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Old    D. Cooper (dcooper)      Join Date: Mar 2005       07-18-2006, 10:44 AM Reply   
What would you... ?

Looking to add an extra battery for insurance against not starting after running ballast pumps and stereo. So my options are:

1. Go through the car stereo place with a Stinger battery and swithes that automatically run accessories off that when the ignition is off.

2. go through a boat shop/dealer with a marine battery and perko switch.

What would you do?
Old    Robb Davis (boarder_x)      Join Date: Mar 2006       07-18-2006, 10:46 AM Reply   
Option 1, except use an Optima Blue top. Perko is nice, but automatic is MUCH better. Just go to Costco, get the battery, and then take it in. They can do the wiring and all that. They were just going to charge you for a battery anyway. .... Bring one in, and then pay them less.
Old    D. Cooper (dcooper)      Join Date: Mar 2005       07-18-2006, 11:26 AM Reply   
I looked on Costco's website and could not find batteries. What do you think the Optima Blue Top cost is?
Old    KG (iagainsti)      Join Date: Apr 2004       07-18-2006, 11:42 AM Reply   
The Optima's are nice batteries and look pretty trick but I've had good look with MK batteries as well. They're AGM batteries and hold up very well, they just dont look as nice as the Optima but you get more amp hours per dollar with the MK. You can check them out at
Old    Robb Davis (boarder_x)      Join Date: Mar 2006       07-18-2006, 11:50 AM Reply   
Costco's webite doesn't have them, but they do in the store. I was there a couple days ago. ... Granted each store may or may not have sold out of individual items. They were $129

I decided to save some money, and buy a marine/ RV deep cycle from WalMart. I hate that place, but the return policy is great. 18 months, no questions asked. I'll take it back in 17 even if it's fine. Get a new one. Two for the price of one.
Old    Coach (oaf)      Join Date: Jul 2002       07-18-2006, 12:16 PM Reply   
I really depends on your power needs for the stereo. I really look at the Amp Hours to find what I wanted. Blue tops are 55 Amp hours, some of the oyssessy are in over 100 but cost a ton. I am going with the Trojan 31-AGM which have 120 Amp hours and cost about $260 each. I want to go with AGM's for my next boat because the water matainance is a pain the rear. I am running T-105's in series right now with 225 Amp hours, but they are a wet battery, but they do play hard for hours. If you just need some basic power and Amp hours don't matter then I would by the cheapest AGM deep cycle battery you can find and put it on a perko switch.
Old    Leo Donoghue (technarider)      Join Date: Jun 2006       07-18-2006, 6:50 PM Reply   
if you go optima make sure the model is D34M.. if its 34M is not a true deep cycle.. the D34M and the D31M are true marine deep cycles..
Old    Clubmyke (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       07-18-2006, 7:21 PM Reply   
gel cel= way to go...
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       07-18-2006, 9:10 PM Reply   
I would get 2 batterys. Get 2 of the same battery's with the same Amp Hrs ect I.E blue top optima's, or Stinger's or Sea Volt what ever. I am using a battery combiner. Or you can get a continious use heavy duty solonoid to do the switching for ya. Of corse my way will set you back a few hunderd buck's.
Old    Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       07-19-2006, 12:05 PM Reply   
Gel Cells are definately NOT the way to go for this type of application. They are an old technology, more expensive than AGM or flooded, less amp-hours than either AGM or flooded, and require a signficantly lower charge voltage. You definately don't want to ever have one connected in the same system with a flooded or AGM battery. If you want to make sure that the Gel battery doesn't get destroyed you need to make sure your alternator doesn't exceed 14.2 volts, which generally requires a special alternator/regulator that has setting for gel cells.

AGM batteries, such as Optima, have charge characteristics that are close enough to flooded batteries that you can get away with running the standard alternators and battery chargers.

While it is advisable to have all batteries in the system be the same type you can get away with having a flooded battery and AGM battery if they are only connected during charge cycles by using a battery combiner.


If your objective is to have insurance that you will be able to start the boat when you want to then your option 1 is the way to go. Run all the accessories off one battery and leave the other battery for starting. Automatic switching (battery combiner) assures that you won't forget and run down both batteries.

If you go for option 2, where the batteries will be connected via a manually operated switch, then it is essential that both batteries be of the same type (flooded or AGM) and prefably the same age.

Adding the second battery and combiner is easy. Getting the amps and stereo wired up properly is a bit more tricky. If you are handy with tools it isn't that hard, but it does need to be done right.
Old    D. Cooper (dcooper)      Join Date: Mar 2005       07-19-2006, 3:30 PM Reply   
So the stereo place says $279 for a Stinger SP1000, and another $251 for the parts and install. This would be "automatic" switching. Or $199 for a Stinger SP800. There is the offer or option to bring my own battery too.

