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When I was asked to highlight five top affordable bluewater cruising sailboats, about 30 models popped into my head. How do you pick just five? You can whittle down the list by setting some parameters: boats that cost $, or less when they aren�t much more than 10 years old, are under a half a million new, and are still in production in one form or another today. With these considerations in mind, here are my picks�five top choices for affordable bluewater cruising sailboats (in alphabetical order). Caliber 40 LRC. The Caliber 40 design appeared in and through its evolution into the. Looking for a used sailboat? Start with this list for the best sailboats that hold value. All summer readers cast votes for their favorites on CW 's 40 greatest production monohulls of all time list, now you can see how the fleet stacks up.� A strong, robust cruising boat built for high-seas, blue water adventures, the Swan 44 was designed by Sparkman & Stephens, and the yacht�s well-known Finnish manufacturers, Nautor Swan, produced 76 boats in a production run that lasted from � Originally designed for Jack Kelly Yachts by Doug Peterson, the KP44, as it�s sometimes known, is a fine example of a late �70s-early �80s moderate displacement, long fin keel, center cockpit sailboat, with roomy accommodations below and good sailing performance in any sort of breeze and seaway. One company, one complete service - Luxury yacht charter & yacht brokerage also offering crew training courses, yacht crew placement & yacht management in Antibes, Fort Lauderdale, Moscow & Palma.

If you have done any research on how batteries work or what you should look for when selecting the best high performance battery , you're probably buried in information, some of which is conflicting. At BatteryStuff, we aim to clear that up a bit. I'm going to attempt to explain how lead acid batteries work and what they need, without burying you with a bunch of needless technical data. I have found that battery data will vary somewhat from manufacturer to manufacturer, so I will do my best to boil that data down.

This means I may generalize a bit, while staying true to purpose. The lead acid battery has been used commercially for over years. The same chemical principle that's being used to store energy is basically the same as our great grandparents used. A battery is like a piggy bank. If you keep taking out and putting nothing back, you'll have nothing left. Present day chassis battery power requirements are huge.

Consider today's vehicle and all the electrical devices that must be supplied with power. All these electronics require a reliable source power, and poor battery condition can cause expensive electronic component failure. Did you know that the average auto has 11 pounds of wire in the electrical system? Look at RVs and boats with all the electrical gadgets that require power. It wasn't long ago when trailers or motor homes had only a single volt house battery. Today it's standard to rv batteries powering inverters up to watts.

Average battery life has become shorter as energy requirements have increased. You can extend your battery life by hooking it up to a solar charger during the off months. If you can grasp the basics, you'll have fewer battery problems and will gain greater battery performance, reliability and longevity. I suggest you read the entire tutorial; however, I've indexed all the information for easy reference. The lead acid battery is made up of plates, lead, and lead oxide various other elements are used to change density, hardness, porosity, etc.

This solution is called electrolyte, which causes a chemical reaction that produces electrons. When you test a battery with a hydrometer , you are measuring the amount of sulfuric acid in the electrolyte. If your reading is low, that means the chemistry that makes electrons is lacking. So where did the sulfur go?

It's resting on the battery plates so that when you recharge the battery, the sulfur returns to the electrolyte. You must think safety when you're working around, and with, batteries. Remove all jewelry. After all, you wouldn't want to melt your watchband while you're wearing it! The hydrogen gas that batteries make when charging is very explosive. We have seen several instances of batteries blowing up and drenching everything in sulfuric acid. That was no fun, and would have been a good time to use those safety goggles hanging on the wall.

Heck, you could even break out your disco outfit. Polyester isn't affected by sulfuric acid, but anything with cotton will be eaten up. If you don't feel the need to make a fashion statement, just wear junk clothes�after all, polyester is still out of style. When doing electrical work on vehicles, it's best to disconnect the ground cable. Just remember that you're messing with corrosive acid, explosive gases and hundreds of amps of electrical current. Basically, there are two types of lead acid batteries along with three sub categories.

The starting battery SLI starting lights ignition is designed to deliver quick bursts of energy such as starting engines and therefore has a greater plate count. The plates are thinner and have somewhat different material composition.

What is a deep cycle battery? The deep cycle battery has less instant energy, but greater long-term energy delivery.

