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Old     (feral)      Join Date: Oct 2011       07-12-2015, 9:31 PM Reply   
So I have been reading about dual batteries and setups and started to wonder......

There are some new style jump packs some even charge from the car/boat 12 system so in theory would charge every time you use the boat?

I have ballast pumps and 2 amps with a good deep cell battery so in "theory" if I don't run them with the engine off (especially the pumps) I shouldn't flatten the start battery.

a second flattery setup is ok but $'s and a bit of wiring to get all the accessories on the correct circuit (all neat in conduit).

a jump pack seems much more versatile especially if they last ok (older ones had bad flattery memory issues)?

What do you use?

cheers.
Old     (jbird)      Join Date: Jun 2011       07-13-2015, 2:14 AM Reply   
Two dual purpose RV/Marine batteries (Group 27 from Costco) with a Perko switch!
Old     (alcarlaw1)      Join Date: Jun 2007       07-13-2015, 6:20 AM Reply   
I haven't quite gotten around to wiring a second circuit and moving accessories from one to the other. In the interim I have a 350A Anderson connector on the +ve to the second battery , so can just disconnect as necessary. Simples!
Old     (phillywakeboarder)      Join Date: Sep 2008       07-13-2015, 8:06 AM Reply   
My setup seems similar to yours - two amps (1340 watts total) and 4 jabsco pumps. I have two optima blue tops. The battery experts on here will say that there are better batteries available for less money, and I believe them, but I had built an optima-specific battery box and didn't feel like starting over. Still, I've been really pleased with the optimas. This is year 3 for both of them, and they have worked perfectly. I also have an onboard promariner 2 bank charger, which is awesome, and a blue sea battery switch.

If your single battery is fully charged and in good shape, I wouldn't worry too much about running the pumps when the engine isn't running. I ran mine for a few years on a single battery and never had a problem restarting after filling/emptying with the motor off.

I have to say that, just for the peace of mind, adding a second battery was a worthwhile upgrade. Also, an onboard charger takes a lot of pressure off the alternator, especially if you start to play your tunes while floating around.

If you do decide to go the optima route, get them directly from optima's website. That way, you know they are fresh (I've seen optimas at pep boys that have been on the shelf for almost 2 years) and will pair up well.
Old     (TX_Chris)      Join Date: Jun 2015       07-13-2015, 9:23 AM Reply   
I have been impressed with the size, power and usability with some of the modern jump packs. But I am skeptical that they will perform as expected on deep cycle starts. I have a standard 110 AC (car) charger that I employ from time to time for trickle charging. I tried to use the "jump start" setting but it wouldn't push enough for my buddy to start his Nautique 226, but we very easily jumped his boat from mine with standard jumping cables. That would be my concern with any jump starting pack - it just doesn't have the power necessary to get your boat running.

Compare this with the double battery bank and switch system, which has been performing well for decades, and I think it is a safe decision to go with the dual battery system. That isn't to say the jump pack wouldn't work, just that it is not as well proven and my luck would be to go through at least two different models/setups before finding the right one.

I use a dual bank with Perko switch. I have a everyday use battery (battery "1") and a cranking battery (battery "2") for when "1" doesn't have enough juice to turn me over. I switch to "All", start it, switch back to "1" and cruise on. It is easy to do, and reliable. A wise old man told me once, "if you have two batteries, you will eventually have one good battery." At the time, I thought he meant you would ignore the bad battery and only use the good one, but now I think he meant you will rely on the good battery to allow you to use a bad battery way past the bad battery's prime.

One thing to keep in mind, at idle RPM, you can (I constantly do) use more power than your alternator can generate. So just running the engine while you are swimming/jamming may not save you from ending up with a flat battery. As long as you keep the engine running, you should be ok, but that one time that the engine has to be turned off at the inopportune time will be the moment of truth.
Old     (milehigh)      Join Date: Apr 2015       07-14-2015, 11:12 AM Reply   
Can never have to many batteries!!


4 xs batteries for the stereo bank and 1 for starting battery. Each bank with its own dedicated charger. I have played music for over 8hrs without ever starting the boat.
Old     (DavidAnalog)      Join Date: Sep 2013       07-14-2015, 1:15 PM Reply   
Look at things beyond having to start the boat in an emergency. There are other factors to consider.
Your boat will start (warm weather & small block motor) with far less voltage than is healthy for your battery(s) and your boat electronics. You need enough battery capacity so that you are not discharging a consumer-grade deep-cycle battery below 11.8 volts. Anything lower with any repetition will significantly decrease the battery's weekend to weekend performance and inordinately shorten the battery lifespan. The jump pack, no matter how much they have improved, doesn't resolve the above and tends to encourage the above bad scenarios. So my vote would be a dual bank system with a Smart shore charger.

Per the above Optima comments. Optima is a great battery. I've seen countless cases of long term service when properly maintained. I've also seen failures when the charging disciplines were misunderstood and/or ignored. Here is the main issue with an Optima. The popular Optima model is a group 34 which is lighter and shorter than a standard group 24. So when choosing between a group 24, a larger group 27, a larger 29, a larger 31, the group 34 is actually the smallest capacity battery. It's going to take two group 34s to roughly equal one group 31. If you select the correct capacity for your usage you will run problem-free for many seasons. But for many people, based on their usage, it will take a higher quantity of group 34s.
Old     (feral)      Join Date: Oct 2011       07-14-2015, 8:40 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidAnalog View Post
Your boat will start (warm weather & small block motor) with far less voltage than is healthy for your battery(s) and your boat electronics. You need enough battery capacity so that you are not discharging a consumer-grade deep-cycle battery below 11.8 volts. Anything lower with any repetition will significantly decrease the battery's weekend to weekend performance and inordinately shorten the battery lifespan. The jump pack, no matter how much they have improved, doesn't resolve the above and tends to encourage the above bad scenarios. So my vote would be a dual bank system with a Smart shore charger.
.
that makes good sense.

I am thinking that I will be grabbing a jump pack in the shorter term (probably need one anyway as all old ones are dead) and then fitting a proper dual setup in the future.

cheers.
Old     (feral)      Join Date: Oct 2011       07-14-2015, 8:42 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillywakeboarder View Post
Also, an onboard charger takes a lot of pressure off the alternator, especially if you start to play your tunes while floating around.
.
thanks but what is an onboard charger?
Old     (feral)      Join Date: Oct 2011       07-14-2015, 8:44 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by milehigh View Post

4 xs batteries for the stereo bank and 1 for starting battery. Each bank with its own dedicated charger. I have played music for over 8hrs without ever starting the boat.
wow - I hope that's probably a little more than what I need - we are lucky enough to ski from a shack (river house) beach most of the time so don't end up with the stereo working much (got a stereo at the shack that I can plug in).

cheers.
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       07-14-2015, 9:08 PM Reply   
im a huge fan of dual battery banks in a boat. Jump boxes are way more work to maintain then they look or they are always dead when you need them. 2nd, Running a single battery dead because you have a jump box in reserve, shortens the life of that battery.

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