Jump to content

Is an Optima battery worth it?


Recommended Posts

OK, I need a little advice. I have a 2006 SSI 210. I currently have 2 optima batteries installed. The starting battery is a blue top AGM marine, and a deep cycle for the stereo, with a battery switch so I can isolate the starting battery when beached and have the tunes going. The stereo has 2 amps, a 250w driving a 12" sub, and a 500w for the interior and tower speakers. Both batteries are bad and need replaced. These were originally recommended to me by the stereo installer (I guess since he sells them also). Power is power right? Before I drop over 550 big ones on the same batteries, If I were able to find some wet cells that had the same ratings, everything should work just fine I assume. Does anybody know if the Optima deep cycle/dual purpose battery has longer reserve power? Right now, I can run that stereo for 4-5 hours with no issues. The ratings are starting battery: Optima SC34M MCA1000,, CCA 800, AH 50, RC 100. The deep cycle is Optima SC34DM, MCA 870, CCA 750, AH 55, RC 120.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, a lot of amp hours on that one, looks like a deep cycle. I will have to search their site for a starting battery. I did not see any cca specs there though. I take it you run these with good results? I don't mind spending the same money for a better battery.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How old are the optimas?  I personally am a big fan of AGM batteries and would at least go with a cheaper AGM if you don't want to shell out for optimas.  Check amazon for Optimas, as I have gotten the best deals for them there.  You could also add a second deep cycle in parallel for more run time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, that's the thing, I guess I am just getting cheap in my old age, the Optima's are 4 years old, which is probably pretty good considering the abuse I give them. The Trojan mentioned earlier looks like a great battery but unsure if there is any special charging instructions for them. With the Optimas, I just let the alternator do it's thing and after a week on the water, trickle charge them at home with the charger on the AGM setting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That wet cell trogan would would have no more special charging instruction than your current AGM. However, you would want a charger thats likely 3x the output of charger used for the 55Ah optima. Id suggest a multi-stage smart charger rather than a simple trickle charger. Could be why the optimas are done. Id deeply discharged, they dont respond well to a trickle charge. For the money, its hard to be a good wet cell. 

 

The 34 is the small battery, and the trogan looks to be a 29 or 31 size, so you would need to upgrade the box or tray. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

AGM is excellent if you do not watch how deeply you discharge the music battery. Lead acid can be discharged to 50%  of capacity safely.  That AGM can be driven down to only 20 % of capacity left. Both would have the same life left at those  # of times.  Music battery is AGM.

Starting battery is short duty discharges.  Can be normal size & enough rating for the size engine it will crank.

So USE AGM on everything. Get a ONLY AGM charger. Or   Tape the charger to    ONLY   do   AGM.   Done

There used to be a serious charging difference between AGM &   wet acid.  Most car & boat engines were always set up for WET acid batteries.

I have not kept up on the alternators abilities to charge both types with no problems.       www.batteryuniversity.com is a excellent site for becoming a expert. Time well spent. Money saved.  They sell the smart chargers. for all types.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just invested in Interstate batteries. I got a starting battery24XMHD w 1000 cranking amps 135 aH reserve capacity and 2 deep cycles SRM29 w/ 845 cranking amps and 210ah for 350 deer or so. They are flooded batteries and if I get 4 years out of them I would be happy. I'll let you know in 3 years.

I did invest in a multi stage  battery charger this year and am connected at the marina when not out on the water which is a big improvement from last year as the alternator was not enough to charge all those batteries w/o taking an hour drive or so which gets expensive w/ a 496MAG. Now I plug in walk away and come back to fully charged batteries.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've researched batteries cost to Ah to 20hr Ah to reserve capacity to $/Min of power, etc. and while Optima makes good batteries, there are better value batteries. Optimas, actually, the most expensive per Ah. Warranty is another issue, where expensive batteries also offer more value than cheap batteries. But in order for the initial expense to make financial sense, you got to have your charging solution in order because if an expensive battery is not charged properly - it will die in 2-3 years anyway, in which case buying cheap batteries is cheaper.

I wouldn't mix battery types (AGM with Gel) as it introduces more headache than benefits. Mixing AGMs with flooded wet cell (serviceable kind, the ones that require adding distilled water) should be fine as their charging profile is very similar, but with AGM having more than enough cranking power, I'd stick with AGM all around.

Odyssey, Trojan, Lifeline, and Northstar are all better options for your dollars than Optima.

