How Do You Test a Marine Battery?

OPTIMA Batteries
Howey in the Hills, FL

Most folks feel it is important that their car battery works when they need it. That same sentiment carries over to boat owners and their marine batteries and maybe even more so, since getting stranded on a boat can be far more dangerous than getting stranded on the side of a paved road. You might not have cell phone service and you might not see another boat anytime soon if you get stranded on the water, so making sure your marine battery works when you need it to is obviously a high priority. So how do you test your marine battery?

It's actually pretty simple- you take it to a battery professional, like your local marina or auto parts store. These local battery professionals should have a load tester, which will give you a general idea of where your battery is at health-wise. For instance, if it is rated at 800 Cold Cranking Amps, but only tests at 600 CCA, then you know it might be time to replace the battery. 

Most battery professionals can perform a load test at no charge and many have portable testers, which will allow them to go out to your boat to test it, so you don't have to carry it into the store. While a load test is not an absolute guarantee, it will provide a very strong indication and probably give you the best information possible about whether or not your marine battery needs to be replaced.

If you do need to replace your marine battery, keep in mind that anytime two or more batteries are wired together in series or parallel, they need to be identical in age, size and type. That means if you run three 12-volt batteries on your 36-volt trolling motor, they should all be replaced together. If you don't do that, it can shorten the lifespan of all the batteries, which can really mess up your day on the water.

Don't forget, OPTIMA sells ORANGETOP Lithium &  BLUETOP AGM marine batteries factory-direct and offers free shipping in the lower-48 right to your doorstep.