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Battery will not hold a charge???-gctid373792

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  • Battery will not hold a charge???-gctid373792

    OK, so quick background. I have a 2010 235 with 5.0MPI. I purchased the boat new in June 2010.. has run great and started easy until last time out at end of season. The boat had been sitting for 2 weeks without running, lots of rain, went to start and battery was weak. Figured it was from the bilge pump running. Charged the battery, went to start, cranked great but would not fire. Checked things out, like kill switch up, good connection at battery, looked for loose wires..nothing, cranked great - no fire. Did what I shouldn't, hit it with a little starter fluid and it started, ran a little rough for a minute then seemed fine. Let it warm up, shut it off, let it sit for 10 minutes, started it again - no issue - drove around the lake and pulled the boat. Changed oil, cleaned it and put it away for winter.

    Fast forward to this spring, the weather was getting nice, so I charged the battery and re-installed, stated the clean up for going back into the water, buffed the boat like a mad man, listened to the stereo while I worked on it. Yesterday, I pulled the boat out of the garage, put the muffs on it to do the first start of the season, hit the key and the motor turned over very slowly - battery was weak?? Thought I had run the stereo too much, so put the charger back on for an hour, turned the charger to "start position" and hit the key. Motor cranked great... but no fire. Again, checked all the obvious.. nothing. Did what I shouldn't do, hit it with a little starter fluid, nothing, stopped and called the mechanic to set an appointment for him to come out.

    Left the charger on for another hour, had a solid 12-13 volts. Just went out and checked, down to 10-11 volts ( this is according to my battery gauge on dash.. not a meter).

    So what gives, nothing was on and the battery was discharging?

    Do I possibly have a bad battery... could this be the start issue?

  • #2
    Check the date on the battery, if no date buy a new one providing your alt and charger is working properly, it sounds like you bought a boat with an existing battery; the least expensive insurance you can buy is a new battery, especially since you do know how old the existing battery is: First charge the battery and load test it, most auto stores like Advance and NAPA can do this. Then buy a new battery if needed.

    Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
    Twin 350 GM power
    Located in Seward, AK
    Retired marine surveyor


    • #3
      It's always good to have a multimeter around a boat. That way you can check the voltage going into your battery from your charger or alternator and the status of the battery charge when it's off the charger.

      Is the battery a lead-acid type? If so, is it a maintenance free, sealed type? If it's a lead-acid, non-sealed battery, check the water level in the cells. If you have low water, fill up the cells and charge again and see what happens.

      But it sounds like your battery is shot. The no start with good crank sounds like a different issue.


      • #4
        I had to buy a new battery for my boat on Friday and went boating on Sat. And for those who follow such things we didn't land any stripers.
        Be good, be happy, for tomorrow is promised to no man !

        1994 2452, 5.0l, Alpha gen. 2 drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

        '86 / 19' Citation cuddy, Merc. 3.0L / 140 hp 86' , stringer drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

        Manalapan N.J


        • #5
          Are you sure you tightened the battery cables? You did be sure the battery posts and cables were clean, didn't you?

          As said a multi meter will give a better indication. Check at the battery posts with one. You might find its the battery connection and not the battery.

          The meter is cheap. Even a really cheap one from Harbor Frieght will work for this test.

          More often than not you will find this is the cause of problems lke this.

          But yes it could be the battery. That is why the meter.

          Started boating 1955
          Number of boats owned 32
          3870 presently owned
          Favorite boat. Toss up. 46' Chris Craft, 3870 Bayliner


          • #6
            If the battery is 5 years old or so just buy a new one. It is false economy to try and crank out (pun intended) the maximum time out of a battery. As they age they do not produce enough volts, or do not charge to a point where the alternator will shut down, which unnecessarily taxes the charging components. Also if your battery is not producing enough cranking amps it is hard on the starter.

            I always bring my batteries in and store them on my wooden bench. A couple of times in the off season I hook them up to my trickle charger, the usually get up to a full charge in an hour or so. Do not leave an automatic chargers connected to your battery, most of the retails ones will over charge if left on for weeks and months and boil the battery dry.
            1979 32 Uniflite Sport Sedan twin 270 crusaders
            2003 Bayliner 2152 210 Classic 5.0 mercruiser - sold
            I wish I knew now what I didn't know then


            • #7
              If a starter type battery gets significantly discharged it suffers some permanent damage and if its left discharged for a period of time it will suffer serious damage and rapidly loose the ability to retain charge.

              Deep cycle batteries can cope with high levels of discharge as they have thicker lead plates but these should also never be left in a discharged state for long.

              Even new batteries can be damaged fairly quickly, they are all more fragile than most people realise.

              If your boat is at home on a trailer its fairly easy to keep it charged but if its left at the marina with auto bilge pumps you should look at some type of solar panel to keep it topped up or it could have a very short life.


              • #8
                To the untrained eye, a battery post/connection may look fine, but not good. The lead terminals should have a bit of shineyness to them when you make the connection. A dull coloured connection has a layer of oxidation on it. Sometimes this oxidation is enough to make a bad enough of a connection that the engine will not crank, but good enough to run your radio.


                • #9
                  Do I possibly have a bad battery...
                  Take it and have it properly load tested, buy a new one if it fails. End the mystery.
                  " WET EVER "
                  1989 2459 TROPHY OFFSHORE 5.8L COBRA / SX
                  mmsi 338108404
                  mmsi 338124956
                  "I started with nothing and still have most of it left"


                  • #10
                    How many amps do you guys let your batteries charge for?

                    I got 2 chargers, one has -2 amps,12amps, and 75amps.

                    The other has -10 amps, 40 amps and 130 amps for cranking only.

                    Where should I leave em charging at and for how long ?