You should practice proper marine battery maintenance when you acquire your new battery. In this post, I’ll explain Do Marine Batteries Come Charged? And, if so, what to anticipate. Let’s start!
Just like your automobile battery, marine batteries require maintenance. Keep your batteries fully charged, whether you’re out fishing or enjoying a boat trip. Only get ready for a journey to discover that the engine will turn on.
Table of Contents
Do Marine Batteries Come Charged?
When purchased, new marine batteries frequently arrive partially charged. During storage and transportation, self-discharge will happen. Depending on the outside temperature and length of storage, different amounts of discharge will occur.
Types Of Marine Batteries
There are three main kinds of marine batteries:
Marine Starting Batteries
Marine starting batteries are created to start the engine and are quickly recharged by the engine alternator. They deliver quick but powerful bursts of energy over brief periods. Trolling motors and other appliances shouldn’t be powered by starting batteries.
Marine Deep Cycle Batteries
Marine Deep cycle batteries last hundreds of charging and releasing cycles and slowly discharge. Electric trolling motors and other battery-operated devices like windlasses, depth finders, fish locators, and other devices should all be powered by deep-cycle batteries. Starting batteries shouldn’t be swapped out for deep-cycle batteries.
Marine Dual-Purpose Batteries
When there isn’t enough room for two batteries, marine dual-purpose batteries are a viable option. They combine the performance of a beginning and deep-cycle battery. They can serve as both a starting battery and a deep cycle battery. However, they are less effective than individual batteries.
Cranking Versus Deep Cycle
You’ll need a separate deep cycle “house” battery if you have an electric trolling motor, windlass, thruster, or other battery-powered accessories that draw more electricity. A deep cycle battery should only be utilized in situations with frequent, high rates of discharging and recharging.
Unlike a cranking battery, a deep cycle battery has thicker, heavier plate construction. Trolling motors and windlasses, for instance, demand longer, higher amperage requirements that would heat and deform the thinner plates of a typical cranking battery.
Cranking batteries, which have more but thinner plates to produce a rapid voltage spike for engine starting, are not designed for continuous, high-power output. A deep cycle battery can jumpstart your motor in an emergency, but a two- or three-battery system is recommended to separate the engine battery from the auxiliary (house) batteries.
If you want to understand if your battery is still functional, you must get it “load tested.” You may get a free load test at any auto parts store or battery shop to see if your battery is still in excellent shape. Even after something has died twice, it could prove valuable. Given that the problem can lie elsewhere, like in the electrical or charging systems, you might need to fix those, too.
Battery Replacement For Your Boat
When changing a marine battery, go to your boat’s owner’s manual or a marine dealer, and make sure the replacement battery you choose is appropriate for your boat. Reverse capacity, marine cranking amps, and ampere-hours are used to rate marine batteries.
When looking for a deep-cycle battery, prioritize its reserve capacity and ampere-hour rating. When deciding on a starting battery, marine cranking amps should be given special consideration. Consider all three categories when shopping for a dual-use battery.
Let’s say you decide to outfit your yacht with electricity. If you do a lot of trolling with the engine running at a low speed (meaning the alternator gets less power to charge the battery) or if you employ equipment like the audio system while beached or at anchor, you may need to upgrade to a battery with a higher amp-hour rating.
Marine Battery Charging
Most of us know that the batteries included when purchasing a new or used boat may only sometimes be of the highest caliber. We give them little thought if they appear to do their function.
However, ordinary heat is a battery’s worst enemy in hotter regions and can significantly reduce its lifespan. How the battery is treated at this time is particularly crucial to extending its life in regions of the country where we are required to store boats for the winter.
The best way to maintain the new charge is to keep batteries on a regulated “trickle” charger. If a battery is not charged (and kept charged), it may freeze in cold weather, leading to a broken case. Use or lose it applies to many things in life, including batteries!
Because a car is used frequently and the battery is kept charged, it typically lasts longer than a boat battery. The proverbial “two years is all a battery needs” holds much of the time regarding boats.
When it’s due to failing you, you’ll typically get a warning, such as a “dead” battery one morning or a slower cranking speed than usual. When you turn ON the charger, the battery mysteriously comes to life, and you may leave for your journey.
You might believe the light was left on or the radio memory decreased the voltage. The battery may be sulfating, having bent plates, and not taking or holding a charge as well as it formerly did.
Tips For Avoiding Battery Problems
- A sturdy battery tray with a base fastened or screwed to the boat and either a robust bracket or a locking strap to hold it to the base will secure the marine battery. The battery shouldn’t be slamming around in choppy seas.
