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carlcmc

How to charge batteries when lake is down?

33 posts in this topic

I have a Cabelas Prosport 3 battery onboard charger. When I take fishing trips, I leave my boat in the lake at the dock for the cabin and run an electrical cord along the dock to the boat to keep it charged over night.

The lake we are going to this year (North Long near Baxter) is down considerably. I may end up having the boat out a ways from shore line. Any ideas of keeping the batteries charged besides the tedious option of every evening carrying batteries and charger up to the garage to charge? Any way to run the cords (safely) through shallow water (or keep the connections points out of the water) to where the boat will be?

Thoughts?

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I'm no electrician but I've seen plenty of resorts that run extension cords right through the water, plugs and connections and all.

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If you run an extension anywhere near water make sure it's protected with a GFI. Assuming you use a decent extension cord with a good sheath and keep the connections dry you should be fine. If you're using a very long cord or multiple long cords you should consider steping up a guage (say use a 10ga cord instead of a 12ga).

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#1 extension cords by water are dangerious!

#2 I believe running a ext. cord is illeagle for sure on public property,and a inspecter can ticket you on your own property for this,It does'nt meet code.they most likly dont look for it, but if reported they will.Also hope your insured just in case!

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Quote:

#1 extension cords by water are dangerious!

#2 I believe running a ext. cord is illeagle for sure on public property,and a inspecter can ticket you on your own property for this,It does'nt meet code.they most likly dont look for it, but if reported they will.Also hope your insured just in case!


I see a lot of boat lifts that use electric winches, they have to run cords for those. Not sure on the public property, but, private they should not be able to say anything. Just make sure you have a GFI.

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thanks for all the replies. I may try to make sure i have a portable gfi outlet/strip and plug in the 200 yards of extension cord.

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To be safe you could always take the battery out and charge it on shore where its safe!

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the only problem is the batter charger is screwed in and mounted, the numerous cables bolts and washers for the batteries, and the fact the batteries weigh greater than 50 lbs a piece it seems. At the end of a day of fishing, that doesn't sound that appealing to carry those all to the shore line.

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Stmichael.Call your local inspector,underground rated wire,depth differs but min.18" I believe,single breaker off main box GFI rated,safty receptical GFI at dock.thats on my property I'm thinking of power to dock to charge batteries,I found this out 2yrs. ago!Havent done it dont want to fish the wire up through house to connect to main breaker box and 200ft. of digging.I put batteries in wheelborrow.got 3 so ones always charged

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Your call I guess. It's a PITA for me as well at my lake place, but I still carry 'em back and forth. I would be pretty concerned anytime you are submerging hot electrical lines in water though.

What happens if the cord is nicked (invisible to you), or it's somehow cut. The problem is that the risk extends to anyone in the general vicinity in the water. I've heard horror stories though and suddenly the sore back doesn't sound so bad!

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Quote:

thanks for all the replies. I may try to make sure i have a portable gfi outlet/strip and plug in the 200 yards of extension cord.


Going to lose a lot running current through 200 yards of extension cord, might not get a decent charge. For 50 bucks you can buy a deep cycle battery charger. Better to be safe then sorry.

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Quote:

#1 extension cords by water are dangerious!

#2 I believe running a ext. cord is illeagle for sure on public property,and a inspecter can ticket you on your own property for this,It does'nt meet code.they most likly dont look for it, but if reported they will.Also hope your insured just in case!


#1 seems to me I recall hearing (last year??) about a couple of people that were shocked badly by an extension cord in the water up around Alexandria, MN.

Definitely GFI if near water....

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Might be easier to put it on the trailer and just pull it to the house vs. R&R batteries plus associated hauling/handling.

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Just a random, probably stupid thought here.............

Is there any way to run a wire from your boat motor to these batteries so they would charge off of the motor just like the starting battery?

I am guessing that the generator or whatever is used on an outboard to charge the battery may not be powerfull enough to charge multiple batteries?

What do you guys think? Am I onto something or just on something?

