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Old 04-10-2015, 07:52 PM   #1
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New AGM batteries

My boat has 5-Lifeline GPL 27T batteries that are 8 years old, and I'm shopping around for replacements.

Here are the specs on the Lifelines

Cold Cranking Amps845
Rated Cap.Amp. Hrs 20 Hr Rate100
Minutes of Discharge
25 Amps 186
15 Amps 324
8 amps 655

The cheapest I can find these Lifelines are $289 shipped to me. Is there a cheaper but still good alternative to these Lifelines? I want to stay with AGM because the charge system is set up for that and I don't think I will keep up with watering flooded cells.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:36 PM   #2
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quick google search shows your price is right in line. don't know of any magic spots with way cheaper prices.
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
My boat has 5-Lifeline GPL 27T batteries that are 8 years old, and I'm shopping around for replacements.

Depending on your space, configuration ,and use,...

You might look at their 31Ts for replacements, or if some of those 27Ts are for house bank, pairs of their true deep cycle GLP-4CTs

-Chris
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:04 AM   #4
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Last spring I managed to hit the Sears sale price on their g31 Platinum AGM's - $235 vs current price of $310.

Before that I used East Penn Deka g31 AGM's - $197 at an industrial batt supplier. Sold under various brand names, including West Marine. Find an AGM with model # 8A31DTM, and it's probably a Deka.
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:29 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
My boat has 5-Lifeline GPL 27T batteries that are 8 years old, and I'm shopping around for replacements. I want to stay with AGM because the charge system is set up for that and I don't think I will keep up with watering flooded cells.
Our wet cells require about 30 minutes of water checks every 3 months with easy access. I'd assume that one would spend the same time with AGMs just checking terminals and wiping the dust off.

Buying at 40% the cost is worth it to me, but our vessel is set up to accept the lower charging rates etc of LAs. We do have AGMs for the thruster since they are in the cabin space.
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:57 AM   #6
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I am continually amazed that boaters will spend almost a thousand dollars more for AGM batteries to avoid a 10 minute check and water top off every 6 months and a one time switch change on their battery chargers.

East Penn made golf cart batteries are $95 each at my local Batteries Plus and probably cheaper elsewhere. They are used in duh, golf carts which is as demanding a deep cycle service as you will find. They have design features: more head room for electrolyte and bottom room for sulfate build up, that make them superior to any other flooded cell type.

They only downside other than the periodic water checking is that you have to install them in pairs. A pair of GC batteries is typically rated at 220 amp hours.

Three pairs will cost about $600 and will provide 660 AHs vs your 5 Lifelines at $1,445 which will provide 500 AHs. Is the extra $845 worth the convenience?

David
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:26 AM   #7
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Hmmm. Yeah, big price diff. I'm not sure the built in battery box has room for pairs of 6v however. This is what it looks like:
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I read on the Charles 5000 series charger I can change the charge rate to accommodate flooded cell batteries, but I'm not sure how to change the Balmar regulator and duo charge thingy yet.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:42 AM   #8
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When you are comparing cold cranking amps, use the 0F number, most batteries have a CCA rating at 0F. That allows a more accurate comparison between batteries.

Lifeline makes a well respected product. You can't go wrong with duplicating your current setup. 8 years on a set of batteries is pretty good.

There are other options you might consider. If a group 31 will fit, a Sears Platinum group 31 at $309 (watch for sales, I got mine for $239 last year). provides 1150 CCA each (double that of your group 27T; important if you run any thrusters) and 100ah. These batteries are made by Odyssey and offer a 3 year replacement warranty. I've also used Deka batteries before with good success.

I like AGM batteries and their maintenance free aspect. Golf cart batteries (agm or flooded) are a great option for your house bank. You would have to have short cables made to connect them. When it comes time for my two 4D house batteries to go, I will probably use 6V agm batteries. Hauling out heavy 4Ds is something I won't want to do again.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:44 AM   #9
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I had a Balmar regulator on a previous boat I remember changing settings with some sort of magnetic thingy.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I am continually amazed that boaters will spend almost a thousand dollars more for AGM batteries to avoid a 10 minute check and water top off every 6 months and a one time switch change on their battery chargers.

