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Tips and Advice for Boat Battery Care

boat battery

It’s that time of the year when brass monkey weather starts messing with your boat batteries. However, there’s nothing to worry about! As a leading boat battery replacement service provider in Sydney, we have outlined the ultimate list of ways to take care of your boat battery against the harsh winter. Right then, let’s get a move on!

Why Do You Need To Care For Your Boat Battery?

The battery is the most critical part of a boat since it cannot run without it. It’s also unpleasant to be stuck somewhere on the water with a useless battery when the wind is nipping at you.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that a battery also powers other components of your boat. Without a working battery, your lighting, bilge pump, and depth sounder are all out of commission. To save yourself from the pain and embarrassment, you must ensure your boat battery maintenance is on point.

How Long Should A Boat Battery Last?

If you ask how long a boat battery’s lifespan is, you should know it is around three to four years. However, there are specific tips –which we will discuss later in this blog– you can use to make it last longer. If you mean to ask, “How long should a boat battery last on one charge?” The answer is that it can potentially last up to several hours, depending on its type.

How To Extend Boat Battery Life?

Speaking from experience, maintaining a boat’s battery is a challenging task. Do you need some pointers on how to extend boat battery life? We have your back. Here are the top 14 ways you can easily extend your boat battery life:

1 – Charge Your Battery

You should charge your battery before a trip and regularly keep charging it after some use to ensure it is in good condition. Remember not to overcharge it, or it will ruin the battery and die out quite fast, even if you charge it right before your trip.

2 – Run A Voltage Test

Voltage tests are essential to see if your battery is even worth charging. The battery needs to be capable of holding a charge. If your battery is fully charged and is still not reading more than 12.6 volts on a multimeter, it may be time to replace it.

3 – Ensure That The Battery Is Secure

Your boat is not a stable vessel for your battery to lie about. It needs to be elevated to protect it from damage or water splashes. A secure position will prevent it from falling over. If your battery is in a battery box, now may be the time to check the box for any signs of wear and tear.

4 – Get A Backup Battery For Your Boat

Preparing for emergencies is very important, especially if you plan to go on the water. You must always have a reliable, fully-charged backup battery on board.

5 – Keep A Jumpstarter In Your Boat

A jumpstarter is not only crucial for cars but for boats as well. A jumpstarter helps you revive your boat battery in extenuating circumstances. You also need to know how to use a jumpstarter without any mishaps. Here are a few tips:

  • Get a basic tutorial from someone experienced in using a jumpstarter on batteries.
  • Before jumpstarting your battery, make sure there are no lingering fumes present that could cause a fire to break out.
  • Additionally, ensure proper ventilation before jumpstarting your battery.

6 – Check Electrolyte Levels

In case you have a flooded boat battery, maintain regular upkeep by using the following ways:

  • Wear safety glasses and use safety gloves.
  • Check the electrolyte levels regularly if possible since wet-cell batteries can rapidly lose water due to the heat generated by the battery.
  • Refill them using distilled water to inhibit the build-up of impurities.

7 – Remove Batteries For Winter

If you plan to keep your boat in storage during the winter, we recommend removing the batteries and storing them at a moderate temperature to prevent unwanted power drainage.

8 – Keep The Terminals and Connectors Clean

Terminals and connectors play a significant role in whether or not a battery operates appropriately. Unfortunately, since boats are constantly in a humid environment, terminals and connectors can easily rust. You must continually check for such corrosion build-up and use a brush wire to clean it.

9 – Maintain Upkeep With Thorough Yearly Checks

If you don’t want to keep replacing your boat battery, you must have it professionally maintained once a year. You should only trust a reputable battery replacement and repair company, like Road Battery Replacement, for your yearly boat battery maintenance. Common mechanics can often upcharge.

10 – Check For Deep Discharges

If you have a lead-acid boat battery, you need to be wary of any kind of discharge, as that can lead to deterioration of its lifespan. We recommend you regularly check and only allow the deep discharge to rise to 50%. Consult a professional if needed.

11 – Run The Motor Before Going Out On The Water

Another tip we like to give boating enthusiasts is to ensure that their battery works properly before taking off on their little adventure. You can let your motor run for a few minutes before even undocking. Using this method, you can easily find out if your battery is in excellent condition for your trip. We recommend letting the motor run for at least 10 to 15 minutes.

12 – Start The Boat Motor Weekly

Like car batteries, boat batteries drain when left idle. If you do not plan to remove the battery for safekeeping, we recommend starting your boat engine weekly to keep it in top shape.

13 – Check For Visible Damage

Check for any kind of visible damage to the battery. If you notice anything off, immediately contact a battery replacement and repair company, like Road Battery Replacement, to ensure there is no danger of it exploding, as that is known to happen.

14 – Test The Charge-Holding Beforehand

Charge holding is the test you perform to see how long your charged battery takes to power down. For this test, you will also require a multimeter. Here’s how you can conduct this test at home:

  • Charge your battery to at least 90%.
  • Use a multimeter to calculate its voltage.
  • Leave your boat battery undisturbed for two to three days.
  • Use the multimeter again to see how much the voltage dropped.
  • If the voltage drop is more than 20%, your battery cannot support your boat.

Conclusion

Boat battery care is not an option; it’s a necessity. Without a properly functioning boat battery, your boat won’t run, and you’ll be stuck out on the water with no way to power your lighting, bilge pump, and depth sounder. That’s why it’s essential to take proactive steps to extend your boat battery life and ensure your battery is in good condition before heading out on the water. Take action before a battery breakdown.

Follow the 14 tips outlined above for affordable boat battery maintenance. By utilising these tips, you can be confident that your boat battery is in good shape and ready for any adventure.

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