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How Battery Boxes and Chargers Help Maintain Your Boat's Battery

Power - by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 5/5/2022

Overhead shot of an orange boat turning around

In a recent blog we talked about the different types of marine batteries. Once you've determined the best battery for your boat, it's important that you properly maintain it. Battery boxes and marine battery chargers are essential maintenance tools. The first will help protect your battery from the effects of water and weather, while the second will keep your battery charged up and ready for your next day on the lake.

Battery Boxes Can Help Protect Your Battery

A battery box is a secure storage solution that helps to protect your battery from damage. Keeping your battery in a battery box will help secure it from potentially harmful elements like rain, heat and corrosive or flammable substances. When you're out on the water, a battery box will also help prevent waves from shorting out your motor battery and leaving you stranded. Battery boxes make it easier to transport your battery too.

Each battery box contains two main parts, a base that helps to reduce shifting and collect any spilled contaminants and a snap-top lid that allows you to easily access your battery for regular maintenance.

How Do You Find the Right Size Battery Box?

In order to differentiate between different types of batteries, the Battery Council International (BCI) has broken batteries down into a number of different group sizes. Finding the right battery box is as simple as matching the BCI number of your battery to a battery box with the same group number. The correct group number for your boat can be found in your owner's manual or on the manufacturer's website. Batteries Plus carries a full range of battery boxes both online and in-store.

How to Choose the Best Marine Battery Charger for Your Boat

In order to get the most out of your batteries, it's important to keep them fully charged. That means placing them on a charger when they're not in use. It's also important to remember that different types of batteries have different charging needs. Start off by checking whether your marine battery's voltage is 6, 12 or 24 volts and then look for a charger with the same voltage setting.

Another thing to consider is the chemistry of the battery you have onboard. We have three different battery chemistries available: flooded, AGM and lithium iron phosphate. Be sure that the type of charger you purchase is compatible with the chemistry of the battery that you're using. Otherwise, you could end up damaging your battery.

How Fast Can You Charge a Marine Battery?

In order to determine how long it will take to charge your battery, you'll need to know two things, the amp hour rating of your battery and the amperage of your charger. An amp hour (Ah) measures how much amperage a battery can provide per hour. This information can be found on the manufacturer's website. Likewise, the charger's amperage will be provided in the owner's manual or even on the outside of the charger itself.

Once you have this information, you can determine your battery's charging time by dividing the amp hour rating by the amperage of your charger. For example, a 75Ah battery using a 7.5 amp charger will take roughly 10 hours to fully charge.

What is the best Amperage to Charge a Marine Battery?

AGM and lithium iron phosphate batteries can charge much faster than flooded batteries. In order to take advantage of these fast-charging speeds, however, you need a charger with a higher amperage. Look for chargers that are capable of delivering 10 or 20 amps. A 10 amp charger will allow you to charge a fully discharged 100 amp battery in about 10 hours, while a 20 amp charger will do the same job in 5 hours.

Can You Ruin a Battery By Overcharging?

When maintaining any battery, you want to be careful to avoid both undercharging or overcharging it. Keeping a battery in an undercharged state can cause the plates inside it to begin sulfating, which will lower the battery's flow of electrical current. This is why regular charging is so important.

Overcharging a battery is equally damaging. When you overcharge a battery, you essentially cook the components inside it. This can force the battery to vent gasses or cause the plates inside it to begin corroding. In order to avoid overcharging, you need to monitor the time you spend charging your battery or pick up a charger that has a float option. A battery maintainer will prevent your battery from overcharging by switching off the current when the battery reaches its ideal state of charge.

One additional thing to keep in mind. When storing lithium batteries you don't need to place them on a float charger since they have very low self-discharge rates.

Find Batteries, Chargers and Other Boating Gear at Batteries Plus

Batteries Plus has a large selection of marine batteries and marine battery chargers both online and in-store. If you are experiencing issues with a marine battery, bring it to your nearest store and have it tested for free. If you want to learn more about boat batteries, you'll find plenty of useful information in our Marine Battery Buying Guide. For boat battery suggestions, read our blog article entitled "Which Brand of Battery is Best for Your Boat?"

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