Onboard boat battery chargers eliminate the issues of digging down into the bilge with a flashlight trying to hook up your deep-cycle batteries for an overnight charge so that you can get full power out of your trolling motor in the morning. Once the charger is installed, you simply plug in one heavy-duty connection and you can charge three or even four batteries at once, without concerns about sparking, overcharging or overheating.
What's more, when you park your boat in the garage for a week--or a month--a good charger will not only keep the batteries topped off and ready to go fishing anytime you like, but will also reduce and even shut off the charge when the batteries are all at full power, preventing gassing, overheating and a shortened life-span.
In short, a good onboard charger soon pays for itself--if your rig didn't come with a charger as part of the package, now is the time to add one.
Note that there's a big difference between chargers made for charging up your car batteries and those designed specifically for marine use--protections against shock are a major feature on all chargers designed to be used around water, and they're well worth the added price on these units.
Also be aware that pricing on these units is based in large part on their amp rating--a 15-amp model will recharge your system three times faster than a 5-amp charger, so if you frequently have to have your batteries topped off overnight, investing in the more powerful models may be a must.
Keep the Batteries Topped off With These Onboard Boat Chargers
|ProMariner® ProTournament Elite Boat Battery ChargerProMariner® ProTournament Elite Boat Battery Charger
1. The ProMariner Pro Tournament Elite is a top of the line boat battery charger of the sort used in many top-end bass boats as original equipment. The largest model can charge up to four batteries at once. Pro Mariners feature charging at rates 2 to 3 times faster than less expensive models for a full charge during a short tournament overnight. They're smaller and lighter than many models, and a forced induction cooling system cools them during the fast-charge model. LED monitors report charge levels at a glance, and a push to test button gives battery power percentage. It's an investment, but one that will pay dividends for any serious tournament angler who fishes multi-day events as well as for guides and charter-skippers.
|Minn Kota® Digital Linear On-board Boat Battery ChargerMinn Kota® Digital Linear On-board Boat Battery Charger
2. Boat chargers like the Minn Kota Digital Linear Charger , though more affordable, features digital control, fast charge times, enhanced status codes, an advanced maintenance mode, multi-stage charging, and automatic temperature control. In addition, these chargers are waterproof, shock- and vibration-resistant and have a tough aluminum housing. They're also saltwater-tested and fully corrosion-resistant, and include short circuit, reverse polarity, and ignition protection. There are models for charging up to three batteries at once, and pricing starts around $200.
|Best Seller: The Bass Pro Shops® XPS® On-Board Marine Battery Charger
3. Even more affordable are units like the Bass Pro Shops® XPS® Intelligent Technology Series, and these ultra-light, compact units may be all the charger you need if you fish a lightweight aluminum bass boat rig, kayak or other boat with a 12 or 24 volt trolling motor. Price ranges from $99.99 - $179.99 and customer revierws rate them four star. They're plug-and-play, and have a two-year warranty.