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Thread: Sick of Optima - Suggestions

  1. #1
    Charterboat Operator
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    Default Sick of Optima - Suggestions

    went down to work on the boat this weekend, almost derby time, thought i would dry fire one of the motors after changing the fuel pumps out, ( 1996 yammy 150 offshore 2 strokes) got about 15-20 seconds of cranking before the battery was dead. 2 year old optimax, 1 for each motor, with a battery tender hooked to it showing full charge. I know it was cold, 20 deg., but that short of crank time just didn't get it done.
    first year i have put the chargers on them, usually just pull the battery(s), so what are you guys running for your main starting battery?
    thanks
    PB

  2. #2
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    I presume you mean "Optima"?
    I have had great success with Odyssey, Spendy but thus far have outlasted every other battery I have had before.

    http://www.odysseyfactory.com/

    Perhaps you have a parasitic draw on your system that your tender cant overcome?
    Where the batteries disconnected from the system?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  3. #3
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    OOPS, YES optima, dont know how to go back and edit that.
    batteries were connected, and have left them that way before, not on the charger, i know its not the charger. perhaps some hidden draw, but all isolators were shut off.
    just odd,

  4. #4

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    Optimas are known to fall on their face from time to time....disconnect from system and charge at 2 amps for 12-14 hours and load test them. Normally they will recover from freezing.


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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    You really can't beat the Odysey line of batteries. I run them in my harley and I think that thing takes more pounding than a boat does - LOL.

    If you have a short somewhere though it will drain whatever battery that you have. Turn your isolators off. Disconnect the + lead and touch it to the battery pole. If it sparks even a tiny bit you have a draw on your system that could potentially be a short.

  6. #6
    Member f0zzy2's Avatar
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    I third the Odyssey, do a search on this forum for info on them. Some are not rated for fuel vapor areas which I found out the hard way but they warrantied them no problem.

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    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Save your money and buy the Kirkland Deep cycle marine batters, I think they are running about $65 to $75. Have 3 years on my set with battery tender, just fired off my Wallas stove yesterday no problems. I figure I’ll replace next year for good measure. Costco has 100% 3 year replacement warranty; no questions asked you just take them in.
    Jay
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    I have not had good luck with the Kirkland Deep cycle marine batteries (in all fairness it could be my application). I had problems the last time with there warrantee, I don’t think they have 3 year 100% any more.

    Several people have switched from Kirkland to Wall-mart and like them better. Both batteries are made by Johnson and are the same battery. This does seem odd.

    I have not tried Interstate batteries, they look really good and Sam’s Club has good price on them.

    Sound like you have a problem with your boat draining your battery.

  9. #9
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    thanks for the input guys, thaks to whoever did the editing, wink, good idea on the draw test suggestion. i am thinking it is the batteries moreso than the draw. as during the summer, after a 1/2 hour to 45 min run with the digital volt meter running at about 14 volts, i can anchor the boat with the motors off, 2 vhf's running and the gps, as well as fish finder, within an hour i am down to 11.6- 11.5 volts. Sure seems to me that they should stay up higher than that for quite awhile longer?
    perhaps i should run a seperate house battery instead of off o f1 of the starting batterys? its all voodoo to me when it comes to electricity
    thaks
    again for the reply
    PB

  10. #10
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    If you have one starter dedicated to one motor that is only half as good as having dedicated batteries to two motors. A separate house battery is always a good idea.

    It sounds like your batteries are no good to me based on your hour usage (would have to do a load calculation based on watt usage for the devices to get an idea). You need to load test your batteries after a full charge to see whether the are ok or not. Any car parts store will load test them for you - or batteries plus. That is the only way to know what the battery's potential really is. I have a load tester that you could borrow if you don't want to pull the batteries. It is a very quick simple test.

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    Reading app 14 v with the engine running only tell us the battery is being charged, nothing more.
    Not knowing how your boat is wire you could have a bilge pump wire across the battery bypassing the battery sw that is draining your battery or you could have a bad battery.

    Bullekklk, suggestion could tell you if you have a problem once you have the battery fully charged, but it will not tell you what you need to know for running the house. You need to do a RC test not a CCA or CA battery test. Think of the RC test like a long distant run and the CCA and CA telling you how fast you can run in 30 sec.

    Sense the battery is for your boat I would test it, if it looks ok use it for a back up and buy a new one for the boat.

