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Christian M

Batteries For My Boat

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I am buying new batteries for my boat this weekend and I need a little input. I bought a 96 tracker about a month ago and since then I have replaced the original trolling motor for a 55lb MK powerdrive and added a fishfinder on the deck. The boat only came with 2 batteries, one for ALL of the electronics, and one cold cranking for the engine. This doesn't come close to being enough battery power for me. I like to spend all day on the water when I take my boat out (up to 8 hours) and most of the lakes around me are electric only.

 

I have already replaced the lead acid cranking battery for an optima red top, but my lead acid deep cycle just went flat on me. I found a D34M-950 blue top for $220, which I would use strictly for my trolling motor. Now I am debating whether to buy a yellow top for my accessories, or just another lead acid deep cycle. I also have to buy a new on board charger, since the one that came with the boat only has 1 of the 2 banks working. I have a 15amp single bank digital charger which I can use in the meatime, but I would really like to have at least a 2 bank on board charger since the red top will hardly ever be used.

 

I've heard really good things about their longevity and I would rather invest the money in a battery that will last several years vs. having to continuously replace and maintian standard batteries. My main question is do you guys think its worth me spending the extra money for the blue & yellow top batteries?

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I cannot comment on Optima batteries other than to say they are expensive and if not properly taken care of than they too will not last.  I can tell you that when I bought my boat I was informed of how to take care of my  trolling motor batteries,.  First off your electronics should be wired to your cranking battery not your trolling motor battery, I buy AC Delco M29 batteries for my 2 boats one has a 12 volt motor the other is a 24 volt system I get a minimum of 4yrs from my batteries(AC Delco M29)  the key with keeping your batteries fresh is to use them and when U get home put them on the charger right away and only charge them until they indicate they are fully charged or if you have a charger that automatically shuts off when they are fully charged, do not leave them on the charger for an extended period of time, keep doing this and your batteries will develope a memory of this, at the end of the yr if you live in a cold climate remove them from the boat, fully charge them (do not leave them on the charger)and put them in the basement on a block of wood do not put them on concrete it will suck the water from your batteries.  If you do as I indicated above you too should get 4-5yrs from your batteries.  Again I highly recommend the AC Delco M29s they are priced from $110 to $130 a piece, my friends and I use them and we are  very satisfied with them.  I'm sure there are others that are gd but these are what I use.  Hope this helps.

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je, thanks for the input. This is my second boat, the guy who I bought the boat off of was doing things all wrong. My last boat was electric only, no gas engine. I had 2 trolling motors, each which had their own deep cycle batteries. The radio, lights, accessories etc. all ran on a separate battery. I would always put my batteries on the charger as soon as I got home, and the charger I had on my last boat was 2 bank digital with an auto off. I stored the batteries indoors on top of a wooden trunk all winter after I topped them off.

 

I think the issue with the lead acid I have is that it was a store brand battery and I may have just cycled it out. There are several lakes around here that are too large to be electric only, but because of the amount of boat traffic, unfortunately they are. 

 

Now that I read my post I wasn't clear about my new boat. I have 3 batteries on my new boat, Im just buying 2 new ones. I'm planning on having a blue top strictly for my trolling motor, a yellow top strictly for my fishfinders, running lights, livewell, & bilge, etc. and the red top will be strictly for my engine. The charger I have now is a single bank, but it has a sensor for Standard/AGM/Gel and an auto off when the battery is fully charged, I'll replace it with a similar dual bank ASAP. I've had lead acid batteries that have lasted me a few years, but I've heard of people having Optimas for up to 10 years. The red top I have has been going strong for 4 years and still charges right up to over 13.5 volts and holds the charge forever. I guess Im looking for others who have AGM's and how they have held up. I feel like if I can get a few more years out of the batteries then its worth the extra couple hundred.  I will keep the Ac Delco batteries in mind for sure. thanks again

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I run AGM batteries.  I run Optima blue tops for the 24v trolling motor.  I run all my electronics and crank my Optimax with a Sears Die Hard 1150 cca AGM.

 

What type of electronics do you have that make you feel the need for a dedicated battery?

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I don't really run anything outside of the norm, my trolling motor is 12v, I have 2 fishfinders, a livewell, running lights, and Im planning to install a stereo. I guess I just want to have the most battery power available since I fish 99% electric lakes. Also I plan on adding my 55lb trolling motor in the back as soon as I get a kicker bracket to mounted

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So I pulled the trigger on a Bluetop 31, 1125mca, 950cca, & 155ra. I took my boat out yesterday & pushed my 17' boat in 10-15mph winds for over 6 hours with no trouble. On a calm day I expect the get a couple more hours out of it.

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