What you need to know about your boat battery

Posted by Carolien Henn on May 31, 2022 9:00:00 AM
Batteries on boat



Starting batteries, also known as cranking batteries, provide a large jolt of amperes. This battery is used to start an outboard motor and are built to recharge quickly. 


Deep cycle batteries are designed to provide fewer amperes but are intended to operate for longer, this can be used for your navigational equipment, trolling motors, bulge pumps, lights and cellphone chargers. In most cases this will be 12 Volt batteries.


Once your outboard/s are running, its alternator will recharge the cranking battery to compensate for the power used while starting the motor.


One must always take care with increasing technologies to insure that your batteries are not overloaded by equipment onboard your vessel. This can be checked by using volt meter or when your radio on your boat is ineffective this could be a sign of overload.


Always check the following on your boat batteries:


  • Batteries must be checked on a regular basis, tested with a hydrometer and water and acid levels should be checked; 
  • Batteries must be clean and tidy; 
  • Use fuses to protect the circuit at the source;
  • All Wiring should be secured in conduit tubing;
  • Batteries must be stowed away in in a well ventilated compartment at least 300mm away from your boats fuel tanks and must be well protected from sea or water spray;
  • Always make sure your outboards and switches are turned off before disconnecting your batteries. 


So what do you need to do if you want to store your batteries during winter?


  • Charge your batteries one more time, this will ensure that your batteries recharge completely when you plan on taking your boat out again;
  • Disconnect your terminals to insure that there are no small draws of power, this combined with the batteries self-discharge is enough to damage your battery;  
  • Should you decide to remove your battery make sure it is stored in a dry, cool place.


A boat battery’s lifespan is normally between 3 and 4 years but could last longer if properly maintained and connected to a maintenance charger to keep them fully charged.


Whenever in doubt about your battery, contact your closest authorized Suzuki Dealer for advice.










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