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How to choose a Safe & Reliable Boat Battery Charger

Maintaining your boat battery with a marine battery charger is something no one wants to think about. You never want to be "that guy" - you know the one we're talking about. The guy that's sitting in the lake tied to the dock with the engine cover off, kids crying and dog barking. The guy that is dead in the water because his battery is dead. He is the destroyer of fun, halting the natural ebb and flow of good times and enjoyment that everyone expects to they have when visit the lake. Proper maintenance of your boat battery will ensure that you never become that guy. But first you have to make sure you select the proper charger.

Selecting the Right Marine Battery Charger for your Boat

When choosing a marine battery charger, you want to make sure you find the right one. Properly maintaining your electronic boat battery is essential to prevent you from the situation listed above. There are many types of marine battery chargers, minders, maintainers, and inverters out there, so it's crucial you get the one that's right for your needs. There are a few factors to consider:

  • Input voltage - You need to make sure the charger you get will match up with the voltage of the battery. Most marine batteries are 6 volt or 12 volt.
  • Battery type - For the most part, one charger will work for all batteries except for Gel Cell. Most boat batteries are wet cell/flooded, AGM (absorbed glass mat), Gel Cell, or VRLA (valve regulated lead acid).
  • Amp/hour capacity - Amp hours refers to how much can be stored in the battery. It's crucial to get a charger that matches your battery so as not to deliver too much current.

Types of Battery Chargers for Boats

Once you've found out what kind of charger you need, there are several different types out there to suit your needs:

  • Trickle Charger - A trickle charger works by charging a battery while it is self-discharging. This will maintain the full capacity of the battery. The charging rates are rather low, which means that they typically take longer to charge batteries than other types of chargers.
  • Bulk charger - A charger in the 5 or more amp range that will recharge a depleted battery. A high quality unit will take care to quickly recharge the battery while at the same time avoid overcharging it with a multistage charge. All of the chargers we stock are smart, multi stage units that have this feature designed into the charge algorithm. These are available in multi bank, on-board and waterproof variations.
  • Solar Charger - A solar charger works by using the sun's rays and converting them to energy to maintain and extend the life of your boat battery. The solar power battery charger converts the sun's rays into low voltage DC electricity, which provides power that can either be stored or used.

Battery Tender offers the latest and best boat chargers, minders, inverters, maintainers, and batteries on the planet. From single bank, on the shelf chargers, to multi bank units that can be permanently mounted on your boat, we've got you covered. We not only offer the widest selection on the internet, but we actually test every item we stock. Because we know what we sell, you can be assured that you will buy what you need and that it will work as advertised. Have questions about marine battery chargers? We would be happy to help; feel free to contact us with any questions. Happy boating!

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  • Doug I am Looking for a solar charger that will
    Keep My battery charged when I’m sitting on the lake with the radio on? What type of solar panel would
    Be best?

    Reply  •  April 21, 2016 at 5:50 pm
    • BatteryStuff Tech If the radio has a very small draw it might be possible, but in order to tell you need to do the math behind the problem. Our article Solar Systems the Right Way can help you figure out if a solar option is feasible on your boat.

      Reply  •  April 22, 2016 at 7:22 am
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