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snowrider

Portable battery charger

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snowrider

With no access to power at our boat storage location what would be recommended to re-charge/keep charged our boat battery without having to take battery out of boat. Have looked at the portable battery chargers and looking for feedback. Also, can it be attached to battery while it sits in battery tray and left overnight before using boat either for start of season or before use if it's been several weeks. We only have the one stock battery and haven't really paid any attention to battery maintenance in the past. Thanks.

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Bobby Light

With no access to power at our boat storage location what would be recommended to re-charge/keep charged our boat battery without having to take battery out of boat. Have looked at the portable battery chargers and looking for feedback. Also, can it be attached to battery while it sits in battery tray and left overnight before using boat either for start of season or before use if it's been several weeks. We only have the one stock battery and haven't really paid any attention to battery maintenance in the past. Thanks.

How do you re-charge without power? Unless you plan on installing some solor solution?

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snowrider

That's my question. I have no experience with this so interested in hearing if a solar option would work or something else.

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Bobby Light

That's my question. I have no experience with this so interested in hearing if a solar option would work or something else.

Solar does work I know people that have done it. If your boat is under cover it makes it tough to do solar unless the storage facility will let you mount the panel outside to their facility. Something like this will probably be your cheapest option but will need to be mounted to the boat or very close to the boat. This is also more of a maintainer and not so much a charger.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200422045_200422045

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snowrider

Thanks for quick reply! Boat is stored outside during summer. So would this model http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200305091_200305091 provide a better charge. I assume I could just put the solar panel on the swim deck and run cable under boat cover to battery location and connect directly to battery. Is there any need to plug in to cigarette lighter?

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Pistol Pete

We recently had a discussion on solar panels used for charging batteries. I think it was for electric boat lifts. I can't find the thread right now but, I remember people saying something about putting a regulator in line with the solar charger to keep the battery from getting "too much" of a charge.

Also, I have a panel similar to the one linked to keep my truck's battery up and after about 2 months of storage, it can't keep the battery up. You might wanna look at a slightly bigger panel.

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Bobby Light

Thanks for quick reply! Boat is stored outside during summer. So would this model http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200305091_200305091 provide a better charge. I assume I could just put the solar panel on the swim deck and run cable under boat cover to battery location and connect directly to battery. Is there any need to plug in to cigarette lighter?

That's a pretty big panel and I'd bet it would work pretty good for what you want.

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Slammer

Volkswagon ships a lot of their cars with a solar panel that plugs into the cigerette lighter. Last I was at the dealer I saw one one the service, asked and he gave it to me. Might work for what you're thinking.

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snowrider

Thanks for the feedback. From looking at the specs I found http://www.batterymart.com/p-batteryminder-12v-5w-solar-battery-charger.html?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=Base&utm_campaign=ComparisonShopping the 5w system has a charge output of .33 amps and the 15w system is 1amp. With only trying to charge and maintain my stock battery would the smaller system work?

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Bobby Light

Thanks for the feedback. From looking at the specs I found http://www.batterymart.com/p-batteryminder-12v-5w-solar-battery-charger.html?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=Base&utm_campaign=ComparisonShopping the 5w system has a charge output of .33 amps and the 15w system is 1amp. With only trying to charge and maintain my stock battery would the smaller system work?

My smart charger maintains at 1.5-2 amps when it's float charging. I wouldn't do anything less than 1 amp.

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Tao of Wake

My STRONG recommendation is not to skimp on this. If you get a cheap charger, you run the risk of damaging the battery, or worse, start a fire. Get a charger that has over/under charge protection and an in-line fuse. I had a cheap Shumacher charger on my ATV battery (while in the ATV) and it started a fire. It destroyed the ATV and much of the contents of my storage garage. Luckily, the boat and jet skis were not in the garage at the time. I lost life jackets, tubes, toys, tools, my boat trailer, the ATV, etc.

Here is a solar charger that I have that works very well.

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snowrider

My STRONG recommendation is not to skimp on this. If you get a cheap charger, you run the risk of damaging the battery, or worse, start a fire. Get a charger that has over/under charge protection and an in-line fuse. I had a cheap Shumacher charger on my ATV battery (while in the ATV) and it started a fire. It destroyed the ATV and much of the contents of my storage garage. Luckily, the boat and jet skis were not in the garage at the time. I lost life jackets, tubes, toys, tools, my boat trailer, the ATV, etc.

