How to check boat batteries. Make sure you have the power.
Good day to you,
I can not take credit for this method on how to check boat batteries including your boat’s engine starting batteries and trolling motor batteries. I learned it from Danny who developed and sells the Stealth Charging System. We currently have that system on our boat. By the way I think the Stealth Charging System is just plain GREAT and I would not have anything else! 🙂
Following is the how to check boat batteries procedure that Danny from Stealth suggested I perform. I do this on a quarterly basis because, I do not have the recommended Stealth voltmeter installed on the boat. I use a digital voltmeter to perform the following checks.
Trolling Motor Battery Maintenance
1. Make sure batteries are at full charge.
2. Turn on the battery switch and run trolling motor wide open for 45 seconds to put a load on the batteries. Turn it off.
3. Check trolling motor batteries voltages.
They should read >12.6 volts with NO more than .3 volts difference between the batteries. If the difference is larger then I am to call Danny at Stealth. Haven’t had this happen yet so I am not sure what is is he would do.
Check Starting Battery
Put a 7 second load on the starting battery by running the engine’s trim and tilt switch.
Battery should read >12.6 volts. If it doesn’t you may have a cell or cells going bad.
Would you like to learn more about the Stealth Charging System?
The way it works is as follows…I have a 24 volt trolling motor system ( two trolling motor batteries) and one engine starting battery. In the circuit I have a battery switch that has 4 positions,
- The 0 position lets me turn the system off.
- The 1 position lets me run with the engine start battery and the trolling motor batteries are available. The system charges the engine battery, and trolling motor batteries while running.
- The 2 position isolates one of the trolling motor batteries and has it run everything the engine start battery would. It ‘saves’ your engine start battery’s power.
- The 1+2 position lets you start the engine off of a trolling motor battery and then the running engine puts a charge to the engine start battery.
The system is designed such that when the battery switch is in the 1 position I can run the boat, and run the trolling motor. If for example, I run for a long time on my trolling motor and decide to move to another spot. Once running, the Stealth System will charge the engine battery. When the engine battery is up to full charge the Stealth System will automatically switch over and begin charging the trolling motor batteries while you are running to the next spot. Nice! 🙂
Lets say you are fishing at night. You are running the bait wells off of the engine start battery and your navigation lights as well. Lets say you get carried away catching fish, like I did one night, and run your start battery down to nothing, like I did. Well you turn the battery switch to the 1 + 2 position that engages one of the trolling motor batteries. Start your engine. Let it idle for 10 minutes which puts a charge on the engine start battery. Shut down the engine, turn the switch to the 1 position and start your engine! You are good to go! Works GREAT!
What I should have done is when I am running live wells and don’t have the engine running for long periods of time, I should turn the battery switch to the 2 position and run them off one of the trolling motor batteries. Or I can leave the switch in the 1 position and periodically start the engine to let it charge the engine start battery. Save your engine start battery for starting you engine. 😉
The system also includes an on-board battery charger that you can plugin while your boat is not in use. It has light indicators that show if the batteries are up to full charge.
If you are interested in the Stealth Charging System give Danny a call at 1-888-588-4506. I couldn’t be happier with mine and Danny is GREAT at tech support!
Hope you find this helpful!
Have a GREAT day!
Capt. Mike Foate