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covedog

single battery drain rate and charging questions

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I may have a stupid question:

Petaining to battery drain, if you are just hanging out on the lake with just the radio on, how long would a single battery equipped boat last? Would it be beneficial to add a secondary battery?

Thanks!

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That is all going to depend on the radio setup and the size of the battery. It wouldn't hurt to have a second battery and battery switch to be able to keep a battery in reserve for starting. They also make a starter type battery pack that you could keep on board in case the single battery got to low to start the engine.

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I may have a stupid question:

Petaining to battery drain, if you are just hanging out on the lake with just the radio on, how long would a single battery equipped boat last? Would it be beneficial to add a secondary battery?

Thanks!

Too many variables to give a specific amount of time. Age/type of battery, fluid level, how powerful stereo system is, any amps, discharges, etc., will all contribute to the amount of time a battery will last. We have been known to sit out on the lake for anywhere between 5-8 hrs at a time, with just the radio running(no subs, amps, just stock stereo) without any issues. My advice and what we do, just fire her up every hr or so to let it recharge. Or install the second battery as a back up.

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Too many variables to give a specific amount of time. Age/type of battery, fluid level, how powerful stereo system is, any amps, discharges, etc., will all contribute to the amount of time a battery will last. We have been known to sit out on the lake for anywhere between 5-8 hrs at a time, with just the radio running(no subs, amps, just stock stereo) without any issues. My advice and what we do, just fire her up every hr or so to let it recharge. Or install the second battery as a back up.

Thanks for the input, your reply will put my mind at ease. The boat is brand new and on a stock system, so it doesn't look like it will be an issue.

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I have a single battery set-up in mine with the on/off switch, prolly the same as yours. I made the mistake of leaving the switch in the "on" position right after I got the boat. Big mistake, she was dead in less than 2 weeks. I never really figured out where the draw was coming from and the dealer told me it was the memory on the stereo. Not sure if that was the case, but from that point forward, I always switch the selector to the off position. Power still goes to the bilge and transom trailer switch. Haven't had any problems since and still have the original battery in there(just a cranking battery). Probably soon time to replace come to think of it, 2+ years so far. 30 extra seconds at the dock to flip the switch saves a few curse words from flying from my mouth. Doing it this way, I've been able to leave her for up to a month without a problem.

On the occasions that I pull her from the marina for service work or cleaning, I hook up a trickle charger to the battery with switch "off" while she sits in the driveway. Another point of interest, make sure the water level is topped off in the battery. I don't have a maintenance free battery and I have to occasionally add some fluid to the cells. Still seems to be working just fine for us.

You probaly had the same issue I did. here's my post:

I see a lot of chatter about dead batteries. I had the same problem with mine and corrected it. First, let me say that radio memory, engine ecu's, and bilge pumps (not running) will NOT drain a good battery. They draw hardly anything and shouldn't be the source of the problem. In my case, I was loosing charge over a week or so and knew something was up. I checked and found 700+ma drain (that's almost 1 amp) when the boat was off. I found the radio amps (not the memory) were wired to be hot all the time. I have yet to find out why this was done and honestly believe it was an error but whatever..here what I did:

I purchased a new key switch from NAPA that was an exact match to the factory one except has an accy position (turns to the left). I wired the amps to this side of the switch and left the memory circuit alone (hot all the time) Now I can dock for a whole season and never worry about dead batteries again! As a bonus, this change also allows me to run the radio while docking/drifting and I don't have to run the gauges, lamps, and all the other power-users when I don't need them! Another battery saver!

PS. You can turn off the main battery switch as a temporary solution but to me that's a work-around. It's not intended to be a fix for a design problem and sure as the night, you'll forget it someday and return to dead battery. To me its much better to fix the problem than the the symptom! Happy boating!

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My bilge pump is apparently not wired correctly. If I set the battery selector to "off" the bilge pump doesn't work (found out about that the hard way -- with a bilge full of water after a week of sitting at the slip -- prior to getting my steering pin replaced). And I haven't been able to do any testing (yet) to figure out if the bilge pump runs on battery #1 or #2. I probably need to dump a few buckets of water into the bilge and cycle the switch between #1 and #2. But until I do that, I have been leaving the switch set to "all" and have not had any discernable drain on the batteries. And... best oif all, the bilge pump works. No beverages in the fridge and the fridge power switch is turned off, so that is not an issue. I check accessory toggle switch positions and interior lights as part of my shutdown checklist. I have a 3rd battery for the stereo with a trickle charger hooked-up.

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