The Ultimate Guide to Boat Battery Maintenance
Owning a boat can be a whole lot of fun. It’s why more than 12 million people own boats in the U.S. at this time.
But owning a boat can also be a ton of work. You need to clean a boat on a regular basis, put fuel in it, and do lots of other things to keep it running.
One of the things that you should make sure you do is take care of boat battery maintenance. If you don’t, you might find yourself stuck out in the middle of the water with a dead boat battery on your hands.
From the second that you put a new boat battery into your boat, you should work hard to maintain it. It’ll keep your boat battery working properly at all times and ensure that you don’t have to buy a boat battery again for a long time.
Here are some boat battery care tips that will make maintaining your boat battery a breeze.
Begin by Picking Out the Best Boat Battery
When you buy a brand-new boat, it’ll obviously come with a brand-new battery in it. You won’t have to worry about installing a new boat battery when this is the case.
But when you buy a used boat, you should always try to buy a boat battery for it prior to putting it into the water. It’ll provide you with peace of mind as you set out to start using your boat.
Before you buy a boat battery, though, you need to be sure that you pick out the best boat battery for your specific boat. Otherwise, it might not perform up to your expectations.
There are quite a few different types of marine batteries available for boats these days. From deep-cycle batteries to dual-purpose batteries, there won’t be any shortage of options.
You should make it your mission to track down the right boat battery for your particular vessel. It’ll get you and your boat off to a fantastic start and prevent you from encountering any unnecessary boat battery issues.
Inspect Your Boat Battery Early and Often
Once you buy a boat battery for your boat and install it, it should be good to go. As long as it’s the right type of battery, you aren’t going to have to be concerned about experiencing any problems.
You should, however, make it a point to inspect your battery as often as you can so that you don’t get caught off-guard by any battery issues as you move forward. You can do this by using a device that is called a hydrometer.
A hydrometer is designed to measure the density of the electrolytes in a boat battery in comparison to the weight of the battery as a whole. You ideally want to see the density of the electrolytes on the higher side when you first start using your battery, and then you want to see the density go down as you put your battery to good use.
If this doesn’t seem to be the case, it could indicate an issue with your boat battery. You’ll want to either have your battery looked at or potentially consider replacing your battery altogether since it might not be functioning in the way that it’s supposed to.
Clean Your Boat Battery When Necessary
While you’re inspecting a boat battery, you should do more than just test the electrolytes in it. You should also visually inspect the outside of the battery to see if there is any corrosion on it.
If there is corrosion built up on the posts of your battery, it could affect the way in which your battery works. This corrosion can hurt the performance of your battery and possibly even result in your battery not working at all.
Fortunately, it’s simple enough to clean the corrosion off the posts on a boat battery. All you need to do is create a concoction containing baking soda and water and use it to clean the posts on a boat battery. This should get rid of any corrosion that exists on a boat battery and stop it from taking a toll on the battery’s performance.
The good news is that you shouldn’t see too much corrosion on a boat battery over time. But it is something that’s going to cause issues every now and then.
Get Into the Habit of Charging Your Boat Battery
Some people are under the impression that a boat battery and a car battery are essentially the same things. As a result, they think that they can use their boat battery in the same way that they use the battery in their car.
But let us make this perfectly clear: This is not the case! If you treat your boat battery like you do your car battery, it’s going to be dead before you know it.
Your car battery is designed to be used every day without you having to charge it up. It’s why you don’t have to worry about plugging your car battery in to charge it at any point.
But you can’t do the same thing with a boat battery. A boat battery isn’t going to get charged up unless you hook it up to a charger. You’re going to have to charge your boat battery up after almost every time that you use it.
You should take a good, long look at the manual that comes with your boat battery so that you can see the proper way to go about charging it. You’ll want to use the right charger for it so that you’re able to charge it up in a hurry when you’re not using your boat.
Make Sure You Store Your Boat Battery in the Right Way
If you know that you’re not going to be using your boat for at least a few weeks, you shouldn’t leave your boat battery on board. Instead, you should remove your boat battery and stick it into storage.
Actually, you should remove your battery, charge it up, and then stick it into storage so that it’s ready to go the next time you need it. And when you store a boat battery, it’s imperative that you do more than just shove it into the back of your garage and forget about it.
Boat batteries should always be stored in a place where they aren’t going to be exposed to any moisture. They should also be stored in a place where it won’t ever get too hot or too cold.
Keeping it up on a shelf in a dark basement would be an ideal location to store a boat battery. It’ll guarantee that nothing bad will happen to your boat battery when you’re not using it.
Replace Your Boat Battery Every Few Years
If you take the time to do everything that we’ve talked about here, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing your boat battery anytime soon. But there will, of course, come a day when you will have to replace your boat battery with a new one.
Generally speaking, the average boat battery is built to last for somewhere between 3 and 4 years. You might be able to get a little bit more life out of it than that, but you’re going to be pushing it if you keep it beyond that point.
You should look for signs that your boat battery might be on its way out. If, for example, your battery isn’t holding a charge quite like it used to, that could indicate that you need to buy a new boat battery. You might also need a new boat battery if you’re constantly having to clean corrosion off your old battery.
Whatever the case, you should strive to replace your boat battery at the right time so that you don’t end up driving your boat around with a bad battery in it. It’ll provide you with one less thing to worry about when it comes to boat maintenance as a whole.
Maintaining Your Boat Battery Is Extremely Important
The rest of your boat might be in amazing shape. But if you have a bad boat battery in it, it’ll all be for naught. Your boat won’t run like you want it to.
For this reason, you should work hard to practice good boat battery maintenance. The more involved that you are in maintaining your boat battery, the better it’s going to work when you’re out on the water.
Would you like to get some more useful tips on maintaining your boat? Browse through the other marine-related articles that we’ve posted on our blog to find them.