engineeri.../dp/B0030G7YXC
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:02 PM   #34
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Yes, the DLS-55 w/ IQ4. It's worked fine for me in 10 months of service. No complaints.
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:27 PM   #35
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Yes, the DLS-55 w/ IQ4. It's worked fine for me in 10 months of service. No complaints.
Great info...Thanks!
That points me in a direction that should work...
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