Marine Battery Maintenance Tips
A strong marine battery is an essential part of your boat, but it can also be an expensive part to replace.
Maintenance is the key to getting the most out of your marine battery, and with that in mind, here are some tips to keep your boat’s battery healthy and durable.
Marine Battery Care Tips
Use the right charger. Some boats aren’t equipped with an alternator, so the battery needs to be recharged after a day out on the water. For these boats, find marine battery chargers that can be mounted onboard and also plugged into a power source on land.
Disconnect the battery when not in use. Many boats have a disconnect switch that makes this easy. Otherwise, you can disconnect the terminals to keep your battery from slowly being drained between uses.
Keep an eye on the water levels in a lead-acid battery. Making sure there’s enough distilled water in the battery is essential to its health.
Store the battery in a climate-controlled environment above 32 degrees and below 80 degrees when not in use. Put a couple to 2x4s underneath the battery to get it off the ground. This keeps air moving around the battery, and stabilizes the temperature and humidity around it. Hook it to a battery maintenance charger to preserve it while in storage.
How to Inspect a Marine Battery
- Turn off the engine
- Clean the terminals with a wire brush
- Make sure connections are tight
- Avoid wingnuts to tighten connectors
- Check the fuses
After inspecting the battery, make the sure plastic covers over the terminals are secure, as they’re the last line of defense against corrosion.
How Long Do Marine Batteries Last?
A marine battery’s lifespan varies due to several factors, and of course not everyone wears them out the same. However, a lead-acid battery should last you at least 2-3 years, while an AGM battery can last about 5 years as long as you take good care of it.