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Charge Up Those Internal and Eternal Batteries
 By Perry Good

On a recent trip to Canada, I was reminded that we all have to taken some time out of our busy lives to rest and recharge "internal
batteries."  Nature, time and patience are the three best physicians.  I
enjoy being outdoors and I am truly amazed at the beauty that nature has
to offer.  I also, respect nature and the power that it has on us and over us.  Some people are affected by lack of sun or humid weather. Just like you, your marine battery requires proper care in order to perform well and provide years of service.  Such care does not require a great deal of effort, but a little maintenance and proper storage can give big payoffs in protecting a vital part of your boating investment. A good marine battery should provide about five years of strong engine starts and power to run a boat's electronic accessories. However, even new, well built batteries can have their lives cut short if they are not checked periodically and stored correctly. Proper battery care includes maintaining a proper acid level.  It is normal for batteries to lose some fluid during use, but if the acid level becomes too low, metallic plate oxidation can occur, and that can hinder the battery's performance and shorten its life.
The plates are coated with an active, paste like material which actually does most of the work.  When all of the acid in the electrolyte has entered the plates, power production stops.  The battery must go through a recharging process that forces the acid out of the plates back into the electrolyte before it can produce power again To prevent metallic oxidation, check the acid level every month.  If it's too low, add some water.  Make sure to add distilled water and not tap water. To provide maximum life, batteries should also remain fully charged while in use.  This can sometimes be difficult if using a battery to run electronic accessories or if you’re using more than one battery at once.  One way to ensure batteries remain charged under these conditions
is to use an engine with an adequate charging system.. A good engine will generate plenty of power for batteries not only at full throttle, but at mid throttle and trolling speeds Mercury Outboard Motors The Water Calls outboards, for example, feature High Output Charging Systems. The system also separates the starting battery from the accessorybattery when the engine is off, ensuring that the starting battery
retains enough power to get the engine going again.  If your charging system works fine, yet the battery remains undercharged, test the acid strength with a hydrometer.  If, like most boaters, you do not have a hydrometer, then have a marine dealer perform the test for you.  Proper storage can also increase the life of a battery.  Whenever yourbattery sits idle for more than a month, remove it from the boat and place it in a warm dry area.  If your garage has a concrete floor, placethe battery on a piece of wood to keep it insulated from the cold ground.
Just like on the water, batteries should remain fully charged while in storage.  To do this, trickle charge the battery every month for 12-24 hours at 10 percent of its amp/hour rating.  For example, a battery witha 80 amp/hour rating should trickle charged at no more than 8 amp/hours.
The difference between the "flooded batteries" and Trolling Thunder batteries ( these are the ones that I use)  is that the Trolling Thunder batteries are an absorbed glass matt or AGM battery.  These batteries use pure virgin lead   99.9% pure and medical grade acid.  Theconventional batteries use lead alimony which contains impurities and this lessens the life of the battery.  The other difference is when youtake a "flooded 105 amp battery" and draw it down below 10 volts it isconsidered 100% discharged.  When you recharge that battery you will smell the battery acid as it is being vented.  This venting actuallydecreases the life of the battery.  Trolling Thunder batteries have
internal vents and will not allow dangerous gases to build inside the case.  The conventional battery will loose about 40% of its amps anywhere from 1 - 10 charges.  This means that the 105 amp battery suddenly became a 40 amp battery.  This will not happen with the AGMbatteries because there is no loss due to venting.  Essentially the AGMbatteries will last longer, in fact, about 3 to 4 times longer and they will weigh less, because they don't have to have all the extra electrolyte.  The Trolling Thunder batteries are 1/3 smaller and in
comparison to conventional batteries in a group 24 -27 the difference is
65 lbs compared to 32 lbs. Trolling Thunder batteries will give you 3 to 5 years of life with a design of 8 years.  These batteries are capable of 100% recharge in 4 to6 hours from full discharge.  They will give you 70% longer cycle lifethan conventional deep cycle flooded batteries.  Truly amaintenance
free battery with a totally dry system that is completely sealed, aids the angler because there are no more acid spills or acid burns to contend with.  Trolling Thunder batteries are ideal for outdoor applications; no need to winterize this unit, it can be left in the boat all winter long.  All of this with less weight  to carry in the boat.Enjoy the outdoors and respect nature.  If you remember the old ChineseProverb "The physician heels, nature makes well,"  you will get those"internal batteries" recharged in a very short time, and by watching
over your other batteries you will enjoy the outdoors even more.

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