Maintaining a healthy battery is crucial in ensuring that the electrical devices on your boat are fit for use.
Firstly, it’s important that you apply consideration to your method of battery charging because in some cases, overcharging the battery can result in permanent damage.
Before deciding on a marine battery charger, take some time to ponder the model that will provide you with the best performance during charging. There are lots of different marine chargers on today’s market, with some including power banks!
Remember – don’t forget to ensure your charger is certified by the American Boat and Yacht Council.
It comes as no surprise that ALL of the marine battery charger manufacturers claim that their product is ‘the best.’
To help you make the right decision, I’m reviewing five of MY best marine chargers on the market.
Ready? Let’s get started!
NOCO Genius G110
The NOCO Genius G110 UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger is a smaller unit that charges 6-volt or 12-volt battery with ease.
The Genius G110 GV/12V 1.1A Ultrasafe Smart Battery Charger ranges in models from 0.75amps up to 26 amps, depending on your requirements. Lead-acid battery types are easily supported up to 25amps without difficulty.
The G110 works with all types of 6-volt and 12-volt lead-acid batteries, including wet, gel and AGM or any common automotive, deep-cycle, marine or maintenance-free battery.
This model has excellent LED lights that clearly indicate the battery’s charging status. The Genius G110 has a plethora of uses and can provide support to your RV, golf cart, snowmobile, ATV and other types of products that require battery power. Additionally, spark protection, acceptance of reverse polarity and prevention of overcharge are present in this Genius G110.
This portable automatic battery charger and maintainer has four charge modes in one, repairing desulfated batteries and charging in cold conditions. The intuitive visual diagnostic tool detects reverse polarity and low voltage or damaged batteries. Also, the G110 applies a high-voltage pulse charge when low-voltage, sulfation or lost capacity is detected.
- On-board computer to manage charge and prevent overcharging
- Pulse charge detects and recovers dead batteries
- Automatically detects defective batteries, polarity issues and voltage irregularities
- Can't be used to jumpstart vehicles
- No 12-volt support or recovery mode
NOCO Genius GEN3
The NOCO Genius GEN3 safely charges all types of lead-acid batteries from 25-230Ah, including wet, gel, AGM and deep-cycle batteries. The advanced safety protection features spark-proof technology and reverse polarity. Also, the Genius provides thermal, ignition and overcharge protection.
This 30 amp (10 amp per bank) on-board battery charger is for charging and maintaining three 12-volt batteries independently.
The rugged and waterproof construction is capable of submersion down to 3-meters and rated both IP68 and NEMA 6P. This is truly one of the most advanced battery chargers in its class, which is certified to UL1236, ISO 8846 and 33 CFR183. Additionally, the Genius GEN3 is backed by a 5-year warranty.
Unlike other chargers that can pose electrical hazards, the NOCO Genius GEN3 is safe for everybody to use. The waterproof design is specifically designed for tough marine environments.
NOCO utilizes the latest topology and power design, creating one of the most compact and lightweight battery chargers on today’s market. Also, the onboard processor is capable of detecting, diagnosing, recovering, charging and maintaining all types of lead-acid batteries.
Lastly, not only does the GEN series on-board battery chargers have advanced safety features, but it has also been tested and certified by multiple third-party laboratories.
- ETL approved charger
- Safe for all angler skill levels
- Lightweight and compact
- Rapid charging technology
- Completely waterproof
- Doesn't automatically shut-off
Schumacher SC1325 Battery Charger
The Schumacher SC1325 Automatic Battery Charger is built for heavy-duty charging needs. Schumacher’s SC1325 charger is especially great for engine starting, charging SUVs, trucks, and other large engines.
This unit offers 250A Engine Start 6/2A charge/maintain rates. Also – the 40A boost quickly brings deeply flat batteries back to life. This charger features a digital display, a strong starting power, LED indicators and color-coded clamps.
This battery charger is micro-processor controlled with multi-stage charging for added precision, safety and battery life.
The Schumacher SC1325 is fully automatic microprocessor-controlled, with temperature protection and reverse hook-up protection. The compact wheels and retractable handle allows for easy storage and the Schu Eco Energy meets the highest standard.
The tester provides you with a wide range of charging rates, making this charger perfect for fleet operations. It will work excellently with six and 12-volt batteries and compared to other chargers, this one analyzes electrical and starting problems. This charger comes with a multi-functional tester, two rotary switches, and a voltmeter to assist with testing the battery,
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Features a multi-function tester
- Includes two rotary switches and voltmeter
- Great for charging expended vehicle batteries
- Fast charging
- Designed with a cooling fan
- Doesn't have an automatic shut-off
Minn Kota On-Board Digital Charger
Minn Kota chargers are designed to deliver the right amount of power every time you plug in, no more and no less. This On-Board Digital Charger is controlled to monitor temperatures and level of battery-life to create a faster, regulated and precise charge. Also – This Minn Kota delivers up to two times faster charge times in high heat conditions.
The multi-stage charging ensures a full charge while at the same time preventing overcharging. This technology automatically controls current and voltage over the three charging stages; bulk, absorption, and maintenance.
This charger recovers the batteries quickly after a full day on the water and keeps them conditioned during prolonged periods of storage. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this charger is large and heavier than most three bank unity on the market. Make sure that you have enough clearance to mount it where you need it.
Like most types of marine battery chargers, it features enhanced status codes to display charge stage, maintenance mode status, error notifications, and full charge. Unlike most marine chargers, the Minn Kota has an automatic shut-off feature that extends battery life by shutting down when charging is complete.
