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Old 11 August 2015, 04:38   #1
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Battery life

Another "time expiry" question.

Seawolf is still on its original battery, coming up 5 years old. It's a proper marine battery, has never been flat, holds its charge, and gets a top-up with an auto charger about every month or so over the winter when the boat isn't being used (battery maintenance is something I'm quite particular about on everything). Power is off completely when the boat is out of the water. Starts instantly, turning over quickly.

I can't easily get a marine battery here, and it has to be a very specific size to fit in the battery box on the boat. Plus, being an Etec, there is the battery terminal issue i.e. they need to be very secure.

I reckon it should be good for a while yet. I have just sold my Discovery with a 13 year old battery in it. Does anybody violently disagree with the thought that it is probably fine for the time being?
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Old 11 August 2015, 04:44   #2
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Old 11 August 2015, 04:55   #3
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Originally Posted by BogMonster View Post
Another "time expiry" question.

Seawolf is still on its original battery, coming up 5 years old. It's a proper marine battery, has never been flat, holds its charge, and gets a top-up with an auto charger about every month or so over the winter when the boat isn't being used (battery maintenance is something I'm quite particular about on everything). Power is off completely when the boat is out of the water. Starts instantly, turning over quickly.

I can't easily get a marine battery here, and it has to be a very specific size to fit in the battery box on the boat. Plus, being an Etec, there is the battery terminal issue i.e. they need to be very secure.

I reckon it should be good for a while yet. I have just sold my Discovery with a 13 year old battery in it. Does anybody violently disagree with the thought that it is probably fine for the time being?

I'd run with it - but just to be 100% sure you could always do a load test
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Old 11 August 2015, 05:47   #4
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I'd run with it - but just to be 100% sure you could always do a load test
Get's my vote too. You don't subject the battery to much battering, keep it charged etc. It could last for years. A load test is a good idea.
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Old 11 August 2015, 09:44   #5
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If it were me I would fit an additional battery with a switch and power charging unit, i had a battery fail once on the water and without the second one available it could have been a nasty situation.
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Old 11 August 2015, 09:58   #6
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If it were me I would fit an additional battery with a switch and power charging unit, i had a battery fail once on the water and without the second one available it could have been a nasty situation.
But where do you draw the line, second engines, second VHF's, second GPS, second fuse box.............................................?? ?? I'm a strong believer in my kit being up-to par, maintained correctly and fit for purpose, you then reduce the risk of breakdowns to a minimum
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Old 11 August 2015, 11:00   #7
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If it were me I would fit an additional battery with a switch and power charging unit, i had a battery fail once on the water and without the second one available it could have been a nasty situation.
Bogmonster has a pull start aux so less of an issue - which means he has complete independence if it turns out the failure is the switch or the wiring both of which are common issues reported here. Spontaneous battery failure with no warning on well looked after kit is uncommon.

The only issue I can see is that getting replacement to the Falklands when you do think its starting to go could be time consuming.
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Old 11 August 2015, 13:10   #8
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I've had my Batteries longer than you Stephen. You've done all the right things in looking after your Battery, no reason it shouldn't last a good few years to come. However the obvious thing I will say is that if had a twin system like me then you wouldn't be posting asking for advice and would just continue until one day you had problems.

Fender, yes you can't always have a double of everything on board. But it depends on what sort of boating environment you go out in. If you're going to be out by yourself and away from build up area's there is a strong recommendation from me that certain systems are doubled up on. A twin battery electrical system is one of the main upgrades I would suggest. No good being on a powerboat without electrical power, no engine/s, no main VHF and no GPS.
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Old 11 August 2015, 13:31   #9
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However the obvious thing I will say is that if had a twin system like me then you wouldn't be posting asking for advice and would just continue until one day you had problems.
So if you were Stephen and had "your" double electrics and realised one battery was dodgy would you go out, knowing that the other battery was the same age, lifecycle, abuse history etc? Bearing in mind that in his location it would be more of a problem than the embarrassment that someone on RIBnet might have overheard his VHF call. Otherwise he's not really any better off unless failure happens on the water.

Quote:
No good being on a powerboat without electrical power, no engine/s, no main VHF and no GPS.
handhelds provide true independence - otherwise you are always relying on the wiring, switches, fuse etc anyway. Old tech engines could all be pull started anyway - not sure if your fancy modern stuff makes that impossible?
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Old 11 August 2015, 14:03   #10
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Batteries seem to be ok one day and the next there buggered with no signs of failure until it's gone
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