How to maintain your boat battery

It’s always a good idea to check on your boat battery and do a bit of maintenance to make sure you get the longest life possible from it. Proper, attentive battery TLC leads to money savings and more boating enjoyment, and who doesn’t want that?

Here are some good tips for boat battery care & maintenance:

– Regularly inspect connections to ensure they are clear and clean. The four direct connections should be free of debris and shiny.

– Confirm there is a lid on any battery box or boots are in place on terminals. This prevents short circuiting and protects from mishaps.

– Ventilate the battery compartment so gasses can effectively escape. Overcharged lead-acid batteries especially need good ventilation to prevent explosions.

– Check lead-acid batteries consistently and top off, if necessary. Levels can be checked by removing caps and shining a flashlight to assess. Add electrolyte when needed, ensuring it covers the top of the plates (or manufacturer-recommendations), then replace the caps. Wipe any spills right away.

– Use the same type of battery for your boat consistently so overcharging and undercharging is less likely. This helps the longevity of the battery bank.

– Isolate batteries when the boat is not in use by turning off the master switch. This helps save battery life.

– Only use chargers specific for marine batteries and NOT car chargers. Car versions are less expensive but can overcharge boat batteries and cause permanent damage (shortening their life).

– When choosing a battery charger, go with a 3-stage marine unit for a more effective charging method. These ‘smart’ chargers are a good investment.

– Regularly wipe and clean the tops of batteries to avoid self-discharge accidents. If white powder builds up anywhere, use a baking-soda solution on it to neutralize acids.

– During boat battery hook up, triple check to make sure the terminals get connected right. When they are not connected as intended, electrical elements throughout the boat may be affected or damaged. Take it to a professional if you are unsure.

For any boat battery questions, do get in touch with the friendly team at Lifeline Batteries. We are here to help anytime.