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wazz

Boat Batteries

Question

wazz

Hi all, I'm new to the boat scene. Last year was my first year with my boat but the battery would die. So I bought a new one, and again it died. Should the boat charge the battery or do I need to do that whenever I'm done with the boat. When I'm fishing I will typcally have on the GPS, The locater and the radio. I wouldn't thin that woud be enough to fully discharge the battery, but it does. I was stuck out on a flat on Millie Lacs at 3am and the boat would not start. That was scary, would those solar battery chargers help?
Any input wold be helpful.
Thanks
Wazz...

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Guest

Wazz,

What size motor do you have? The way I see it, you have one of two problems. Either the alternator on your motor is not working, therefore it's not charging your battery, or you have a bare wire somewhere that's grounding out and draining your battery.

Paul

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Scott

Wazz, I had the same problem. The best solution if you have room for 2 batteries is to run all of your accessories off of one battery and the motor off of another. After I made this switch I never had another problem. Good Luck.

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Guest

ya scott is right, the 2 battery trick is an essential especially if you are running a 2 or more electronics or even just the trolling motor.

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Guest

Hmmmm!!!

Guess I've always had 3 batteries in my boat so it was never an issue. Definately something to look at, those GPS love juice.

Paul

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wazz

The motor is 85Hp Mariner. I have a 2 battery system, I know the trolling motor is run off the old battery. But I'm not sure about the rest of the electonics. I know the battery is getting low because when I start the boat the GPS will power off. So I use the boat almost every weekend. So does everybody charge their batteries when there done or maybe every 2 weeks or should the charging system on the boat be able to handle this...

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Guest

Wazz/ Pwaldow hit a very common problem on the head. Its possible you may have short somewhere drawing amps. Check for continuity with a multi-meter if you have one. Second what kind of battery do you have? If your running accesories off the starting battery then you need a combo starting/deep cycle battery.A starting battery is made to put out high amps for a short period of time meaning the few seconds the motor takes to start. When you discharge a starting battery with accesories over and over again, it fry's the cells. So if you can rule out the dead short causing an amp draw,pick up a good combo starting/deep cycle battery.Try to limit what you put on that battery for accesories or add a second battery. Your size outboard probably puts out about 6 amps of return charge, so with a dead battery you need to run that motor at full RPM for 15 hours to bring it back to 100 percent. An outboards internal charger is made to bring the small amp loss back that it lost when starting the motor. Dont be afraid to spend good money on a battery.Getting stranded on Mille Lacs can be dangerous. Stay away from the gel cell batteries. Look for a good wet cell with a good warranty. I have been using Interstate for 3 years and have no complaints. Like the guys said above adding a second battery is a good idea. Look for the biggest deep cycle battery you can fit in your compartment,keep it fully charged even if you only use it for a short period of time,charge it after every use and keep the water levels where they should be.Good Luck D-man

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MILLE LACS AREA GUIDE SERVICE
651-271-5459 http://fishingminnesota.com/millelacsguide/

[This message has been edited by D-man (edited 12-31-2001).]

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wazz

Good info D-man, thats what I needed to know. I don't spend much time running the motor, its usally to my favorite flat and thats only 15 minutes max. So I guess I will charge the Battery more often and do a little rewiring.
I DO NOT want to be stuck on the lake all night again.
That wasn't you who resecued me last summer was it D-man? About 5:30am late June Saturday. Who ever it was I thank them again..
Thanx for the info D-man

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rmrakt

Very good info D-man.....
Another quick-n-easy way to see if your altenator is working is by putting a voltmeter across your battery when your motor is running. It should read at least 13.5 volts. Anything less than 12 volts would mean your alt. or charging circuit is toast....Not the best time of year for checking this but something to look at when open water season hits (hopefully not too soon!). Good luck!

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Guest

As a life-giver to those batteries, I pull mine when I put the boat away for winter's sleep. I charge them before I store them in my garage, and will charge again in Feb. and again before I get the boat ready for use in March. Batteries do lose charge in storage.

I've been extraordinarily lucky in getting long battery life by paying some attention in the off season.

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Guest

That is critical for longevity Clay. I have five batteries hooked up to two Minn-Kota onboard chargers all winter long in my basement. When the batteries begin to fall under 100% the charger automatically comes on and keeps them at full charge.Thats a great point Clay that alot of people forget about in the off season.
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MILLE LACS AREA GUIDE SERVICE
651-271-5459 http://fishingminnesota.com/millelacsguide/

[This message has been edited by D-man (edited 01-01-2002).]

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Guest

every night when i get home i plug in a remote charger to all 3 of my batterys and i have a 120 hp. An 85 hp mtr will not keep up with multiple drains of Gps's, radios, fishfinders,lights Ect.
Small Ob's have ridiculously small amp output like 13 or so amps...
also you can check for a draw by
disconnecting the neg cable from the battery and hold a light tester across from the cable to the
battery if the light lights up there is a draw
even small draws will light the test light

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