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Maintain your boat's battery

21 October 2010

Tips to maintain your battery
  •     Most marine batteries are lead acid type. They should be kept clean and dry in a well ventilated box with a lid to remove possibility of anything falling on to terminals.
  •     Smearing petroleum jelly on terminals can reduce or eliminate corrosion on connections.
  •     Ensure terminal connections are tight – loose connections will reduce current power and can cause sparks.
  •     Ensure fluids are at recommended levels and covering the cell plates – mineral free water (distilled) should be used to top up the levels, do not over fill.
  •     If charging a battery, remove it from the boat and charge in a ventilated area – remove cell caps to allow gas build up from the charging process to escape (this hydrogen gas is very volatile and sparks can cause an explosion).
  •     Never test a battery with metal across the terminals to see if they spark – this could potentially result in an explosion. Instead, use a voltmeter to indicate the level of charge or a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity (about 1.26 for a fully charged battery).

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