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Portable Starter Battery charger

We have a narrow boat but have no shore power at the present time. We are having solar panel fitted soon however the starter battery is quite often dead when we go to start it. I am looking at buying a portable battery starter pack to attach and start the engine battery. As a novice to boating I would like to know if these are powerful enough to start the engine battery. We have recently had new battery but have not been to the boat for a while.
Thankyou. Mark

Asked by: MARK HURRY  | 12.30pm, Saturday 17 November

WW says:

Id the starter battery is quite new and is often dead quickly, it might mean that current is being drawn off somewhere- it is worth isolating the battery when you leave the boat ( with the isolator switch)- the upcoming solar panel can bypass the switch, providing it has an inline fuse that can be easily removed to act as protection and as an isolator in it's own right.
As it is dead often, it might be worth checking that it is charging properly when the engine is running- sometimes split-charge systems can cause issues- and some poor installations still allow current to be drawn from te starter to
Domestic bank- or to keep a relay energised (rather than from just the alternator). It is also worth checking the condition of the battery- if open cell, ensure sufficient electrolyte- top up with distilled water if required.
As for portable jump starters- they do work well, but can struggle if the engine if not in great condition or requires extended pre-heating. Ofthe engine normally starts well, with no more than 10s cranking (precedes by max 30s pre-heat if appropriate to the engine) then the portable pack will work. Just choose one with the biggest internal battery.
As an alternative, consider buying a spare sealed-cell 100Ah starter battery and small trickle charger (1 to 5 A charger) to keep at home and take this to the boat with you. Probably cheaper and with a pair of jump leads, should work well!

Mark Langley  | 7.09PM, Saturday 17 November

If we can be of any other help, please do let us know. Let us know how you get on.

Mark Langley  | 9.48PM, Saturday 17 November

Readers say:

Thank you very much will take your advice.

MARK HURRY  | 8.29PM, Saturday 17 November

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