Three pairs will cost about $600 and will provide 660 AHs vs your 5 Lifelines at $1,445 which will provide 500 AHs. Is the extra $845 worth the convenience?

It would take me about an hour -- and some resulting pain, afterwards -- to check our batteries.

Two pairs would give him 440 Ah, which may be close to or more than however many of those G27s are designated as "house" bank. If all five G27s are house bank, and if 3 pairs of GCs would fit, I'd go for 660 Ah in a heartbeat.

Lifeline makes AGM golf cart batteries, too. Maybe others do, too. Don't know cost.

For 12v AGMs, the Sears (Odyssey) G31s at sale prices -- and with no additional transportation or core charges give in-store pick up are usually a decent bargain.

-Chris
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I am continually amazed that boaters will spend almost a thousand dollars more for AGM batteries to avoid a 10 minute check and water top off every 6 months and a one time switch change on their battery chargers.

East Penn made golf cart batteries are $95 each at my local Batteries Plus and probably cheaper elsewhere. They are used in duh, golf carts which is as demanding a deep cycle service as you will find. They have design features: more head room for electrolyte and bottom room for sulfate build up, that make them superior to any other flooded cell type.

They only downside other than the periodic water checking is that you have to install them in pairs. A pair of GC batteries is typically rated at 220 amp hours.

Three pairs will cost about $600 and will provide 660 AHs vs your 5 Lifelines at $1,445 which will provide 500 AHs. Is the extra $845 worth the convenience?

David
I'm watching this thread closely since I'm facing similar choices.

Ignoring the genset, I have 4 dead 8A8D AGMs @ 245 AH each for a total house bank of 980 AH. (They also had 1440 CCA each, which gave me good starting power for the mains.) Replacing them with like kind will be $2000 plus tax.

To get close to the same AH from golf carts, I'd need 4 pairs at about $800 plus. I'm guessing I'd also need dedicated start batteries, new boxes and cabling for the new configuration. So, add that unknown amount to the $800 plus.

Then the $640 question: how long do the GCs last? I keep hearing anecdotes of AGMs lasting up to twice as long as flooded LAs--although mine sure didn't (more like 4.5), but I probably contributed to their early deaths.

I'm still learning about all this the hard way. To paraphrase Jeff Lebowski, "new s**t keeps coming to light, man."
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:59 PM   #12
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Ignoring the genset, I have 4 dead 8A8D AGMs @ 245 AH each for a total house bank of 980 AH. (They also had 1440 CCA each, which gave me good starting power for the mains.) Replacing them with like kind will be $2000 plus tax.

To get close to the same AH from golf carts, I'd need 4 pairs at about $800 plus. I'm guessing I'd also need dedicated start batteries, new boxes and cabling for the new configuration. So, add that unknown amount to the $800 plus.

Then the $640 question: how long do the GCs last? I keep hearing anecdotes of AGMs lasting up to twice as long as flooded LAs--although mine sure didn't (more like 4.5), but I probably contributed to their early deaths.

Lifeline told me cranking amps in multi-battery banks are additive. Their 6v GPL-4CTs (GC2-equivalent golf cart batteries spec at 925 MCA (32F) or 750 CCA (0F) each. When paired to 12v, the cranking amps remain at that. But when two 6v pairs are combined into a larger bank, resulting MCA would be 1850 and CCA would be 1500. (Which happens to be quite enough to start our Cummins 450Cs.) Similar to the way Ah work, for pairs of 6v batteries combined into larger banks.

See here for more boring details Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle Batteries

Your engine manual will specify minimum MCA/CCA.

Our oldest bank of 3x G31 Odyssey AGMs are entering their 10th season, and seem to be hanging in there. OTOH, I expect the best comparison is using cycle life ratings. I haven't counted my cycles.

Cruisers in the other forum often yap about having killed their AGMs by not sufficiently re-charging them -- back up to full -- often enough. Seems an occupational hazard of being away from the dock for too long at a time, but then their trade-off seems to be FLAs, watering systems (or whatever contortion it takes to check and water batteries), and acceptance of potentially increased off-gassing.

