Choosing a Battery Bank for a Houseboat Inverter System?

by Mike Jarvis
(Orem, UT)

What's the best Battery Bank for a Houseboat Inverter System?

What's the best Battery Bank for a Houseboat Inverter System?

What's the best battery bank for an Inverter System on a houseboat? I'm getting ready to buy a 1992 Sumerset houseboat. It has a Heart Interface Freedom 25 inverter system onboard with 6 battery bank setup.

What would be the best type of replacement battery for this setup? It currently has Interstate Workaholic batteries now but I'm not sure which model number. I suspect they are 6 volt deep cycle.

Any help on what type of battery to use for replacement, where to buy, and approximate cost would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for any help, Mike.

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Reply - Answer
Well Mike, congratulations on your getting ready to buy a 1992 Sumerset houseboat. The Heart Interface Freedom 25 Inverter System is a great charger/inverter. You could use either 6 volt or 12 volt batteries depending on how they are presently wired.

Now I don't remember what Sumerset installed in the 90's when it comes to batteries, but you may want to take a voltmeter and check the voltage of one of the existing batteries. This way you could wire it up the same way. You could also tell by looking at the wiring to see if they are in parallel or series.

When it comes to batteries for that system, you could look at pricing and do a comparison for Wet or Flooded, AGM, or Gel batteries to get for it. As to which would work well, they all will, however the AGM or Gel battery is more money, yet has better overall performance and longevity.

You maybe interested in reading more about houseboat batteries, here's an article from our site from another reader.

I do hope your post will peak interest from others to show us some of their different real-life examples of which battery composition provides what amount of life span and performance level.

It would be great to compare which is better, pay less for batteries and replace them more frequently, or pay more for premium or higher technology batteries and replace them less often?

Either way Mike, do let us know which batteries you choose, and how the whole Sumerset purchase went. Take a picture and post a short summary, since we all love to hear and see new houseboat purchases.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat battery choices and experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for Choosing a Battery Bank for a Houseboat Inverter System?

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Houseboat battery
by: Anonymous

I just got a houseboat that has no backup battery at all. I need to know what to buy and where to buy it.

Trade-offs with houseboat batteries
by: Tom Blackwell

I have recently done a lot of research concerning this issue. We have a 1974 36 foot Silver Queen and have been refurbishing various systems.

The 120v system was a disaster, with ground and neutral mixed and one of the two shore power inlets was wired with the ground and neutral swapped.

Just added a 3000w modified sine wave inverter and added a 3rd distribution panel for the inverter loads. This panel can be fed from shore or inverter power with the two breakers mechanically interlocked.

Due to the maintenance and outgassing issues with flooded batteries we placed both the inverter and battery bank in the bow compartment.

That left the only choice of either gel or AGM, and the gel battery was a little cheaper. NAPA has an 8D gel Battery; their #BAT-8275 with a capacity of 225 AH. These are East Penn 8G8DM and are priced lower than any other we found.

There will eventually be a quantity of two. The inverter cannot co-exist with flooded batteries because of the corrosive fumes and hydrogen issues. Good so far, with the primary load a full size refrigerator.

Battery Bank and Voltage of Batteries
by: Bill V. Fla.

The quickest way to tell the voltage of a battery is count the caps (where the water goes in). 3 caps= 6 volts....6 caps= 12 volts.. ie, 1 1/2 volt per cell...

I use 12 volt gell cell batteries, and they are deep cycle. These are coupled to a Fontain deep cycle recharge unit.
Hope this helps, Bill

Reply - Answer
Bill, great tip about the battery caps, it's a simple way to verify battery voltage.
IAN from

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