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Go Back   WakeWorld > >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive > Archive through July 08, 2003

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Old    Bob (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       06-20-2003, 12:24 AM Reply   
anyone ever buy one from ebay, seems there are a few distributors selling them at pretty good prices??
Old    bobbymucic            06-20-2003, 5:48 AM Reply   
The local Costco her in so ca has them. $140 for the marine version.
Old    Bob (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       06-22-2003, 9:44 PM Reply   
Dont have a costco nearby, whick one is everyone using in their boat the blue or yellow and what size?? Im adding the third amp this week hopefully and am concerned about the load
Old    Lee Tudor (leetudor)      Join Date: Oct 2001       06-23-2003, 4:54 AM Reply   
The blue top has the marine connections on them and the yellows do not.
Old    Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-23-2003, 1:03 PM Reply   
Batteries are HEAVY! Make sure you know what the shipping costs will be before you buy one from Ebay or off the internet!

Why do you want the Optima battery? The gel batteries have some very nice features, but I find that most people get them for the wrong reasons.

Gels have two major advantages:

1) they are sealed and never need water. this can be important if you need to mount the battery in a hard to get to spot, or if you are concerned about it tipping over.

2) They are slightly more efficient than a lead/acid battery, which is important if you are living off solar cells or another limited source of recharge current.

What gel cells are really bad at are their storage density and cost. You will pay twice as much and get half the amp-hours compared to a similar sized lead acid battery. If you can get to them to add water now and then and keep them from tipping over, you just can't beat a pair of golf cart batteries for cost and amp-hours
Old    boatarded            06-23-2003, 4:04 PM Reply   
Rod,
Sounds like you know whats up. I want to add a battery to my boat to handle the extra load for the stereo. Access is not an issue. I want a battery that can run till dead then re-charge again and again. I know normal car batteries will not last. What would be best??
Old    Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-24-2003, 12:02 PM Reply   
Fscaife:

What is best is to NOT run it until it is dead, that will quickly destroy any battery. What will give you the best battery life is to not discharge below 20% of the capacity of the battery.

The standard car battery is built so that it will provide a lot of amps for very short duration, then charge back up. Most are also designed so that they do not lose water, and thus are "zero maintenance". These style of batteries really suck at deep cycle applications.

If you want a deep cycle battery, get one that is designed for deep cycle. You often hear of "golf cart" batteries. There is nothing special about golf carts, except that they represent an easy to understand deep cycle application: you have this little electric cart that gets driven around all day long then recharged at night. They make a lot of golf carts, and these carts need a lot of batteries. The guy at the golf course in charge of keeping these carts running may have his job depend on how good the batteries are, so he buys good batteries.

The good news is that there are golf courses all over, so golf cart batteries are easy to come by. The bad news is that these batteries are 6 volts each, so you need two hooked in series. This can acutally be a good thing as you can space them apart to make better use of small spaces, plus they are not as heavy as a single battery would be.

The common size for golf cart batteries is referred to as either a "T-105" or "2200". These batteries are 10-1/4" long, 7-1/8" deep and 11-1/8 " tall. They provide 220 amp hours at 6 volts each, so two would give you 220 amp-hours at 12 volts. I can buy these for $57 each in Hayward, California.

I have used these batteries on my cruiser and have gotten 6 years of life from them. They are by far the best bang for the buck. You do have to make sure that they are kept full of water, as allowing the plates to become exposed to the air will damage them. Keep a bottle of distilled water on hand and check them often.
Old    BeeTL (ofwc)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-24-2003, 12:34 PM Reply   
Check out www.optimabatterystore.com. They advertise on Ebay and also sell direct. All prices include shipping.

I bought blue tops, but my dealer installed the battery (new boat) and ignored the marine terminals! I guess you can save a buck or two and go with the non-marine version.

It doesn't sound like the golf cart batteries offer any initial savings, are a pain to maintain, and can create a mess. All the stereo gurus seem to use Optimas...
Old    tabiggs            06-24-2003, 6:45 PM Reply   
Here are my 3 fork lift 12 volt batteries, 660 amp hours.. Great for my Stereo
Old    endo            06-24-2003, 7:09 PM Reply   
Hey texas, how much do those cost? Have you had good luck with them in the past?
Old    tabiggs            06-24-2003, 7:19 PM Reply   
$325.00 a piece, They do work well
Old    Brett Davis (bdavis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-24-2003, 7:19 PM Reply   
Don't let the special package fool you, just another battery good but not worth the extra money. got one in my ford bronco. consumer reports did a test of batteries and had better performers at lower prices. search for the article.
Old    tabiggs            06-24-2003, 7:27 PM Reply   
The fork lift battereis were the cheapest per amp hour i could find. 3 of these equal over 10 optimas @ 55 amp hours per battery.
Old    Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-25-2003, 12:04 PM Reply   
B T Lowe wrote:
"It doesn't sound like the golf cart batteries offer any initial savings, are a pain to maintain, and can create a mess. All the stereo gurus seem to use Optimas..."

Let's see: A blue top Optima costs ~$150 and gives you 55 amp-hours.

Two golf cart batteries would cost ~$120, and give you 220 amp-hours.

Less cost, four times the storage. You don't see any advantage here?
Old    6more            06-25-2003, 1:10 PM Reply   
You don't even have to go the golf cart route. Just buy a Marine Grade Deep Cycle battery! They make them for all the fisherman running their trolling motors and recharging them. (Just like the nice little golf cart story :-)). You can pick them up at your local auto parts store.