Deep cycle batteries have thicker plates and can survive a number of discharge cycles. Starting batteries should not be used for deep cycle applications because the thinner plates are more prone to warping and pitting when discharged. The so-called Dual Purpose Battery is a compromise between the two types of batteries, though it is better to be more specific if possible. Wet cell flooded , gel cell , and absorbed glass mat AGM are various versions of the lead acid battery.

The wet cell comes in two styles; serviceable and maintenance free. Both are filled with electrolyte and are basically the same. I prefer one that I can add water to and check the specific gravity of the electrolyte with a hydrometer. The gel cell and the AGM batteries are specialty batteries that typically cost twice as much as a premium wet cell battery.

However, they store very well and do not tend to sulfate or degrade as easily as wet cell. There is little chance of a hydrogen gas explosion or corrosion when using these batteries; they are the safest lead acid batteries you can use. Gel cell and some AGM batteries may require a special charging rate. If you don't use or operate your equipment daily, AGM batteries will hold their charge better than other types.

If you must depend on top-notch battery performance, spend the extra money. Gel Cell batteries still are being sold, but AGM batteries are replacing them in most applications. There is a some common confusion regarding AGM batteries because different manufactures call them by different names.

Some of the more common names are "sealed regulated valve," "dry cell," "non-spillable," and "valve-regulated lead acid" batteries. In most cases, AGM batteries will give greater life span and greater cycle life than a wet cell battery.

As a result, be careful when specifying a gel cell battery charger , as many times we're told by a customer that they need a charger for a gel cell battery when in fact it isn't a gel cell at all. AGM: The Absorbed Glass Matt construction allows the electrolyte to be suspended in close proximity with the plates active material.

In theory, this enhances both the discharge and recharge efficiency. Common manufacturer applications include high-performance engine starting, power sports, deep cycle, solar and storage battery.

The Scorpion motorcycle batteries we carry are a nice upgrade from your stock flooded battery, and Odyssey branded batteries are fantastic for holding their static charge over long periods of non use. GEL: The gel cell is similar to the AGM style because the electrolyte is suspended, but it's different because technically the AGM battery is still considered to be a wet cell. The electrolyte in a gel cell has a silica additive that causes it to set up or stiffen. The recharge voltage on this type of cell is lower than the other styles of lead acid battery.

This is probably the most sensitive cell in terms of adverse reactions to over-voltage charging. If the incorrect battery charger is used on a gel cell battery, poor performance and premature failure is certain. These are the standards that most battery companies use to rate the output and capacity of a battery. So a high CCA battery rating is especially important in starting battery applications, and in cold weather.

This measurement is not particularly important in deep cycle batteries, though it is the most commonly "known" battery measurement. This rating is also called marine cranking amps MCA. Reserve Capacity RC is a very important battery rating.

An amp hour AH is a rating usually found on deep cycle batteries. The standard rating is an amp rating taken for 20 hours. What this means for a AH rated battery is this: Draw from the battery for 20 hours, and it will provide a total of amp hours. That translates to about 5 amps an hour. However, it's very important to know that the total time of discharge and load applied is not a linear relationship.

As your load increases, your realized capacity decreases. This means if you discharged that same AH battery by a amp load, it will not give you one hour of runtime. On the contrary, the perceived capacity of the battery will be that of 64 amp hours. Battery Maintenance: A properly maintained battery is important for the ultimate in service life.

Consider these points on a regular basis:. Battery Testing: This can be done in more than one way. The most accurate method is measurement of specific gravity and battery voltage. To measure specific gravity, buy a temperature-compensating hydrometer. To measure voltage, use a digital D. A quality load tester may be a good purchase if you need to test sealed batteries. For any of these methods, you must first fully charge the battery and then remove the surface charge.

If the battery has been sitting at least several hours I prefer at least 12 hours , you may begin testing. To remove surface charge, the battery must be discharged for several minutes. Using a headlight high beam will do the trick. Load testing is yet another way of testing a battery.

Load test removes amps from a battery much like starting an engine would. A load tester can be purchased at most auto parts stores. Some battery companies label their battery with the amp load for testing. This number is usually half of the CCA rating. For instance, a CCA battery would load test at amps for 15 seconds.

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