Saturday, June 27, 2009


Well, I am finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Good thing too. As I have just three weeks to finish the electrification project, launch, check things out and head off on the two hundred mile cruise to Newport in early July. Now that I have seen how the layout for the batteries will work it's time to order the batteries. I choose MK 8A4D batteries for their capacity and size. After doing some online searches I found a reasonable source with free shipping. I placed my order and was told I would have my batteries in few days. Everything is looking good.
On the day the batteries arrived my heart sank. I looked a the pallet of batteries being off loaded off of the truck and was surprised at how big they looked compared to my cardboard models. A quick look at the truck driver manifest invoice showed the problem. The batteries being delivered were 8A8D AGM batteries not the 8A4D AGM batteries I expected. I asked the truck driver if he could take them back he said no that had to be arraigned separately. So I took the delivery which also contained two new 12 volt Gel batteries for the house bank which were the correct size.
When I looked at the confirmation invoice sent by the battery seller it did indeed show that the order was for four 8A8D batteries. Even though I must looked at this invoice at least three times I did not pick up on the error.
I tried to see if it might be possible to fit the larger 8A8D batteries in the same space. It might have worked but, would have been tight and since they were 30 lbs heavier each would have been harder for me to handle by myself. Not to mention adding another 120 pounds of weight to the boat.
So after ultimately realizing it was my mistake for not picking the error up sooner I arranged for the proper batteries to be sent. It would take another week for the right batteries to be delivered and would ultimately cost me another $220 to send the first batteries back. An expensive mistake to be sure.

MIKE'S GOING ELECTRIC TIP: Make really sure the batteries you want are the batteries you are going to get. Double and triple check all your invoices very carefully before hundreds of pounds of batteries are dropped on your doorstep.



Jon_E said...

Interesting that you had cardboard models of your batteries. Curious though why you went to the trouble of creating cardboard models when four battery boxes (in which the batteries would fit) would serve the same purpose? Even better, since they would be the actual boxes there would be no accidental error in constructing the models.

Capt. Mike said...


I'm using AGM batteries so there was no need to put them in battery boxes. If they were standard flooded batteries where acid spillage might be an issue than I would have used battery boxes.

Jon_E said...

Well, I don't mean to pick an argument but AGM batteries still contain acid and I believe the ABYC standards call for them to be in boxes just like flooded batteries.

By the way, I enjoyed your telling of your journey to electric propulsion. I am about to start down the same path and your story is helping to motivate me through periods of doubts.

Capt. Mike said...

Yes there is Acid in AGM's but, it is impregnated in the mat between the cells. That's why you could lay them on their sides if you had to with no leakage. Another reason I don't want to put AGM's in battery boxes is because I want to minimize any heat buildup in them. That also why I laid them on the Dri Deck mats. I wanted to have as much air circulation as possible and also keep them cool and dry. Though it is important to make sure they are tied down and secured from moving and the terminals well protected.

Jon_E said...

Since I left that last comment I watched a video where someone cut an AGM battery in half with a band saw to demonstrate no acid leak at all. It was like cutting a brick of cheese. I imagine the batteries must get pretty warm with the mass amperage draw, so the boxes may end up doing more harm.