20 Aug

Deep Cycle vs. Dual Purpose

One question asked regularly is what type of battery should be purchased for the Encore pedal electric boat or Electric boat models. There are so many different types of batteries out there and there are even some battery salespeople who don’t realize the benefits and downfalls of what is available. Its always best to get the information needed to make an educated decision in such matters, so here goes!

There are 2 battery types, cranking and deep cycle. Cranking batteries are like car batteries as they are used to start a gas powered engine and are recharged by the alternator, and are used exactly the same in gas powered boat engines. Deep cycle batteries are rechargeable by a charger plugged into AC current and are used to power items which use DC current, like fish finders and trolling motors.

Nauticraft electric boats do not need the capabilities of a cranking battery as there is no engine to start or alternator to recharge. If you use a cranking battery to power your trolling motor the battery will soon overheat and fail, leaving you without power and requiring you to buy a new battery.

A Dual Purpose battery is a battery which allows for both uses, but most dual-purpose batteries won’t start an engine quite as well as a true cranking battery and won’t endure as many deep discharge/recharge cycles as a dedicated deep-cycle model.

Trolling motors and other accessories sip power at a slower rate for extended periods. Batteries that power them usually aren’t recharged until the end of the day. These deep discharges are hard on battery plates, so deep-cycle batteries have fewer yet thicker lead plates than cranking batteries and are built to withstand deep cycling.

So we know we need a true Deep Cycle Battery, now do we chose a Wet Cell, AGM or Gel Cell?

Although Wet cell batteries are less expensive initially, they require maintenance, emit dangerous hydrogen gases, have a higher rate of self discharge, and leak acid. The Gel Cell and AGM are both sealed and maintenance free. They are more costly than a wet cell, but have a lower rate of self discharge, do not emit dangerous gases, can be stored at any angle, are submersible and do not leak. The AGM is easier to charge than the Gel and is slightly less costly.

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More Information

20 Aug

Deep Cycle vs. Dual Purpose Batteries

Finding the right information is key when purchasing a battery for your electric boat.  Take a look at the following explanations of deep cycle vs. dual purpose to see which is best for the application you are using it for.   For the Encore Electric and Pedal/Electric models, there isn’t a need for a starting type battery at all as the motor is run by battery alone and doesn’t start any sort of gas powered motor.

Deep-Cycle Batteries

Trolling motors and other accessories sip power at a slower rate for extended periods. Batteries that power them usually aren’t recharged until the end of the day. These deep discharges are hard on battery plates, so deep-cycle batteries have fewer yet thicker lead plates than cranking batteries and are built to withstand deep cycling.

A deep-cycle battery’s reserve capacity (RC) rating indicates how long it can carry a specific load before falling into the dead zone. The higher the RC number, the longer the battery will power your accessories. Remember this when choosing a battery. Typically, a deep-cycle battery will have two or three times the RC of a cranking battery. A deep-cycle battery also can withstand several hundred discharge/recharge cycles, while a cranking battery is not designed to be totally discharged.

Dual-Purpose Batteries

It’s usually best to install separate cranking and deep-cycle batteries. If your boat is small, however, and there’s only room for one battery due to space or weight restrictions, consider buying a dual-purpose marine battery specially that handles starting and cycling. Bear in mind, however, most dual-purpose batteries won’t start an engine quite as well as a true cranking battery and won’t endure as many deep discharge/recharge cycles as a dedicated deep-cycle model.

8 Aug

How is the Encore Self Bailing?

One of the first questions a new Encore owner asks is “why is there water in the boat?”.  Reassuringly we say, it is supposed to be there!   Water comes through specifically designed holes in the bushing on the keels.  This allows water into the drive shaft channels at all times while the boat is in the water.   The level of water within the channels is dependent on weight within the boat.  Unmanned, the water will stay at its natural water line; if it rains you may see accumulation for a bit but once it stops it will drop to the natural waterline level within minutes.  The boat is self bailing in that sense and an advantage in areas that get rain more often.  As weight is added in the cockpit the boat will float a bit lower and the water in the channels will rise a bit.   If weight disbursement is uneven, you may notice a bit more water up and around the drive unit on the heavier side, this is completely normal and acceptable.  When the weight is taken out, the waterline will adjust to its natural state.  When the boat is taken out of the water, the channels will drain out the holes in the bushings.