I'm installing group 24 Northstar for my starting (NORTHSTAR NSB-AGM24M) and group 31 (NORTHSTAR NSB-AGM31M) for my house/electronics battery.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Going into season #9 on a pair of Interstate marine starting batteries. I top off charge them monthly during the winter, but don't even bother taking them out of the boat. 8.1's take some stomp to get them rolling, and my batteries both still test good. The only maintenance ever performed was switching the positive cables every second season so battery 1 becomes battery 2 and so forth.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the responses. I do have some reading to do. While poking around this site at other threads, I am just amazed. I don't know how you guys get so much life out of batteries. My diesel pick up, both batteries toast at 5 years, wife's car, 5 years, toast. Ditto on the kids car. For the boat, I guess I just need ro look into a better charger and re-examine my charging profile.

Link to post
Share on other sites

CAUTION   !    Wet cells   MUST ALWAYS    have liquid over the lead tops. Or you permanently suffocate / destroy that exposed area to air portion.  Hot weather & engine heat are real killers.  Bitchy or impossible to see the liquid in the cells. Or over filling the cells lowers capacity & life span.

Wet cells die very early deaths if the liquid drops below the lead surface.  Chargers that charge too fast & boil out liquid ?  More early death. Batteries look so simple. Too simple.

My opinion ?  By the AGM if you do not take excellent care of the wet cells.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I invested in upgrading my charger and Lifeline AGMs 3 years ago. This is now season 4. For sure opinions on batteries are like other things...everybody's got one lol, but I have never been more impressed or pleased with a battery performance than I have with these. Hands down the best I've had in 30 years of boating. Yes, a premium brand and cost, but reliable, great performers and no hassle of 2-3 year replacement. In the end, probably will end up the same as if I had been cheaper ones and replaced them a couple times, but the Lifelines ROCK and you did ask for input.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Wingnut said:

Going into season #9 on a pair of Interstate marine starting batteries. I top off charge them monthly during the winter, but don't even bother taking them out of the boat. 8.1's take some stomp to get them rolling, and my batteries both still test good. The only maintenance ever performed was switching the positive cables every second season so battery 1 becomes battery 2 and so forth.

Plus 1 on Interstate Batteries. The dual original Interstate batteries are in my 2007 Sunesta. I checked the date code on them to make sure. Just bought the boat last fall and checked the water level and only needed to add a small amount of distilled water. I installed a 20 amp Pro-Mariner Pro-sport battery charger in the boat this spring. It's supposed the condition the batteries every 30 days. Anyway,  hope I haven't jinxed them as they are working fine now. I will replace with Interstate when the time comes. I priced the same battery out recently and they were about 125 deer each. 

P3040682_zpsozd0qay9.jpg

20160501_164505_zpsbrmjiftg.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Trojan batteries are the best. I actually don't run them, but Dennis basically told me they are the best available for the money. They will easily crank a motor and will also endure deep discharge cycles. Everything I've heard about agm, optima, or gel batteries tells me they are a huge waste of money and not really any better. I have a pair of Duracell group 31 deep cycles (105ah each) for $120 at batteries plus myself.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 years later...

I’m not a battery expert but I work for Johnson Controls & they are the largest battery manufacturer in the world. Optimas are their showpiece & from personal experience they are a superior battery to almost everything out there. There is some specialty batteries that probably outperform the Optimas but I haven’t seen any for a lesser price. Only getting 4 years out of them isn’t very good. I bought two for my father in law’s fishing boat & he got 7 years out of them using a $20 trickle charger in the winter when the boat was in storage. I would verify that your batteries are actually failing. The problem with Optimas is charging them when the get deeply discharged & I’ve seen people think they were bad when in fact they just weren’t charging them right or with a proper charger. I’m sure Google can explain better than me but make sure you’re using a charger that will desulfate the batteries. B/C of my company discount I use the Optima Digital 400 charger/maintainer & I have two red tops in vehicles that are 9-10 years old. Funny story is my Father in law liked them so much he was telling his buddy how much so that his buddy went to NAPA & ordered two for himself without asking the cost first. He was shocked to say the least. I used to be able to get the blues & yellows for less than $120 a piece shipped to me  but now I think they cost me $180 each. There’s my 2 cents.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like these...........  http://www.odysseybattery.com/  There sold under Battery+, Northern Battery and other names. 

I have 5, 2 for starting and 3 for the house. On my 6th to to 9th year depending on which battery. For the house, the last a little better than 24hrs before they need a charge.

Thats the fridge, vac-u-flush, water, sump, lights....  

Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 on the interstate batteries. The one on my 215 SSi will get replaced this year, it is 10 years old. The one on my RV is 5 years old and still load tests good.

 

I have had optimum in the past and won't have them again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 O K   Mr. 1 eye is not perfect either.

I abuse the battery in the small fishing boat. I easily run the battery down to 12 vdc resting voltage sometimes. I do NOT recharge it when docked. I do some extra high speed running the next time out to fully charge the battery back up to 14.7 for awhile. The resting voltage next trip is 12 .6 vdc.  But I am not going to come near 8 summers of life.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...