Trolling batteries are important to keep functioning well. If they fail, you’ll have trouble out on the water which would be a real problem. Practicing good management of your battery enables a quality battery to last longer and perform well.
Here are some quick tips to help your trolling battery do better:
- Battery charger
Choosing the right battery charger is important to avoid overcharging the best trolling motor battery and damaging its long-term viability. Sometimes buying a charger with the same brand as the battery maker is one way to solve this; other times, buying a recommended battery charger is best.
- Immediate Recharging
When taking a boat out on the water, it’s a good idea to charge the marine or deep cycle battery up once back on shore. This way, the battery is topped up and doesn’t sit with little juice in it which could prevent it from performing well in the future.
- Trickle Charging
Using a trickle charger and hooking it up this way when not in regular use is a preventative measure to stop a battery from becoming less effective. This type of charger is designed to deliver a small amount of recharging gradually over a period. It is useful when going away or not using the boat during colder months too.
- Terminal Protection
Avoid the terminals getting corroded. This can happen when they get water on them and are not dried off. Clean them using baking soda after use and keep them dry. This prevents them from stopping working.
- Avoid Too Much Discharge
Draining a battery down to almost 0% charge is problematic because it will limit the number of discharge and recharging cycles that a given battery is capable of. It is better not to discharge below the 20 percent level if possible.
- Water Level for the Battery
Almost every battery requires adding some more water to top it off. A battery not having enough water inside will cause problems for it on all batteries that aren’t sealed. Check whether your battery types requires topping off water levels or not. Don’t overfill though, as when charging, the water can rise and overflow from the battery.
- Do Not Charge Too Much Either
Attempting to charge beyond 100% can cause battery damage. Some chargers have a prevention mode to avoid this, but not all chargers work that way. Overcharging makes acid-based batteries come to a boiling point. This can be dangerous because some batteries might breakdown suddenly or crack on the exterior. Care must be taken when charging acid-based batteries.
- Mixing and Matching
Mixing a battery that has run through quite a few discharge-recharge cycles and pairing it with a new battery is not the best idea. It’s better to have two new batteries working together. Otherwise, with paired batteries, the older one will slow down the newer one and lessen the newer battery’s lifetime performance.
Care must be taken to manage a battery properly to get the best use out of it. It is not any one thing that can cause damage – having solid battery knowledge prevents future problems.