Boat Lift Batteries

HortonHorton Posts: 23,672 Administrator
My lift seems to eat batteries. Car batteries are designed to mostly stay charged all the time (I guess). The battery on my lift gets cycled way down and deals with my 3300 lbs ProStar.

So does anyone know if there is a better specific kind of battery? Ideas?

By the way I just leave a charger/tender on my lift battery all the time. When my current battery was newer it could go up and down maybe 7 times in a day. Now it is just dead.


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Comments

  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 123 Baller
    You need a deep cycle battery.
    WisholdjeepWaterSkier12
  • thagerthager Posts: 3,815 Mega Baller
    edited November 17
    Ditto! @Horton Curious that if you have electrical at the dock why you use battery power?
    Stir vigorously then leave!
    oldjeep
  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 123 Baller
    Also get a solar powered 12vdc charger. Panel mounted on your dock roof.
    DragoWishLakeOneSkier
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 2,596 Mega Baller
    @thager great point. Either swap out the motor for a 120v or get a 12vdc power supply.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • skibrainskibrain Posts: 865 Crazy Baller
    I can't see just what kind of lift you have.

    My ski buddy has a hyrohoist but no AC power to doc. He runs a 12vDC to 110AC inverter off the boat battery. The lift requires no power to blow the tanks and go down. We keep the engine running about 1/2 way up until hull clears the water then battery has plenty to run the air pump. Batt seems to last 3 yrs + and system is fantastic as long as the inverter gets turned off after use.
    JAS
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 3,918 Mega Baller
    the Broho boat lifts are Basta's, and the 12 volt deep cycle batteries do just fine in the summer, but in the winter they need some battery charger to help since the solar panels just can't keep up because of the grey days and longer dark hours. I would think that a functioning solar panel should keep your 12 volt system running just fine with all the sunshine in Bakersfield.
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • paulpaul Posts: 30 Baller
    Get the biggest deep cycle you can fit in the box - I run a 27group with 110amphours I believe. Make sure that your motor isn’t heating up. Mine was and it turned out I had a small amount of oil leaking past the pump shaft seal into the motor. Keep the water in your battery topped up (distilled water only). The can go thru a lot of water.

    Also, I don’t bother lifting my boat up all the way during the day - just enough so the waves don’t hit the hull. This can save a lot of juice.
  • Alberto SoaresAlberto Soares Posts: 254 Baller
    If you have 110/220V at the dock the easiest/cheapest way is to buy a transformer
    (110/220V AC to 12V DC). If you do not have energy at the dock go with the solar panel.
  • GregHindGregHind Posts: 250 Baller
    Its not the battery. Given you have it on a tender, if it could do 7 times per day when new, the battery is big enough. What is the brand & model of the battery charger. What current is it rated to charge at? What about a photo of it and another that shows the cable going from the charger to the battery. How long is the cable from the charger to battery?
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 81 Baller
    Make sure the battery is a deep cycle and the biggest you can get, want to afford, and carry. Also, how far is the doc from your house? It would have to be really far for me to not just have power run down there. You then have the added bonus of a small fridge and lights.
  • GregHindGregHind Posts: 250 Baller
    @Horton says the battery is on a mains charger all the time. The charger is not keeping up with use. It isn't the battery

    a big charger and big fat wires feeding a decent sized battery is the answer. Just a big battery won't solve it.

    @Horton tell us what charger and wires hooking that charger to battery. With pics please
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 1,844 Crazy Baller
    Just had this same discussion last month. You have a hydraulic boat hoist - as such a 12v motor is turning a hydraulic power pack to lift the boat - its a very inefficient proposition - RGC recommends the following batteries as they have more reserve
    U.S. Battery Model 27 TMX, Trojan Battery Model 27 TMX or
    Rolls Battery Engineering Model 27112XJM
    -These batteries are commonly sold through solar panel sales type companies.

    Do not drain past 50% on any battery you're using - if it will do 7 only do 2-3. A trickle charger won't easily get the battery back from a deep discharge.

    Other alternatives would be to keep a spare battery or two on trickle chargers to swap in, or wire them with battery isolation switches like a dual battery set up in a boat.
    Or best is to swap for an AC power pack with the small caveat that you could have a power outage and be right back where you are currently.
    Drago
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 1,923 Crazy Baller
    edited November 17
    @Horton you said that at one time the battery would do 7 cycles per day. How old is the battery? It may no longer be able to take or maintain charge. Apparently you have AC available, so solar shouldn't be on the table. Check the voltage currently in the battery. If less than 12v charge it for 24 hours, then check voltage. At full charge it should be 13.5 or thereabouts. Without use it should maintain this for days, if not the battery is bad. Check the voltage on the battery while lifting (after a full charge to see how much it drops. Finally, but actually first, check all connections for cleanliness and secure. Costly but your best bet for battery life is 2 6v golf cart batteries in series. Whatever batteries you use if the "tender" won't maintain you'll have to use a regular charger occasionally. If this is too troublesome look into a converter (PowerMax is a good brand) with 75A or greater capacity and just dispense with batteries altogether. From $125 to $150. This assumes that you rarely loose power, requiring battery backup. Again, assuming you have 120v AC available. Oh, you might also check how much amperage is being drawn when lifting. That appears to be a Basta or similar, so using a 120v motor is not an option.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
    WaterSkier12
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 2,596 Mega Baller
    There is seriously a lift mfg that has no 120v option? Do they at least sell a 120v to 12vdc power supply as an option?
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • shyskiershyskier Posts: 33 Baller
    @LeonL a fully charged battery is 12.6v. 2.2v per cell.
    I would agree the battery tender will not charge enough with that much use per day. Deep cycle batt. with larger charger or 120v a/c.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,672 Administrator
    edited November 17
    Thanks guys. You have answered my question.

