Marine Battery - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 03-22-2006, 05:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Marine Battery

I am a new boat owner and am curious in regards to the quality of the marine battery.

What brand 12V do you guys recommend?

What recharger to you recommend?

How often do I have to change the batteries?

Will a regular car battery do the job for the electric trolling motor?
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marine Battery

I like Interstate batteries because of their customer service. But in reality, most different brands of batteries are made in 2 or 3 different plants and have different stickers slapped on them. I believe interstate makes their own.

DO NOT use a regular car "starting battery" for running a trolling motor or fish finder. Car batteries are not designed to be constantly drawn down. They are designed to provide a quick (15 second or so) burst of high amperage to start your car. Using them with a constant draw (such as a trolling motor) will kill them.

DO USE a DEEP CYCLE marine battery for your trolling looks just like a car battery on the outside but the plate construction on the inside is different and it is designed to be drawn down quite a bit before recharging.

always recharge your battery ASAP after using it (when you get home) do not let it sit discharged or partially charged, this will cause the lead plates inside the battery to 'sulffate' and kill the battery. Always charge the battery as slowly as possible (or follow manufacturers directions) but keep it charged all the way! If your boat sits through the winter, either charge the battery periodically (once a month or so) or keep a maintainer on it so that it will stay fully charged all winter.

As far as chargers go, you may want to buy one that has different amperage settings for fast or slow charging (2/ 10/ 35 amp) you should charge the battery at the lowest setting possible...this provides the best charge and is best for the life of the battery (others will probably disagree...they have in the past) most better chargers have circuits that sense when a battery is charged and will switch into a 'maintain' mode so that they don't overcharge the battery and cause all the electrolyte to boil out. Make sure you keep the electrolyte topped up by adding distilled water (if it's not a sealed battery) when required.

Batteries should be changed when they will no longer hold or accept a charge. Modern batteries (if cared for properly) can last for 4-6 years. If you leave them discharged, half charged, run them completely dead, overcharge them or abuse them in other ways they won't last long at all.
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marine Battery

Agreement with Farmer Ted on the deep cycle marine battery.

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Old 03-22-2006, 06:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marine Battery

I agree with farmer ted but I really like walmart batteries. I put more hours on my electric motor in one year then most people do in 3 years (very consevative estimate) and walmart batteries have held up very well for me. and they are cheaper also bernie
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marine Battery

Another thing is to make sure you have the proper sized circuit breaker for your trolling motor. Bass Pro is having a spring sale this weekend through April 1st and has some killer deals on batteries, chargers and everything else a coloradofisherman might want. I bought a used 24 V 70# thrust trolling motor from somebody through this site and have been waiting for a deal and this is it. Bass pro 175 series batteries for $50 bucks each (Regular price is $70) and a two bank 10 amp minnkota charger for $85 bucks (Regular price is $110) and they throw in a $25 dollar bass pro gift certificate on top of that...can't beat it. They have one bank chargers for a twelve volt system for dirt cheap as well. Now I just need to figure out how to wire it all together....not sure what size wire and how to connect the two batteries together and all that electrical stuff but the guys down at mercs & more said they would show me how.
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Old 03-22-2006, 08:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marine Battery

i use Optima batteries. they are a dry cell battery which can be mounted upside down, sideways, or anyway you want it. dry cell is nice because it doesnt leak out any acids.* the best thing about Optima batteries is the 10 year warranty. i run these batteries in my vehicles, my rv, and my boats. just make sure you buy teh deep cell (blue top i beleive). i think they run about $150. if you find them for less please tell me. i am going to need to buy three more adn the cheapest i can find would be best
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marine Battery

Questions: What makes a dry cell (gel) worth paying 2x+ for? Isn't that 10yr warranty prorated and almost impossible to collect on much like tire warranties?
I personally do not worry about spilling acid out of a regular battery with reasonable care and if my battery ever does go upside down, the battery is probably the least of my worries.
IMO, compare what you find against the Deep Cycle ones at Wally World. Get a new one every 5 years or so and you'll be fine. Am I wrong?
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marine Battery

a little clairity here the optima's are not a "dry cell" they are either a gell cell or of the AGM (absorbed glass mat) constuction. they are not truely sealed but since the electrolyte is gelled or absorbed they cant leak and yes they can be mounted upside down. the optimas also feature the spiral cell technology and are much more resistant to vibration. one nice thing i like about the optimas and other gel/agm batteries is the lack of maintenance with regular deep cycles if you forget to topoff the water you can kill you bat in no time these dont require any topping off

personaly i prefer agm batteries and my next battery (deep cycle) will be a pair of AGM L16's but then im hard core
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Old 03-23-2006, 06:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marine Battery

I have ran a set (2 in paralel)of walmart's biggest deep cycle marine for 3yrs. I charge with a sears(craftsman) charger set on 2amp after every use and am now on my 4th yr. I run a maxxum trolling motor for upwards of 10 hours per trip and have to say for the money they do very well.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marine Battery

what brand 12V do you guys recommend?

I've used Interstate Batteries and the Batteries from Walmart. They are relatively competitive and if you keep them topped off and charged, then you shouldn't have a problem.

What recharger to you recommend?

My boat has two batteries for the trolling motor and another two batteries for accessories and cranking the engine. The trolling motor batteries are hooked to a dual bank charger that I got at Sportsman's. I don't remember the exact name but I keep it plugged into the wall when I'm not using the boat and I have a habit of selecting the battery re-condition option about 24 hours before taking the boat out.

I was getting frustrated with killing the cranking battery after trolling so I did some customization on the non-trolling motor boat batteries. I have one cranking battery that is connected to the motor (starting and lowering/raising the motor) and because I was having trouble killing the cranking battery while running live wells, radios, lights, trolling, etc., I bought an isolator from Hellroaring Technologies and isolated a deep cycle battery through the cranking battery. When I'm running the boat (or charging the cranking battery) the cranking battery gets charged as a priority. Once that battery is charged, then the isolator kicks on and charges the deep cylce that runs everything else. If I kill the deep cycle, I still have a cranking battery because it's isolated. All I have to do, is run the motor until it is recharged. If I kill the cranking battery, the isolator will kick on and give me the power to automatically "jump start" the cranking battery.

I have a conditioning charger at home that I connect to the cranking battery. Again, once this battery is charged, the isolator switches on and charges the deep cycle.

One important thing to note - There is a difference between a conditioning charger and a trickle charger. Conditioning (automatic) chargers are less expensive. Problem is, if that battery has less than 4v (I think that's the level) left in it, the automatic conditioning charger will not charge it. You will need to use a trickle charger to charge the battery up to the minimum, then connect the conditioning charger. If you don't leave your batteries connected to a conditioning charger in the winter, your batteries will die to the point where you will need a trickle charger first. Additionally, you don't want to leave the trickle charger without the conditioning feature plugged in all the time.

How often do I have to change the batteries?

I've had all 4 batteries for 4 years and haven't had a problem (yet).

Will a regular car battery do the job for the electric trolling motor?

Use a deep cycle battery for this as has been advised by others.
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