Are your boat batteries running down?

Today’s fishing has become a game of computers. We are spending thousands of dollars on electronics in order to be the best we can be on the water. The trouble is all this money being spent is adding up to other problems occurring with your boat as the amp draw on today’s electronics runs your batteries down and causes you headaches during your fishing day.  
The problems are many; sometimes you’re seeing your electronics flickering and shutting themselves off when you go to start you boat, sometimes your batteries aren’t strong enough to start the boat without a jump start, and many times other things like live wells or running lights aren’t working, all because you’re drawing so much current to run your electronics that it shuts your system down. The key is how you solve this issue.
Well, here are a few ideas that I have as I, for one, have been struggling with this very problem running three units on my boat. First, you must realize that there is not a traditional battery made at a reasonable price that will run your electronics all day long. The only battery made for this is a highly expensive Lithium battery at about three grand each. That doesn’t work for me and probably not for most of us. So, what to do? Here’s what I have done; I have added a second AGM 31 amp starting battery to my boat and hooked it up positive to positive to the original starting battery. This hook up along with the grounds being connected allows your boat alternator to charge your starting battery and hence your 5th battery when you’re moving or running the big motor. With today’s alternators, especially in the new Mercury 4 stroke Pro XS, they are putting out 80 plus amps to quickly recharge your system and add life to your battery. With just some normal movement every couple of hours you can recharge your system this way, add life to your dedicated battery for your electronics and have a day on the water without interruption.  
Some of the older-model boats don’t have thick enough internal wiring, and the older motors charging systems are not putting out the recharging amps of the newer ones adding some other issues to deal with. I don’t have the answer in this article for the older models, but these are the issues and most good boat mechanics understand the problems and can help you with your older-model systems.
Captain Mike

Dunham's Sports

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