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whats a goodtime cost?
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
my blue top optima (D34M) finally crapped out. ive been thinking of purchasing another bluetop so been reading up on the optimas and it seems like its either you love them or hate them.mostly hate it seems like. so my question is which which gel battery would you guys recommend to go i my jet boat. i have no stereo and no lights. the specs on my optima were....
MCA-870
CCA-750
AH-55
RC-120

i would llke to keep it the same size as my optima as well so it will still fit in my battery tray. thanks.


or would you guys just throw a auto zone, walmart, etc battery in it?
 

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And you are looking at AGM batteries - NOT GEL. GEL is a different animal alltogether.
 

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whats a goodtime cost?
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Discussion Starter #4
And you are looking at AGM batteries - NOT GEL. GEL is a different animal alltogether.
Thank you. That there shows my lack of knowledge about this subject. What do you think about bluetop optimas. In particular the one I mentioned.
 

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I have used the Optima in boats, cars and my everyday driver.

They seem to last longer if you keep them charged, I use a battery tender on my vette when its in the garage and the battery has been doing great.

When I had my last jet boat I used the battery tender as well and never had a problem for years;)

Battery Tender Plus - Batterytender.com
 

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For me the Red Top seems to last longer. They seem to be a little better and not as critical to the care you give them either.
 

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Thank you. That there shows my lack of knowledge about this subject. What do you think about bluetop optimas. In particular the one I mentioned.
It's all good - I wasn't bagging on you at all. It is just important to know what you are looking for. If you go into a battery store and tell them you want GEL, that's fine. They're expensive AND need special charging/maintenance that is DIFFERENT from lead/acid batteries. So your alternator would end up wearing them down instead of properly charging them.

AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) is still lead/acid. They just aren't FLOODED. There's no liquid, so you can mount them up-side-down if you want. This also means you won't lose any other components inside the engine area of the car/boat. I switched to 100% AGM batteries because I got tired of changing battery cables on my vehicle. EVERY Delco battery I have had started leaking at the positive (side-post) seal. This is HIDDEN, since the rubber/nitril surround that insulates the cable terminal covers the entire area. So it starts leaking (I've had several Interstate batts do this also) and just "weeps" into the cable wire itself. It starts corroding the cable from the inside-out. This also typically fueses the bolt inside the terminal thread and you end up pulling the whole terminal out of the battery housing to get the cable out.

So, one of the many reasons I have switched is for cleanliness. Some of the battery trays on my classic cars are not even available any more. So, if I have a leaking battery, it has the potential to do WAY more damage than if I just spend a tiny bit more than a flooded battery and get a "safe" one.

I have 100% Optimas, as they simply are easy to obtain. I have 26 of them in service right now. My oldest is from 1998 and still fires up my '57 Chevy every time. SEARS Platinum (I think that's their AGM) is just as good as an Optima and they probably have a better warranty. You might check with them.

I have two D34Ms in the boat - both from 2005. Still in there.

All of that being said - the biggest thing that lets them live a long life (any battery, actually) is a smart-charger-maintainer. This is what I use, which is recommended by Optima: CTEK Battery Chargers | The World's Smarter Battery Charger

Lead-acid batts start to "sulphate" at 12.5v and increases the rate of decay the lower the voltage gets. So, all of you that take your batts out of your boat -OR- turn the batt switch "off" when you winterize / park your boats - are actually damaging your batteries. Sulphation is like "mold" growing on the lead areas inside the battery. The more sulphation, the less capacity the battery will have. The maintainers (whichever brand you like, CTEK / Battery Tender / whatever) keep a constant 13.1v to the battery and usually "cycle" the trickle amperage up and down during storage to keep the battery "guessing". Regardless, no sulphation can occur if you have a maintainer on your battery - unless the power goes out.

So, if you hard-wire a maintainer onto your vehicles/boat, and plugged them in when you store them - you will RARELY need to replace a battery. They will all wear out at some point. But again, I have a battery that is 13 years old - due to having a maintainer on it.

