Tuesday 27 March 2018

How do 8 new golf cart batteries weigh 3 tonne???

The sun rising over mainland Thailand.
Like all sailors around the world the time had come to replace our battery bank of 8 golf cart batteries. We can not complain as our old Trojan T105's were now just over 6 years old. The Trojans had worked mighty hard for their life, never giving us any grief.

4 of the 8 dead Trojans
We recently noticed some swelling on the outer casing of 4 of the batteries and the bank of 8 where taking charge continuously, meaning they would never stop receiving charge and they would not hold charge for any length of time. Time for some new ones.

Glad we are not having to replace his battery bank
Being in Phuket, Thailand we thought this was going to be a task that may not be so easy to achieve. But after asking a few friends who have lived on their boats in Phuket for many years we got the name of a reputable battery dealer, and he spoke English which was good for us as our Thai isn't very good.

Singha Battery shop
Mr Trong who owns and runs Singha Battery here couldn't be more helpful if he tried. One day we had shared a car with friends and we called into Singha to see what they had. Incredibly they had 8 new 3K T105 golf cart batteries on the floor. The young man who assisted us, to check the sizes where the same as our old ones, which they where so we laid down a deposit of 2000 Baht. (approx AU$80). He was very helpful, as was all the staff in the shop. Even ringing Mr Trong to ensure we had all understood each other.

One of our new 3K batteries on the shop floor.
We moved Matilda from Nai Harn (southern bay on Phuket) to the most northern bay and anchored in the basin at Phuket Yacht Haven Marina. This allowed Mr Trong to deliver easily and for us to be in a good position to receive the new batteries.

Nai Harn at Sunset - hard to leave. Matilda is at the back of the pack.
The cost compared to Australia for the same battery is almost half. Here are our costs:
  • Cost of one 3K T105 battery is 5600 Baht
  • Delivery for all 8 was 800 Baht
  • Refund for each dead Trojan was 300 Baht, which included taking them away
A total cost of: 43,200 Baht - AU$1794 total. 1 battery costing AU$225 (approx).

We bought deep cycle, lead acid, 225ah 6 volt when combined giving us 12 volt, 900 amp hour battery bank. Installed in series parallel.

So how do 8 batteries weigh 3 tonne? Easy, this was the sequence of removal and install whilst being at anchor.

Old Battery removal:
  • 8 batteries lifted out of their battery box and onto the cabin sole (floor)
  • 8 batteries lift up the companion way and out into the cockpit
  • 8 batteries then lifted up out of the cockpit and down into the tender
  • 8 batteries driven over to the dock and lifted out, then onto the dock
  • 8 batteries lifted from the dock and into a dock trolley, 2 at time due to the tide and angle of the walkway
  • 8 batteries lifted out of the trolley and onto the loading bay dock
  • 8 batteries lifted on to the back of Mr Trong's ute.
Loading up the poor old tender with 8 dead batteries.
Each battery weighs 28 kilo. The above meant Bruce lifted the 8 batteries 56 times. Moving 1568KG.

And in come the new batteries, one by one.

Down they come, inside Matilda - sorry the photo is a bit blurry.
New Batteries installed:
  • 8 batteries lifted out of Mr Trong's ute and into trolleys
  • 8 batteries lifted out of the trolleys and onto the dock
  • 8 batteries lifted into the tender
  • 8 batteries lifted from the tender and into the cockpit
  • 8 batteries lifted from the cockpit, down the companion way steps to the cabin sole
  • 8 batteries lifted from the sole into their box
  • 2 of the batteries we put in around the wrong way so we had to pick up and swivel them
The new batteries in the tender - the tender got a work out today.
Again, Bruce moved the 8 batteries 50 times, totaling a movable weight of 1400 kg.

New ones in the cockpit.

All up he lifted 2968 kilo. Include a little shuffling around in the cockpit, I would give him 3 tonnes!

And their in.

Bruce explaining to me that the joiners we had on the old batteries are now either too long,or too short meaning they would stick up too high and would hold the battery box lids open.

The pink joiners are too tall, we can not lay them down. We had to put on some longer ones so we could shut them in properly.

This is what lifting 3 tonnes of batteries looks like after 9 hours of work.
Details of the shop:
Singha Battery: 
There is no website as such. Please note the mobile number should read '535' (not 525).


  1. Poor Bruce will need a restorative Thai massage after all that lugging - and in the heat too!

    1. Yes Eva he did mention that, Just have to choose a reputable therapist ;-)