Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
softbaitmaker

Boat batteries and onboard charger!!

Recommended Posts

Son in law came up yesterday to begin getting the Skeeter ready for up coming season. He was checking things out when he discovered that one of the deep cycle batteries was very low on water so he goes and gets a bag of acid from the parts store to add and top off the batteries. He came walking in the house and asked me how much acid does a battery hold cause he just put 2.5 quarts in one and it still not full. I got up and walked out there and told him to look at the battery and see if it's cracked and sure nuff split down one side so he put 2.5 quarts of acid in the boat. He pulled both deep cycles out and took about ten 5 gallon pails of water and dumped it in the boat to flush all that acid out of the boat. He said I wonder what caused that to happen. I said the batteries got over charged which means the onboard Full charge safety has failed did not go on standby when the batteries were charged and it's time to get a new charger. I am going to do some on line shopping today and look for a new 2 bank charger and he is going to go to Academy and get two new Stowaway Deep cycle batteries this week.  When he went to Pickwick lake last Summer he forgot to tell me that he replaced both of the deep cycle batteries while he was down there for 10 days. He put those cheap Walmart Ever Ready batteries in it. I had a bad experiences with them in my last boat and now we had an issue with them again. The Stowaways he took out at Pickwick had been in the boat for almost 5 years trouble free but he wanted to be able to make sure he did not have a problem with them on his vacation trip.

I finally asked him if the Stowaways where giving him any problems and he said no. I didn't bother to ask why he thought he needed to change them out. He is still in the learning process when it comes to boat maintenance. I sat down last night and wrote down a list of everything he needs to do for the boat and trailer before it will be ready to go fishing. These are things I do every Spring. I emailed him a copy of the list and he said with his work schedule he does not know when he will be able to get all of that done and I said I will do what I can but the boat does not go fishing until it is all done. (Might be an incentive for him to find time) It's an old Skeeter and I don't want to have issues either on the way to the lake or while on the lake.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a bummer. 

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think there is ever a need to add more acid to a battery only distilled water if it is low. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite possible the battery froze also, I put new Sams Club Duracell AGM batteries in my boat last spring and couldn't be happier. No more lead-acid batteries for me.

https://www.samsclub.com/sams/duracell-agm-deep-cycle-marine-and-rv-battery-group-size-31dtmagm/prod3590232.ip?xid=plp:product:1:1 

Edited by Buccaneer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Buccaneer said:

Quite possible the battery froze also, I put new Sams Club Duracell AGM batteries in my boat last spring and couldn't be happier. No more lead-acid batteries for me.

https://www.samsclub.com/sams/duracell-agm-deep-cycle-marine-and-rv-battery-group-size-31dtmagm/prod3590232.ip?xid=plp:product:1:1 

I wish I could afford to buy the acid free batteries but cannot justify spending 179.00 per battery.  There is a good chance the battery did freeze because my son in law added distilled water when they got low. By replacing the acid instead of putting water in the batteries there is almost 99% chance they will not freeze. I have always replaced low levels with acid and never had one freeze. I still think I will replace the 2 bank charger also because I think the charger failed to stop charging when the batteries reached a full charge level. It is about 7 years old so probably time anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a minn Kota precision charger. Had to replace it twice under warranty. I think it comes with a 3 year warranty abs it's a good charger when it's working but can't say I'd recommend it 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will probably get another DUO-PRO like the one I have. It has been very dependable for about 10 years and I'm not sure it is bad now since I learned my son in law was putting water in the batteries which may have caused the possibility that it froze. Even as cold as it use to get and back when the Skeeter was just covered outside and not under a roof I never had a battery freeze with acid added when levels got low. As far as someone mentioned that they didn't think acid was needed to be added but just distilled water. I spent some time talking with the folks at Champion Battery Company before they got bought out by Exide and they told me it was best to add acid for battery life but distilled water was ok in an emergency so I'm just going by what the company said that at the time was building the Stowaway batteries I was using................B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most likely it froze or it was a defective case. Battery would have had to get pretty hot and pressurized from overcharging to crack the case like that imo. That said, even though my charger is supposed to be smart and all that, I keep it on a timer just for that reason. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, SteveHTN said:

Battery would have had to get pretty hot and pressurized from overcharging to crack the case like that imo.

You're right. Most of the time overcharging will blow the caps off and boil it dry not crack the case. Freezing would be what I would think would cause it to crack.

Either way the check list is a great idea and will prevent a lot of problems down the road. Keeping the water levels topped off will extend battery life. I also keep my on board charger on a Timer just incase it decides to malfunction and stay on. This boat has an older 3 bank charger on it, so I'm not sure if it has some of the battery protections and conditioning features as some of the newer charges have, so I play it safe. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Peck said:

You're right. Most of the time overcharging will blow the caps off and boil it dry not crack the case. Freezing would be what I would think would cause it to crack.

Either way the check list is a great idea and will prevent a lot of problems down the road. Keeping the water levels topped off will extend battery life. I also keep my on board charger on a Timer just incase it decides to malfunction and stay on. This boat has an older 3 bank charger on it, so I'm not sure if it has some of the battery protections and conditioning features as some of the newer charges have, so I play it safe. 