Of the CTEK units available, I use the US800. That is the smallest one. That is .8amps or 800 milliamps. The next is the 3300, which is 3.3amps. Then the flagship US7002, which is 7amps. They also have more modes on each one. But my classics/musclecars are all CHARGED when I park them - just like your boat. I don't ever need to CHARGE batteries - just MAINTAIN them. So, the US800 works just fine. I have 10 of then MOUNTED on different vehicles and four more that I just move around from week to week / car to car.

I have a ProMariner (not CTEK) mounted/hard-wired on the boat. Does the same thing, though. The best thing about having whatever model you want on the boat is - you don't have to take the batteries out at any point. Nor do you have to turn the batts OFF, which kills your stereo presets (if equipped). All I ever have to do is unplug the boat from the wall and drive to the lake.

Everyone thinks that turning batts off or taking them out is the best thing for them. It's actually quite bad. Ask any battery professional. I don't consider myself one - I have just KILLED a lot of batteries during my life. I finally found out what kills them (overcharging with OLD battery chargers AND/OR letting them sulphate). The other thing about AGM batteries is - they are so efficient that their internal resistance is extremely low as compared to a flooded battery. Therefore, this means that a 10-amp non-smart-charger is effectively a 40-amp charger to an AGM battery. I cooked a few of them before I realized they only need 2-amps max. Even then, a 2-amp charge OVERNIGHT is WAY TOO MUCH. It will be HOT to the touch the next morning. Smart chargers, even a 7-amp model, might START at 7 if it senses the battery needs it. But, it will drop rapidly to fractions of an amp (milliamps) when it realizes the battery doesn't need any more than maintenance.

So, in the beginning, you might spend $180 for a D34M and $50 for a CTECK US800. But you won't buy four or five $60 batteries over the several years - nor the hassle of taking them in and out - nor the mess in the boat and on the cables from the potential leaks.

You want to stick with AGM and you want to get yourself a good maintainer. Clear as mud?
 

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I have an Optima yellow top that I bought brand new in 2006, it has been in two jet boats now from a mild 427, to a 13:1 505. I have never had an issue with it, and have only put a charger on it once or twice (accidentally left the bilge on overnight) charged it for a day or so, and it was good as new. the bilge pump survived too lol, once i took it outta the boat once to crank my truck up when its battery went dead. Just out of curiosity, what has gone wrong with your blue top? How old is it?
 

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For me the Red Top seems to last longer. They seem to be a little better and not as critical to the care you give them either.
Reds are more battery than many give them credit. Blues are more vibration/shock resistant, but since reds are already 3-400 TIMES more shock resistant than standard flooded - they are already more worthy of rough water use than any other.

This is where I get my Optimas and CTEK units. Free shipping and just as good of price as anywhere else: Optima Battery Optima Batteries Free Shipping! Best Service! Deep Cycle Batteries Yellow Blue Red Top Optimum
 

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whats a goodtime cost?
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Discussion Starter #10
I have an Optima yellow top that I bought brand new in 2006, it has been in two jet boats now from a mild 427, to a 13:1 505. I have never had an issue with it, and have only put a charger on it once or twice (accidentally left the bilge on overnight) charged it for a day or so, and it was good as new. the bilge pump survived too lol, once i took it outta the boat once to crank my truck up when its battery went dead. Just out of curiosity, what has gone wrong with your blue top? How old is it?
i dont know exactly what went wrong with it. i just know that its dead and wont recharge. ive noticed that at the bottom of the negative post where it seals to the plastic it bubbles up what im assuming is acid. not alot but enough that i noticed it. and as far as how old it is. i dont know. i bought my boat probably 2 years ago and it was in it when i bought it. so who knows.
 

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whats a goodtime cost?
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Discussion Starter #11
It's all good - I wasn't bagging on you at all. It is just important to know what you are looking for. If you go into a battery store and tell them you want GEL, that's fine. They're expensive AND need special charging/maintenance that is DIFFERENT from lead/acid batteries. So your alternator would end up wearing them down instead of properly charging them.

AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) is still lead/acid. They just aren't FLOODED. There's no liquid, so you can mount them up-side-down if you want. This also means you won't lose any other components inside the engine area of the car/boat. I switched to 100% AGM batteries because I got tired of changing battery cables on my vehicle. EVERY Delco battery I have had started leaking at the positive (side-post) seal. This is HIDDEN, since the rubber/nitril surround that insulates the cable terminal covers the entire area. So it starts leaking (I've had several Interstate batts do this also) and just "weeps" into the cable wire itself. It starts corroding the cable from the inside-out. This also typically fueses the bolt inside the terminal thread and you end up pulling the whole terminal out of the battery housing to get the cable out.

