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A Simple House Battery Choice?

May 27, 2004
1,619
Hunter 30_74-83 Ponce Inlet FL
I know there have been hundreds of threads about batteries over the years. But...
Because I have a simple 12 v DC boat, with no converters, chargers, combiners, solar panels, or built in TVs, radars, air conditioners, freezers, electric heads, wine chillers, espresso makers, blenders, nor a need for a hair dryer... I would like recommendations for a maker of Group 27 lead acid, or equivalent house bank battery that does not include Lithium.

I charge with a 65 amp, internally regulated alternator that could be replaced (out in the boonies), if need be, with an 'off the shelf' auto style unit.

I know this all sounds old school, but it's how I like it. If I can't fix it myself or replace it most anywhere I am, at a reasonable cruiser's price, I don't need it. And Yes, I follow the "How To Sail Oceans" vlog.
Thanks in advance.
G.
 
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Jan 11, 2014
7,104
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
East Penn makes arguably the best FLA batteries for the mass market. They are available under lots of brand names including Dekka and NAPA.

If you can't find a Dekka brand battery, then go to NAPA. Get whatever they market as a deep cycle battery, don't go for a starting battery or dual use.
 
May 27, 2004
1,619
Hunter 30_74-83 Ponce Inlet FL
Whatever the good stuff costs Mark.
Thanks dlochner. I'll call them tomorrow as a starting point.
Dekas are available, but not locally. Shipping for 2 is around $100.
 

NYSail

.
Jan 6, 2006
2,644
Beneteau 423 Mt. Sinai, NY
Sams club...... Duracell rebranded east penn/deka. Great price. Buy 2 6 volt and you are good to go!
 
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Jan 11, 2014
7,104
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Sams club...... Duracell rebranded east penn/deka. Great price. Buy 2 6 volt and you are good to go!
I've heard that not all Duracells are from East Penn, check the label to make certain.
 
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Jan 25, 2011
2,195
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
I would go with a deep cycle which is also fine for starting. I think only a few mfgrs make a true deep cycle. Trojan, Dyno, maybe a few others
 

dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,567
Belliure 41 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
I have had quite good luck with Interstate batteries. Nothing special about them, just seem to be solid reliable batteries.

dj
 
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TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,578
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
I know there have been hundreds of threads about batteries over the years. But...
Because I have a simple 12 v DC boat, with no converters, chargers, combiners, solar panels, or built in TVs, radars, air conditioners, freezers, electric heads, wine chillers, espresso makers, blenders, nor a need for a hair dryer... I would like recommendations for a maker of Group 27 lead acid, or equivalent house bank battery that does not include Lithium.

I charge with a 65 amp, internally regulated alternator that could be replaced (out in the boonies), if need be, with an 'off the shelf' auto style unit.

I know this all sounds old school, but it's how I like it. If I can't fix it myself or replace it most anywhere I am, at a reasonable cruiser's price, I don't need it. And Yes, I follow the "How To Sail Oceans" vlog.
Thanks in advance.
G.
I'm with you, with my similar electric needs, batteries bore me. :) I've had pretty good luck with whatever my local suppliers carry, and they are the lowest priced deep cycle batteries, generally.

They come and go at about 5 year intervals. Between the come and go steps, I check resting voltage periodically with a digital meter. They get two charges a year beyond the alternator, 1 in the spring, and one in the fall. A water check at these 2 points, and that's it.

I think I've extended that 5 year average life though by the addition of LED lights and less power hungry devices for navigation. I find I can go more days at anchor or sail and not drag the bank down as much as in the past.

Duracell, seems to ring a bell, I think I've seen that name on several batteries as they come, and go on my boat. I'd go for Duracell,...

Edit: That's Duralast, I think.
 
