If you enjoy boating, you should pay special attention to keep your batteries in top condition. Unfortunately, most people take the batteries for granted only to realise it when they are stranded in the middle of the water. Don’t let this happen to you! Follow these simple tips to increase the life of your marine batteries.
Choose the Right Battery
Choosing the right battery for your boat is most crucial when you want to get the best out of them. There are primarily three categories of marine batteries you should consider.
The first is starting batteries or cranking batteries that are pulled repeatedly for starting the engine. They recharge quickly and provide large amperes with each pull. They are cost effective too but the repeated jerking and pulling can reduce their longevity.
The second is deep cycle batteries that discharge fewer amperes but can operate for longer periods. They also take longer to recharge.
Your third option is dual-purpose batteries that provide the best features of cranking batteries and deep-cycle batteries.
Keep Your Batteries Properly Charged
When you want to maximise the longevity of your batteries, be sure to charge them every regularly. Use a charger as specified by the manufacturer. Never under-charge or overcharge your batteries as it affects the performance and may even cause damage. Always follow manufacturer’s guidelines and charge your batteries only for the duration as instructed in the booklet.
Use a multistage charger to keep your batteries charged when your boat is lying idle for months.
Follow a Regular Maintenance Schedule
Follow a regular maintenance schedule that includes checking the entire gadget for signs of deterioration or damage. For example, rapid evaporation in wet cell batteries can significantly reduce their life. Always check to see that the water level in the batteries is at the recommended level. Use only distilled water to ensure that the impurities in tap water do not affect the various parts of the battery.
Check the external parts too. Apply a thin layer of grease to protect the external metal parts from corrosion. Clean the battery box once a year and check for signs of leakage or clogging of vents or similar issues.
Avoid the Cheaper Brands
An extra initial investment can save you substantial money in the long run. So while buying your marine batteries, avoid brands that come really cheap (although you may be tempted to do so). Such batteries don’t last long and you will have to spend often on repairs.
Further, avoid buying second-hand batteries no matter how well-maintained they look.