New Battery Bank

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5 new Lifeline Batteries lifted into the cockpit
65 lbs each 325 lbs total. $299 each!

Time for a new upgrade our 8 year old house battery bank, so while docked at Harbour Cay Club, we installed 5 new Lifeline Group 31 batteries! We usually buy DEKA, East Penn Manufacturing Batteries, but the local S.A.L.T. Sea Air Land Technologies company gave us a fair price matching DCbattery prices and we bought them here in Marathon. The reason we went with Lifeline over Deka is that they have more life cycles than Deka. Life cycles in batteries is the term used to measure the number of discharges down to, usually 50%. Deka Group 31 AGMs have 370 life cycles to 50% discharge.  Lifelines have 1,000 life cycles to 50% discharge. So for an extra cost of $350, we moved up to Lifeline batteries over Deka and expect to see 10 years of life out of these.

5 old Deka batteries removed from the battery box
65 lbs each, 325 lbs. total

The problem with replacing our house battery bank is that they are very tight in the battery box. Then they are also bolted down with very nice custom hold downs to prevent the 65 lbs (each) batteries from flying around or moving when in a serious offshore sea state of large waves. They are also bolted down so that if the boat flips over, the batteries will still not fly out of the battery box. Of course if the boat flips over, we have other issues to consider.

So removing and re-installing a 5 battery house bank and a new starter battery is rather a large job. We started at about 10 am and by 5pm we had the job completed and all the systems back up and running! Remember…the freezer, refrigerator, network, computers and all lights run off the batteries, so with them out, all this is off. You need to work fast or your food will thaw and your beer will get warm!

Here are a few photos, I did not take many as this is not terribly exciting, but it is real life on a cruising boat….

Lifeline specs and 5 year warranty
Each battery is registered and each measured 12.85 volts or higher!
The battery bank overview. This is the quarter berth footwell
The original 3 battery box is to the left, closed off footwell to right

3 Lifelines with SS angle bar and welded plate bolted in to hold the batteries down.
All wiring is 2.0 AWG wire,
The small wires are sensors, temperature probes, regulators, etc.

The footwell battery box holds two more, plus the regulator
Small wires are shunt wires, temperature probes, and sensors
Notice the SS welded strap hold down bolted in to prevent batteries from moving.

“They Say”…..cruising is fixing your boat in remote locations. Well, that is so true. You leave your home dock and go off sailing / cruising. Then your boat breaks down, or a system needs serviced, so you do your best to repair it. Usually this is all done while out on anchor in some remote location. Here, with this job, we were at a dock, with many friends and cars and bikes so it was easy to do. It needed to be done as this was the 8th year on this battery bank and we have been leaning on it hard. So we figured it would be far better to do this here rather than in the Bahamas $$$$. Let’s hope we have no more big jobs for a long time now…..Thanks for following the Island Spirit Adventures…..tomorrow we head for sea, and press on for Biscayne Bay where we will spend two weeks exploring and preparing for our FIRST Bahamas run….

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