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Four Tips for Extending the Lifespan of a Boat Battery

Boat in Blue Ocean
Boat batteries, also referred to as marine batteries, are not cheap. As such, after purchasing one, ensuring that your battery lasts as long as possible is key to a good investment. But many factors can cause the battery to lose the ability to hold a full charge and have a diminished lifespan. Here are a few tips that can help you to extend the lifespan of your boat battery.  
1. Purchase the Right Battery
When ensuring that your boat battery has a full life, the first thing you want to do is ensure you purchase the right battery for your boat and for your needs. Different types of boat batteries include:
  • Absorbed glass mat batteries
  • Cranking batteries
  • Deep cell batteries
  • Flooded cell batteries
  • Gel batteries
  • Lithium-ion batteries
Each type of boat battery has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Flooded cell batteries are ideal for new boat owners who may just be learning charge and discharge cycles, as you can't damage the battery by overcharging. Boat owners often use lithium-ion batteries on boats that need to go fast. Absorbed glass mat batteries are expensive, but require no maintenance.
Take the time to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of various boat batteries. Then compare those pros and cons against your needs and wants in a battery to find the best battery for your situation.
2. Keep the Battery Clean
A dirty battery can have a shorter lifespan than a clean battery. The primary reason for this is that dirt and residue can cause the terminals to rust, which can shorten the battery's lifespan. Residue can also impact how the battery receives a charge.
When you clean a battery, wipe down the case with a dampened cloth to remove dirt and dust. Dry the case when you are done with a clean cloth. Then, take the time to thoroughly clean the terminals. Grab a strip of emery cloth and lightly rub down the terminals to remove any rust, corrosion, and buildup.
After, grab a clean cloth and add a dab of your preferred light, waterproof grease. Rub the cloth into the terminals to coat them, preventing future buildup and rust. 
3. Store the Battery When Not in Use
When your boat is not in use, remove the battery and store it. However, you need to understand that the steps you take to store the battery can have a dramatic effect on the lifespan of the battery. 
Before storing a battery, always take the time to inspect the battery. If you notice any large dents or cracks, the battery should be recycled, rather than stored. If you notice no damage, clean the battery before storing it. 
Once the battery is clean, store the battery on a flat surface in a cool, dry area. Never store it in a damp area, as the moisture can cause the battery to corrode. Never store it in a freezing area, as freezing temperatures can damage the battery. When possible, store the battery on wood, rather than concrete or cement. 
4. Properly Charge the Battery
The last tip for extending the lifespan of your boat battery is to keep the battery properly charged at all times. Most experts agree that you don't want your battery to discharge more than 60 to 80 percent of its capacity without recharging the battery. 
Always select a battery recharging device designed for the type of battery you have and the correct amps for the size of your battery. A great battery shop can help you select not only the right battery but also the right battery recharging device for the battery.
Do you need to purchase a new battery for your boat? Then visit Modesto Battery today. We can help you find the right battery for your needs and teach you how to care for the battery to help ensure it lasts as long as you need it to.