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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Needing a new battery for my boat and curious if anyone has any experience with the Duracell Group 31 Marine/RV AGM battery? I am using just one battery for my 50 hp Honda, fisher finder and two electric Scotty downriggers. Looking at the Duracell or a Optima Blue Top 31. The Duracell has 30 more amp hrs and is $60 cheaper.
 

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Group 31 is huuuge! You really need that much battery? Have you thought about having a cranking battery for the motor and deep cycle battery for the downriggers? You should be able to run a group 24 to crank that 50hp motor. Costco group 24 crank battery is around 75$. Buy a Costco group 27 deep cycle battery for around $88 I think for the down riggers. Add a battery switch to go between the two. I would have the motor charge the deep cycle battery while trolling with the down riggers using that switch.

Using a deep cycle battery to crank the motor will shorten it's life FYI. It's not designed to send 100s of amps to the motor in short bursts. They make those dual purpose batteries I guess but I'd rather have two correct batteries I trust.
 

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Two batteries (cranking and deep cycle) would be better than one but I have used the group 31 and group 29 (no longer made) for the last 18 years. I get a new one every 3 years or so and have not had a problem. I run they same gear you are talking about. I usually use Interstate but last year I got the Duracell and it seems to be fine so far.

For multi day camping/fishing trips as a back up I have a folding portable solar panel that fits on top of my boat canopy. It is in the sun all day so it continuously charges. That and short runs on the main engine does the trick. I don't have my trolling motor set up for charging but that would be a good boost. I don't see starting a 50 hp motor as a problem on the Group 31. I start my 115hp.
I have considered the Optima batteries but I could buy at least three lead acid batteries (spread over a 10 year period) and still be ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I thought about two batteries before with an ACR switch, etc.but thought for what I run it would be less hassle maintaining one battery. I have a 8 hp Yami for trolling, but it’s not setup to charge. I hear they don’t put much out as far charging when trolling, so only the Honda charges in between runs to fish or plugged in at camp if not moored. My thought was get as many amp hrs in one battery which will have more than enough to crank (1000 CCA) my Honda.
I was just checking to see if anyone has used one of these group 31 Duracell’s. Thanks for the comments.
 

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Recently got two group 27s Duracell AGM on a recommendation from a friend who said his last set went five years.

The group 27 runs my electronics without an issue and cranks my 300 Suzuki just fine. I have a lot that pulls off my house- main autopilot, radar, two screens, radio and a few other things.

I ordered online at Battery Plus and picked up in the store and got a discount for that.

Online I hadn’t seen the 31 but they had it in the store or I’d have likely ordered it since I have room.


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Two batteries (cranking and deep cycle) would be better than one but I have used the group 31 and group 29 (no longer made) for the last 18 years. I get a new one every 3 years or so and have not had a problem. I run they same gear you are talking about. I usually use Interstate but last year I got the Duracell and it seems to be fine so far.

For multi day camping/fishing trips as a back up I have a folding portable solar panel that fits on top of my boat canopy. It is in the sun all day so it continuously charges. That and short runs on the main engine does the trick. I don't have my trolling motor set up for charging but that would be a good boost. I don't see starting a 50 hp motor as a problem on the Group 31. I start my 115hp.
I have considered the Optima batteries but I could buy at least three lead acid batteries (spread over a 10 year period) and still be ahead.
Where did you get the solar panel and cost?
 

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The solar panel I use came from Northern Tool. I got is several years ago. It is only 50 watts (about 2.5 amps) but does the job of keeping enough charge in the battery to balance things out. There are newer ones available if you search. The price was about $300. With improvements being made to solar panels you could probably get more watts of output even cheaper today so do a little research. My solar panel is 4 part that folds to about the size of a business brief case so it is easy to store and rubber cords hold in place on my canopy while in use. I fold it for road travel.
 

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I thought about two batteries before with an ACR switch, etc.but thought for what I run it would be less hassle maintaining one battery. I have a 8 hp Yami for trolling, but it’s not setup to charge. I hear they don’t put much out as far charging when trolling, so only the Honda charges in between runs to fish or plugged in at camp if not moored. My thought was get as many amp hrs in one battery which will have more than enough to crank (1000 CCA) my Honda.
I was just checking to see if anyone has used one of these group 31 Duracell’s. Thanks for the comments.
l have an inboard 4.3 mercruiser as my main, and an 8 hp Honda as a trolling motor. I have a short shaft version I had on it originally, and it did not put out more than six amps charge running it WOT, and much less trolling. I put that one on another small fishing boat I have, and purchased a long shaft 8hp Honda with an electric start…. With the electric start it comes with a full 12 amp charging system that keeps my deep cycle charged, and also will charge the main battery depending on the selector switch. I tore out all the original set up and put in a selector switch and run a battery with higher cranking amp for my main motor, and a deep cycle marine battery for my accessories. The system works good and it was worth the time to set it up like that IMO. Kirk
 

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The solar panel I use came from Northern Tool. I got is several years ago. It is only 50 watts (about 2.5 amps) but does the job of keeping enough charge in the battery to balance things out. There are newer ones available if you search. The price was about $300. With improvements being made to solar panels you could probably get more watts of output even cheaper today so do a little research. My solar panel is 4 part that folds to about the size of a business brief case so it is easy to store and rubber cords hold in place on my canopy while in use. I fold it for road travel.
Thanks.
 

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I bought my boat new 10 years ago with two cheap, generic group 24 batteries in parallel. They're still in there, and doing fine.
I'm always seeing posts about people replacing batteries every 2-3 years, or thinking that a half-dozen years is an awesome lifespan. And the current rage of installing an ACR and using a "house" battery and a "starting" battery.
I don't get it. My boat is an inboard, so it requires some cranking amps. I also have electric downriggers, a washdown pump that can blow you over backwards, a big heat/defrost blower, and windshield wipers that get a lot of use. And then there's the constant use of the power trim, and occasional use of the bilge blower.
And I didn't even have an onboard charger until 5 years ago.
I love to modify and "improve" as much as anyone, but other than adding a couple of bus bars, I've left the basic setup alone. I didn't see any sense in complicating a simple system that works well. I don't see the need for deep cycle batteries, either. I wouldn't change anything unless I install something that pulls huge amps, like an electric trolling motor.
TBH, the batteries are just now starting to show their age, so this might be the last year with them. But I won't put anything bigger than group 24 in. Too much bulk, weight, and expense for more capacity that I don't need.
 
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