Boat Battery Safety Tips

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!


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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.