BlogOctober 2016

Boat Battery Safety Tips

Boat Battery Safety Tips

By Andy Whitcomb

Oct 10, 2016

A battery is an important boating power source. Here are just a few tips for safe use.

Boat Battery Care

The 12 volt deep cycle battery is an important part of boating. Not only can it be a source for ignition of larger boat motors, but they are a handy source of power for the heavily relied on electric trolling motor which lets you move stealthily to locate actively feeding fish.

But a boat battery is to be respected. One local angler took out his boat for the first time early this spring, lowered his trolling motor in the water, and stepped on the power pedal. He was met with a nerve-rattling explosion that sounded “like a shotgun” that fortunately was contained in the boat’s battery compartment.

Here are just a few boat safety tips for batteries.

Safety Glasses. Whenever working on a boat battery connection, wear safety glasses. Period.

Safety Cover. Invest in a boat battery box. This heavy duty plastic containment keeps contents dry and secure for carrying and transporting.

Hot Connections. Immediately after heavy trolling motor use, the wing nuts or other connectors may be hot. Allow to cool for a few minutes before disconnecting for the return trailer ride.

Charge It. Follow the directions and connect carefully to the recharger soon after use. A slow charge is recommended.

Corrosion Awareness. Watch for any corrosion to appear around the terminals. Baking soda, water, and a brush will clean and help keep a good connection.

Battery Age. Keep track of the months of usage of the boat battery. Often there is a date or punch out reference on the top. When a battery nears the end of its lifespan, just go ahead and return it for recycling and get a fresh one. It may save you from needing a tow back to shore.

As handy as this power source is, it can be dangerous. Be sure to read all boat battery instructions carefully and go down the rest of your boating safety checklist, so you can enjoy many safe trips in your boat. And of course, don’t forget to make sure your boat registration is up to date!

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.