Your boat’s batteries are crucial for a safe and enjoyable time on the water. Dealing with a dead battery while out in the open water is the last thing any boater wants. That’s why having an onboard charger is highly recommended to ensure your marine batteries stay reliable and long-lasting.
When it comes to selecting a marine battery charger, there are key factors to consider for an informed buying decision. Read on to discover how to pick the perfect charger for your marine battery.
Where to Begin?
To determine the right marine battery charger, you’ll need to start by identifying your battery type. Three parameters are essential:
Battery capacity – often labeled on the battery as “Ah.”
Battery type – AGM, flooded, or gel battery?
Input voltage – Marine battery input voltage is typically 120 or 230 VAC.
With this information, you can select the correct marine battery charger.
What Voltage Is Necessary?
Matching the charger’s voltage to the battery’s output voltage is crucial. If your boat uses a 12v battery, you’ll need a 12v charger. Even when you have two 12v batteries in parallel, the voltage remains 12v, so a 12v charger is still required. Attempting to use a 24v charger on a 12v battery can damage it and pose a fire risk, so there are no shortcuts in recharging marine batteries.
What Amp Rating Do You Need?
The required amps depend on your battery’s size and type. A higher amp rating speeds up the recharging process. The following chart provides an estimate of recharge times:
5 or 6 amps per bank = 10-12 hours of recharge time
Ten amps per bank = 4-6 hours of recharge time
15 amps per bank = 3-5 hours of recharge time
To determine the amp rating you need, you can perform simple math. For example, if you have a Group 24 battery with an 85-amp hour rating, multiply 85 by 10%, which equals 8.5. Therefore, you’d need at least an 8.5-amp charger to recharge this battery.
Outdoor Temperature Considerations
The ambient temperature of your boating environment can influence your charger choice. Boats usually operate in temperature ranges between 50F to 90F. In exceptionally high temperatures, you’ll need a lower charging voltage, while temperatures below 40F require a higher charging voltage.
What If You Have Multiple Batteries to Recharge?
Many boats use more than one battery to power various components. Most marine battery chargers can handle one to six batteries simultaneously. When researching marine battery chargers, you might come across the term “bank.” A “bank” refers to a single connection from the battery to the charger. For instance, a six-bank charger can simultaneously charge six batteries.
Is There an Easier Way to Determine the Right Marine Battery Charger?
Absolutely! The Professional Pro Charging System is designed for use on both land and in fresh or saltwater. It delivers outstanding performance, safety, quality, and reliability. You won’t need to deal with complex settings or parameters; simply plug it in and forget it!
No wonder over 50 manufacturers and professional fishermen on the FLW and B.A.S.S. tournament circuits have Professional Series chargers on their boats. They offer a range of features and benefits, such as:
- Rugged, waterproof construction
- Independent outputs
- Multi-stage/fully automatic charging
- Battery maintenance mode
- Zero spark technology
- Suitable for AGM and Wet Cell batteries
- Models available for Gelled Electrolyte batteries
- Designed for salt and fresh water
- Onboard diagnostic codes