- Check the battery terminal links frequently to ensure they are secure and rust-free. Nylon locking nuts are far less prone to come loose than the wing nuts frequently found on marine batteries.
- Use a maintenance-style battery charger to maintain the battery fully charged between outings if you use the boat occasionally.
- Completely charge the batteries before off-season storage, then disconnect the connections to prevent anything from drawing the battery down. Keep the batteries on a battery maintainer/charger throughout the off-season to continuously maintain your batteries if power is available at your storage location. If not, take the batteries out of the boat and put them somewhere they can be charged regularly.
- Even though the battery is in a covered box, if the boat builder did not place one, place a cover or “boot” over the top of the positive battery connection. If, for example, a tool is thrown on the terminal, the boot stops the spark, arcing, and potential explosion.
In conclusion? Keep your batteries charged, clean the terminals, and by all means, get out on the water you can to “exercise” your electrical system.
It may be a problem if the battery is completely discharged when you purchase it. You may have an issue if the batteries are completely dead when you get them, meaning they have no power.
This Might Suggest One Of Two Things
The batteries might first not be able to maintain a charge. Even though a battery’s charge will gradually decrease over time, it shouldn’t be draining to the point where it has no power left.
Second, the battery might have spent too much time on the shelf. The battery might have run out of life if this happens.
You should be returning your marine battery in both situations. If you keep a marine battery that won’t charge, it probably has some problems and will cause you a lot of trouble.
Probably Not Enough Charge To Move Your Boat
Those batteries may still have some power, but they won’t be enough to move your boat. This might be sufficient to give your boat a small kick to start it if you have a starter battery. However, that’s it.
The battery will not have adequate charge if you use it to power various equipment aboard the boat for longer than an hour or two; that will push it. However, certain boats have built-in charging systems, so you might not need a dedicated charger.
You Should Charge Your Marine Batteries As Soon As You Receive Them
It would help if you charged your marine batteries as soon as possible. You wouldn’t want a boat’s battery to be partially depleted and break down in the middle of nowhere. It’s unlikely that this will be the most enjoyable experience ever!
Don’t be concerned about batteries having a so-called “memory effect.” Most marine batteries on the market now won’t experience the memory effect. In any case, it doesn’t matter. A single charge wouldn’t have that big of an effect, even if they did experience the memory effect. Only when the battery is continuously charged before completely depleted does it occur.
There is no need to tens about overcharging your battery. Nowadays, most chargers need to be clever enough to guard against overcharging. Some individuals charge their boat batteries by leaving them plugged in overnight.
However, once the batteries reach 100%, we advise you to unplug them from the charger as soon as possible. Overheating of the batteries is different from what you want. This might also result in issues.
Find out your marine battery’s output voltage if you don’t have a smart charger. The battery should then be charged up to more than that output voltage. Although you can perform this using a multimeter, we recommend searching for a guide because you don’t want to get it incorrectly. Although measuring a battery’s voltage is not harmful, you will receive an accurate readout if you do it properly.
Your Marine Batteries Should Be Discharged Partially
This component is now very significant. It would help if you never emptied your batteries, especially deep-cycle marine batteries.
Many people will discover a technique to completely deplete the batteries they buy before charging them. The battery will be fully destroyed as a result, though.
For example, a deep-cycle marine battery should only sometimes maintain % of its capacity. If you utilize it more than that, your battery will only survive for a short time.
It would always help verify the manufacturer’s recommendations to determine when to recharge the battery.
Marine batteries come charged when they arrive. But, likely, the battery will be partially charged. Before using the battery in your boat, you might need to charge it. It would help if you utilized a contemporary charger in this situation. This will aid in avoiding overcharging, which will risk damaging your battery. Now you know about Do Marine Batteries Come Charged?
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a fresh marine battery supposed to be charged first?
Before use, new batteries need to be fully charged. The connectors on battery wires should always be kept tight.
Do deep-cycle marine batteries arrive fully charged?
Deep-cycle batteries might not be fully charged when received to start. Self-discharge is typical during storage and transportation. Due to the storage period and ambient temperature, the discharge amount fluctuates. However, it is safe to expect batteries to require a refresher charge while installed.
How can I tell if the battery in my marine vessel is fully charged?
Conduct an open-circuit voltage test with a multimeter. This will show you whether your boat has a reliable power source. It will inform you of the battery’s charge level. The battery is fully charged if the test results show a charge of 12.6 volts or more.
Do marine batteries require more water?
For most marine batteries to function correctly, you must maintain them topped with distilled water. Battery life could be shortened if the water is maintained properly.