-Chris
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Old 04-11-2015, 01:39 PM   #13
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To the OP: If you are still in SW Florida check with the guys over in North Miami, DC Battery
DC Battery Specialists - Wholesale Batteries , I've got great service from them and they are usually very competitive on price and have alternatives. I don't see any reason to switch from what you have, the boats set up for it and you've got great life out of them. Though that cranking amp number looks wrong. Those batteries are about the same footprint as a Group 31 (measure your existing space carefully as it looks tight), so the budget alternative is the Duracell AGM (supposedly Deka made) sold at Sam's Club for around $180, which I have heard good anecdotal experiences.
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Old 04-11-2015, 01:44 PM   #14
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New AGM batteries

Ok will check those out.

This is where I got that CCA info:
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I see I only used the higher temp CCA number. Which temp is used for a standard CCA comparison?
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Old 04-11-2015, 01:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Lifeline told me cranking amps in multi-battery banks are additive. Their 6v GPL-4CTs (GC2-equivalent golf cart batteries spec at 925 MCA (32F) or 750 CCA (0F) each. When paired to 12v, the cranking amps remain at that. But when two 6v pairs are combined into a larger bank, resulting MCA would be 1850 and CCA would be 1500. (Which happens to be quite enough to start our Cummins 450Cs.) Similar to the way Ah work, for pairs of 6v batteries combined into larger banks.

See here for more boring details Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle Batteries

Your engine manual will specify minimum MCA/CCA.

Our oldest bank of 3x G31 Odyssey AGMs are entering their 10th season, and seem to be hanging in there. OTOH, I expect the best comparison is using cycle life ratings. I haven't counted my cycles.

Cruisers in the other forum often yap about having killed their AGMs by not sufficiently re-charging them -- back up to full -- often enough. Seems an occupational hazard of being away from the dock for too long at a time, but then their trade-off seems to be FLAs, watering systems (or whatever contortion it takes to check and water batteries), and acceptance of potentially increased off-gassing.

-Chris
Thanks again, Ranger . . . and apologies to the OP for the unintended hijack.
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:18 PM   #16
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I bought 4 Deka 8A31 agms @ Syracuse batteryworld for $100 each tday!! these are 2nds and have a full warranty...116ah

almost $300 retail
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:43 PM   #17
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Ok will check those out.

This is where I got that CCA info:
Attachment 39101

I see I only used the higher temp CCA number. Which temp is used for a standard CCA comparison?
O degrees is the standard CCA for batteries. The 32 degree number is often called Marine Cranking Amps, since marine engines a re virtually never started in 0 degree temperatures.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I am continually amazed that boaters will spend almost a thousand dollars more for AGM batteries to avoid a 10 minute check and water top off every 6 months and a one time switch change on their battery chargers.

East Penn made golf cart batteries are $95 each at my local Batteries Plus and probably cheaper elsewhere. They are used in duh, golf carts which is as demanding a deep cycle service as you will find. They have design features: more head room for electrolyte and bottom room for sulfate build up, that make them superior to any other flooded cell type.

They only downside other than the periodic water checking is that you have to install them in pairs. A pair of GC batteries is typically rated at 220 amp hours.

Three pairs will cost about $600 and will provide 660 AHs vs your 5 Lifelines at $1,445 which will provide 500 AHs. Is the extra $845 worth the convenience?

David
Mine drop down through the access hatch and slide back under the floor, with about 4" of space between the top of the battery and the top of the compartment, so topping the water off would require completely removing all of the batteries for every service. I only have access to one end of the batteries, so AGM's are my "only" best choice. Sometimes there is more than price to the equation...
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:48 PM   #19
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Greetings,
Mr. AKD. "...AGM's are my "only" best choice." Not necessarily...
Battery Watering Technologies - Watering systems for battery maintenance
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:58 AM   #20
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I am continually amazed that boaters will spend almost a thousand dollars more for AGM batteries to avoid a 10 minute check and water top off every 6 months and a one time switch change on their battery chargers.
I have 13 batteries onboard, and many are not exactly easily accessible. Your time and effort in my case is way off. I have mostly AGM and a few flooded ones. Sometimes one is a better overall choice, sometimes the other one is. For example, on the tender we use an AGM for its ability to hold the charge long term without a float charger. On the other hand, the main cranks with a flooded battery for is clear advantage in that application.
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