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When to replace Marine Battery?

Old 10-24-2020, 06:36 PM
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Default When to replace Marine Battery?

I have an Interstate Marine Battery - group size 24MS, cold cranking amps 800, cranking amps 1000. Anyway its now three years old and I was wondering if I should continue using for another year, or replace with a new battery. Over the last three years battery has been in boat while on property boat lift during spring, summer, fall. During winter for five months it's been in my basement connected to Battery Tender Jr. I have no problem keeping a car battery five years or when ever it dies. A boat is a different matter since I don't want to run into a dead or bad battery while on water.

Boat hours put on battery are really low, which might not be ideal from a recharging stand point. In any case let me know if I need to buy a voltage tester, or simply just replace after X amount of years. Thanks
Old 10-24-2020, 08:00 PM
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I replace the batteries in the offshore boat about every 2 1/2 years, they get moved to the flats boat and run until they die... or the next cycle on the offshore which is usually the cause, meaning the batteries on the flats boat usually last more than 5 years. So depends on your boating. No way am i willing to take a chance with a bad battery 60 miles offshore, flats boat i can wrap a starting cord and go.
Old 10-24-2020, 08:18 PM
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You may get many different answers.

Since I have no idea how you treated that battery, and various tests not being conducted, I will say replace. Especially since a group 24 flooded lead acid won’t break the bank.


and for winter storage: no need to keep it on that battery tender. Simply fully charge the battery before the winter storage. Keep on the boat, unhooked from cables, as batteries love to be stored in cold weather. Your battery tender is most likely doing more harm than good.

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Old 10-24-2020, 08:20 PM
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Replace every 3 years. Not worth having problems.
Old 10-24-2020, 08:21 PM
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If I don't have two batteries on a boat, which are isolated, then I take one of the small li battery jump start packs. If they will start an 8.3 L diesel, they will start any outboard.... Even new batteries can fail...so there is always one of those jump start batteries in my bag of tricks.

If the battery seems strong at the beginning of season, go with another year. I have had start batteries last as long as 8 years, and as short as 3 years... (Unless abused--had one which got under water, at about a year old--toast)...
Old 10-24-2020, 08:54 PM
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Heat is the devil for batteries. Where are you located and hot hot does it get while the battery sits in the boat?
Northern boaters can get 5-7 years on batteries fairly easily.
Old 10-24-2020, 08:55 PM
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There is no time frame to say when a battery is shagged, just like there is no set number of hours that a motor is no good, batteries can fail in weeks, or years, replace it when it's needed, not just on age, what about if you buy a new one, and it's faulty and fails in a few days?
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Old 10-24-2020, 09:08 PM
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just replaced mine. 8 years and 700 hours. no charger. just used regularly. BUT, I had another house battery setting next to it, in case it died. The house battery lost its longevity so they were both replaced this year.
Old 10-24-2020, 09:40 PM
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I replace both batteries every two years. Buy cheaper and replace more frequently.
Old 10-24-2020, 10:00 PM
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10am Labor Day, Memorial Day, or The 4th of July on the ramp after you have backed down slowly and taken plenty of time to move all of your crap from your minivan into the boat and smoked a cigarette to relax before digging into the hard work of changing the battery
Old 10-24-2020, 11:10 PM
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Charge it, let it sit overnight unplugged, then take it to your local Interstate dealer and have them test it for you. You can also take it to an most autoparts stores and they will test it for you also. Either can test the voltage as well as the CCA.

You can do a basic test yourself if you have a voltmeter. Fully charge the battery, let it sit overnight with nothing connected, if it is 12.4 volts or less, replace it.
Old 10-25-2020, 07:46 AM
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If a battery is critical to the use of the motor and boat, have two of them. Run them both until one fails. Replace it.

Repeat as needed.
Old 10-25-2020, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Sue Case View Post
I have an Interstate Marine Battery - group size 24MS, cold cranking amps 800, cranking amps 1000. Anyway its now three years old and I was wondering if I should continue using for another year, or replace with a new battery. Over the last three years battery has been in boat while on property boat lift during spring, summer, fall. During winter for five months it's been in my basement connected to Battery Tender Jr. I have no problem keeping a car battery five years or when ever it dies. A boat is a different matter since I don't want to run into a dead or bad battery while on water.

Boat hours put on battery are really low, which might not be ideal from a recharging stand point. In any case let me know if I need to buy a voltage tester, or simply just replace after X amount of years. Thanks
Use the battery until it dies but carry one of these with you at all times.
Amazon Amazon
Old 10-25-2020, 08:22 AM
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OP, I had the Costco version of your battery. I replaced them (2) at 9 years. Both were still cranking fine but didn't want to push my luck.
Old 10-25-2020, 08:24 AM
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I replace them when the they take forever to come up to a full charge or just will not come back up to 100%. The last one I changed lasted 7 seasons. I fully charge them when storing the boat for the winter and then load test & recharge in spring. If they fail the load test or don’t come back up to full charge then replace.
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Old 10-25-2020, 08:31 AM
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For about $45 you can buy a battery tester that will estimate the cranking amps your battery can generate. if your batteries generating less than 75% of its cranking amps rating, it is well on its way to failing.

Amazon Amazon
Old 10-25-2020, 09:31 AM
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Why are people waiting until a battery fails to replace it. I guess it makes sense on a bass boat or sandbar boat, but this is a bad practice on an offshore boat. Considering what we spend on boats and fishing what’s $200 every 3 years for safety.
Old 10-25-2020, 09:44 AM
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Keep an eye on them. Keep the lugs sanded, clean and spotless. If you see any corrosion between the lug and the insulation, that's too much. Cut the cable and replace the lug. Buy a decent digital VM and test them frequently before you start, and then again after started.

With just a little care, I routinely get 4 - 5 years from batteries. I think replacing them every two years is completely unnecessary IF they are properly taken care of. Why toss 300 bucks down the crapper?
Old 10-25-2020, 09:54 AM
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Batteries don’t fail all of a sudden, they left you know when they’re getting old and growing week.

The huge range of expected life of batteries here most likely represents the difference in how folks take care of their batteries. Even “maintenance free” batteries need to be maintained.

If a battery is properly maintained, not allowed to fully discharge, stored indoors in freezing weather, water added when needed, a basic wet cell lead acid battery can last up to 10 years.
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by laythewood View Post
Why are people waiting until a battery fails to replace it. I guess it makes sense on a bass boat or sandbar boat, but this is a bad practice on an offshore boat. Considering what we spend on boats and fishing what’s $200 every 3 years for safety.
That is why two (or more) batteries are used. For back up. Safety if you will.

You got twin engine air planes flying thousands of miles across open oceans. They don't just willy nilly replace engines for the hell of it.

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