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Author Topic:   Battery Charger Choices
robbdrell posted 03-24-2006 02:27 PM ET (US)   Profile for robbdrell   Send Email to robbdrell  
[This article has been moved to the SMALL BOAT ELECTRICAL discussion area.]

I have two batteries on my Dauntless. I purchased the batteries a year ago. They have worked great. I want to put a charger on the batteries just to be sure [they continue to work great]. There are so many battery chargers to choose. Any advice?



jimmy c posted 03-24-2006 03:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimmy c  Send Email to jimmy c     
I use an on-board charger hooked to the two batteries. All you have to do is plug the charger in. It stays with the boat. You just leave it plugged in all the time and it maintains the batteries at the proper level. The charger is totally waterproof.
Small portable chargers are a pain. You should never ever leave [a small portable charger] plugged in all the time as they are prone to overheating.
Florida15 posted 03-24-2006 05:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Florida15  Send Email to Florida15     
If you are only going to have one charger and won't be charging your boat batteries that much, I would get a portable. That way you can use it for other applications than just your boat. Get one that charges at 2-amps as well as 10-amps. That way you can trickle charge and use it on smaller batteries. Some chargers have several settings.

I was looking at one today at Sam's that had settings of 2, 10, 20, 30, 50, and 100. It was pretty big and on wheels which would probably be overkill for you. I believe it was priced at $69.95.
Sears puts their Craftsman carry-around portables on sale pretty often. I've been using a Schumaker for the past 20 years. You should be able to get a pretty good one for $30 or so.

I wouldn't buy one at a boating store as it will be more expensive with no added benefit.

Chuck Tribolet posted 03-24-2006 06:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Two batteries. I'd get two smart trickle chargers that
charge at about an amp or two max, hardwire them one to each
battery, wire their 110V side to one socket, and just plug
it in when the boat's not in use. They will keep the batteries
topped up when don't use the boat for a couple of months, for
whatever reason (mine's been sitting for five weeks, which
ties the record -- Neptune's thrown a temper tantrum every
weekend save one, and I had a cold then.).


pglein posted 03-24-2006 06:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     
About ten years ago, we upgraded the built in charger in our 36' sailboat to a Heart inverter/charger unit. A couple years after that, a failed bilge pump caused major flooding and one of the casualties was the new Heart interface unit. We immediately replaced it and I tossed the destroyed Heart unit in the dumpster. About two years ago, my father came across the original built in battery charger and thought it was the water damaged Heart unit. In an effort to clean out the garage, he tossed it in the garbage. Replacement value: $830
jimh posted 03-25-2006 02:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I use a small Schumaker brand battery charger that has two settings for charging, 2-A or 10-A. If I think the batteries need a boost charge I just connect the charger to them while the boat is on the trailer in the driveway.

Your outboard motor will charge your batteries for you. Depending on the use of your boat, you may not need any additional charging.

Tell us more about the electrical loads on your boat.

One of the nice things about a small boat like a Whaler is to keep things as simple as possible. Of course, you can install an on-board charger on a small boat, but generally that is over kill.

If you have elaborate electrical loads such as trolling motors, down riggers, circulating pumps, and so on, and your motor has limited charging capacity, then you may need to invest in a dedicated charger on-board.

minitauk85 posted 03-25-2006 07:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for minitauk85  Send Email to minitauk85     
robb- I recently went through the same thing in looking for the right charger for my trolling motor battery. I bought one for about $30 from Walmart, don't remember the brand but it has charge settings of 2,4,and 6 amps- works fine for my deep cycle, the motor charges my starting battery. They offer a whole bunch of options from $12 to $100+ most do the same thing (charge batteries) only some do it faster. I prefer to do it cheaper! I saw the same charger at BassPro for $60- it was Identical except for the brand name. -k

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