Charging Battery


New Member
Reaction score
I'm about to take possession of my first boat. I'm getting a 20 SLV (which is part of the Join the Family boats). I've been reading about 2nd batteries and charging batteries. I've got a few basic questions:

1) Do you charge the battery every time you go out? Or during the heavy use season, does taking it out periodically usually suffice? Basically during the summer, we're going to be taking the boat out every other weekend probably. Any chargers people recommend?
2) I see people recommending both a 2nd battery and carrying a portable jumper with them. I know having the 2nd battery is for peace of mind mostly, but if you've got a jumper shouldn't that be adequate for peace of mind? Or, do these jumpers sometimes not good enough to jump a boat?
3) For off season charging, I've heard some people recommend trickle chargers but other recommend smart chargers. Any brands or products people recommend?

Love this forum group and glad to be part of the "family!"


Reaction score
Denver, NC on beautiful Lake Norman
The only time I've removed our battery was to replace it after 7 years. I see you're in the south so I wouldn't worry about it. The battery will charge when you run the boat like a car does. If you listen to music for an extended period of time while the engine is off, then I would invest in a second battery and a combiner. One battery to start the engine and one for accessories.


Well-Known Member
Reaction score
Jordan Lake, NC
I have dual batteries... I use the boat almost weekly during the summer so don't worry about charging. Over the winter when I'm not going to use it for couple months I have two solar chargers I leave on. Going on 5years no problem so far...
I bought 2 of something like this: (not this one but something similar)

Just make sure they're waterproof, have overcharge limits built in etc... I just leave them on the rear deck.
Last edited:

Titletown Mike

Active Member
Reaction score
If you are using your boat on a 'regular' basis (even once a month), I wouldn't worry about needing to charge your battery. Just make sure you cut the power with the battery switch when you are done boating for the day/weekend.
As for portable battery chargers, they typically work very well for 'boosting' a battery that has been semi-drained. If you have a dead battery, the portable chargers do not work.
I can't speak about trickle chargers. Where I have my boat winterized and stored, they pull the battery and store it inside on a shelf during the cold winter months. They have it fully charged and reinstalled for me when I pick up my boat in the spring.


Well-Known Member
Reaction score
Ditto the above advice. In season you want have any issues. Turn off battery switch between uses, and it will be great all season. IF you will sit with the motor off listening to music, then the second battery is advisable. IF you wont do that, you honestly shouldn’t need to worry about a second battery. Off season I cannot comment (we have a set up like Mike stated in his post above). However, the other comments above seem to indicate you’ll likely be just fine down south in the off season too. I wouldn’t worry about removing battery, but maybe a trickle charger if sitting for 2 or more months in the off season...?


Well-Known Member
Reaction score
Okemos, MI
My previous boat's battery lasted seven years, which I attribute (right or wrong) to a Ctek smart charger. That said, half way through this past winter the charger seemed to quit working so I'm in the market for another one.

As for two batteries, peace of mind is always worth something, but in ten years with my previous single battery boat, I never had a problem starting it after listening to the stereo for hours. Mind you, it was just a basic four speaker system with a small amp.

Welcome to the family!