Portable Chargers and Jump-Starters
Smaller boats may not have a convenient spot for a permanent charger, and sometimes you just need a backup. Here are examples of charging products we’ve found handy on our boats.
Minn Kota MK 110P
Works By: Monitoring battery status and delivering charge in a dual-stage profile that brings dead batteries back quickly and then maintains them over long periods. One- and two-battery models are available.
Charge Power/Profile: Flooded cell at 10 amps only
Why We Like It: Handy and quick to set up; LEDs indicate charge status or report bad battery if battery has failed or has no detectable current.
Best Choice When: Batteries are carefully maintained and never lose all current. Also handy for mower and off-road toys.
Stanley 500-Amp Jump-Starter
Works By: Combining a small but potent cranking battery in a unit with its own charger. Stanley has added a 120 psi air pump, 12-volt and USB outlets and a trouble light in a compact unit that fits in the trunk and many will stow in a compartment in a boat.
Charge Power/Profile: This device can be charged by plugging it into a wall socket, but its duty is to jump-start a dead vehicle or boat to allow the alternator to take over.
Why We Like It: It provides emergency starting power in a pinch and even roadside assistance for a flat or for other work while en route.
Best Choice When: Anybody needs emergency power for a boat or related electronics.
Xtreme Charge Marine
Works By: Electronically monitoring each battery to determine type (flooded- or gel-cell or AGM) and power needs. It additionally determines if battery is recoverable and then uses electronics to monitor and meet charging needs while sending periodic pulses to remove sulfates from battery plates.
Charge Power/Profile: Automatically determines battery type and provides 10 amps of current as needed, dropping power as battery approaches full charge.
Why We Like It: While AGM and gel-cell batteries are less susceptible to sulfation, batteries can recover from sulfation damage. LED readouts indicate viability of battery and charging status. We’ve recovered batteries thought to be extinct with this one.
Best Choice When: It can be permanently mounted in a dry, onboard area or used as a portable. Charger will not charge a completely dead battery, so regular maintenance is required.