Battery management is the efficient monitor and control the outflow of power from your boat’s batteries.
The “prime directive” of marine electrical battery management to to avoid the overuse of this finite power supply, which may eventually compromise an important function, like starting your engine.
Marine electrical battery management can be as simple as monitoring a voltmeter to determine battery voltage; to the use of switches to turn on certain batteries, while isolating others from use ; to having sophisticated voltage sensitive relays that will do the job of monitoring levels and switching batteries on and off automatically – often called a Smart Battery Switch.
Any boater that will be spending time at anchor running electrical accessories, like stereos, will need to maintain some awareness of the condition and level of their battery supply and life. The inability to restart an engine (which is a key source of recharge for the batteries), or to lose the use of a boat’s navigation lighting, boat horns or bilge pumps because of dead batteries is a situation to be avoided. Thus the importance of battery management.
Battery cables are one of the most crucial parts of any boat wiring system.
The foundation of the entire 12 volt marine electrical system is the batteries – both for energy and grounding, which are equally important. For each, the battery cable is a pivotal link.
Because of the nature of DC power and the easy potential for current loss over distance, battery cables are constructed of thick heavy duty copper and highly insulated. This makes them not only bulky, but expensive.
Good marine electrical design will use the optimal thickness (gauge) of the cables to provide the most current, while attempting to limit the distance they run, as longer runs necessitate increasing the gauge. Typically the cables will be terminated with either battery lugs (for the battery connection) or ring terminals, or most commonly a combination of the two.
Battery cables are available from many sources, although several websites now offer completely custom battery cables. The flexibility of these configurations allows boaters to get precisely the length, color, gauge and end-fittings that their boat wiring project requires.
Battery boxes are used to secure the batteries on a boat against the extreme movement of the craft on water – a marine industry standard and a Coast Guard rule.
While batteries may sometimes be mounted on trays, they are more often stored and held in marine electrical battery boxes, which, besides keeping the battery in place, also protects it from exposure to outside elements like moisture while also containing the corrosive acids of the battery.
Battery boxes also make moving and transporting the battery safe and easy. Battery boxes normally include a box with molded handles, a lid, a strap to hold down the lid and mounting hardware.
Battery boxes are available from several marine manufacturers, although the most well-known are built by Attwood Marine.
An aerator pump is a specialized water pump used on fishing boats.
Part of a livewell system, in which a fisherman keeps his catch alive, the aerator (or livewell) pump helps to “aerate” the water and put oxygen into it. This is most often done by re-circulating the water in the livewell through the pump and back to the well via a sprayer that agitates the water and induces oxygen. These are typically known as “recirc” pumps.
Another use for this pump can be as a “pickup”, where it draws in the outside water to fill the livewell or refresh it. The pumps come in a variety of pumping capacities and are powered by 12V DC.
Aerator pumps are manufactured by several well know companies, including Attwood Marine. The Attwood Tsunami Series features innovative engineering and compact design, that delivers high output from a small package.
Attwood aerator pumps are famous for using the most advanced material available, including the best quality bearings and state-of-the-art brushes, alloys and magnets.
They offer three high-efficiency aerator pumps that move water at output capacities of 500 gph, 800 gph and 1200 gph.