What do you think?
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       07-19-2006, 3:46 PM Reply   
whenever you haev work done on a boat by most shops, they will rape you on the install (b/c most consider it custom). That is proabbly retail on the battery. the realy retails for probably around $60. It's expensive, but if you have no idea what your doing, then you are limited in options. If you just want an extra battery for "insurance" I'd just get one from wal-mart, buy the realy online, take it to a shop, they'll probably charge $100 or so. Total cost around $200. why do you think you need an AGM battery? are you mounting the battery on it's side or upside down? if not a regular flodded will be fine.
Old    D. Cooper (dcooper)      Join Date: Mar 2005       07-19-2006, 4:59 PM Reply   
The only reason I would need to mount the battery on it's side is if it won't fit next to the single battery on the passenger side in the back corner. So if I can get another battery that would suit my needs for less I would do it.

Adam... did you fit two batteries in the back corner of your SSV? My boat should be the same.
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       07-20-2006, 7:50 AM Reply   
Old    Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       07-20-2006, 11:10 AM Reply   

Your installation looks nice! I really like the circuit breaker setup you made.

The metal bar holding down the golf cart batteries makes me shudder, however. If the nuts holding that plate down every worked loose, then the the bar shifted to one side during a hard turn that metal bar could short out one of the batteries.

You might want to consider using plastic or wood for the hold down.
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       07-20-2006, 11:30 AM Reply   

Thanks. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but the bar is actually higher than the posts (small pieces of starboard support the bar). It would take the bar getting in a very akward positon to touch two opposing (+/-) posts and short. There are also lock washers placed on each end. It's a possibility but, the risk IMO is very minimal. In the year I've had the setup the nuts don't loosen at all. But in hindsight probably should have just used some scrap starboard.
Old    Frank (fhu667)      Join Date: Oct 2004       07-20-2006, 1:51 PM Reply   
I know that the Perko switch isn't everyone's favorite, but it's just so easy to hook up. I have a couple of amps in my boat, and I've never had a problem with the battery. However, I was afraid of the day where I'd be stranded on the water after sitting around with the radio blaring. That being said; I bought a battery and battery box from Wal Mart, a perko switch, and some cables from Auto Zone. It took me an afternoon to cable everything up, and it has worked flawlessly. I left an accessory on one day, and the boat wouldn't start when we backed it in the water, so I kicked it over to the other battery and started it up.

The downside is that I have to remember to switch the batteries from one to the other from time to time. I don't know if it's necessary, but I feel like this keeps them charged up. It also lets me know that one hasn't gone bad. So I'm guessing an afternoon and about $125 got me set up.
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       07-20-2006, 1:55 PM Reply   
Frank, I'm with you, the perko is the best way to go unless yoru using a relay with a combiner. IF your just using a relay your battereis are combined when the boat is on, this coudl have an adverse effect on both batteries if one of them happens to go bad. With a perko you have control, I never run my switch on both, it's either on 1 or 2 , but stays on #2 99% of the time, #1 is only a backup. Both are hooked up to trickle chargers after each use.
Old    David (tparider)      Join Date: Aug 2003       07-20-2006, 2:08 PM Reply   
For 2 battery situations, how do you feel about using a Stinger SR200 isolator versus a perko switch? Should I go with that instead of the isolator, Adam?
Old    Frank (fhu667)      Join Date: Oct 2004       07-20-2006, 2:11 PM Reply   
Nice to know that for once someone agrees with me! I have run mine on both a couple of times, but I usually try to run on one and change from one to the other when I think about it. I'm guessing this is every 2 or 3 weeks. I don't have the luxury of a trickle charger since there's no power at my storage.

Quick question- Have I read that if you set the Perko switch to off while the engine is running that there can be a bad effect on something? If so, why?
Old    KG (iagainsti)      Join Date: Apr 2004       07-20-2006, 2:18 PM Reply   
Frank-My wife did just exactly that a couple of weeks ago. I was on batt 1 and asked her to switch too both while we were wakesurfing.She switched it too off. All the electronics (wedge-cruise)stopped working while we had a rider. At this point the boat was running soley off the altenator which is too much of a stain on it.

(Message edited by iagainsti on July 20, 2006)
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       07-20-2006, 2:52 PM Reply   
Frank, switching to "off" will usually fry your alternator, it will short itself out. KG, you may have dodged a bullet?

Some perko, allow you to swicth while th ebaot is running, some will not. Say you switch from #1 to #2, some will go from #1 to off then to #2, other will not leave connection #1 untill connection #2, so for an instant both are connected.
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       07-20-2006, 2:54 PM Reply   
David, relay/solenoid...same thing. see my above post. for small systems I think the stinger is fine, for large systems that routinely run down battereis either put a combiner inline or go witht the perko IMO.
Old    David (tparider)      Join Date: Aug 2003       07-20-2006, 3:01 PM Reply   
Is my system still considered small with 2 12's, 2 500watt amps, a 55x4 for the 6.5" speakers?
Old    Frank (fhu667)      Join Date: Oct 2004       07-20-2006, 3:04 PM Reply   
Adam - So I guess what you're saying is to be on the safe side. Never switch from 1 to 2 unless your engine is off, or unless you know for sure how your switch manages the cutover? Either way, I'll just not switch unless the enine is off.
Old    KG (iagainsti)      Join Date: Apr 2004       07-20-2006, 3:22 PM Reply   
going from 1 to 2 to all while running will not hurt a thing unless you did what we did and go to the off position. I agree with Adam- Im sure I probably dodged a bullet, but everything appears fine charging wise.


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