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Many of you have probably heard the word BOAT described using the acronym Bring On Another Thousand. Sadly, some days that seems all too accurate. Yesterday for example, we traded significantly more than that sum of money for what we hope will be more power on our boat, specifically a new battery bank.

After doing a bit of telephone shopping, we settled on 8 new Deka golf cart batteries supplied by Caribbean Battery. I spoke with Maceo from CB several times on the telephone yesterday and coordinated a time for one of his guys to meet us at Crown Bay Marina, just around the corner from where we were located, to make the swap. Maceo sent his man Chuck over to help with the install and we had the new batteries in and the old ones taken away in just over an hour. We were going to pay for a night’s dockage at the marina so that we could plug into shore power but Maceo assured us that the batteries would be fully charged when they were installed so it wouldn’t be necessary. As such, we only had to pay for a couple of hours stay on their day dock, saving us a bit of money. Our apologies to the spectators there for not creating a bit more excitement during our docking (it only took two attempts to back into the slip — we’re a bit out of practice on the whole docking thing, but still, not THAT out of practice).

Our plan is to take very good care of these batteries in order to maximize their life span. Let’s hope we can do that. And now that all that messy work is out of the way, hopefully we can start to enjoy the Virgin Islands!!!

Chuck and I battle to swap the four batteries installed under this step. It was tricky!

14 Comments

  1. A battle to muscle them in under the step, eh? (Duly noted for future boats… build battery carrier so that they can be lifted straight out.)

    It’s a pity that Ni-Fe cells are so damned pricey and are different shapes than Pb-acid. For a new build, that’s the way I’d go; there are Ni-Fe packs from the 1940s that are still in daily use at their original ratings. But you can’t retrofit them without completely redesigning the charging system and fabricating new battery compartments. For an existing boat, heavy-duty traction batteries like the ones you found are among the best bets.

    That’s one big “ouch” on the accounts, but if it’s needed… and now you can be reasonably sure they’ll last quite a while.

  2. “Boat” for sailboats = Bring Out Another Thousand
    “Boat” for powerboaters = Bring Out Another Tenthousand

    Have fun in St John Kids…My favorite place

  3. Thom, S/V Baggywrinkle - Reply

    Hi Mike,

    In regards to maintaining your new batteries, if they’ll at all difficult to get to for checking water levels, you might want to consider a set of these: http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/003900.php.

    Fair winds,
    Thom

  4. HOME = have our minds examined. We should be living on a boat

  5. Yowch!

    How old were the old batteries?

    bob
    s/v Eolian

  6. A shame all them old batteries couldn’t be givin to local islanders. When your replacing stuff down island, think of the locals, you could make a real happy day for some. (just/saying)

    • Good idea Ken. At that point in time though, we needed to make the switch quickly and CB were willing to take them away for us. I’m unsure what they do with them but you’re right, it would have been nice to get them into an individual’s hands.

  7. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    How many of your old one were no good in the end ? At last now you should be worry free regarding them for a while, only servicing them “water levels” Is there any way of making a wheel system for them to be able to slid to the opening to be lifted out , or inspected ?

    • A larger opening would definitely give easier access but I’m not prepared to do that. There is nothing really to inspect except for water levels and I can do that easily with the Profill system that we have. As for how many were good, we didn’t check them all. One was bad and another so so. That was all I really needed to know.

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