Besides, I've heard it is bad news to mix a gel battery with a regular battery. So you would have to buy two Optimas - one new and one to replace you cold cranking battery.
Old    matt moss (mossy44)      Join Date: Oct 2001       06-25-2003, 2:25 PM Reply   
i use an isolator, so i am mixing my batteries. i was told that is ok. i have a blue top and the interstate battery that originally came in my xstar. i havent had any problems yet.
Old    BeeTL (ofwc)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-25-2003, 4:45 PM Reply   
Honestly, I didn't explore the cost per amp-hours issue. On that basis, the golf cart and forklift batteries seem to be a better option.

On my X-9 I had two amps running on a single battery and never had a battery problem in 150 hours. On the VLX I will be running three amps. I will have one cranking and one deep cycle Optima Marine battery with an isolator, to be safe.

The Optimas appeal to me for their durability and low maintenence. Do they represent a good value to me and other folks with multi-amp stereo setups? Yes. Are they the best value per amp hour? Apparently not...
Old    egress            06-25-2003, 6:12 PM Reply   
I think if you look at capacity vs price, the optimas are over-priced unless you need the features they offer - mount them sideways / upside down if need be; drain them to zero and recharge many times. If you just need additional hours without the "military spec" (their original intent), then you are probably better off going with a standard marine batt for $50.00. IMO.
Old    xtigeman            06-26-2003, 3:03 AM Reply   
Use of an optima is all about efficiency and keeping your charging system less taxed. I would rather keep my system running at higher volts than have a system that would play longer with the engine off.
Old    tabiggs            06-26-2003, 6:03 AM Reply   
I had 5 Blue Top Optimas last year and i just needed more power to run my stereo, The problem was that I didnt want the hassel of trying to run 10 Optima blue tops in parellel my boat, thats just more of a space and weight nightmare so i went with the forklift battereis that are much easier to manage and install. The blue tops are great if you just need 2 or 3 extra batteries. I also hated the fact of trying to idle the boat and charge the batteries with an HO alternator, that just puts hours on your boat which I didnt want..
Old    Bob (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       06-26-2003, 11:36 PM Reply   
Ok now everyone look at "Texas" profile to see why he need forklift batteries to run his stereo
Old    Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-27-2003, 11:42 AM Reply   
Doug Hanson said:
"Use of an optima is all about efficiency and keeping your charging system less taxed. I would rather keep my system running at higher volts than have a system that would play longer with the engine off."

Doug, you have lost me here.
Efficiency would be an issue to someone who had very limited recharge source. An example of this would be someone on a sailboat crossing the Pacific, where the only source of recharge is the solar panels. He needs to get every amp-hour back out that he puts in. When you have a 50+ amp alternator to force feed the batteries, effeciency is no longer an issue.

The load on you charging system is not going to be effected much by the size of the battery. If the alternator can keep up with the demand, then it will get to ease off now and then. If the reason that you need more battery is because the alternator isn't keeping up, then the alternator will never rest. Besides, I wouldn't worry about the alternator, it can generally take it. In fact, I would recommend changing the regulator for an intelligent "multi-stage" model that would keep the alternator working at full output.

As for the higher volts, lead acid batteries have a slightly higher voltage than gel or AGM batteries. In fact, if you don't compensate by lowering the voltage regulator setting you can damage the optima batteries by over charging them.


Old    Bob (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       06-30-2003, 12:25 AM Reply   
not if your stereo is taking most of the current the alternator is putting out, while you are cruising and boarding
Old    jeff_lagoon            07-01-2003, 11:35 AM Reply   
golf battery... heheh that is funny.
Just install the darn thing :-)

I install 3 blue tops and a battery isolator/combiner. All is great.. no problems and many hours of stereo life.

See the install and pics >>> www.stellino.com

Old    Bob (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       07-02-2003, 5:27 AM Reply   
jeffs your site is the
Old    xtigeman            07-02-2003, 2:41 PM Reply   
Got right 4,000 watts (none of which is D and most class A) in the loads I am running my 5 amps in and 2 Optima yellow tops does just fine. I have all 0 guage and 4 guage and my system stays right at 13.5 to 13.7 while engine is on. Adding more batteries may give me longer than 15 or 20 minutes operational time when motor is off, but additional batteries could decrease the 13.5 to 13.7 I am seeing now when the engine is on.

Rod: If you are running off your batteries while your motor is running, you got problems. Batteries only give you about 12.7 when fully charged. Some amps don't hit their stride or rated power levels below 13.7 or 14.4. Ideally, you are never draining battery power reasoures while the motor is running and the alternator is keeping everything above 13.X volts.
Old    xtigeman            07-02-2003, 2:55 PM Reply   
Efficiency is about keeping your voltage (while engine is running) at highest level on a crappy or marine alternator. If I could use a say 500 amp alternator without installing a halon system in my boat, the brand or number of batteries would not be as important (in other words, the efficiency of my system would not be as important).
Old    tabiggs            07-02-2003, 2:57 PM Reply   
Doug,
I have 4000+ watts too and theres no way that my system would even kick longer than probably 15- minutes at thumping levels without seeing the voltage drop from 12.7 to 11.0+ pretty quickly. I dont see the advantage of having only 2 batteries? If you want to kick your system, you have to run your boat and keep putting hours on it while you just sit there and idle? If your alternator is powering your system at a true 4000 watts, you have a 300+ Amp alternator>?
Old    xtigeman            07-02-2003, 3:15 PM Reply   
Charging system 101 and if you don't understand the above, it would take too long explain. Just adding up the fuse amps is not charging system science. Point is, if you are more concerned about length of playing time with system off use more batteries. If you are more concerned about system performance with a marine grade alternator when engine is on (efficiency) use 2 Optimas. If you are below 12.7 with engine on, take system to get rewired.

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