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Quote:

Stmichael.Call your local inspector,underground rated wire,depth differs but min.18" I believe,single breaker off main box GFI rated,safty receptical GFI at dock.thats on my property I'm thinking of power to dock to charge batteries,I found this out 2yrs. ago!Havent done it dont want to fish the wire up through house to connect to main breaker box and 200ft. of digging.I put batteries in wheelborrow.got 3 so ones always charged


I understand that you would want the proper hook up if it was a constant issue. But, what he wants to do is run a temporary cord out to the dock, maybe, only overnight.. it will not be left permanently, this is the only reason I said to make sure there is a GFI. Since he will be running the extension cord he will be able to look for nicks, also, the extension cord will be on top of the ground so it will be visible for all to see and be aware of. But, like I said, this is only overnight. not to be left plugged in 24/7.

I may still be wrong, but, if you take some safety precautions as far as having the right gage cord and proper protection (GFI) 99.999% of the time you are going to be safe... There are always going to be some risks that need to be taken, but, having yourself protected (GFI) can make your mind at ease. GFI fails then there are other issues.

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i prefer the onboard charger because of the charge, pause, trickle cycle of them. at 120 bucks a pop for 3 batteries, i don't want to shorten their life.

I wonder if there is a way or need to enclose or wrap the connection points of the electrical cords. Who knows, I may be worrying about nothing and the water level may come back up.

I could get some kind of stand to hold the connection point between two electrical cords out of the water. I could buy brand new 100 ft extension cords of heavy gauge to minimize problems. If I had to dismount the entire setup every day and mount it every morning that would be probably 30 minutes every morning and every evening. I get winded carrying them just 50 yards. *sigh* I really hope and prefer it would work just to run the cord.

Last year, I could pull up to my brother-in-laws cabin and run a cord along the dock and across the grass.

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Hopefully the water level comes back up, eh? Problem solved. smile.gif

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Once again, I am not an electrician.

But when I've asked about cords in the water, including plugs and connections, what I've been told is the copper in the wire is a better electrical conductor than the water, and the electricity follows the path of least resistance.

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I was assuming that there would was a dock involved, just further out... blush.gif

I take back all I have said. If I were you I would trailer the boat back to the cabin and charge them safely. It may not be the most time consuming choice to do it, but, there are definite safety issues. That is what I would do. You could get a duck or a goose come flying in and knock the cord off the stands.

I apologize to all...

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:-)

Yes. I guess if after the 3rd week of july i don't post anymore on here you'll know not to try the same thing!

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there is a dock involved, just that the owner says that the water level may require leaving the boat out a way from the end of the dock. This may be 10 feet of 50 yards. Won't know till i get there.

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i would not recommend 200 yards of extention cord period and yes i am a electrician, but thats not the reason, you would need one heck off a cord to beable to do that, doesnt make sense to me, also very expensive for that much cord, reguardless of being gfi which it has to be, the voltage drop would be a bit dont noe off the top of my head, but that would affect your chargers operation as well, long story short just trailer it if needed and play it safe

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I used my coleman generator to charge mine. I have a road between my dock and the cabin so I have sort of the same issue. I just start the gen up on the dock and connect the 15amp batt chrg port on the gen to my starting/accessory batt and then plug the 110 on the gen into the bank of two for the trolling motor up front.

LM

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How about buying a solar charger? Then it would be charging as you are using it on the water!

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How about buying a solar charger? Then it would be charging as you are using it on the water!


I bought a solar charger for my pontoon last year. The motor is old, has electric start but no alternator so if I did a lot of starting it didn't have much left after a couple of days. It works fine now with weekend outings, as it recharges during the week. I don't think it would work well for trolling motor batteries though because solar charging is slow; not at all during darkness and limited on cloudy days. You'd use a lot more power than the charger would provide. I'm curious to see what happens over the winter. I left the charger hooked to the battery in the pontoon outside. I've left batteries in unheated sheds for lots of years (in tractors that don't get started all winter, for example). As long as they're charged in the fall and there's no drain on them, they've been fine.

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