Essential Battery Care and Maintenance

How many times have you seen this picture? It’s the first perfect fishing day post winter, you drag your boat out of the shed down to the ramp, launch and turn the key and nothing happens …

One of the most important and often overlooked systems on your boat is your battery and power system, its usually tucked away in a locker somewhere and forgotten about.

Aside from your motor and electronics, your battery system is the probably the next most costly piece of equipment onboard. You rely heavily on this system to enjoy your boat, so knowing how to correctly manage your battery system will prevent you having one of those nightmares on the water.

There are numerous reasons why batteries fail earlier than their expected lifespan, practising good battery maintenance can prevent most failures. Marine batteries should last about 3 years at a minimum with regular use. With routine maintenance and charging, your batteries could last up to 5 years or more.

Incorrect Charging
Incorrect Charging will shorten the lifespan of your battery considerably by over or undercharging. Check the manufacturers guidelines and follow the recommended charge voltage. There are many types of marine batteries, like flooded lead acid, gel, sealed AGM, and Lithium Ion. Each type has their own ideal charging guide. Investing in a quality onboard charger that suits your battery type is the best way to get high performance and long service life from your marine batteries.The best marine battery chargers recharge your batteries faster, safer, and maintain charge until your next fishing trip.

Using the Right Battery type
Using a dedicated Marine Battery is essential, many batteries appear similar but they are not necessarily designed for interchangeable use. Different demands and different applications, such as starting your motor or running your electronics need different types of batteries. Using a battery in the wrong application can reduce the lifespan. Dual purpose AGM batteries are the ideal choice for your fishing boat as they operate the function of both deep cycle and cranking batteries. They have the power to start your outboard and the capacity to power all the electronics.

When replacing batteries it is best to replace all at the same time for best performance and never mix different types of batteries.

If you are unsure of what to type to install consult a qualified marine electrician.

Improper Battery Installation
Improper installation of batteries is a sure way to reduce the lifespan of your batteries. This has a potential leakage, fire or even explosion risk. Loose cables and terminations can reduce battery life through poor connection, higher current draw and possible short circuit. Batteries should be stored in a cool dry appropriately sized battery box or compartment which allows for ventilation and has straps to prevent sliding or bouncing.

Maintenance Tips
  • Use the correct charger for your battery type.
  • Recharge immediately after use.
  • Store in a clean dry and cool place.
  • Inspect Terminals after each use, look for loose connections, check for and clean any corrosion.
  • Test regularly.

These are all simple tips that take just a few minutes but can lead to years of hassle free performance in your boat.

For more information on upgrading or setting up a new battery system contact the team at Elecmarine Innovations or visit their website www.ElecMarine.com.au.
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