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Old 09-20-2009, 08:55 AM   #1
Hector
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on board battery charger

I need a little help in choosing the right battery charger for my boat. I have a center console open fishrman with a i/o. I have 1 starting/cranking battery and 1 deep cycle battery. I dont run many electronics besides bildge pump, depth finder....the basics. I run the boat usually every week and dont need any high am charger because there is plenty of time between charges. Please let me know what your thoughts are? My research tells me that I need a 2 bank (battery) charger. Please advise of any specifics
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:00 AM   #2
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Re: on board battery charger

Something small and waterproof from west marine. Guest makes some cool units.

10 amps per bank should be more than enough.

Also, make sure it can be set to carge gel and agm batts (lower output, 13.1max) so that next time you get batts, you canget agm.
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:36 AM   #3
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Re: on board battery charger

I think Bulit has it right - 10A is fine. Leave it plugged it 24/7; it's one of the best things you can do to maintain the batteries.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:02 AM   #4
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Re: on board battery charger

I have I/O with two batteries inline, and I leave the boat in the water with no shore power (sometimes for a week without starting). They run bilge pumps and pump out rain/seas that get in the boat, as needed. Never had a problem starting a diesel motor with them. Your best bet is the Battery Tender Jr from Walmart, its cheap and since you trailer you can keep it hooked up at all times. It trickles and won't overcharge. Make sure batteries are on the same switch position, and charger on one battery will feed both.
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:36 PM   #5
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Re: on board battery charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by bulit7 View Post
something small and waterproof from west marine. Guest makes some cool units.

10 amps per bank should be more than enough.

Also, make sure it can be set to carge gel and agm batts (lower output, 13.1max) so that next time you get batts, you canget agm.
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:11 PM   #6
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Re: on board battery charger

24/7 charging is a good way to ruin a battery. JM2c

I can see why you want a charger for your deep cycle battery. As stated earlier, match your charger to the chemistry of the battery.

As for your starting battery, why is it loosing it's charge? It should get plenty of charge when the engine is running. If your boat can not sit for a week without a trickle charger, you have an electical problem. There are times in the winter, when the wind starts blowing, that my boat sits for a month. It still starts fine after sitting that long.

P.S. The previous owner of my boat, had a 2 bank charger hooked up to shore power. The boat was wet docked, so he may have done this to compensate for the bilge pumps running. This charger may have been defective. I found that it would drain the batteries over time, if not plugged into shore power. I removed the charger.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:43 PM   #7
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Re: on board battery charger

running the boat every week or so i've never needed to charge them, but when it sits for a month it gets slightly low...

Has anybody ever used a solar panel hooked to a trickle charger to keep the batteries topped off?? I have a couple solar panels in my garage, i'm not sure but I think one of them would run a vhf possibly too....
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:19 PM   #8
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Re: on board battery charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by No Misses View Post
24/7 charging is a good way to ruin a battery. JM2c

I can see why you want a charger for your deep cycle battery. As stated earlier, match your charger to the chemistry of the battery.

As for your starting battery, why is it loosing it's charge? It should get plenty of charge when the engine is running. If your boat can not sit for a week without a trickle charger, you have an electical problem. There are times in the winter, when the wind starts blowing, that my boat sits for a month. It still starts fine after sitting that long.

P.S. The previous owner of my boat, had a 2 bank charger hooked up to shore power. The boat was wet docked, so he may have done this to compensate for the bilge pumps running. This charger may have been defective. I found that it would drain the batteries over time, if not plugged into shore power. I removed the charger.

Not necessarily true.

This is how it works:


A battery requires to be kept at 13 volts minimum. A 24/7 automatic charger(smart) is the best way to accomplish this task.

A lead acid battery can be kept charged to 14.4 volts max. This will cause the water to evaporate and battery needs to be refilled periodicly.

An automatic charger has three charge rates or modes: Absorption, Float and Bulk.
Absorption: It is the charge rate that jacks the battery back up from a less than fully charged state. It is 0-10 amps and pumps out up to 14.1-14.4 volts
Float: Maintenence charge, 13.1-13.8 volts
Bulk: When a load is put on the batts, the charger will supply that voltage a needed up to its capacity, in this case 10 amps, 13.5 volts. This is adequate to run some of the house systems like tv, stereo, bilge pumps, etc.

A sealed battery, AGM or Gel, cannot offgas fast enough due to its sealed nature and should be charged to a max of 13.1 -13.7 volts in order to keep it from over expanding due to heat, pressure and gas trapped inside.

I personally set ALL the chargers that I install to a Gel charge setting since it will prevent the lead acid batt from loosing fluid as quickly.

That is how it works, regardless of what any battey company or charger manufacturer tell you.

On boats that sit in the water, dead shipping your vessel is not an option since the bilge pumps mut be on stand by 24/7. This is to keep your vessel from sinking in case the batts get run down.

Best batteries are Odissey and second best are Deka Dominator, both AGMs.

Odissey retail for $440
Deka retail for $300

A trickle charger would be ok to maintain the batts long term at a low cost but you would need a 4 amp charge and would need to set your Battery switch to BOTH. This way they would both charge together. That would be the most cost effective way to keep them topped off. Not the most convenient way though.

The most convenient way would be to hardwire a waterproof marine charger to your banks. Mount it high inside your console and wire your AC side to a male marine receptacle with a waterproof cover. Park your boat, shut OFF your batt switch and plug in your AC power cord. Simple and easy and it will charge the batts with 0-10 amps EACH as needed to maintain a charge.

Hectors problem is that the boat sits for long periods of time and the batts drain down. Also, w/ lead acids, it is vital to keep the fluid 1/4" to 1/2" bellow the bottom of the neck.

Quality batts are another key factor as to how long a batt will hold a charge. It pays to spend a little more on a sealed batt and know that it has 1100cca, no water to add, no acid to vent and corrode your terminals and everything else around the batts.

Another thing to consider is every time you drain a battery down too far, you shorten its life. Period. A starting battery can tollerate only a few full discharges while a deep cycle is rated to tollerate many full discharges. Remember that every time you discarge a batt, you are shortening its life. he duration of a fully discharged state will affect that life as well. The LONGER it stays discherged means the shorter its life will be.

Hector, get a fokin guest charger. Want it at cost? Call me monday.
Ill call it in and u can pick it up.

Last edited by Bulit7; 09-20-2009 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:28 PM   #9
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Re: on board battery charger

Heres some shiit:

http://www.marinco.com/product/20-am...attery-charger

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Old 09-20-2009, 04:12 PM   #10
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Re: on board battery charger

Another Brand:

http://www.pmariner.com/productFeatu...oductNum=42021


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Old 09-20-2009, 10:37 PM   #11
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Re: on board battery charger

Good stuff Bulit. However, my understanding is that AGM batteries do NOT need a slow charge like gels. I thought fast recharge is one of their advantages.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:13 AM   #12
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Re: on board battery charger

A slow charge is better for them.
They are sealed and that gas inside them expands with nowhere to go.
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