Are Chargers Necessary?

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I’ve been seeing more and more talk about people installing battery chargers—- what are the pros and cons and when is it necessary?
 

Andy

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I’ve been seeing more and more talk about people installing battery chargers—- what are the pros and cons and when is it necessary?
I'll offer an opinion here for comparisons; I'm sure others opinions/needs will vary, especially those with trolling motors and more batteries.
On our 2520, we have just two batteries. I run the boat year-round, and usually a couple times a week; sometimes more. We have no charger; just running the boat has kept the batteries healthy/strong.
For comparison, our last boat had six (6) 4-D 'truck' batteries. We had one 'silicone-rectifier' charger, and an additional 'ferro-resonant' charger, all wired through three (yes, 3) standard battery switches (If Warthog had seen this, he would have had 'a coronary-event'! ☺, but it all worked well for 28 years).
This was a 1986 boat; and those were the best chargers at the time... I seldom used either of those chargers as the engine had a high-output alternator, and I ran the boat at least once a week. The engine-alternator kept the batteries healthy/strong.
The new-fangled 'smart-chargers' are, I'm sure, much better than 1980's technology....
If you don't run your boat very often, a charger may be necessary.
If you have a bank of trolling-batteries, my guess is, a charger is necessary.
 
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tomc585

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I have 2 batteries in my 1801 with a 2 bank charger. The only time I use the charger is if there is a storm coming. I plug it in so that if a float gets stuck she doesnt drain that battery. With the self baling deck I seldom have need for a bildge pump.
 

Mpellet

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I am with the simple 2 battery setup and use the boat a lot gang, no charger. My engine typically runs 3-5 hours per trip, so the batteries do get quite a bit of charge time.

The further away my boat is at the marina (saltwater) from other boats being plugged in the better I like it......
 

warthog5

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Lets kinda summarize this.....If you have a TM.....Batt charger is mandatory, but dedicated to the TM batteries.

If you use your boat on a regular basis.....No need for a charger. It's the same with your car.

If your boat sits for 2 months at a time. You might want a charger. But.....you don't need a Onboard charger.....Especially if it sits on the trailer at the house.

What you do need is a hand held volt meter......This will give you a quick check as to the condition of the batteries charge. I had one on the boat all the time. Now I keep it in my truck to check things quickly if I'm at someones house.
 

pelagic2530

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It’s definitely a “nice to have” in most cases. My boats sit a lot due to extended time away at work. It’s nice insurance to have the charger there, hooked up, and ready to plug in to ensure your batteries are topped off. But with good batteries, a proper electrical system, and a good battery management switch, you should be fine.

Another area where the battery charger shines is if you have a very short run to your fishing area, and are fishing while drifting or at anchor. In this case, your engines may not be running long enough to sufficiently recharge your batteries, especially if you’re running a livewell pump, a stereo, or any other moderate draw electrical equipment.
 

Swatski

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I'm with @pelagic2530 on this.
It is a nice to have. Almost a necessity for me though, doing some driveway boating, especially if playing with the radar.

I have two starting batteries installed by the dealer. They are pretty new, 12/20, but both show only half the charge on the command link, and I don't see a voltmeter gauge anywhere in my boat (2021 2320). It only takes one deep discharge and those crap out quickly.

I installed a new model of ProMariner, gives me some latitude.
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1617582710720.png

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rseate

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I’m in the process of installing a 36v TM. I ordered the onboard charger with a 36v bank & 2 12v banks. My thoughts were that if I am going to plug in the charger to charge up the lithium trolling battery I might as well top of my house & starting battery.
 

pelagic2530

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I’m in the process of installing a 36v TM. I ordered the onboard charger with a 36v bank & 2 12v banks. My thoughts were that if I am going to plug in the charger to charge up the lithium trolling battery I might as well top of my house & starting battery.
Rseate, which manufacturer makes the charger? I was looking at doing something similar for a 24v system when I do my 1700 TM install; I’d prefer to only have one charger onboard if possible.
 

MartyL

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I just took delivery of the 30A version of that NocoGenius. I wanted faster charging times. I haven't installed it yet so don't have an opinion of its performance... Seemed to me it was a choice between this and the MinnKota.
 

Cheapie408

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If you park your boat at the house or at a place with a power outlet then I say it's a nice to have. I use my boat a couple times a month and always took at least one battery into the garage to charge but it was a PITA. My parker came has a charger and I don't think I'll go another boat without a charger. Easier to pull an extension cord out and know that the batteries are fully charged when I go out regardless of how long I've not ran it.
 

warthog5

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My thoughts were that if I am going to plug in the charger to charge up the lithium trolling battery I might as well top of my house & starting battery.
Not designed for a Lithium battery......Most Lithium batteries come with their own charger....... That ProTourn Elite 36 QUAD is designed for [Flodded & AGM] batteries Only.

Read the Specs.
 

dcunniff

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I am on a charger almost all time, including on a slip in the summer. One benefit is they top off batteries better than your alternator.
 

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