All About Boat Batteries

A forum for discussion of how to rig and tune your boat or kicker to achieve the best sailing performance.

Moderators: kmclemore, beene, NiceAft, Catigale, Hamin' X

User avatar
Inquisitor
First Officer
Posts: 494
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:24 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: North Carolina Mountains

Re: All About Boat Batteries

Post by Inquisitor » Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:46 pm

Jimmyt wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:34 pm
Be Free confirms that the amp-hour rating is to full discharge, so another piece of good info in your thread. Certainly will help me if I ever get around to my solar mod.
I might have Shanghai'd it but, its NiceAft's. Hope you don't mind NiceAft. :|
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

User avatar
Inquisitor
First Officer
Posts: 494
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:24 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: North Carolina Mountains

Cranking It!

Post by Inquisitor » Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:32 am

I took the battery down to our Advance Auto to check out my options for a replacement. He checked out my battery on his device that probably does the same kind of thing as your all's gizmo.

Image

Reading
Voltage: 12.73 v
Rated CCA: 550
Measured CCA: 580
Temperature: 63F

He said if I were to get a brand new battery of this rating, it might measure as high as this one. He looked at the tag on the side (8/2013) and called over all the other guys in the place... customers and workers (small town everyone knows everyone else) "Come and look at this guy's battery. You ever see one this strong and this old?" Most of the responding dialect I wouldn't know how to spell. And this is Bass fisherman's country... These people torture starter and deep-cycles batteries for fun.

The recommended starter battery for my Merc 60 is 330 CCA.
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

User avatar
Jimmyt
Admiral
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:52 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Mobile AL 2013 26M, 60 Etec

Re: All About Boat Batteries

Post by Jimmyt » Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:58 am

Inquisitor wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:32 am
I took the battery down to our Advance Auto to check out my options for a replacement. He checked out my battery on his device that probably does the same kind of thing as your all's gizmo.

Image

Reading
Voltage: 12.73 v
Rated CCA: 550
Measured CCA: 580
Temperature: 63F

He said if I were to get a brand new battery of this rating, it might measure as high as this one. He looked at the tag on the side (8/2013) and called over all the other guys in the place... customers and workers (small town everyone knows everyone else) "Come and look at this guy's battery. You ever see one this strong and this old?" Most of the responding dialect I wouldn't know how to spell. And this is Bass fisherman's country... These people torture starter and deep-cycles batteries for fun.

The recommended starter battery for my Merc 60 is 330 CCA.
That is totally unexpected; but very good news! Wow.
Jimmyt
P-Cub-Boo
2013 26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

User avatar
Inquisitor
First Officer
Posts: 494
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:24 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: North Carolina Mountains

Re: All About Boat Batteries

Post by Inquisitor » Wed Dec 23, 2020 11:20 am

Jimmyt wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:58 am
That is totally unexpected; but very good news! Wow.
Thought it was worth mentioning.
I was expecting some kind of correlation between a battery at half its new Ah-capacity to show some kind of degradation on the CCA also. The consensus (at the store) "Nut'n wrong dat battery, gotta b da motor... clean them carbs n' be good to go."

Didn't want to mention it was EFI... that might be construed as putting on airs.
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

User avatar
Jimmyt
Admiral
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:52 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Mobile AL 2013 26M, 60 Etec

Re: All About Boat Batteries

Post by Jimmyt » Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:06 pm

Good choice. I wouldn't be lipping off much at an auto parts store in rural anywhere right now... Well, maybe California. :D

I'd be curious to see you test a new known battery with published amp-hour rating to see if your methodology produces 50% result, or a 25% result. Did you look at the discharge curve to see if your results make sense based on the 50% charge mark? I'm going to take another look.
Jimmyt
P-Cub-Boo
2013 26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

User avatar
Be Free
Engineer
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:08 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Steinhatchee, FL

Re: All About Boat Batteries

Post by Be Free » Wed Dec 23, 2020 6:02 pm

Inquisitor wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 8:28 am
Be Free wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:48 am
OK, all caught up...

...It is important that your battery be brought back to 100% charge on a regular basis. Consistently charging to 80% or even 90% (when the battery is taking the charge very quickly) causes your battery to sulfate and will significantly shorten its life or permanently damage it if it is allowed to continue.
Lots of great information. Sounds like you might have something to do with that industry???
Good guess, but I'm actually a computer consultant. I wrote my first program in 1974 and have made it my profession since 1982.

User avatar
NiceAft
Admiral
Posts: 4615
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:28 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Upper Dublin,PA, USA: 2005M 50hp.Honda4strk.,1979 Phantom Sport Sailboat, 9'Achilles 6HP Merc 4strk

Re: All About Boat Batteries

Post by NiceAft » Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:20 am

An even more in depth battery explanation from West Marine.

https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvisor/ ... _12-_-null
Ray ~~_/)~~

User avatar
BOAT
Admiral
Posts: 4818
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:12 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Oceanside, CA MACMJ213 2013 ETEC60

Re: All About Boat Batteries

Post by BOAT » Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:49 pm

I noticed that BattleBorn Battery Company is starting to show their batteries in the fishing competition boats and I noticed even some pro fishermen getting BattleBorn sponsorships with decals on their boats. The reason I find this interesting is because the competition fishing boats use outboards like we use on our MAC's.

I was always under the impression that lithium batteries are not the best for starter batteries and not well matched with factory alternators but if BattleBorn is now marketing their batteries to this outboard motor segment it may be they have a new product available we might be able to take advantage of. I have spoken to them in the past and found them very helpful when I outfitted my RV and I am going to contact them for advice about the boat.

Can we use lithium as a starter battery now? Enquiring minds want to know.