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May 27, 2004
1,619
Hunter 30_74-83 Ponce Inlet FL
Thanks to all who responded or 'referred' other opinions.
The gist of Maine Sails epistle, while somewhat confusing to the neophyte, is "buy the good stuff" and to make sure you're getting what you pay for.
So, taking all the advice in, I just bought 2 Duracell/Deka AGMs and a new charger to go with them. All I have to do is read up on the care and feeding of these pricey power cells and figure out the best installation location for the charger.
Feel free to throw the collective's wisdom on these subjects and,
Thanks Again.
G.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,104
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
AGMs want to be fully charged. The quickest way to kill them is to leave them in a partial state of charge (PSOC). If you typically have shore power, then these may be a good choice. The ProMariner/Sterling chargers (same chargers, different stickers) are a good choice. See MS's web site for more info.
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,347
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
Yes, either I'm at a dock or moving after a couple of days at anchor.
The East Penn AGM's would not be my recommendation if you deep cycle and wind up doing any PSoC cycling. They are actually rated at less lab cycles (300) than their own flooded G-24,27,31 "deep cycle" battery (350). While some re-sellers have no qualms slapping a deep-cycle sticker on them, despite the rated cycling life claiming otherwise, East Penn calls them a "dual purpose" battery.

If you want more on how they hold up look at the May and August 2015 issues of Practical Sailor.

Fighting Sulfation In AGM's - Practical Sailor May 2015
Fighting Sulfation in AGM's - Practical Sailor August 2015
If mostly tied to a dock they can certainly work, but so would a set of flooded deep cycle G-27's for about half the price. The East Penn AGM is not a battery that holds up to cycling like a Lifeline, Northstar, Odyssey, Firefly or even Rolls or Full River will. They do make a good starting battery however.

If you want the best East Penn made battery for deep cycling their GEL product is amazing (1000 rated cycles). However, a GEL battery system really requires specific charging and that gets costly and means more than just dropping in a set of batteries.

Any valve regulated lead acid battery (VRLA) (GEL or AGM) really needs temp compensation to maximize life. Flooded batteries should have it too, but they are a bit more tolerant and you can top up electrolyte if you've been over charging them based on temp.

In flooded "automotive case" batteries the Trojan SCS, Crown DC series and US Battery DCXC line tend to hold up best, and then the next tier stuff like East Penn. One caution with East Penn re-stickered flooded batteries, is that some resellers are slapping a "deep-cycle" sticker on the "dual purpose" product DP eg; DP27 battery instead of the DC "deep cycle" product eg; DC27... The exterior of these two batteries looks identical so it can be very tough to tell the difference without the right testing equipment.
 
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Jun 11, 2004
1,115
Oday 31 Redondo Beach
One caution with East Penn re-stickered flooded batteries, is that some resellers are slapping a "deep-cycle" sticker on the "dual purpose" product DP eg; DP27 battery instead of the DC "deep cycle" product eg; DC27... The exterior of these two batteries looks identical so it can be very tough to tell the difference without the right testing equipment.
I see the DC batteries are a couple pounds heavier than the equivalent DP's. Would weighing the batteries be an effective way of confirming the rebranded batteries are DC's vs DP's or are the manufacturing differences and possible watering differences (and scale inaccuracies) too much of a variable to make that work?
 
Oct 22, 2014
14,501
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
If you read MaineSail’s data and look at the pictures of the batteries he has cut apart, you will see that the deep cycle batteries have thicker plates and more space at the bottom of the battery to accommodate the decay of Lead Sulfate particles that slough off the plates as they age. Thicker plates would mean more lead in the battery. More lead would mean the unit would weigh more when packed in the same size case. Then examining the spec sheet you would find that the amp hour rating is greater. For example the Trojan 27TMH is rated at 115 amp hour capacity and weighs in at 66lbs. The Trojan 27TMX is rated at 105 amp hour capacity and weighs in at 55lbs.
Both have the same case size. The components are the case, the electrolyte, and the lead I suggest your evaluation of weight as validity.
In examining the Dyno batteries made in Seattle the manufacturer provided plate thickness in his spec sheet. This is where Dyno adds the lead (the weight). More lead greater capacity. To a point. You still need to engineer space into the unit so that the chemical reaction can occur.