The battery that is used on a boat has to be charged regularly. The process is straightforward. However, several problems can come out of the process, if not done correctly. The battery can get damaged causing a reduction in the ability to stay charged for enough of time. Over time, a damaged battery can fail unexpectedly, and that can be very dangerous if you are out in open water and trouble.
Many of the brands who produce batteries for marine use have AGM aka Absorbent Glass Mat technology. These batteries require maintenance regularly. The good thing about the AGM batteries is its ability to charge very quickly though. Traditional lead acid batteries take two times more time to charge entirely than the AGM ones. The downside of these batteries is that the potential to sustain damage is very easy. You will not be able to have any energy source from the battery or reduced energy from it once it gets damaged. The replacement costs of these batteries are also high. Therefore, care should be taken to charge and use the battery efficiently for its maximum potential.
The starter for the battery can be prevented and the dual purpose the batteries can be saved by charging them the right way. Remember that most batteries are killed rather than being worn out naturally. The theory stands true mainly because, most people take for granted how they charge and use the battery effectively.
Battery Checks Before Beginning
Unlike a car battery which can be seen easily, the marine ones are put in areas which are very hard to reach and in dark places. The place where batteries are usually placed is susceptible to dirt and debris collection. Therefore, it is always advisable to clean and check the battery before you even attempt to charge it. Here are the steps to checking your battery:
- Locate the place where the battery is stored on the vessel
- Remove the battery from the battery box where it is stored
- After you remove the battery from the box, find the battery switch and turn it “off” to be safe while trying to maintain the battery and handling the cables
- Remove the lid from the battery box and carefully check all the connections and terminals
- Clean the battery if you see any dirt or corrosion
- Clean all corrosions regularly to prevent unwanted discharge of energy from the battery
Connect the Charger to The Battery
Once you have checked the battery for corrosions and dirt, you can start preparing to charge the battery. Here are the steps to charging the battery correctly:
- Choose the right charger for the battery. Smart chargers are the best type to use for marine batteries that have a deep cycle and dual purpose. These batteries are also called Multi-Stage Chargers. The Smart Chargers are designed to charge the battery according to the desired temperature and its chemistry.
- While other chargers will work as well, there is a chance that it can cause damage to the battery. Therefore, use the best type for your marine charger.
- Smart Chargers will provide energy to the battery in three phases – Bulk Phase, Acceptance Phase, and Float Phase. The three phases are necessary to provide maximum charge and stop any damage from happening to the inside components of the battery.
- High-quality smart chargers only cost $100. Therefore, invest in one.
- Connect the charger to the terminals in the battery for marine use.