Tuesday, July 12, 2016


I order four new 8A4D MK batteries and waited a week as they made their way up from Sanford Florida. They were additionally delayed by the fourth of July holiday weekend. I received a call from the shipping company that unless I had a fork lift I would have to come and pick up the batteries at their warehouse. OK no big deal and I could then drive right down to the boatyard and begin to install them.
  I drove the half hour to the warehouse and two employees bought the batteries out on a pallet with a fork lift. The four batteries were loosely wrapped in plastic but, they still  had cardboard boxes covering them.

The cardboard was a little beat up and I did check one of the batteries to make sure they had the right terminals. In my rush to get them loaded into the car I did not check the other batteries. I signed the delivery form and off I went to the boatyard with five hundred pounds of battery in the back. When I got there I started to unload the batteries it was then I saw this:

Two of the batteries had bent terminals! One had a misshaped case too.While they tested fine I was not about to take any chances with them especially on a boat. I really should have inspected each of the batteries more closely when I picked them up.  Obviously the shipping company had mishandled the shipment and caused the damage. I contacted ALT-ESTORE customer service from whom I had ordered the batteries who then worked with MK BATTERY and they arranged for two new batteries to be shipped to me. Capt Mike gives a tip of the hat to both companies for their excellent customer service.  One thing for sure is  next time I need new batteries for BIANKA's electric propulsion system I'll be checking the batteries before I sign off on the delivery.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016


A new set of batteries should be arriving today to replace the original eight year old 8A4D batteries on board BIANKA. Due to the failure of one of the batteries I thought it best to replace the whole lot. While the remaining batteries seemed to be in good enough shape they would only degrade the new battery.  This would require me to do another whole swap in a few years anyway. I looked into Lithium Ion replacements and the economics just did not quite make sense yet because of the increased price and other add on items I would have to buy like a new charger. I found a 48 volt 200 amp hour Lithium Ion battery for around $5000. For the same amount of money I could replace all my AGM's two times and still have a sizable chunk of cash for other boat needs. The AGM's should last me a minimum of sixteen years based on my experience with the first bank. If Lithium prices come down as they have been predicting I will revisit the issue but, for now I'm going with what has worked for me the past eight years.