1. Ensure Batteries are Charging Properly
A great way to ruin a day of boating is to show up at the dock only to discover that your batteries are dead. Whether you forgot to connect your shore power, left the radio on, lights on, or simply have an old battery that’s reached the end of its usable life, you typically don’t find out until you go to start your boat and it doesn’t respond. It may sound simple, but it’s often forgotten: after each use, you should run through a checklist to ensure that your batteries are charging properly and that there are no errant sources of draining (radio, lights, etc.).
If you do encounter a dead battery on your boat be sure to exercise caution while troubleshooting. Some basic troubleshooting includes:
- Check the voltage coming directly off of the battery. If it is below the rated voltage then charge the battery using either another battery or an external battery charger.
- If your battery’s voltage is within its rated range then trace your power and ground wires in an attempt to find corrosion or broken wires.