User avatar
Inquisitor
First Officer
Posts: 494
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:24 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: North Carolina Mountains

Re: All About Boat Batteries

Post by Inquisitor » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:06 pm

BOAT wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:49 pm
I noticed that BattleBorn Battery Company is starting to show their batteries in the fishing competition boats and I noticed even some pro fishermen getting BattleBorn sponsorships with decals on their boats. The reason I find this interesting is because the competition fishing boats use outboards like we use on our MAC's.

I was always under the impression that lithium batteries are not the best for starter batteries and not well matched with factory alternators but if BattleBorn is now marketing their batteries to this outboard motor segment it may be they have a new product available we might be able to take advantage of. I have spoken to them in the past and found them very helpful when I outfitted my RV and I am going to contact them for advice about the boat.

Can we use lithium as a starter battery now? Enquiring minds want to know.
My brother-in-law is a professional Bass Fisherman. Yes... they run like hull across the lake with their 350+ hp boats, but they spend all day using big trolling motors. They typically draw up to about 60 amps off 36 volt systems. He easily goes through a charge on three 100 Ah AGM batteries in one day, then charges them up overnight to do it all over again during a tournament. He (they) typically go through a set of AGM every season, they work them so hard. Lithium could last nearly ten seasons. And... they are willing to spend tons of money. So its a perfect fit for BattleBorn.

As far as starter motors... BattleBorn (that they do now) won't do that yet. The LiFePO4 cell can easily start a motor, but the BMS (electronic Battery Management System) typically can't... for instance the battery I'm putting together in MX-3, will have 280 Ah of capacity for about the same size as a type 24 battery and weigh about 55 pounds. It can easily put out 2C which is 560 CCA. Unfortunately, the BMS that keeps it charged/discharged properly is limited to 120 amps (in or out). If they chose to, they can use a larger BMS, but the BattleBorn now have ones more toward this 120 amp size. There biggest market is off-grid. But... that might changed based on things like you found.
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

User avatar
Inquisitor
First Officer
Posts: 494
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:24 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: North Carolina Mountains

Re: All About Boat Batteries

Post by Inquisitor » Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:30 pm

Found this on the BattleBorn site:
Our Battery Monitoring System, or BMS is rated to 3 different levels.
  • 100 amps continuous (1200 watts at 12 volts) – this means you can pull 100 amps out of the battery when you need it until the capacity is all used up.
  • 200 amps for 30 seconds (2400 watts at 12 volts) – if your device has a surge an individual battery can deliver 2400 watts for 30 seconds.
  • ½ second surge up to the max capacity of the battery. If you have a high momentary over 200 amps the battery will handle this for ½ second.
If you tried to use this battery for a starter and it took more than a 1/2 second to get started, the BMS would open the circuit and stop cranking.

Since I'm building my own instead of buying a pre-built one like BattleBorn, I'll be able to get to the internals. In an emergency... say my lead-acid totally died and couldn't start the motor, I could run the starter cables directly to the cells (bypassing the BMS) and have access to the 560 amps. That is a continuous rating until total discharge. From a full battery, that would be almost 30 minutes of continuous cranking before a discharged battery. However, doing would permanently destroy the battery if the cells get below a critical voltage. That's why the BMS is there.
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

User avatar
ris
First Officer
Posts: 488
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:27 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Frostproof Florida

Re: All About Boat Batteries

Post by ris » Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:35 am

We use Sterling Power battery chargers and they have a de-sulphation mode. We use this equalization or de-sulphation mode once a year. We are on our 5th year with the batteries and we use them constantly for 7 to 9 months of the year. This mode is ONLY used on open lead acid batteries.
Richard

User avatar
BOAT
Admiral
Posts: 4818
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:12 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Oceanside, CA MACMJ213 2013 ETEC60

Re: All About Boat Batteries

Post by BOAT » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:49 am

I have used my lithium bank to start the van because the lead battery went dead.

The way I do it is I turn the emergency perko to ON and wait about ten seconds and then crank the starter. It works.

My lead battery is kinda old and my Sprinter sits a lot unused and if I don't keep a solar trickle charge in the cig lighter the van battery goes dead.

When that happens I turn the perko to ON and start the van and then turn the perko back to off (or the alternator will try to charge the lithium's directly and they ask for too much voltage from the alternator and make it sick).

I got the solar trickle connected to the cig lighter to prevent that but really I need to get a new lead battery but I am waiting for BattleBorn because in 2019 they told me they were going to make a lithium starter battery for our vans and boats but I think corona the virus messed up all their plans - - I'm still waiting. If they don't do it soon I will just get another lead battery for under the van hood. :(

User avatar
Inquisitor
First Officer
Posts: 494
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:24 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: North Carolina Mountains

Re: All About Boat Batteries

Post by Inquisitor » Sat Jan 16, 2021 4:15 pm

After researching @ris' find about mixing batteries viewtopic.php?f=9&t=28110 I had to check out my deep-cycle-marine battery that I've been testing as part of this thread. In that video, Clark stated that the lead-acid battery must not draw too much current while in trickle charge mode. He stated 1/4 amp was consider OK and 5 amps was bad. My battery draws only 60 mA once at the 13.2 volts trickle voltage.

Also, I'd be interested if anyone that understands the lead-acid chemistry going on in these batteries might be able to explain why this abused, seven year old battery still registers better than its rated CCA and has this phenomenally low trickle current value, yet has such a dismal capacity test of about 1/2 of its manufactures rating. The test with Advance Auto's loading battery tester gave it stellar marks. I suspect the load bank tester we've been discussing would also pass this battery. This is rather discouraging as the "quick/easy" tests would give one a false sense of security about their battery health. Yet it will fall on its face once I expect it to give me even 1/2 of its rated 80 amp-hour value. Only doing the multi-day drain test found this.
Image
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

Post Reply