How to Choose the Right Battery Charger for Your Marine Battery

June 16, 2021

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The batteries that power your boat are critical to ensuring a safe and fun trip out on the water. One of the last things any mariner wants to encounter is a dead battery while out on open water.

This is why it’s highly recommended that boat owners have an onboard charger to help ensure reliable and long-lasting battery power.

When it comes to choosing a marine battery recharger, there are a few things you’ll need to take into consideration in order to make a more informed buying decision.

Read on to learn more about how to select the right charger for your marine battery.

Where to Start?

To determine the exact kind of marine battery charger you’ll need, you will first have to determine the type of battery you have. There are three parameters:

  • Battery capacity—this figure should be listed on the battery as “Ah.”
  • Battery type—Do you have an AGM, flooded, or gel battery?
  • Input voltage—Generally speaking, marine battery input voltage is either 120 or 230 VAC.

Once you have this information, you’ll be able to select the correct marine battery charger.

What Voltage Do I Need?

The voltage of the charger must match the output voltage of the battery. If your boat has a 12v battery, you’ll require a 12v charger. The same applies to two 12v batteries in a parallel setup—the voltage does not double in this setup, and you’ll still need a 12v battery charger.

However, if you have two 12v batteries in a series setup, then the output voltage is now doubled to 24v, and you’ll need a 24v charger. It’s essential to keep in mind that there are no shortcuts when it comes to recharging your marine battery. If you were to use a 24v charger on a 12v battery, you’ll wind up destroying it and could potentially cause a fire.

What Amp Rating Do I Need for My Charger?

The amps depend entirely upon the size and type of your battery. A higher amp rating means that the recharging process will go much quicker. The below chart will provide you with an idea of how quickly your batteries will recharge:

  • 5 or 6 amps per bank = 10-12 hours of recharge time
  • Ten amps per bank = 4-6 hours of recharge time
  • 15 amps per bank = 3-5 hours of recharge time

To determine what amp charger you need, you’ll need to perform some basic math. Let’s say that you have a Group 24 battery that has an 85-amp hour rating. Multiply “85” by 10%, and you’ll get “8.5.” This means that to recharge this battery, you’ll need at least an 8.5-amp charger.

Outdoor Temperatures

The ambient outdoor temperatures of the environment you’ll be operating your boat in can affect the type of charger you should buy. Most boats are operated in temperature ranges of 50F to 90F.

If you plan on running your boat in much higher temperatures—such as a lake in the desert—you’ll need a lower charging voltage. Conversely, if you operate your boat in temperatures lower than 40F, you’ll have a much higher charging voltage.

What If I Have More than One Battery to Recharge?

Many boats utilize more than one battery to help power everything from the starter to various quality-of-life accessories. Most marine battery rechargers can charge anywhere from one to six batteries.

You will most likely encounter the word “bank” when researching marine battery chargers. A “bank” is a single connection from the battery to the charger. This means if you have a six-bank charger, then it can simultaneously charge six batteries at once.

Determining What Marine Battery Charger I Need Sounds Complicated—Is There an Easier Way?

There sure is! The Professional Pro Charging System is designed for use on both land, fresh, and saltwater. It offers unmatched performance, safety, quality, and reliability. There’s no need to mess with any settings or parameters—just plug it in and forget it!

It’s no wonder why over 50 manufacturers and professional fishermen on the FLW and B.A.S.S. tournament circuits have Professional Series chargers on their boats. It offers a wide range of features and benefits, such as:

  • Rugged, waterproof construction
  • Independent outputs
  • Multi-stage/fully automatic charging
  • Battery maintenance mode
  • Zero spark technology
  • Good for AGM and Wet Cell batteries
  • Models also available for Gelled Electrolyte batteries
  • Designed for salt and fresh water
  • Onboard diagnostic codes

At Continental Battery, we’ve been providing our customers with high-quality batteries for well over 85 years. Our line of marine battery rechargers provides you with superior performance, reliability, and peace of mind.

We’re dedicated to developing and maintaining great and long-lasting customer relationships backed up by our superior quality products. Contact us today to learn more about our company and line of car, marine, and golf cart batteries.