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Leisure batteries - advice on what to buy


cairanvanrooyen
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I am in the market for 5no new 110ah 12v leisure batteries.

 

The market seems saturated with different technology and a high variability in cost - from £80 to £1000 per battery on Midland Chandlers.

 

I have a simple set-up, common in many boats: 12v batteries, 12v LED's, 12v fridge, inverter etc. I am planning on installing PV shortly. I am a live-aboard and constantly cruise, so rely on batteries.

 

My question is: should I go for cheapest (£80'ish each) and accept they have 300 cycles and need replacing after a year or so, or should i go mid range? My budget is no more than £800 all in, ideally less...

 

Also, is there anything to look out for or avoid, in your experiences?

 

Cheers

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15 minutes ago, cairanvanrooyen said:

I am in the market for 5no new 110ah 12v leisure batteries.

 

The market seems saturated with different technology and a high variability in cost - from £80 to £1000 per battery on Midland Chandlers.

 

I have a simple set-up, common in many boats: 12v batteries, 12v LED's, 12v fridge, inverter etc. I am planning on installing PV shortly. I am a live-aboard and constantly cruise, so rely on batteries.

 

My question is: should I go for cheapest (£80'ish each) and accept they have 300 cycles and need replacing after a year or so, or should i go mid range? My budget is no more than £800 all in, ideally less...

 

Also, is there anything to look out for or avoid, in your experiences?

 

Cheers

 

https://advancedbatterysupplies.co.uk/product-tag/110ah/

 

Here is a selection of batteries and deals that will fit your budget. I've found their delivery service to be good. 

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Higgs said:

 

https://advancedbatterysupplies.co.uk/product-tag/110ah/

 

Here is a selection of batteries and deals that will fit your budget. I've found their delivery service to be good. 

 

 

 

Recommend ABS. Very good service and prices. We bought not the cheapest, not the most expensive. Sealed, coz i don't maintain them enough. No issues. Delivery was first class.

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Just now, Nightwatch said:

Recommend ABS. Very good service and prices. We bought not the cheapest, not the most expensive. Sealed, coz i don't maintain them enough. No issues. Delivery was first class.

 

I haven't been the most diligent, when taking care of batteries, either. Had to invest in a 'plumbed-in' battery charger and it seems to be doing its job. 

 

 

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Agreed, I used ABS for our start battery. Be aware that if you buy sealed you will be limited as to the maximum charging voltage and it will make things far more difficult when it becomes time to diagnose potential battery problems.

 

Maximum charging voltage is only an issue with advanced alternator controllers or land line/solar chargers. Its no problem if they are programmable but might be if they are not.

 

I am with Tracy - only buy expensive if you truly know how to look after them and can keep them very well charged.

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49 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Unless you really know how to take care of batteries, don't buy expensive ones, they  die just as easily.

I have found Probat off ebay to be as good as any others and they are cheap.  125 Ah.

It's not just knowing how to take care of them, it's being bothered to do it.  I tend towards the fit and forget...  My solar basically takes care of them for about 8 months of the year.  Then I start to take a bit of interest around late October and tend to check how much charge they're showing and charge them up accordingly.  I've bought the cheapest available before and I've also paid a little more for slightly better ones.  I don't think I saw any real difference.

 

My advice to the OP, is buy the cheapest for now.  Many boaters continue to use the cheapest ones indefinitely.  If after 2 or 3 years you find yourself become one of those who gets a bit obsessed by things like tail current etc, then, and only then, might it be worth you upgrading to more extensive deep cycle, AGM or traction batteries.  But you'll need to be careful then about the correct charge voltage, desulphation etc.  Personally I couldn't be bothered, but one day I may drop in a set of Lithiums when I reckon I can treat them with similar distain to those I currently have.

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The trouble with sealed batteries is that because you're restricted as to how much voltage you can put into them (14.4v recommended and up to say 14.6v very max) to some extent that also restricts how much you end up getting out of them. I'm not sure if that issue is exacerbated with cheap sealed batteries?

 

I agree though, unless you have a good charging and maintenance regime then expensive batteries may be a waste of money. Having said that, the OP's budget of £800 should stretch to 5 very nice Trojan T015s at less than £750 all in.

 

https://www.tayna.co.uk/industrial-batteries/trojan/t-105-x4/?gclid=Cj0KCQjws536BRDTARIsANeUZ5-8R0y3JACiY6VzWMyypUMG9JtbvljWLmKMUDDVHpDnTlqcBkur-VIaArIvEALw_wcB

 

https://www.tayna.co.uk/industrial-batteries/trojan/t-105/?gclid=Cj0KCQjws536BRDTARIsANeUZ5-pU-gciNAAyj3yc2vFS-3yGdwbfHqqQQfkeVAFkoDIEZNBK8il2iEaAsMEEALw_wcB

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23 minutes ago, blackrose said:

The trouble with sealed batteries is that because you're restricted as to how much voltage you can put into them (14.4v recommended and up to say 14.6v very max) to some extent that also restricts how much you end up getting out of them. I'm not sure if that issue is exacerbated with cheap sealed batteries?

 

I agree though, unless you have a good charging and maintenance regime then expensive batteries may be a waste of money. Having said that, the OP's budget of £800 should stretch to 5 very nice Trojan T015s at less than £750 all in.

