Easiest way to monitor battery activity

jgelvin

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So, I am fully out on the water now having a great time! But, I just received my boat slip number. No power to the slips yet. No side walk to the boat docks. Nothing yet. Thanks COVID! The Electric company is backed up for 2 months. So, the Dock builders are at a standstill. I have my battery in its usual Bennington place down inside its protective storage compartment behind the back seat and well in front of the engine.

Now I am concerned about "When and how often should I pull the boat out of the water to recharge my marine battery?" I have no voltmeter on my boat. Can I assume that the easiest way is to get a hand held meter? Or, is there a "cheap" way to charge the battery without a cord?

Simple questions. Just hoping for simple answers.
 

2fast4u

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Your battery should NOT need recharging , Any time you are running the motor the Alternator should be keeping the battery charged up. If you let the boat sit for several months i can understand you might need to charge the battery. How if you want to be sure you can buy a solar battery maintenance charger.
 

Unishot

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If you have a amplifier on your stereo, and hang out with it cranked up, yes, you can definitely run the battery down. A solar charger would be a good idea, and keep a hand-held voltmeter on board to check the battery periodically while using the stereo with the engine off.
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Pick up a solar panel and charger.
 

SEMPERFI8387

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SEMPERFI8387

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If you have a amplifier on your stereo, and hang out with it cranked up, yes, you can definitely run the battery down. A solar charger would be a good idea, and keep a hand-held voltmeter on board to check the battery periodically while using the stereo with the engine off.
If they have a fish finder, you can get voltage from that or also a 12v socket plug with voltage readout.

 

jhill

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I like to keep an eye on battery voltage on the built in Garman on starboard side of helm. With engine running, it is around 14.6 vdc telling me alternator system is working properly. I added a Faria depth gauge on port side in dash above Kicker stereo head unit wired to accessory switch along with Kicker. If we are listening to music for a while with engine off, I glance down and see 13 vdc and it will slowly drop a tenth of a volt at a time if you keep drawing power. The Faria has a shutoff switch on gauge. I feel much safer having 2 sources of depth reading in rocky areas. Like SemperFI8387 noted, the voltage can be monitored on an inexpensive plug in voltmeter for 12v socket if you don't have a depth finder. I have 2 batteries from factory so I alternate to a different one each time I go out.
 

BigKahuna

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If you use your boat regularly...... Once twice maybe 3 times a week it charges up everytime you use it. You will never have to pull your battery out to charge it. That being said our boat came with a built in onboard charger. But we don't have shore power at our dock so I haven't used it yet......
 
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