If you are brand new to boating, you may wonder what that big red switch is and why your boat needs it. This switch is called a marine battery switch, typically connecting to the center of your electrical system. Any boat with multiple batteries will usually be set up with two battery banks – one used to start the engine and another (known as the house bank) to run any devices onboard that require power. When sitting at anchor, it’s a good idea to keep the battery banks separate so you can start your engine if you accidentally drain the house bank. Installing a battery switch gives you control over which battery bank is being used or charged.
What is a Marine Battery Switch?
Marine switches transfer batteries without reconnecting your wires each time a battery drains. This is useful in keeping the battery fully charged while on the water, especially if you have many battery-powered items on your boat. These items can include a radio, lights, navigators, and trolling motors. All boat owners could benefit from using a battery switch, even if only some boats require them.
Why You Need a Marine Battery Switch
Having a marine battery switch on your boat allows you to control your electricity usage, especially regarding battery storage. For example, if you plan on leaving your boat for a long time, you should switch your battery switch to “Off.” Even small electricity drains can slowly deplete your batteries. After several months of sitting, you may return to find your batteries completely dead. Marine battery switches are also essential for shutting down power to perform any boat electrical upgrades or repairs. The risk of electrical shock is significantly reduced when you know power isn’t flowing through wires or cables.
Additionally, using your battery switch to draw power from a specific battery bank helps preserve the other battery bank. For instance, if you only draw power from your house batteries, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you have plenty of energy left in your starting battery.
Unfortunately, not all boats come with a marine battery switch, leaving boating enthusiasts to research and install their own. Luckily, marine battery switches have grown in popularity in recent years, and there’s more than enough information on their benefits, uses, and where you should install yours. If you need some guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Marine Electric Systems. We have the experience and knowledge to address any boating issues.
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