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Onboard battery charger advice needed

Old 09-15-2011, 01:45 PM
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Default Onboard battery charger advice needed

Hey guys,
I'm looking to add an onboard battery charger to my boat to keep the batteries topped off between uses. I've never had or used one before, but they seem pretty easy and helpful. My boat has two batteries and a standard battery switch (1, 2, all, off).
I have a couple of questions and would appreciate your feedback:
1) Is there a particular charger unit you would recommend?
2) Is it easy to install?
3) Do you connect the charger's wires directly to the battery terminals? or do you connect them to the switch?

I'm looking for a simple, idiot-proof way to keep my batteries topped off and don't want to go through a complex installation process.

Thanks for your help and I appreciate any advice you can provide!

Brandon
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:45 PM
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There are many options out there. I installed one for the exact reason you mentioned. As per the instructions I wired mine direct to the batteries. Different chargers have different charging profiles for different batteries, so make certain whatever one you buy matches the batteries you have. It is a great investment for piece of mind.

I purchased a promariner that has the capability to charge 3 batteries, since I plan on adding a third batter in the future.

http://promariner.com/
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:46 PM
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I too have bought the Promariner. I have 3 of them in various boats. Primary reason, reasonable cost and most important (saltwater proof)
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:11 PM
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Brandon, i would tell you to get a promariner or a dual pro, i had a dual pro on a ranger flats boat that lasted from 1998 to 2010 then about a new dual pro because the screw holes lined up and it lasted for that long
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:38 AM
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Hey guys,
Thanks so much for your advice! I really appreciate you providing your recommendations. Looks like I'll be picking up a promariner soon.
Thanks again!
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:52 PM
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Installation may vary depending if you have shore power or not. But you do wire directly to the batteries. Whatever you do, DON'T use an automotive type charger. I like Charles Marine chargers.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:29 PM
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Brandon, what kind of boat?
How many batteries?
Are you running a VSR?
And I am running a promariner as well..
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by No Excuses View Post
Hey guys,
I'm looking to add an onboard battery charger to my boat to keep the batteries topped off between uses. I've never had or used one before, but they seem pretty easy and helpful. My boat has two batteries and a standard battery switch (1, 2, all, off).
I have a couple of questions and would appreciate your feedback:
1) Is there a particular charger unit you would recommend?
2) Is it easy to install?
3) Do you connect the charger's wires directly to the battery terminals? or do you connect them to the switch?

I'm looking for a simple, idiot-proof way to keep my batteries topped off and don't want to go through a complex installation process.

Thanks for your help and I appreciate any advice you can provide!

Brandon
The charger will come with installation instructions. If it seems complicated, hire a pro to install it.

If you buy a two bank charger, you can hook the leads directly (with fuses) to the batteries. You could also connect them (again with fuses) to the battery terminals of your battery switch. This often provides a neater installation and makes it easier to replace the batteries in the future.

If you buy a single bank charger (not recommended), you will have to leave the battery switch set to "both" to charge both batteries. You will eventually forget to do this and it also leaves you the unintended option of leaving something powered up on the boat.

Buy a "marine" charger, not a general purpose or auto charger. My choice is ProMariner but there are other quality brands.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:47 AM
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Pro Mariner for the best bang for you bucks.Like stated above wire it straight to the battery,unless you want the hassle of dealing with the battery switch.if for some reason you have to extend the leads don't discard the inline fuses. Also I like the plug holder that can make the installation look a lot better and easy to plug up the drop cord to,but that depends on what kind of boat and mounting place of the charger.
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:44 PM
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any of you guys use the Battery Tender brand? looking at a 3 bank one. had a promariner that died. looking to one of these so that if one bank dies i only lose that one not the other two banks. i know they're not cheap, 3 bank and mounting is about $420 but wondering if anyone had any experience with this brand
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:17 PM
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is battery tender waterproof?
Battery Chargers typically have a higher amp rating than "tenders".
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:33 PM
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the one i'm looking at is a Power Pro Modular Marine Charger. website says "waterproof" and does a 3 step charging website is www.batterytender.com
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:08 AM
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I've had bad luck with "battery tender" on jetski and motorcycle batteries ... of AGM and gel cells. The promariner has been great for me. This is just my experience
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:10 PM
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I have a 2 battery system on my boat. I installed a ProMariner 2 bank charger to keep the batteries charged while I was out of town for a four week period. When I came home, both batteries were dry. I tested the charger and found it was overcharging the batteries. I returned the charger to ProMariner at my expense and they sent me a new one. I also replaced the batteries at my expense. While I still use the replacement ProMariner charger, I don't leave it plugged in for more than a half a day.

Would I recommend ProMariner? No. They could have done a much better job on the service end. I received no consideration for the damaged batteries or for my effort and expense to remove, return, and replace the defective unit.
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