As the first days of spring approach, we at the Torresen Marine Ship’s Store are seeing some familiar faces. Launch requests have begun to roll in, as sailors anticipate fairer weather.
We all know the tasks are endless when commissioning a boat for launch. If your boat has batteries, an important one of these tasks is checking the battery’s status. When doing so one must be cautious pertaining to electrical systems and spills. Sparks from arcing cables can cause a battery to explode and the liquid in the battery is acid. Keep in mind that this is a task you will not want to be repeating, as batteries are often times hard to access.
Torresen Marine, inc maintains a stock of the most common batteries used in boats. We recommend the Deka brand from East Penn because of the track history and, if needed, the service response. These batteries are found with many labels, including Wonch and West Marine. The batteries at TMI are constantly on sale with very competitive pricing. TMI also has high-tech equipment for measuring the status of your batteries that goes beyond voltage testing and load testing. This is not equipment that we lend or rent but if your boat is nearby or if you bring the batteries to our service shop, we can run a test to let you know the current status of the batteries and what to expect of those batteries in the near future.
If you find that you must replace a battery, TMI will recycle your old battery at no cost to you.
There are several types of batteries that you may encounter. The old standard “lead acid” batteries have removable caps on the top of each internal cell. Each cell should contribute about two volts, i.e.: six cells equal a twelve-volt rated battery. Newer batteries are “maintenance free” and you cannot adjust the internal liquid level. Gel batteries were very popular for a while but the precision required for recharging resulted in many premature failures. The latest are AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) which a very similar to the Gel batteries but more forgiving when being recharged.
You will also find batteries for different applications. There are engine start batteries that can put out a great amount of amperage that is required for proper cranking speeds required to start an engine. They can also be recharged rapidly. The life of these batteries is greatly shortened if cycled greatly or frequently. Then there are Deep Cycle batteries that are designed to be run through many discharge-recharge cycles. They may not put out the rush of current required for engine starting nor can they be recharged in a hurry. Another is the Dual Purpose battery, which is a compromise between the previous two.
Maintaining your batteries is neither difficult nor time consuming, but it is essential. For a very informative write-up on the care and feeding of batteries go to Deka Batteries.
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