Battery Tenders

Tucker

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#1
I've had chargers fry batteries so this winter I tried to remember to hook the extension up from my garage to the boats AC connection. I tried to remember to do this every week or so. The boat has 3-batteries and the Grady standard issue charger from 1999. Next winter I was considering connecting 3-Battery Tenders and leaving them on 24-7. Can this be done assuming the battery switches are off?
 

DennisG01

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#2
I don't know what Grady uses for an OEM charger, but if it's a proper charger (and it's working properly) then just plug it in and forget about it all winter. Check the water level every month or so, but that's about it. No need to buy additional chargers if the onboard one is good.
 
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#3
I use " Battery Tenders " ( brand ) on all my batteries. Boat batteries, 4 wheelers, lawn tractor and jet skis. I have the 2 bank systems and they work great. Keep them on 24 /7 year round . All my batteries last a lot longer and never have boiled.
 

Daman858

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#5
Uou can leave a Battery Tender on all the time. It has a system which will not let it overcharge. Have one on my truck, which I don't drive very often and no problem for several years. I will say this, I bought a solar battery charger for my boat and it worked great. 12.2 volts after sitting all winter!
 

Tucker

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#6
Very nice set-up Dale. How is the AC side wired?

Honestly, I thought there would be a problem using the standard Battery Tenders on marine batteries in a bilge with fuel tanks. You guys that use them while wintering, do you use the alligator clips?
 

DennisG01

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#7
Technically, yes, you're right. These shouldn't be installed in a bilge where gas fumes can accumulate. They're not approved (best I can tell) for this since they are not "spark arrested". Definitely don't use the alligator clips. The ring terminals won't cause a spark once they're installed, but personally I still wouldn't even use this type of charger (Battery Minder is another one, by the way) in the bilge. 99% of the time there won't be a problem. But it's that 1% that will blow the boat up.

I'm still not sure - is there something wrong with your built-in charger? You mentioned "I've had chargers fry batteries" but I'm not sure if that meant the built-in. FYI, a new ProMariner ProNautic that would work for your setup is probably about $350 - bilge approved, a stronger charger, and still has an excellent float/maintenance program - including desulphation.
 

Tucker

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#8
Maybe the new marine charges have improved, but everyone I've owned, included new ones I've installed, have fried batteries. And that really surprises me. I have not read any negative reviews about $25 Battery Tenders; but a $300-$500 marine charger will fry batteries. My main complaint is in the winter, I use my 110 splitter to run the charger occasionally and for whatever reason I hear the breaker trip when I plug in the extension. Not all the time, about 50% of the time. Gotta bring out the ladder, unhook the cover, climb under the cover to the cabin and reset the breaker. People keep these Battery Tenders hooked up to farm equipment, motorcycles, garaged boats, Etc, 24-7 and claim to get 6-7 years out of batteries. I've never gotten 6-years on a marine battery.
 

DennisG01

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#9
I work at a marina and also, personally, have a Sea Ray with the ProMariner installed (along with being a technical advisor on a VERY LARGE Sea Ray forum). Also have many friends and family members with them. All I mean by this is that I'm not just giving you "heresay" advice or advice based on limited experience.

If something's causing the breaker to trip, then there's either an issue with the charger, the wiring or possibly even as simple as an old, tired breaker. If it's the charger's "time", well... it has served a good life - after all, it's 15 years old. If everything is operating correctly, a quality "built-in" charger will give you many, many years of service and having it charging all the time will certainly increase the battery life to what you mentioned above. I've gotten that many years out of batteries and many, many others. I'm not saying the little ones are bad - far from it - I own a few Battery Minders, myself. But to say that a quality built-in is a bad thing - there's something else going on. The ProMariner's have come stock on Sea Rays for years and they have had an excellent track record.

I'm not trying to convince you one way or the other - just offering some solid, experienced advice.
 

gw204

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#10
This may be a dumb question, but why are you concerned with keeping your batteries topped off during the winter? I take mine out, store them in the basement and top them off with distilled water and a slow charge in the spring.
 

magicalbill

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#11
In my case with my 232 Gulfstream, they are way more trouble to remove than I want to take on. I have a "Guest" charger with the AC outlet. I like the others, run the charger all winter and since I live South now, run it on the lift whenever my boat is not in use.

My batteries are original,(7 yrs. old) and they still have 13+ volts underway at idle. They work great and I have never even touched them.
 

dale1

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#12
Tucker said:
Very nice set-up Dale. How is the AC side wired?

Honestly, I thought there would be a problem using the standard Battery Tenders on marine batteries in a bilge with fuel tanks. You guys that use them while wintering, do you use the alligator clips?
Tucker, thanks, These are the marine version battery tenders. they are connected directly to the battery with battery nuts. Just like the factory charger. On the 110 side, I went directly to the back of the factory 110v plug and made the connection there. This made a parallel connection to the new plug. I just wanted to be able to hook up a regular 110v extension cord when the boat is stored. I did not want to have to climb in and out of the boat to plug in with an adapter etc. My Carolina Skiff is like this from the factory. "has both type of plugs"

the original Guess charger quit. I have good success with battery tenders, and have never fried a battery's on my race car, BMW motorcycle, etc. "which cost more than the batteries in my boat." I really like them. I was excited to see a Marine version from battery tender. I especially like the 3 separate units for each battery. I can see the charge cycle or status separately on each battery.
 

dale1

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#13
DennisG01 said:
I work at a marina and also, personally, have a Sea Ray with the ProMariner installed (along with being a technical advisor on a VERY LARGE Sea Ray forum). Also have many friends and family members with them. All I mean by this is that I'm not just giving you "heresay" advice or advice based on limited experience.

If something's causing the breaker to trip, then there's either an issue with the charger, the wiring or possibly even as simple as an old, tired breaker. If it's the charger's "time", well... it has served a good life - after all, it's 15 years old. If everything is operating correctly, a quality "built-in" charger will give you many, many years of service and having it charging all the time will certainly increase the battery life to what you mentioned above. I've gotten that many years out of batteries and many, many others. I'm not saying the little ones are bad - far from it - I own a few Battery Minders, myself. But to say that a quality built-in is a bad thing - there's something else going on. The ProMariner's have come stock on Sea Rays for years and they have had an excellent track record.

I'm not trying to convince you one way or the other - just offering some solid, experienced advice.

Dennis. I have a Promarinar on 24' Skiff. It seems to work well. the technology is great. dale