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New battery

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Time for a new battery for the Bu. I would like to go maint. free with a sealed battery. I know Optima is pretty popular but pricey. Exide is making a sealed maint. free called the Orbital. Anyone have experience with these? They are about $60 less than optima and appear very similar.

Also, do I want to go with a cranking battery or deep cycle?

PS It is good to be back home at a "malibu only" site! Yahoo.gifYahoo.gifYahoo.gif

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Lakenut.. woo hoo Welcome.gif

I say get the deep cycle, and any deep cycle car battery will do fine. If you need to mount it funny, then a sealed one will be needed, but for the normal mounting location WOM in my opinion

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The way we use our boats, I would recommend going with a deep cycle battery.

I think I am about to purchase two Optima D34M's... You can't beat the proven technology they have going right now, although Odessy, Exide, and many others make great sealed batteries - which I personally would recommend over standard batteries becuase they can put up with the beating they get in a boat much bettery than traditional cells.


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You might need have to have a marine battery because of the additional small posts on them.

unless you want to change the ends on the accessory cables that most boats have.

And don't be tight, get the deep cycle Optima.

Edited by bigD
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What electrical loads will you have? If you don't have lots of high power amps, lights, etc., then the Optimas are probably overkill. I picked up two deep cycle size 27 batteries from Costco for $60 each. They'll work just fine and cost a lot less than optima.

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I just added a second battery.  I picked the Optima 34M.  I was under the impression it was dual purpose... deep cycle with cranking amps?

FYI. I also put in a battery isolator from Hell Roaring Marine.  I like it alot.


I have procrastinated coming up with a dual battery setup for a few reasons. Primarily because I am lazy and mechanically incompetent. From what I have read (on MBO and other places) the hellroaring isolator/combiner is 'the ultimate choice'. When I mention it to my friends who I would most likely rely on for installation, they have never heard of it and I lack sufficient understanding to explain to them the benefits. I just tell them 'conventional wisdom seems to indicate it is a better option than a simple Perko switch'. Price isn't a serious concern to me (I have checked pricing for the hellroaring setup and it appears to be between $150-200). Can someone give a basic explanation of why I would want such a setup? Other than the hellroaring isolator and a second battery are there other costs to this setup?


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I have the Hellroaring set up for secondary backup starting battery. One battery is connected to all my electricals - the other battery is there just to get the boat cranked if I drain the main one (there are other ways to set it up - ie, to run your stereo off one battery and crank the boat with the other).

I like it b/c it's automatic - no manual switching necessary for normal charging. It keeps the batteries separated on discharge so the weak battery doesn't drain the strong one - I know I've always got one fresh battery. There is a remote switch you can flip if you do drain one battery all the way or if for some reason you need to discharge both batteries simultaneously (used frequently on 4x4 applications for whenching etc.). It also has some features I don't totally understand (something about arcing).

I once had a solenoid as a switch - if the key was turned on, both batteries were combined, but if the key was off the batteries were separated. This worked well until one day the bilge pump ran til it drained the battery and somehow both batteries got drained all the way down. Bought the hellroaring isolator the next week.

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What electrical loads will you have?  If you don't have lots of high power amps, lights, etc., then the Optimas are probably overkill.  I picked up two deep cycle size 27 batteries from Costco for $60 each.  They'll work just fine and cost a lot less than optima.

Saved me the typing, ditto

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  Exide is making a sealed maint. free called the Orbital. 

I have repaired the enviromental test equipment for the Exide test facility in Auburn Hills, MI and seen the testing that they do. Shocking.gif I would go with the Optima blue top myself.

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After replacing the normal lead acid marine batteries every 2 years, I have moved to an Optima Blue Top as well. Next year I will add a second and the Hellroaring isolator.

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Thanks for all of the great info. I am still confused about the cranking vs. deep cycle thing.

The deep cycle sounds like it is designed to run accesories for extended times and still have power to crank the engine where as the cranking batt. is more for just that. Cranking the engine. So if I am anchored and listening to the stereo, the deep cycle will be less likely to drain itself?

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Cranking battery isn't designed to be drained down repeatedly whereas deep cycle is made to do that. Eventually a starting battery will lose its charge and you won't be able to charge it to full. Cranking batteries also usually have more "cold cranking amps" which you may need in very cold climates with big engines, but if you have EFI you'd be better off with deep cycle.

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The optima and excide are made in the same place. I go with two batteries in mine, one deepcycle for my audio and another starting for the boat since the deep cycle does not do as well as a starting battery (shortens its lifespan)

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Thanks all for the help. After taking the old battery out, I am sold for life on the sealed maint. free. My old battery had leaked and was sitting in 1/4" of acid in the battery box. It was a pain in the kester to get it out with out dripping acid all over the place.

Anyway, couldn't find an Optima locally so I went with an Exide Orbital. Its specs were very similar to the Optima except with a better warranty. Plus I picked it up for under $100.

Edited by Lakenut
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Ok. The new battery is smaller in physical size than the old one. I am thinking about using a wooden shim to keep it from sliding around in the battery box. Good? Bad? Suggestions?

Edited by Lakenut
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In a two battery set up do the two batteries need to be similar in nature? (i.e. same type DeepCycle/Cranking, Same capacity, same mfg)

Does the answer to the question depend on how they are connected?

I am considering getting a Hellroaring Isolator and an Optima Deep Cycle battery while continuing to use the original 2004 battery I got with my boat. Am I likely to cause myself any problems?

Where are some good places to look for Optima? I have always bought Interstate batteries for my old boat and have no idea where to start looking for Optima...


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I currently have a single battery, but the previous owner installed the Perko switch already. I've read all the Hellroaring app notes and asked Mike there a few questions, but still haven't decided what setup to use. If we don't make it to our lake for several weeks, sometimes the battery is drained down so it's mainly about having a backup battery in those starting situations, while not having to worry about both being charged. The new stereo will probably suck some power at times too while engine is off. I have teenagers and others driving the boat so the system needs to be foolproof (or they just call Dad!) while reasonably easy to install.

Which one of their configurations did you go for and what are the drawbacks? It sounds like there are many more choices beyond the 4 they show on their web site too. Mike sent me a fifth one via email that seems simple and utilizes the existing switch. Now I'm really confused (too many choices).

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I run two optima blue top deep cycles as well.

They are twice the money as a regular battery but are so much better in many ways.


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Keep in mind that when you go to dual batteries you want to replace them in pairs.

I've been looking at the D34M myself, but I will need to get a better charger before I do that. I have a pretty nice one but it caps out at 15.6V and that is sure to cook the Optima. I even considered Optimas in my camper, but there's been too many reports of RV owners cooking them with the standard maintenance charger in the RV.

Edited by whiteVLX
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