Charged Battery Goes Dead


Old 05-06-04, 01:54 PM
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Cool Charged Battery Goes Dead

I have had to replace the battery every year for the last 3 years. I remove the battery during the winter. This past year, the battery was installed in a truck and used over the winter and worked just fine. Removed it from the truck and put it in the boat, charged it for a few hours, took it to the lake, tried to start, and it was dead. I jumped started it and boat ran fine. Put it on the trailor, tried to start it to make sure it would still start, and it was dead. Suggestions?
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Old 05-06-04, 02:12 PM
Sharp Advice's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 1998
Location: The Shake and Bake State USA
Posts: 10,440
Hello: lumpcat

Anytime a battery acts as it does in the problem description you provided, indicates there is a power drain in the electrical system on that boat.

The same would happen in a vehicle or any such situation. The current from the battery is being drained off while the engine is not running. While the engine is running, the alternator is providing the needed power through the battery.

Alternator is charging the battery and the battery is capable of holding a charge, as evident when used in the truck. But not in the boat. Therefore, the battery is not the problem. The problem exists in the boat.

Now the problem is to locate where that short or power drain is located. First place to start may be the ignition switch. May be shorted out or grounded out.

Or problem could be within an accessory like an internal boat washing pump, bilge pump, radio, dash gauge, fuse box, etc etc etc....May have to test the circuits at the control panel, all switches and gauges, etc.

Finding electrical problems, such as these power drains, can and often do take plenty of time. And a proper starting & testing procedure must be imployed, taking notes helps, wiring diagram and service manual helps too and lots of testing of circuits may be required.

Our resident boat service & repair professionals will have additional helpful information, suggestions and advice. Check back on your question several times for additional replies.

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Old 05-07-04, 08:30 AM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389

Like sharp said Look at everything. If when you put a new battery in the boat. pull all the fuses out of the busbar first. Then put one at a time in, the one that sparks is the thing you want to look for . You can do this if you dont have a Ohm meter to ring out all the lines ..

Old 05-09-04, 08:29 PM
jughead's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Davenport, Iowa
Posts: 597
Beg, borrow, or steal an amp clamp that works on DC. Not all of them do, but they are available. You can quickly find the circuit that is "in trouble" with one. I suspect that there is excessive current drain somewhere when the engine is off. You also might be able to use a small lamp across the fuse holder with the fuse removed to find a load that is drawing excessive current. I might try something like that in an emergency, but the results obtained might or might not be useful depending on a few variables.

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