Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine Vol 39 No 2 - Spring 2015 - Page 12

Equipment Notebook H by David Ayers BATTERY MAINTENANCE aving to deal with a dead battery is one of the top reasons boaters call for assistance while out on the water. If you have to call a professional marine assistance company, your dead battery will be a costly interruption! When spring rolls around, make sure that “battery maintenance” is high on your check list. Inspect, clean, service and then charge your battery, if needed. Before you charge your battery, pull it from your boat 1. Remove the battery from your boat and check for possible punctures or damage. Clean with light oil or silicone spray. 2. Use a light lubricant and a wire brush or battery terminal brush to remove dirt, grime and corrosion. 3. Use a voltage meter to check battery strength while at rest. If lower than 12.4 volts, the battery should probably be charged. 4. If battery isn’t maintenance free, use a screwdriver to remove the battery electrolyte caps to check the level. 5. If the electrolyte level is low, add distilled water to sufficiently cover the tops of the battery plates. Do not overfill. 12 to give it a thorough inspection. Check the housing for cracks or punctures. Batteries should be securely mounted to the boat, but loose gear could impact a battery while underway causing damage which may be concealed unless the battery is pulled. Then, wipe it down with a safe cleaner to remove salt and grime. Use eye protection when removing or attaching cables and while checking electrolyte levels. Here’s a basic plan: 6. Before installing battery leads to the electrical system, coat the terminals with dielectric grease, Photos by author. silicone compound, etc. GULF COAST FISHERMAN W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M