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Old 06-22-2009, 10:26 AM
meg meg is offline
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Battery Power

I have 2 batteries and was wondering what is the best indicator of batteries getting weak? My volts are indicating around 13.5 when started but it sometimes takes a couple times to get cranked. My boat is a 2006 and the batteries have never been changed out-how long do they normally last?


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Old 06-22-2009, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meg View Post
I have 2 batteries and was wondering what is the best indicator of batteries getting weak? My volts are indicating around 13.5 when started but it sometimes takes a couple times to get cranked. My boat is a 2006 and the batteries have never been changed out-how long do they normally last?


Thanks!!!
I had my 2006 batteries thoroughly checked at a battery shop and they seemed to all be perfect. I think that is the best way to get them checked out. Pull them and go to a shop that will both load test and then use a doohickey tool that checks the charge of the acid in each individual cell.

I thought it was well worth the time to save me that embarrassing moment of asking a Bayliner for a jumpstart on my expensive boat, or worse getting stranded with no one else around.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meg View Post
I have 2 batteries and was wondering what is the best indicator of batteries getting weak? My volts are indicating around 13.5 when started but it sometimes takes a couple times to get cranked. My boat is a 2006 and the batteries have never been changed out-how long do they normally last?


Thanks!!!
A load test is the only real way to make sure- a proper load test is done using a specific load, over time. If the starter cranks at normal speed but it takes a couple of times for it to fire, that's different. In that case, I would first try turning the key to ON (without cranking), turn it off for at least 5 seconds and turn the key to ON for a few seconds before cranking. If it fires up immediately, you have a fuel pressure issue and need to address that.
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:41 PM
meg meg is offline
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if the batteries are weak would the volts be low on the gauge or the only way to tell is to have it tested?
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:55 PM
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Best to have them tested. You can go to any reputable automotive repair shop (or marine shop) with the boat and have your batteries tested while they are in the boat, or take them out as said before and have them tested that way.

Like JimN said, if you have to keep cranking the engine alot to get it to start, you may have other issues (fuel pump, ignition system, etc.)
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:19 PM
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if the batteries are weak would the volts be low on the gauge or the only way to tell is to have it tested?
If the key is off and you turn some of the accessories on, hte voltage should drop, more as the load increases. If you turn the bilge blower on and the voltage drops out badly, you either have a really bad connection or the battery is toast. A small load should do little to the voltage. If the battery has been discharged to the point that it's stone dead, it loses about 30% of its current capacity for each complete discharge. Kill it three times and your 700 Cold Cranking Amps are down to about 240, which isn't enough to crank and supply voltage to the ECM and ignition. If you see the voltage drop much below 10.5V when cranking, have the battery tested.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:05 AM
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If the key is off and you turn some of the accessories on, hte voltage should drop, more as the load increases. If you turn the bilge blower on and the voltage drops out badly, you either have a really bad connection or the battery is toast. A small load should do little to the voltage. If the battery has been discharged to the point that it's stone dead, it loses about 30% of its current capacity for each complete discharge. Kill it three times and your 700 Cold Cranking Amps are down to about 240, which isn't enough to crank and supply voltage to the ECM and ignition. If you see the voltage drop much below 10.5V when cranking, have the battery tested.
JimN,

That is not supposed to be true of a deep cycle battery, right? That is the point of having a deep cycle battery, they can withstand multiple complete discharges and still be OK.

The interesting thing is that my batteries are not actually deep cycle, but are labeled 'Marine/RV' IIRC, so I am not quite sure of their tolerance for complete discharges. That is one reason why I will probably upgrade after this season to something like an Optima, that states that they can be fully discharged 300 times with no ill effects.
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:05 PM
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JimN,

That is not supposed to be true of a deep cycle battery, right? That is the point of having a deep cycle battery, they can withstand multiple complete discharges and still be OK.

The interesting thing is that my batteries are not actually deep cycle, but are labeled 'Marine/RV' IIRC, so I am not quite sure of their tolerance for complete discharges. That is one reason why I will probably upgrade after this season to something like an Optima, that states that they can be fully discharged 300 times with no ill effects.
That would be great if 'deep cycle' meant complete discharge but it doesn't. Lead/acid batteries have plates of lead and lead sulfide and when the charge level is at or near zero, the dielectric and plates change, chemically. Lead sulfate is the result and it accumulates at the bottom of the cells and once it reaches the plates, they short and won't hold a charge. Optima and batteries of that type are completely different and not subject to the same limitations.
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:20 PM
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fwiw, my next go around with batteries, which may be sooner than i hoped, i'm pretty sure i'm going to go with Deka's AGM group 34. two of them wired in parallel have essentially the same amp hour ratings of (3) optima blue top D43M's and i can pick up 2 for about $250.

i'm taking my batteries in to have them load tested this weekend (blue tops) before our vacation, but was just wondering, what should they read when they're topped off (but unplugged) from a tender? i'm getting like 13.5 and 13.8'ish. that sound about right? the one that was reading 13.5 was the start batt and i had my courtesy lights on so i could read my digi multimeter. really more concerned with the load test, but never new what they were supposed to read with everything off and topped off.
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:52 PM
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A completely fully charged battery (wet cell) should read 14.4v, theoretically. If you're batteries are used (not brand new) its likely you're topped out reading will be around 13.8-13.9v. My boat is just about brand new, and when fully charged, each reads 14.1v, as measured, with everything off, with a voltmeter.

As for my replacement batteries when the time comes, I'm going with two Kinetik 1800 AGM power cells. A much higher ah rating (~81) vs (~50) of the standard wet cell batteries. thats a 60% increase!
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