The sun is out, and you’re ready for a trip on the water, but when you start your boat, you discover the battery is dead. A reliable battery charger is crucial to maintaining your marine batteries. If you’re in the market for a new marine battery charger, you may feel overwhelmed with all the options. Before deciding on one, it’s important to understand a few basics. Today we’ll go over the basics of battery chargers to help you find the right one for your needs.
What Voltage Do You Need?
The battery charger’s voltage must match the battery’s output voltage. If your boat has a 12v battery, you need a 12v charger. The same applies to two 12v batteries in a parallel setup—the voltage does not double in this setup, so you’ll still need a 12v battery charger.
However, if you have two 12v batteries in a series setup, then the output voltage is now doubled to 24v, and you must have a 24v charger. Remember, there are no shortcuts when recharging your marine battery. If you use a 24v charger on a 12v battery, you will destroy it and could potentially cause a fire.
Ensure Your Charger is Compatible with the Battery
Marine batteries come in four different chemistries: flooded, AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat), gel, and lithium. So, be sure that the charger you select has a setting that matches the chemistry of your battery. Using the wrong charger can damage your battery and other marine electronics. If your starting and deep cycle batteries have different chemistries, you will need a separate charger for each battery or find a charger with a charging setting for both chemistry types.
What Size Charger is Best?
The proper size charger is important to ensure it supplies the boat with sufficient power but uses energy effectively. Knowing how much AC power your vessel gets helps determine if it has enough power to operate the charger. How often you use your boat is also important. A boat out on the water daily needs a larger charger than one docked for most of the week. Finally, consider any other items on the vessel that consume battery power, such as lights and refrigerators. If you’re going to be offshore for long periods, it’s important to get a battery charger that can recharge your battery in a sufficient amount of time.
Marine Electric Systems, LLC is a Leader In the Maritime Industry
We here at Marine Electric Systems have over 30 years of industry experience. You can trust our team for reliable service and expert craftsmanship in the Maryland, Baltimore, Annapolis, and Baltimore city areas! We’re highly certified and adhere to all ABYC and NMEA regulations. We specialize in top-notch electrical solutions for recreational, commercial, and government boating clients. Anything from electrical refits, to navigation systems, or boating maintenance. To stay up to date on our services, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also contact us at 410-263-0807