Having healthy batteries on your ship or boat are essential to ensuring all of your systems are performing perfectly.
Having a quality marine battery charger can help to support your battery. These are very specialized devices, so you need to check all of the specs to ensure they are compatible with your systems and finding the right one can be difficult when there are so many varieties and numbers to consider.
To help make your buying process easier, follow our expert guide. Using this advice means you only spend time thinking about the details that will really make a difference.
Things to Keep in Mind
- The Number of Banks. This is something that affects the output discharge rate. If you have a 20-amp charger with 2 – 10 amp banks, then the output discharge rate will waste some power when compared with a one-bank system of the same size.
The banks can be an advantage, however, when you have a smart charger that will transfer the current to the battery that needs more power automatically.
- Charge Rates Vary. Not all marine battery chargers are created equal. To ensure the best charging rate, the charger needs to lose as little energy as possible while it is heating up. The best marine battery charger will maintain the amps of output at all times to ensure the batteries recharge faster.
- Opt for a Better Construction. The marine battery that you choose needs to be able to stand up to the heat that will be going through it as well as be completely waterproof and prevent shock and fire damage. Look for battery chargers that are made of epoxy-filled materials.
- Safety Features. Marine battery chargers tend to overheat and can easily be affected by water damage. Consider the chargers that come with backup sensors and a cooling fan to ensure there is no risk to using the device on your boat.
*Note: When installing any marine battery charger, be sure to do so in a spot that is not above the batteries. The gasses that are released during charging can cause damage to the charger or cause a fire.
Top 10 Marine Battery Chargers Table
|1. Pro Mariner Sport Bank Charger, Multi||8amp – 2 banks||$$$||4.8|
|2. Johnson Outdoors MinnKota MK 315D On-Board Battery Charger (3 Banks, 5 Amps per Bank)||5 amps per bank – 3 banks||$$$$||4.6|
|3. ProMariner 43012 ProSport 12 12 Amp, 12/24 Volt, 2 Bank Generation 3 Battery Charger||12 amps – 2 banks||$$$||4.6|
|4. Marinco Charge Pro Waterproof Battery Chargers||10 Amp – 2 banks||$$||4.5|
|5. ProMariner ProSport 20+ Generation 3 20 Amp, 12/24/36 Volt, 3 Bank Battery Charger||20 amps – 3 banks||$$$||4.5|
|6. MinnKota MK 210D On-Board Battery Charger (2 Banks, 5 amps per bank)||5 amp – 2 banks||$$||4.5|
|7. Guest 16102 Marine Battery Charger (12-Amp)||12||$$$$||4.5|
|8. NOCO Genius GENM1 4 Amp 1-Bank Waterproof Smart On-Board Battery Charger||4 amp – 1 bank||$||4.4|
|9. Black & Decker BC6BDW 6 Amp Waterproof Battery Charger and Maintainer||6||$||4.4|
|10. Schumacher SSC-1500A-CA 15 Amp SpeedCharge Charger with Battery Clamps||15||$||4.1|
Which Marine Battery Charger Is the One?
Of course, the size of your marine battery charger matters according to your systems but you should choose a charger with amps, or the rated output, that is between 10 and 15 percent of the batteries’ capacity.
Using this method to determine the amps you need is the only way to get the best marine battery charger for your boat. The amps are the first and most important feature that needs to be considered, but you also need to combine the information about the banks the charge rate, and the voltage.
EXPERT TIP: The voltage you choose can depend on the boat, but in most cases, it is beneficial to buy a battery charger that accepts both 120 and 240 volts.
Top 3 Best Marine Battery Charger Reviews
1. Pro Mariner Sport Bank Charger
The reason the Pro Mariner Sport Bank Charger is the best is the fact that it is so portable and so versatile. In addition to this, the charger itself is accurate and works really well. It will correctly charge a bank of boat batteries without overheating.
This is something other marine battery chargers cannot compete with. Of course, it is important to get the right size for your boating equipment, but other than that, you really just need a quality product, and this charger is just that.
In addition to charging, this tool can be used to add a monthly conditioning cycle to the battery of your boat or jet ski. Having the charger will save you more money than you might have originally anticipated.
2. MinnKota On-Board Battery Charger
The MinnKota MK 315D On-Board Battery Charger is the best marine battery charger you could have on your boat. It has 3 banks and 5 amps per bank. If this is the size and the style that you want, then you will not find a better quality product than this one.
The charger has been saltwater tested to ensure that it doesn’t wear when it comes in contact with such corrosion; this is a really good feature, even if your boat isn’t particularly used for saltwater.
One of the best features of this charger is the light indicators. These let you know what stage of the charging process the battery is in and the temperature is automatically compensated for too; this means you don’t have to worry about damage to the battery.
3. ProMariner ProSport 2 Bank Generation 3
ProMariner is a company you can trust when it comes to marine battery chargers, and their 43012 ProSport is no different. This model has a 12-amp charging capacity and 12 or 24-volt output. In terms of size, this charger is mid-range, but it is certainly able to charge quickly and efficiently when it suits the battery.
The LED status indicators let you know how quickly the battery is being charged and this is certainly a plus when you are waiting for the charge to be completed so you can spend more time on the water.
The charger will heat up when you use it but this issue can be solved externally by placing the charger on a piece of wood and then on the boat, rather than directly on any permanent surface.