So, one of the many reasons I have switched is for cleanliness. Some of the battery trays on my classic cars are not even available any more. So, if I have a leaking battery, it has the potential to do WAY more damage than if I just spend a tiny bit more than a flooded battery and get a "safe" one.

I have 100% Optimas, as they simply are easy to obtain. I have 26 of them in service right now. My oldest is from 1998 and still fires up my '57 Chevy every time. SEARS Platinum (I think that's their AGM) is just as good as an Optima and they probably have a better warranty. You might check with them.

I have two D34Ms in the boat - both from 2005. Still in there.

All of that being said - the biggest thing that lets them live a long life (any battery, actually) is a smart-charger-maintainer. This is what I use, which is recommended by Optima: CTEK Battery Chargers | The World's Smarter Battery Charger

Lead-acid batts start to "sulphate" at 12.5v and increases the rate of decay the lower the voltage gets. So, all of you that take your batts out of your boat -OR- turn the batt switch "off" when you winterize / park your boats - are actually damaging your batteries. Sulphation is like "mold" growing on the lead areas inside the battery. The more sulphation, the less capacity the battery will have. The maintainers (whichever brand you like, CTEK / Battery Tender / whatever) keep a constant 13.1v to the battery and usually "cycle" the trickle amperage up and down during storage to keep the battery "guessing". Regardless, no sulphation can occur if you have a maintainer on your battery - unless the power goes out.

So, if you hard-wire a maintainer onto your vehicles/boat, and plugged them in when you store them - you will RARELY need to replace a battery. They will all wear out at some point. But again, I have a battery that is 13 years old - due to having a maintainer on it.

Of the CTEK units available, I use the US800. That is the smallest one. That is .8amps or 800 milliamps. The next is the 3300, which is 3.3amps. Then the flagship US7002, which is 7amps. They also have more modes on each one. But my classics/musclecars are all CHARGED when I park them - just like your boat. I don't ever need to CHARGE batteries - just MAINTAIN them. So, the US800 works just fine. I have 10 of then MOUNTED on different vehicles and four more that I just move around from week to week / car to car.

I have a ProMariner (not CTEK) mounted/hard-wired on the boat. Does the same thing, though. The best thing about having whatever model you want on the boat is - you don't have to take the batteries out at any point. Nor do you have to turn the batts OFF, which kills your stereo presets (if equipped). All I ever have to do is unplug the boat from the wall and drive to the lake.

Everyone thinks that turning batts off or taking them out is the best thing for them. It's actually quite bad. Ask any battery professional. I don't consider myself one - I have just KILLED a lot of batteries during my life. I finally found out what kills them (overcharging with OLD battery chargers AND/OR letting them sulphate). The other thing about AGM batteries is - they are so efficient that their internal resistance is extremely low as compared to a flooded battery. Therefore, this means that a 10-amp non-smart-charger is effectively a 40-amp charger to an AGM battery. I cooked a few of them before I realized they only need 2-amps max. Even then, a 2-amp charge OVERNIGHT is WAY TOO MUCH. It will be HOT to the touch the next morning. Smart chargers, even a 7-amp model, might START at 7 if it senses the battery needs it. But, it will drop rapidly to fractions of an amp (milliamps) when it realizes the battery doesn't need any more than maintenance.

So, in the beginning, you might spend $180 for a D34M and $50 for a CTECK US800. But you won't buy four or five $60 batteries over the several years - nor the hassle of taking them in and out - nor the mess in the boat and on the cables from the potential leaks.

You want to stick with AGM and you want to get yourself a good maintainer. Clear as mud?

you sir should be a salesman. i believe you have talked me into purchasing another bluetop (with maintainer). thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge about the subject with me.
 

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you sir should be a salesman. i believe you have talked me into purchasing another bluetop (with maintainer). thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge about the subject with me.
You're welcome.

Just keep your receipt. Optimas have a good warranty also. Hope everything works out.
 