  12. #12

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    I dislike optimas a lot. I've used quite a few odysseys the last 6-7 yrs , mostly in boats and they have been great, especially as cranking batteries. The latest optima I bought brand new would not start my car when it was 10 degrees outside. The store even "load tested" and "charged it appropriately" overnight at their store and it still would not start the car. Then they told me there was nothing wrong with it and gave all kinds of grief when I told them I wanted my money back. I finally got them to do it and just put my old battery back in the car. Started no problem and I've been using it for several months. I only replaced it in the first place because I figured it was about time. Well, an old autolite battery works better than an optima that the battery store sized for me. When it's time, I'll put an odyssey in the car too. It's kind of funny when you jump-start your car (their new battery) in their parking lot using your old battery that's on your floorboard. Priceless

  13. #13
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    so who in Anchorage has the odyessy batteries????
    i think i will replace them the bring the optima's to taown and have them tested, then throw them away, joking, can always use them for an unreliable backup for something

  14. #14
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    There are two stores in town that are good with batteries. Battery plus is one. I don't recall the name of the other but it is closer to down town...google batteries and call everyone for pricing. I got my Harley batter for 30$ cheaper at the 'downtown store' than BP would sell to me.

    Rutt is correct in that testing the reserve capacity is what you really need to test in order to know how long your battery(s) can run your cabin for. You have already been performing this test - sort of. Knowing the rough existing load that you are pulling on your electrical system and estimating how long your voltage it could be calculated assuming that you do not have a short circuit somewhere.

    If you were to get a 3rd batt for your cabin you might want to go with a deep cycle type of batt.

    I pulled a short summary of the tests off of the internet - knowing this will keep the 'testers' from BS'ing you:

    "CCA, CA, AH and RC. What are these all about? These are the standards that most battery companies use to rate the output and capacity of a battery.

    Cold cranking amps (CCA) is a measurement of the number of amps a battery can deliver at 0 ° F for 30 seconds and not drop below 7.2 volts. So a high CCA battery rating is especially important in starting battery applications, and in cold weather.This measurement is not particularly important in Deep cycle batteries, though it is the most commonly 'known' battery measurement.

    CA is cranking amps measured at 32 degrees F. This rating is also called marine cranking amps (MCA). Hot cranking amps (HCA) is seldom used any longer but is measured at 80 ° F.

    Reserve Capacity (RC) is a very important rating. This is the number of minutes a fully charged battery at 80 ° F will discharge 25 amps until the battery drops below 10.5 volts.

    An amp hour (AH) is a rating usually found on deep cycle batteries. If a battery is rated at 100 amp hours it should deliver 5 amps for 20 hours, 20 amps for 5 hours, etc."

  15. #15
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    This url has a lot of pretty good battery info without a bunch of technical foo foo http://www.batterystuff.com/tutorial_battery.html#4

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    thanks Bull and Rutt too!
    i am now enlightened as to what all that jibberish is on a battery!
    will drag the Opti's back to town next time down and start running a test, more for fun than anything, cause i know they are not going back into the boat!
    PB

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    A battery sitting for a long time in the cold will zap any battery. Keep them charged and or bring them inside. I have zapped my fair share of batteries. I finally learned my lesson and unhook them and bring them in for winter. Also if you boat is more than 5 years old take a serious look at the battery cables. A little corrosion in the cables will really tax your batteries too. I have tried many batteries over the year and they all like to be brought in for the winter.

    Sobie2

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    I feel sorry for the battery manufactures, there batteries get blame for things beyond there control.
    Such as all the new cars have a parasitic drain, if you leave the car sit for a month your battery could be dead, no fault of the battery. People put a high cost battery in the boat or truck looking for better performance, and end up getting less performance because they looked at price instead of application or size.

    Outboard engine manufactures design there engine to charge a battery, and run a few accessories. The boat builder/owner will add every accessory known to man, with no concern for battery drain. If you leave a switch on or have a problem draining the battery the battery get blame, not the problem causing the drain.

    If we were talking about a fuel tank that had all the same problems nobody would ever blame the tank for running out of fuel, they understand you can’t get 100 gal out of a 50 gal tank.

  19. #19
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Since we are talking batteries and giving out free advice/tips, I thought I would add that once your battery bank is down to 12.2 volts you are at 50%. It is counter intuitive if you ask me. You would think, since we are talking a 12 volt system, that if you are at 12 volts you are fine. Allowing your batteries to drop below 50% really shortens their life. The link that bullelkklr posted is a fantastic resource to help educate one about batteries. I reference that website all the time.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  20. #20
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Hey spoiled one I just checked that link and i agree its a dandy but it still doesn't answer my questions about deep cycle batteries. I seem to always kill my 8D house battery every winter for no reason I can see other than its cold

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