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How long do marine batteries last?

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  • How long do marine batteries last?

    I have a marine battery that came new with my boat. It is 10 years old and still runs great. The window on it is still green so it is still a healthy battery. It only gets used one or two days a year. I would sure hate for it to go kaput on me in the middle of the lake some day. Should I invest in a new one or am I over reacting?


  • #2
    Re: How long do marine batteries last?

    I usually get 4-5 years out of them here in MI, before they start to go bad. Same with Truck batteries. Just replaced 3 Optima Marine batteries, 3yrs on them light usage. Might be differant done south.

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    • #3
      Re: How long do marine batteries last?

      Sounds like you have kept it on a good charger and have maintained it well

      I am sorry to hear that "It only gets used one or two days a year"

      I think with batteries as is with many things, non use can be worse than over using.

      I don't know what you use the battery for, but if it is essential for you to get back to shore. I might suggest that you invest in a second battery as a stand-by. Just in case you need it.

      other than that, I know nothing about batteries
      sigpic

      Tools are used to make things easier for us, use them wisely

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      • #4
        Re: How long do marine batteries last?

        Mine lasted 4 years. I've had automobile batteries last between 3 and 8 years depending on the vehicle. I think 10 years on a boat battery is unusual, especially with minimal usage. Is it hooked up to a charger?

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        • #5
          Re: How long do marine batteries last?

          Plan on 5yrs with proper care and no abuse.
          1987 Blue Fin S170 Fish & Ski
          Fiberglass questions? Click here!
          The Holy Grail of glue knowledge

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          • #6
            Re: How long do marine batteries last?

            That is unusual. They also don't last as long in hot areas of the country.

            I'd worry more about a boat only used a couple hours a year than the battery--unless you are talking about a trolling motor. Outboards especially need to be run.
            A man of constant boat tinkering.

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            • #7
              Re: How long do marine batteries last?

              I invested in a portable battery pack this year.... it has 2 x 12V dc plugs on it, and a USB plug as well. It also has theb ooster cables. I paid $69 for it at canadian tire on sale (50% off)

              I use this on my boat to power 5v USB speakers, and play my mp3 lpayer through that, thus not draining my battery at all. In the unlikely event my fish finder drains my main starting battery, I have full backup boosting ability..

              You must be very careful with these!! One spark and you can go boom! If you must use it, use it in a WELL Ventilated area, fan any fumes if the engine or battery is enclosed away, before attempting to connect it, and always plug positive on first, before the ground to minimize chance for a spark.

              So far, I haven't needed it, but it saved my butt when camping on the long weekend. My buddy ran his truck stereo for several hours, and killed the battery. He laughed at me for bringing this along, but it saved the day since we were so remote in the bushes with no cell service.


              ..... in case anybody is curious, I ran my speakers for 20 hours so far off this, cranked wide open (they are crappy speakers) and the boosting capability is still in the green and capable of boosting a vehicle. I like the peace of mind it gives me, running accessories off a non essential power source. Can stick an invrter into the 12v adaptor, plys my cell charger, etc..
              sigpic
              1999 Princecraft 166 Pro
              1998 Evinrude 70hp
              2003 GMC Envoy 4.2L 4x4

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              • #8
                Re: How long do marine batteries last?

                The more you use the boat, the longer the batteries will usually last if you don't keep a battery tender on them. The constant discharging of the battery when it is only run once every couple of months or less shortens the battery life. if you run them once a month or better, you stand a greater chance of getting long life out of the battery. That being said, I wouldn't trust a 10-year old battery due to age alone. With boats/jet skis I normally have a 5--6 year limit. It's less inconvenient to me to have a dead battery on land than on water, so I run my auto batteries until the give up the ghost.
                1976 Mark Twain 200VBR w/Mercruiser 233 (Ford 351w) "Heart & Soul"

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                • #9
                  Re: How long do marine batteries last?

                  Originally posted by dangre1 View Post
                  It is 10 years old and still runs great. Should I invest in a new one or am I over reacting?
                  Your living on borrowed time with that battery.

                  Buy a new one tomorrow.

                  No matter how well a battery is kept up, the plates inside of it degrade over time.

                  On second thought and on edit: once or twice a year...why bother....just make sure you have a way to get the boat (unknown size) back to where you launched it. That could include a set or oars, a paddle, a pull start rope, a VHF radio to summon help, or a tow line when you hail down a passing boat that might help you.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How long do marine batteries last?

                    I use it for running my fishfinder, a couple livewells, and starting the boat. I leave it hooked up to the boat for about five months in the warmer months. I don't charge it. When the weather gets freezing around Oct, I remove it and give it a charge, and store it in a heated building. Around may I give it another charge and stick it back in the boat. Thats it.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How long do marine batteries last?

                      10 years and you're on borrowed time with that battery! Go get a new one and count yourself lucky..

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                      • #12
                        Re: How long do marine batteries last?

                        That question will depend on your location climate.

                        Believe it or not, many retailers have different pricing, warranty period on the same battery sold in different region of the country. They are basing their decision on the "typical battery life" in a given area. For example, if you have a Walmart near by your area, if the automotive technician would let you, ask to see newer portable battery tester. In that device, it also have the "typical battery life" in your local.

                        Of course, someone have already mentioned, if the battery is not used often, put it a automatic trickle charger will increase battery's odd of living a longer life.

                        -

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                        • #13
                          Re: How long do marine batteries last?

                          You run a fish finder, livewell, and the electric start? Is your motor and outboard, and dDoes your motor have a pull cord? Does it work?

                          If yes, then I would just run that battery till she no longer works.... If you're out on the lake, and the livewell stops pumping, or fidh finder dies, and you can't start the motor with the electric start - you can use the pull cord to get home... then buy that battery... it doesn't sound like mission critical battery here (unless you had to crank a 350 block i/o) - and as somebody else said, maybe pack some oars too (which is a standard safety equipment anyways, so you probably already have those on board)
                          sigpic
                          1999 Princecraft 166 Pro
                          1998 Evinrude 70hp
                          2003 GMC Envoy 4.2L 4x4

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                          • #14
                            Re: How long do marine batteries last?

                            Concur, 10 years is way beyond a normal expected life span of a battery, mine normally go 4-5 years.

                            I personally wouldn't trust it and would at least get a second one just for piece of mind, if you only get out a couple times a year no sense wrecking a trip because of a battery.

                            I run 3 on my fishing boat, a starter and 2 to run the boat, never ever go dead now.
                            GO IRISH!!!!

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                            • #15
                              Re: How long do marine batteries last?

                              http://www.*****************/tutorial_battery.html
                              Read the artical above.
                              I would replace that battery with a new one of the same type.
                              You just don't know how lucky you are!
                              RR

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