A real nightmare of many boat owners are short battery life and dead batteries. When you face a dead battery, the knowledge of replacing it could be a life saver.
Battery problems occur for different reasons, mostly because of:
- poor quality of batteries,
- poor maintenance,
- inadequate battery power,
- wrongly estimated power usage,
- mixing battery types,
- faulty charging systems,
- faulty installation.
Seven steps for boat battery replacement
If your boat batteries are properly installed and maintained, it is not uncommon to get 5, 6 or even 7 years of good service out of them. Still, at some point you would need to replace them. Your mission should take seven steps:
- Open the battery compartment. Check the condition of battery terminals and for acid leaks. Gently clean the leaks and build up around the terminals. Remove any oxidation or corrosion of the cables.
- Remove the negative (black) cable terminal from the battery. This may require a wrench or pliers, remove with care.
- Remove the positive (red) cable terminal from the battery. Be careful to not let the negative and positive cable terminals touch each other. Don’t forget: you should never touch the terminals with your hands if you have a screwdriver or metal in them! If you accidentally touch both red and black at the same time, you will complete the circuit, which would definitely not end happily.
- Carefully remove the old battery and place it aside.
- Place the new battery in the battery compartment. Make sure it is seated properly.
- Attach the positive (red) cable terminal to the positive terminal post on the battery. Tighten the nut with care.
- Replace the negative (black) cable terminal to the negative terminal post on the battery. Tighten the nut with care.
Boats move through the water in a very complicated way which might cause your batteries bouncing around. Make sure they are properly fixed so they can not move and check them regularly after you run through rough waters.
Batteries should not be disposed of in the trash. Recycling old batteries reduces waste and the need to use new raw materials.
Safety precautions and maintenance tips
Never forget that electricity and moisture don’t mix. Try to work in dry environment, wear eye protection and gloves. Remember that wearing a watch with metal parts and working with electricity or its parts is just not a good idea. Safety always comes first!
- Batteries must be kept clean, cool and dry.
- Batteries must not be left on wet surfaces or placed directly on the ground. Place your batteries on a piece of wood while working with them.
- Clean battery tops with a sponge and wipe dry with a paper towel.
Manage and prolong your battery life with a monitoring system
We can not do much about the battery costs, yet we could do other thing like focusing on prolonging boat battery life and saving costs on replacements. The first thing to consider when prolonging any battery life is battery management. Batteries require precise and regular monitoring.
Would you like to dramatically improve your boat battery life? Using Simarine battery monitoring solutions you can:
- measure input and output currents
- know the batteries’ voltages, charged and empty
- know the batteries’ temperature
Discover Pico, battery monitors with Real-Time Battery Health™ Algorithm.
Batteries never go dead at the ‘right’ time. Having a healthy, reliable well maintained power source is not the place to cut corners. Especially if you are planning on going out in the ocean.