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#3273885 - 06/23/13 09:19 AM Battery Tender or Charger?
Model70Man
12 Point


Registered: 09/30/05
Posts: 6877
Loc: Knoxville, TN

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When you come in after a long day on the lake fishing, do you use a battery tender (1.5 amp) or a charger (10 amp) to recharge your cranking and trolling motor battery? I want to maximize battery life as much as possible.

I don't have an onboard charger on my new boat. Is it something I need to get? What are the Pro's and Con's of having one? What brand and model would you recommend? On my boat, one battery is located in the back of the boat and the other battery is located in the Center Console.
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#3273893 - 06/23/13 09:34 AM Re: Battery Tender or Charger? [Re: Model70Man]
MFBAB
10 Point


Registered: 01/08/08
Posts: 2997
Loc: Memphis, TN

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I think the onboards are the best thing going. If you have 2 batteries you need a 2 bank charger, the price goes up as the amperage goes up, but the additional amperage gives you a faster recharge.

I would go with at least a 5 amp per bank or higher, especially if you need to recharge overnight sometimes. Mine is 45 amp/ 15 amp per bank and it takes about 4 hours on a fully discharged battery for reference.

All of the onboards are waterproof and I'm pretty sure they are all multi-stage these days, which means you can plug it in and leave it until you want to fish. It will recharge and then keep a float charge on it automatically for you. On the 3 stage chargers, they are designed to actually reduce the sulphation on the battery plates which will also increase battery life over time. I have had good luck with MinnKota chargers, no breakdowns, but I know people who use the other brands too. I guess, like most things, I wouldn't get the cheapest one \:\)
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#3273932 - 06/23/13 11:51 AM Re: Battery Tender or Charger? [Re: MFBAB]
lockandloaded
4 Point


Registered: 01/31/09
Posts: 372
Loc: west tn

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I bought a refurbished bass pro brand 2 bank onboard charger and love it. Got it off eBay for a lot less then a new one and it came with a one year warranty. When I get off the water I just plug it in until I'm ready to go out. It's a 10 amp with transfer on demand. So if one battery is weaker then the other it will put more amps to it until they level out. Then once full charge they go in to a float mode. Like a trickle charge and just maintains a full charge until I'm ready. Best purchase I've made
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#3274301 - 06/24/13 06:00 AM Re: Battery Tender or Charger? [Re: lockandloaded]
fishboy1
16 Point


Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 10574
Loc: Warren Co

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MF is on the money. Onboard charger is the way to go.

Did a lot of research and Minnkota got the best reviews. Most all the other brands had spotty quality control issues. Many would last only a year + then quit just after warranty.

LOVE my minnkota onboard charger
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#3274400 - 06/24/13 09:20 AM Re: Battery Tender or Charger? [Re: fishboy1]
griz104
4 Point


Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 147
Loc: Nashville

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I am a firm believer in the Battery Tender..I bought a new one when i got my 2000 Harley and finally bought a new Battery for it this Spring..13 years on a battery is pretty darn good in my opinion..I placed the tender on it every time i got done riding..A friend is having similar results using one on his boat..
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#3274419 - 06/24/13 09:53 AM Re: Battery Tender or Charger? [Re: griz104]
Headhunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/14/00
Posts: 4021
Loc: LaVergne, TN USA

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They are not all "waterproof". They are water resistant in that rain will not bother them but if completely submerged you could have a problem, although I will say if they are completely submerged you probably have more serious problems. Dualpro is here in LaVergne, and are great to deal with. You can get a charger from them "aquarium proofed", I got mine that way, it is "waterproof". They also sell reconditioned chargers you can save some money on. If my boat is not in the water my it is plugged in. Dualpro chargers not only charge the batteries they maintain them.
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#3274815 - 06/24/13 05:54 PM Re: Battery Tender or Charger? [Re: Headhunter]
Deer Assassin
Non-Typical


Registered: 08/01/03
Posts: 88400
Loc: Kingston Springs

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I have had a dual pro 2 bank on my triton since 2005


great product not a minutes worth of trouble
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