Did You Know? If you haven’t already, you really need to take care of your boat and of all the power moving it.   

Did You Know? If you haven’t already, you really need to take care of your boat and of all the power moving it.    Dec 10, 2021
power

By Patrick Campeau

We’ve all seen this: boating enthusiasts breaking down in the middle of nowhere because their engines won’t start or because their battery doesn’t have enough power to crank things up.

I recently had a chat about batteries with Gary Gaussiran of FishnTech (Lachute), who is an expert in all kinds of marine installations. I must confess I was very surprised to learn what he told me. Here’s what he said in a nutshell:  

Like many other retailers, Gary sells Mercury Marine batteries that use three different kinds of lead-based technologies: flooded batteries, absorbed glass mat (or simply “AGM”) batteries and gel cell type batteries (gel batteries). “Each one of these technologies must pass over 250 control checks before being awarded the logo and seal of excellence,” reminded the expert.

Cranking

Some like to think any type of large battery will do, as long as it’s able to start their outboard motor and power the electrical and electronic components on board. Some even try to give a new “career” to their old car battery.

Marine flooded starting batteries have been specifically designed to generate the short bursts of power needed for cranking boat engines. They are maintenance-free, don’t require watering, and have a leak-proof design that helps keep their terminals corrosion-free. The calcium alloy plates are also vibration resistant and deliver maximum power per pound. These batteries definitely last a long time. 

Heavy-Duty Applications

All trolling motor enthusiasts should power their motors with batteries that have longer-lasting cycle life. Unlike marine starting batteries designed to generate short bursts of power, these flooded “deep cycle batteries” (as they are sometimes called) have been specifically created for deep cycling heavy-duty applications. The special fiberglass matting surrounding the plates is also known to extend the battery’s life and increase its resistance to vibrations.

Dual Purpose

Less known by enthusiasts in “La Belle Province”, dual purpose starting and cycling Mercury batteries are perfect for heavy cranking and for medium deep cycling applications.

They are perfectly suited for situations where you can only use one battery to start the outboard motor, use the trolling motor (in a moderate way) and power communications and electronic equipment onboard. The proprietary high-density paste coating the batteries plates optimizes power per pound of battery.

The Next Level

According to Mr. Gaussiran, it’s a great idea to spend a bit more and buy an AGM battery. This new generation of battery has much to offer its users. In addition to delivering more operating and fishing time, they recharge faster, are maintenance-free, and can last up to twice as long as traditional flooded batteries.

They also deliver better performance in colder temperatures and can withstand winter breaks better. “Boats and engines nowadays are more complex, and therefore need more from their batteries. Boaters and anglers have everything to gain from the reliable starting power of AGM batteries as well as their proven endurance with trolling motors,” confirmed the owner of FishNTech.

The Ultimate

If you are looking for the very best cycling battery, Gary would recommend deep-cycling gel batteries. These batteries can cycle for long periods of time, deliver peak performance, and recharge quickly with a voltage-regulated, temperature-sensitive charger specifically designed for gel batteries. 

Mother Nature

Mr. Gaussiran explained that he chose Mercury Marine batteries not only for their prowess, but also because the company is very environmentally conscious. The batteries sold in his shop are virtually 100% reclaimed and recyclable.

Charging

To power it all, Gary suggested using a power management station called “CHARGE” – a Power-Pole product that can recharge all kinds of batteries. The station can also be used as an alternator to recharge the batteries while the engine is running.

It can even help with emergency start-ups. This compact and lightweight 500 W station can deliver up to 40 A of charging power to starting batteries and up to 25 A to the auxiliary batteries of an electric motor. Users can also use the downloadable C-Monster app to control everything and monitor their battery state-of-charge in real time to choose which ones they want to recharge first. 

 

Patrick Campeau is a  professional fisherman that is a three-time provincial champion member

inducted into the Canadian Pantheon of Fishing.

Find out more about Patrick Campeau at www.pcampeau.com

or www.facebook.com/lapassiondepatrickcampeau

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