    For you guys that asked....
    • Yes I have AC on the dock
    • Solar worked with a lighter boat and my older ram.
    • Everything worked better before I got a new ram. We think the internal diameter of the new ram is smaller so the hydraulic pump is working harder and hammering the battery.
    • I have no idea why Basta does not work with direct AC power. My lift guy tells me that Basta does not recommend an inverter.

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  • DirtDirt Posts: 1,435 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    You can also run dual 6V batteries and hook them to a golf cart recharger. This should not be needed if you do one of the recommendations stated above.
    I learned everything I know not to do from Horton
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 1,844 Crazy Baller
    edited November 17
    @Horton if you have the specs on the motor you could pretty easily provide solid state 110 to 12V power - for running a DC motor it doesn't need to be super clean power.

    Link


  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,672 Administrator
    @BraceMaker I do not know why but Basta says to not do that.

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  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 1,923 Crazy Baller
    edited November 17
    Inverters and converters function exactly opposite. Inverter takes dc and outputs ac. Converter takes ac and yields dc. If Basta doesn't recommend a "converter" ( I believe your lift guy misspoke or you misunderstood). I'd question why. A large number of RVs operate on a converter with integral 3-stage charger, powering their 12v items by converting 120ac. I can see no reason why a converter, with sufficient amperage capacity could not be used directly. If not, I recommend 2 6v batteries in series connected to a good quality 3 stage charger continuously, as is the case with above mentioned RV applications. Some RVs remain connected to AC for months at a time, converting and charging. The one mentioned by @BraceMaker should work great for your application. Again it should be able to operate your lift sans batteries. OH, you didn't mention that a change was made to the hydraulic system, only that "when my battery was newer". So it's apparent the battery is being depleted more than it's getting charged.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,672 Administrator
    @LeonL "Tomato / Potato" whatever : )

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  • JonBJonB Posts: 21 Baller
    Some of the old style battery chargers do not have the "smart" cycle and can cook/fry a battery in a short period of time, especially if left on the battery all the time.
    T$ Worst Student
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,672 Administrator
    The one I have is a maintainer. It will charge the battery fine but it seems to not know what to do when the battery is drained. I have to unhook it to get it to recharge the battery.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

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    JonB
  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 305 Solid Baller
    @LeonL
    I am going to be that guy for a moment.

    It is not a converter. It is a rectifier.
    Inverter is DC to AC. Rectifier is AC to DC.
  • thagerthager Posts: 3,815 Mega Baller
    Rectified him? Dam near killed him!
    Stir vigorously then leave!
    oldjeepHortonBraceMakerWaterSkier12
  • GregHindGregHind Posts: 250 Baller
    @horton if anything goes wrong with an ac powered lift your lake can become live and people near the dock can get electrocuted. 12v removes that risk.

    your problem is easily fixed by using a decent 3 stage high current battery charger sized for the job. A "maintainer" will quickly kill your new more expensive battery.

    What is the voltage at the battery when it is charging? What is the current going into the battery after you have used the lift? I'm expecting you don't know how to measure this stuff because if you knew, you already would have fixed the problem.

    So instead just tell us what model and brand charger/maintainer you have, measure the length of the wires to the battery and show us a photo of the wires/connections. I can pretty well guarantee if you just replace the battery, even with a massive one, you will toast it.

  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 1,923 Crazy Baller
    @BrennanKMN of course you're correct, I'm just using the slang term used by the RV industry. (See link by @BraceMaker) Agree with @GregHind get a good 3 charger and leave it on all the time. Sticking with batteries to appease Basta, when you need replacement I'd go with 2 6V golf cart style in series.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
    WaterSkier12
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 2,596 Mega Baller
    @GregHind that is the silliest thing I've ever heard. If you haven't got a gfi on your dock power then you deserve to get electrocuted.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
    WaterSkier12
  • WayneWayne Posts: 382 Baller
    @Horton what is output for the charger you have?

    If it’s an option can you go to 24v? If your stuck with battery power and are going to replace components and the electronics you have currently can handle 24v it seems to do a little better based on my limited experience with boat lifts.
  • GregHindGregHind Posts: 250 Baller
    @oldjeep its always a kid that gets electrocuted and dies, never the person that failed to install a GFCI. All I meant was that 12v is intrinsically safe, not that I would avoid having a properly installed mains powered lift myself. Since Horton already has a 12v lift, I would stick with it.

    My 35 amp battery charger will usually jump start a car with a flat battery, meaning I don't even have to wait for the battery to build any charge. Just plug it in, start the car.

    That charger is designed for Australia, 240 volts so it is no use to Horton. It may be bigger and more expensive than he needs. But it would run the lift and keep on top of his battery perfectly.

    Still need to see the existing charger and cables to give a recommendation.
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