How do I make my boat battery last longer?

Here’s some great tips for you…

Easiest and cheapest ways to extend battery life

1. Monitor the battery state

Good battery management is vital to their longevity.  Discharging batteries below 50% will dramatically shorten its life.  Its paramount that you don’t drain the battery on a regular basis as this will destroy it after a few months.

2. Calculate your daily power use

This is one of the most important elements in ensuring battery life – if your batteries are too small then you will simply be taking out too much charge each day. Daily power use can be estimated by multiplying the current in Amps of each electrical device on board by the length of time for which you typically expect to use it in each 24-hour period. Ideally the service batteries should be sized so that their amp hour (Ah) rating is three times larger than the boat’s daily electrical consumption.

3. Use LED bulbs

Changing to low energy LED bulbs can significantly reduce consumption.  The latest types of LED bulbs have the potential to save significant amount of battery drain using only 10 – 20 per cent of the power needed by traditional incandescent bulbs.

4. Solar Panel

Investing in a solar panel for your powerboat or sailboat is a cost efficient as the panel is harnessing power from the sun instead of being generated from your vessel.  This keeps your boat running at a greater performance and your battery topped up.

5. Fit a mains power charger

If you frequent marinas, plugging into their shore power supply is an easy way to reduce the drain on your batteries.  In addition, a quality three or four-stage charger will ensure batteries are 100 per cent charged when you leave the following morning.  Equally, for boats with access to shore power on their moorings a charger of a type that can be left permanently connected will ensure that the batteries are constantly pampered. 

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