Yea, I have had battery chargers blow the tops off before but never had one freeze and break till now. I think a timer might be a good idea and I may go that route rather than buy a new charger if this one is still working. I don't even know for sure this one is bad. It could have been a bad battery case that froze and busted.

As far as the to do list goes I have done this check list every year since I got this boat cause I knew it would be the last brand new boat I would be getting since I came off tour and gave up my Skeeter ride with new boat every year so I wanted to make sure it lasted. It is now 19 years old and been in the shop one time for a semi major issue 2 years ago of internal manifold leak that cost $1,059.00 to get fixed. Otherwise the only time Wayne at S&R in Cookville gets to lay hands on it is when it's time for major maintenance. Carb overhauls, Bulge pumps replaced, Water pump, lower unit seals replacement done every 3 years regardless. I would rather spend a set amount of money that I can budget for every 3 years then get a major issue I did not plan on due to neglect. There has been a few times that I might have and unexpected issue like about 6 years ago The Skeeter developed a hard starting issue and I might have to crank it till I thought I was gonna burn the starter up before it would start. I did everything I knew to do with no luck so up to S&R we went. I was prepared to leave it with Wayne but instead he had one of his mechanics take a quick look at it. The guy spent about 20 minutes with it put on a new electronic choke solenoid and adjusted it and the boat fired right up just as it always has. I went inside and asked Wayne what I owed him and he shook my hand and said come back if you have any more problems and didn't charge me a dime for that trip or parts. That is why I use S&R Marine and send as many folks that need boat repairs as possible to his shop.......:cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has it really been cold enough this winter to freeze and bust a battery? I would imagine that mixed with the acid it has an even lower freezing temp or am I mistaken?

 

**EDIT**

 

ok so .. out of curiosity I had to look this up...

I am correct that the freezing point of the battery water is much lower due to the fact it is mixed with the acid. One website said that they would not freeze until -76...

however,

if the battery was dead it can freeze and bust, The water and acid in the battery is a sulfuric mix. If the battery is not charged most of the sulfate will chemically bound to the lead, leaving a very weak acid in the battery (basically water). That weaker acid will be more vulnerable to the cold and allow the battery to casing to bust at a higher temperature than -76.

Edited by Karma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Karma said:

Has it really been cold enough this winter to freeze and bust a battery? I would imagine that mixed with the acid it has an even lower freezing temp or am I mistaken?

 

**EDIT**

 

ok so .. out of curiosity I had to look this up...

I am correct that the freezing point of the battery water is much lower due to the fact it is mixed with the acid. One website said that they would not freeze until -76...

however,

if the battery was dead it can freeze and bust, The water and acid in the battery is a sulfuric mix. If the battery is not charged most of the sulfate will chemically bound to the lead, leaving a very weak acid in the battery (basically water). That weaker acid will be more vulnerable to the cold and allow the battery to casing to bust at a higher temperature than -76.

Well that is the magic question in my case? I know my son in law said he added water to the batteries at least 3 times last summer which will dilute the acid some. The battery in question did have one of the caps blown off and laying beside it when I raised the lid. The boat has been plugged up since it was parked in the carport in late October. Now did the charger fail to shut down when the batteries were fully charged and go on standby or did it not go to standby and cook out the water/acid and allow the battery to freeze. We have had a couple times that the night temps went in lower 20's and remained there for 5 to 7 day and nights without ever getting above freezing. $64000 dollar question huh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, softbaitmaker said:

$64000 dollar question huh?

:o

good lord Doug, where are you buying your batteries?....

I am sure I can rummage you up a couple for that kind of money :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Karma said:

:o

good lord Doug, where are you buying your batteries?....

I am sure I can rummage you up a couple for that kind of money :D

That is a figure of speech buddy...............:lol::P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My vote is a defective case. Probably had a hairline crack brand new off the shelf, and expanded later. As for your cap blowing off, that's either overcharging or the liquid level is too high 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I learned many years ago when I was a mechanic that batteries will freeze and they will also explode. While on a service call to boost off a car with a dead battery when I arrived the lady was in the car and I opened the hood and put the jumper cables on her battery and then put the jumper cables on the tow truck battery and soon as I made the connection about 1/2 the top of her battery blew off and some of the pieces hit me in the back.  I knew that I had heard of batteries doing that and that was why I always put the cable clips on the dead battery first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess my battery issue is contagious. Had to put a new battery in my Jeep yesterday. I will say this also. I must start getting out more! Last time I bought a battery for my tow vehicle was back in 1995 for my GMC Pickup and it cost $62.95. I got sticker shock yesterday when the guy told me the battery was $108.95 at OReilly's :o. I told him I wanted the economy battery and he said that is the economy battery!!!!!! Well with no choice I now have a new battery in my Jeep and Son in Law has said he will buy the 2 deep cycles this weekend..................B) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Battery blues. 2 years ago I replaced all 3 batteries in the boat and both batteries in the 350. That was a fun check to write. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 0 Guests (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×