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Carolina Skiff'n

Full Voltage

by Tom Ski | Jul 09, 2019

Full Voltage

By Capt. Gus Cane

 

Outboards, trolling motors, GPS, sonar units and stereos. They all need a steady supply of power to operate properly. So to avoid any glitches in your game, make sure the boat’s 12-volt battery system is fully charged and operating properly. Here’s how:

 

Start by ensuing the battery cables are securely fastened. If the cables are connected to the battery lugs with wing nuts, throw those away and fasten securely with stainless steel nuts and lock washers instead. Loose connections can spark and cause dangerous problems. A battery selector switch with an OFF function is essential to totally shut off the power source and isolate any stray voltage drains.

 

Check the fluid levels on lead acid batteries. If they are sealed, you’re good to go until they reach the end of their service life. If they are ported, however, keeping the fluids topped off is critical. Use distilled water to fill each cavity to the indicated level. Don’t overfill. Check on a routine basis to prolong the battery life.

 

AGM or gel batteries are virtually maintenance-free as well. When charging, make sure to use a charger with a gel selector to avoid “cooking” the battery. Charger leads should be securely fastened to the battery lugs or posts to transfer a full charge. Automatic shut-off functions will prevent over-charging and damaging your power supply. Be sure to isolate the trolling motor batteries with circuit breakers and always pop or open the circuit before charging those to protect the sensitive control board.

 

When you do have to replace a battery, always stay with the same family or type. In other words, don’t mix lead acid with AGM. Keep them all the same type and replacements should be rated with equal cranking power. Go too low and the voltage drop could cause serious damage to the outboard or components. 

Learn more at:  Carolina Skiff.com