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whats a goodtime cost?
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Discussion Starter #13
You're welcome.

Just keep your receipt. Optimas have a good warranty also. Hope everything works out.

any idea why on my current bluetop the negative post where it meets the plastic is bubbling out what im assuming is acid? not alot but enough to notice.
 

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any idea why on my current bluetop the negative post where it meets the plastic is bubbling out what im assuming is acid? not alot but enough to notice.
A picture would help, but I have never seen any bubbling fluid from one. I have HEARD sizzling inside, when I had a 40-amp charger (shop-type, on wheels) on one overnight. I had a 10-amp on one for two days and the same thing. HEARD sizzling, and couldn't keep a hand on the entire battery (hot!). That's how to really get rid of one quick. Took me a few of those to figure out what I was doing wrong.

Additionally, since it was in the boat whenst you bought said boat - you don't know what was done to it in the past.
 

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whats a goodtime cost?
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Discussion Starter #15
A picture would help, but I have never seen any bubbling fluid from one. I have HEARD sizzling inside, when I had a 40-amp charger (shop-type, on wheels) on one overnight. I had a 10-amp on one for two days and the same thing. HEARD sizzling, and couldn't keep a hand on the entire battery (hot!). That's how to really get rid of one quick. Took me a few of those to figure out what I was doing wrong.

Additionally, since it was in the boat whenst you bought said boat - you don't know what was done to it in the past.
i dont have any pictures of it. and yeah i have no clue how the battery was treated before i purchased the boat.
 

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+1 on the C-TEK chargers. Some people will pound a battery clamp onto the post or as they tighten the clamp don't hold and support the clamp from twisting the post. This is what commonly breaks the seal on the post.
 

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+1 on the C-TEK chargers. Some people will pound a battery clamp onto the post or as they tighten the clamp don't hold and support the clamp from twisting the post. This is what commonly breaks the seal on the post.
Good info on the posts. I always wondered why it was so common for them to leak - never thought of human error on the installation. Good stuff.

The CTEK, to me, is a bit "smarter" than the Tender. EITHER will do a great job. I just like the amperage curve(s) on the CTEK programming better.

BTW, the CTEK 7002 has some BITCHEN additional features. I have one around the garage just to "recondition" older batteries.
 

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One Fast Wacker
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Some brands of battery's are prone to the positive post leaking. Sears seem to be one of those, but it could be installer induced also.
A side story. Being a mechanic by trade I'm observant when I see cars with their hoods up, especially when a good looking woman is involved.
Won't start, pops hood, I could tell this had been an ongoing problem, the clue was when she stepped out of her high heel shoe and proceeded to use the heel to pound the battery terminal into submission. All I could do was look away and laugh!
I use Oddessy 680s for starting and 24 volt trim. They must be at least 5 years old now.
Key off draw is what kills alto of batteries. Anything that has a memory, clock, preset radio, GPS antenna, always is pulling power out of the battery. Over time it will deplete the battery and sulfation will start.
All one needs to do is either put a switch in line or pull off one of the cables.
 

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All one needs to do is either put a switch in line or pull off one of the cables.
Ah ha! That's where things go wrong! You are right - to a degree. Taking off the cable / or turning the battery switch off (if so equipped) DOES stop the draw from the equipment in the boat. HOWEVER, a battery does not keep it's juice forever. No matter the brand, a battery will end up at 0V if left long enough.

So, let's say you un hook one. Let's say it stays at 12.6v when you isolate it. Next week it's at 12.4, next week 12.2, etc, etc. Some faster, some slower. At some point, sulphation WILL start. So, a $50 maintainer will guarantee that it won't happen.

Also, you don't disconnect the battery in your CAR if you leave it for a few weeks, right? A month? Why should you have to re-set all of your clocks and pre-sets? Also, it clears the ECM volatile-memory (on later EFI boats). So, if you had a sensor going away and it was leaving data to help diagnose it - that gets lost. It also will be re-learning certain parameters every time you go out and not run quite as smooth.

In the end - ask yourself this.....Is it easier to UNPLUG the boat from the wall? Or unbolt and disconnect a cable under the hatch? Which is better for the boat and the battery(ies)?
 
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