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Thread: Should I worry about running down my batteries while fishing?

  1. #1
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    Default Should I worry about running down my batteries while fishing?

    Hi,

    I'm a new boat owner. My boat has three batteries in a bank all hooked together. I run a Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor, and two Garmin Echomaps one with LiveScope and also power an ethernet switch connecting the two Garmins. Should I be concerned about draining my batteries and getting stuck off in the boonies and not able to start my boat? I've thought about getting one of those emergency jumper devices but don't know if 1) they would work and 2) if it is needed.

    I appreciate your answers as I learn this whole "boat ownership" thing.

  2. #2
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    IMO: It is definitely a valid concern that one could run their batteries low and get stranded. I have a 2020 Triton 18tx with three large cranking batteries in a bank all together that power everything and a three bank on-board charger that I keep plugged in whenever I'm not fishing. I haven't had any issues except one time when I was running three screens of electronics, the livewell and was trolling for about four hours... all at the same time and pretty much steady the whole time. I was lucky that my boat finally cranked after about twenty minutes after turning everything off, but nevertheless, bought one of those 5 function portable chargers from Harbor Freight that I keep charged and stowed on my boat at all times just in case. Plus, you never know when you might run up on someone on the water or at the ramp that could use a jump.

    Welcome to the site by the way, from Central North Carolina.
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  3. #3
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    On your Garmin you have a readout (if selected) of the battery status. I monitor that only when the amp is below 12 volts. That almost never happens but a quick trip up and back the lake recharges it every time. And, yes, those small battery boosters work great but are only good for one, maybe two, shots.


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  4. #4
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    I set my graph voltage alarm at 10.5.
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  5. #5
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    Cane Pole is offline Crappie.com 2011 Man of the Year * Crappie.com Supporter
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    My battery runs down before the boat battery. I personally own a pull rope motor and a good paddle, plus a loud whistle. Never worry about it. There are lots of things that can go wrong with a boat.
    Member BS Pro-Staff and Billbob Pro-Staff
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  6. #6
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    I have 7 batteries on my boat plus a lithium jumper and regular jumper cables. Ok...in fairness 3 of the batteries are about like barbie jeep batteries cause I had them lying around. I have those 3 running my graphs (and radio) as they killed my starting battery first trip out. I have 2 group 31's for my Terrova and marine starting battery for cranking, livewell/bilge, and running lights. All of the batteries are wired to chargers and stay plugged in anytime my boat is not floating. I check the water levels (distilled) several times each year(winter storage, spring opening, summer).

    I'm actually not that worried about dead batteries, but I am an electronics guy and I hate when my stuff don't work...so I make sure it works.

    I've used lithium jump packs before but never repeatedly, I don't know why they wouldn't last if they're not abused. dhaire might be right about longevity. As with all batteries, they need to be stored fully charged and charged asap after use. I usually recharge any jump pack by leaving it on the running car I just started for several mins.

    My graph batteries were leftover from a solar project proof of concept. I don't remember exactly what they are rated at but the 3 together are 80+ amp hours if not 90. They are low current so not good for starting or the high draw of my TM, but they were free and last days on a charge. I may have moved my lights and pumps to these batteries but I cant remember anymore.
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  7. #7
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    Here is a jump starter that some are using in their boats. Emergency Start - Drewcraft LLC

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  8. #8
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    My question would be how is your boat wired which batteries power what. All electronics should be run off the starting battery or if there is a house battery that runs the electronics. If running all the graphs for an extended day plus livewells etc yea you could run into a problem with the big motor not starting.

  9. #9
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    papasage is offline Crappie.com 2011 Man of the Year & Moderator GA * Crappie.com Supporter
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    i never run anything on my cranking battery . my 16 ft. low i have 2 batteries .one on the motor and one on the acc. my pontoon has 4 batteries 2 for the TM one for the anchor in back and depth finder and one cranking only .
    retired and now i will always fish
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  10. #10
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    I run 2 deep cycle batteries for trolling motor, a lithium for livescope and 12'' Garmin .Start boat, run 1199 and 12'' Humminbird , livewell and lights on another deep cycle .
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