This battery has a 10-amp capability that’s split into 5 amps per bank. Plus, this charger is corrosion resistant and is designed for use in saltwater.
- Automatic shut-off
- Temperature managed
- Multi-stage charging approach
- Corrosion resistant
- Perfect for saltwater boating
- Digital processor to manage battery charging and prevent overcharging
- Light and compact
- Not as powerful as a 4-bank high-powered charger
With 20 amps at its disposal, the ProMariner 43021 ProSport 20+ recharges batteries in a breeze! Not only does this charger have a speedy fast-charging feature, but the ProSport can also keep batteries topped up over time without overcharging them.
The ProSport has three banks for three batteries that can be charged concurrently. The indicator confirms the charge progression of each battery. Also, this charger is capable of reconditioning older batteries including batteries that are completely dead with a 0% load.
Whether you need a solar-based battery charged for the home or whether you need a battery charged for a trolling motor, the ProSport is versatile and durable thanks to its aluminum casing.
Included in the ProMariner 43021 is reverse polarity, over-temperature, over-voltage, overload and protection from the ignition. Plus – during short or long-term storage, the batteries are reconditioned automatically every month when plugged in.
The advanced technology eliminates time consuming troubleshooting by clearly indicating when the system and battery systems are okay, or if there’s a fault present on a specific battery bank.
- Compact and rugged aluminum deign
- Protection from overcharging, overheating, too much voltage and ignition problems
- 3-banks for triple battery charging
- Supports reverse polarity
- Supports 12, 24 and 36 volts
- Doesn't charge 4D batteries
How to Choose The Best Marine Battery Charger
We’ve been through the reviews, now let’s discuss the features.
One of the main elements to consider other than the brand is the number of banks available in the charger. The more banks, the more batteries you can charge simultaneously. Therefore, your batteries will be charged to their maximum capacity in less time.
Keep reading for an extensive guide on what to look out for in your new marine battery charger.
There’s a massive range of batteries available with varying charging requirements, so you must understand which battery type you have.
Some of the most popular batteries available are flooded lead-acid batteries, AGM, gel, and lithium-ion. Don’t worry; each different battery charger will state which batteries it does and doesn’t support.
The marine battery charges in my selection support several battery types; however, you should never assume that your battery will be covered! ALWAYS check before making your purchase.
The most effective battery chargers have microprocessors that can ready your battery type and modify its amperage and voltage to meet the demands.
Double-check that your marine battery charger can provide the right amount of voltage for your battery. All batteries vary in their voltage requirements.
Often, marine batteries run using a 12V system, however, this will won’t apply if you want to charge other items, for example, your SUV battery.
You should consider whether your charger needs to be capable of various charging powers. Some chargers have the ability to switch between charging 6v and 12v manually or even better, automatically.
The durability requirements of your battery charger depends on your environment. If you’re on a boat, your charger will need to be able to withstand shocks and have waterproof protection.
Also, try looking out for a charger that’s anti-corrosive and saltwater resistant.
If you’re using your trickle charging during off-season in a more sedate environment you won’t need to be concerned about waterproof and shock protection, although those features are a nice bonus!
Just like the rest of your electrical equipment, it’s important that your charger has built-in safety features to protect you from any nightmare scenarios.
The basic safety precaution that your marine battery charger should possess is protection against reverse polarity. Some chargers will automatically detect and diagnose when reverse polarity occurs.
Other key features include checking that you have enough fuses and protection against an excess of current, voltage and temperature. You need these features considering you will be leaving your charger alone for long periods of time.
If you have multiple batteries, you will benefit from a charger with multiple banks.
There are various options available;
2 bank marine battery charger
3 bank marine battery charger
4 bank marine battery charger
Something that you should consider is whether you’ll be purchasing more batteries in the near future. If you’re happy with one or two batteries, stick with a 2 bank marine battery charger. If you think you’ll be extending your collection, consider a 4 bank marine battery charger.
Recovery time refers to your charger’s ability to recover a battery once it’s fully drained.
Usually, the higher the amperage on your charge, the quicker it will be able to recover your battery. The necessity of rapid recovery time depends on how often you use your battery.
The best, and priciest, chargers will fully recover your battery in a few hours. If you’re happy to compromise on recovery time, a budget-friendly pick will work fine!
You need to select a size that’s compatible with your boat and you need to make sure that if you require a large charger, you have space to store it.
Generally, the larger the charger the more and power it generates. Also, the bigger the size the more banks it can carry.
If space is an issue, opt for a portable charger for easy movement and storage.
One common mistake is buying a charger that overcharges or undercharged your battery.
Overcharging the battery will cause it to overheat, risking permanent damage. To get the charger, identify your battery’s capacity. You can do this by locating the Ah rating that will be identified on your battery.
Having a cheap or faulty charger will cause permanent damage to your battery, are not safe to leave alone and are not able to deliver the optimum amount of charing performance.
Purchasing a top-rated marine battery charger will allow you to easily recharge your batteries with the peace of mind that you’re getting a high level of safe performance.
I’ve chosen the NOCO Genius GEN3 as the best marine battery charger. The NOCO GEN3 is safe for anybody to use, it doesn’t generate sparks, overheat or overcharge your battery. Regardless of the type of battery you have, it will charge it perfectly.
Whether you have a wet cell, AGM, enhanced flooded or gel cell, this charger will do an excellent job of charging all maintenance-free batteries.
Additionally, this charger is waterproof and fully sealed to protect it from extreme environments. Plus, the GEN3 uses Rapid Charging Technology which allows it to charge 2x faster than competitive chargers.
What do you think of my picks? Would you have chosen another?
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