Here is a solar charger that I have that works very well.

For sure want to buy a quality system. Are you using yours with your boat battery or other uses? The one you linked to is one I looked at along with the bigger version (15w v 5w). From looking at the specs I found here http://www.batteryma...parisonShopping the 5w system has a charge output of .333 amps and the 15w system has 1 amp output.

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Tao of Wake

For sure want to buy a quality system. Are you using yours with your boat battery or other uses? The one you linked to is one I looked at along with the bigger version (15w v 5w). From looking at the specs I found here http://www.batteryma...parisonShopping the 5w system has a charge output of .333 amps and the 15w system has 1 amp output.

Other uses, and I have the 15w. I never charge the batteries in my boat. The only time I charge them is in the off-season, and I remove them and use a Battery Tender. After A LOT of research, I will never charge a battery with anything other than a Battery Tender or VDC Battery Minder. They have the best overheat/overcharge/undercharge protection.

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winddawg

Thanks for the feedback. From looking at the specs I found http://www.batteryma...parisonShopping the 5w system has a charge output of .33 amps and the 15w system is 1amp. With only trying to charge and maintain my stock battery would the smaller system work?

You really need to go with the larger output model. Remember that is max rated output when the sun is perpendicular to the panel and no clouds.

-Dave

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snowrider

You really need to go with the larger output model. Remember that is max rated output when the sun is perpendicular to the panel and no clouds.

-Dave

Larger than the 15w (1 amp) model?

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winddawg

Larger than the 15w (1 amp) model?

If you go by what West Marine advises for sizing solar panels for maintaining batteries the math is simple. Multiply the output in milliamps of your panel by 100 and that number should match the capacity of your battery in amp hours. If you look on page 372 if the 2010 west marine catalog, there is a very informative write up on solar panels for charging batteries. Controllers are optional, but I believe necessary particularly with AGM batteries.

-Dave

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LS-One

I have no clue how a 15 watt solar panel can deliver 1 amp. Simple Ohm's law Amps =Watts/volts.

15 watts / 24 volts (output of most solar panels)= .625 amps. That is in full sun only several hours per day.

I had six 200 watt panels on my houseboat and in full sun I got 7 amps out of each. Much less in the morning and afternoon.

They must hire the same people to rate the panels as do stereo amps.

Edited by LS-One

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JeffS

West Marine's information is written most specifically for sailboats that run banks of batteries for inverters, rather than powering a generator. So the duty cycle is relatively short. How low are your batteries when you put it away? How big is your battery in AmpHours - and are you at 50%; or lower? And finally - how long before you want the battery to be at 100% again?

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snowrider

West Marine's information is written most specifically for sailboats that run banks of batteries for inverters, rather than powering a generator. So the duty cycle is relatively short. How low are your batteries when you put it away? How big is your battery in AmpHours - and are you at 50%; or lower? And finally - how long before you want the battery to be at 100% again?

Those all seem like good questions and wish I had some knowledgeable answers. I have whatever stock battery Malibu or the dealer installed in my 07. It (boat w/battery) has sat in indoor winter storage for the past 3 winters and each spring I just start it up and go and the battery has worked. Haven't thought about it much and am probably over thinking it now from too much spare time reading posts on here! Anyway, I thought it would probably be good to try and charge the battery during times when the boat isn't in use during summer. No power at our storage location so these solar charges seemed like a decent idea, but I can probably buy two new batteries for the same amount and get thru the next 6yrs the way I have the first 3.

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Bobby Light

Other uses, and I have the 15w. I never charge the batteries in my boat. The only time I charge them is in the off-season, and I remove them and use a Battery Tender. After A LOT of research, I will never charge a battery with anything other than a Battery Tender or VDC Battery Minder. They have the best overheat/overcharge/undercharge protection.

Other than a 3 stage smart charger.

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snowrider

Took the boat out for first time this year! Great weather and wakeboarding. Battery reading showed 12.6 at start up and by midway thru day showed 14.6

I assume the initial reading was from sitting all winter and had drained down then recharged some during use of day. Forgive my total ignorance but Is the 14.6 a good battery reading. From memory it hasn't been anyting more in 3yrs we have owned boat so I assume so but thanks for any feedback.

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