 

https://www.tayna.co.uk/industrial-batteries/trojan/t-105-x4/?gclid=Cj0KCQjws536BRDTARIsANeUZ5-8R0y3JACiY6VzWMyypUMG9JtbvljWLmKMUDDVHpDnTlqcBkur-VIaArIvEALw_wcB

 

https://www.tayna.co.uk/industrial-batteries/trojan/t-105/?gclid=Cj0KCQjws536BRDTARIsANeUZ5-pU-gciNAAyj3yc2vFS-3yGdwbfHqqQQfkeVAFkoDIEZNBK8il2iEaAsMEEALw_wcB

If you're buying sealed batteries than it's highly doubtful that you have any real control over the charging voltage anyway.

 

Can I suggest that if you're buying Trojan t105s then you stick to even numbers.  5 batteries could make things quite complex.

Edited by doratheexplorer
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I have been using a bank of ornery leisure batteries to power my little leccy boat for 6 years. 

when cruising they are under load for typically 9 hours a day, drawing them down from 12.8v to 12.2v (after recovery).

during that period I have found only 2 out of 6 that were not maintaining 110Ah capacity when load tested with headlamp bulbs down to 50% discharge. 

I paid typically £70 each delivered.

 

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4 minutes ago, Murflynn said:

I have been using a bank of ornery leisure batteries to power my little leccy boat for 6 years. 

when cruising they are under load for typically 9 hours a day, drawing them down from 12.8v to 12.2v (after recovery).

during that period I have found only 2 out of 6 that were not maintaining 110Ah capacity when load tested with headlamp bulbs down to 50% discharge. 

I paid typically £70 each delivered.

 

 

Is that a make of battery or a spelling error? And did you buy them recently; from where? ?

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Murflynn said:

I could call you an ornery so-and-so but I won't.   :P 

 

all bought from cheapest ebay sellers over the past 6 years.

 

Ah, ok. I took it as shorthand for ordinary. ? Must have me confused, ahem..., with someone else. 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

 

Can I suggest that if you're buying Trojan t105s then you stick to even numbers.  5 batteries could make things quite complex.

 

Why would 5 batteries be any more complex than the 5 batteries that presumably the OP wants to replace? And why is odd numbers an issue with Trojan T105s in particular?

 

I have 3 X Trojan T1275s and haven't come across any complexities in having an odd number of domestic batteries.

Edited by blackrose
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We litter picked the top end of Stort for BW over seven years using our open pick boat ''Bin Laden'', we got through about four Minkota electric outboards. One Shield 110 ah battery lasted for the 4 hour or so pick, with very intensive use, full power, sudden reversing if we spotted the top of a beer can floating in the reeds at the side. back and forth.  I used to collect all the cigarette lighters we found floating, clean and recondition them for my own use. Still using them, not bought a lighter for 10 years.  We did take a spare battery and connecting cables along with us just in case but never had to use them.  Gave the police a lift in Bin Laden once they were looking for a someone with memory loss wandering on the towpath.

Edited by bizzard
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53 minutes ago, blackrose said:

the OP's budget of £800 should stretch to 5 very nice Trojan T015s at less than £750 all in.

I think he’d be better off with either 4 or 6 unless he has a need for an odd 6V battery. 

2 minutes ago, blackrose said:

 

Why would 5 batteries be any more complex than the 5 batteries that presumably the OP wants to replace? And why is odd numbers an issue with Trojan T105s?

Because T105s are 6V batteries. 

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1 minute ago, blackrose said:

 

Why would 5 batteries be any more complex than the 5 batteries that presumably the OP wants to replace? And why is odd numbers an issue with Trojan T105s?

 

Could be my fault, but they seem to be 6V batteries. I did look for the T015s, but could only find the T105s - 6V

 

 

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6 minutes ago, WotEver said:

I think he’d be better off with either 4 or 6 unless he has a need for an odd 6V battery. 

Because T105s are 6V batteries. 

Ah sorry I hadn't realised

5 minutes ago, Higgs said:

 

Could be my fault, but they seem to be 6V batteries. I did look for the T015s, but could only find the T105s - 6V

 

 

Yes I needed to check the spec more carefully

Anyway, I still think the OP could get a decent set of 12v batteries within his budget

Edited by blackrose
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4 minutes ago, blackrose said:

I still think the OP could get a decent set of batteries within his budget

Which he will destroy just as quickly as cheap batteries if he doesn't have a decent charging regime and some kind of battery monitoring.

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14 minutes ago, blackrose said:

Ah sorry I hadn't realised

Yes I needed to check the spec more carefully

Anyway, I still think the OP could get a decent set of 12v batteries within his budget

 

I would only say that the others on offer do have a decent warranty, and if the fellow, like me, isn't very good with batteries, better to blow £350 than much more. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Higgs said:

 

I would only say that the others on offer do have a decent warranty, and if the fellow, like me, isn't very good with batteries, better to blow £350 than much more. 

 

 

No battery warranty is worth the paper its printed on. They only cover faulty manufacture, not ignorant use wrecking them.

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Just now, Tracy D'arth said:

No battery warranty is worth the paper its printed on. They only cover faulty manufacture, not ignorant use wrecking them.

 

I can well believe that. Best buy cheap and try and learn how to care for batteries. Make mistakes that aren't too costly. 

 

 

 

 

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