Every year when boaters get their boats ready for the fishing season after a long winter layoff, they find that their batteries have gone bad. Have you thought about your boat's batteries lately? Will your batteries be any good in the spring? Battery failures are more common than ever, today's bass boats use more battery power than in any time in the past. We have added a lot of new equipment to our boats, bigger engines and other devises that all run on battery power. Batteries have never been cycled like they are today, causing them to fail at a alarming rate and fail much quicker than in the past. This blog discusses tips to keep your batteries from going bad over the long winter months.
Marine batteries lasted 3, 4 even 5 years in the past before going bad, today with the heavy loads and constant cycling they are lucky to last three years. Batteries that are not maintained can last as little as a year and a half. So what can you do to save your batteries from going bad over the winter? Well that depends on whether your batteries are worn out or not. If they are worn out they can't be saved by keeping them maintained, but if they are good and just need maintenance your can keep them from failing. Here is a list of things that you should do to keep your batteries maintained. The first thing you should always do is keep your batteries fully charged. A charged battery can not freeze, this means that if your boat is sitting all winter you should charge your batteries a least once a month. Cold weather along with today's engine and some electronics cause a constant draw on the battery which draws the voltage out of the battery. So your battery is going dead even if your are not using your boat. Some customers ask about pulling their batteries from their boats, don't do that, just keep them charged. The next really important thing to do is to make sure that the fluid level on the batteries is full if you have a battery that is not maintenance free. Only use distilled water to fill your batteries, not tap water that has many minerals in it. After filling the batteries fluid level charge the battery until it is fully charged. Battery connection are the next item on the list, make sure you have good battery connection on all your batteries. Bad connection cause poor charging, higher amp draw and heat that causes the battery to be cycled more. When checking the connection do not grab a pair of pliers and check the wing nuts, grab the wires and see if they can be moved, tighten if loose. I suggest replace all wing nuts with hex huts for better connections on every battery. That is the end of the list to help keep your batteries from failing over the winter.Pretty easy stuff huh?
Batteries are the heart of today's bass boats, take care of them and they will take care of you. Now it is up to you, go check on those batteries before eating that big Thanksgiving meal, you will be to tired afterwards.