Guide to Battery ChargersCharging Amperage: Chargers have an amperage rating that indicates how quickly they will re-charge depleted batteries. The higher the number, the faster they will recharge. A 5 amp charger will re-charge mid-range batteries fully in 10-12 hours and should be fine for most fishermen. But if you need lightning fast recharges, or if you have batteries that are 120 amp hours or higher, we recommend purchasing a 10 or 15 amp charger.
Number of Banks: A batteries “bank” rating indicates how many batteries it is designed to re-charge. A single bank charger is designed for one 12-volt battery (12 volt motor). A double bank charger is designed for two 12 volt batteries (24 volt motor). And a triple bank charger will charge three 12 volt batteries (36-volt motor).
Portable, On-Board or DC Chargers: Portable chargers are fully mobile, but they need to be connected – and removed – from the batteries for each charge. On-board chargers are permanently installed, wired directly to the batteries and can be left in-place between charges – simply connect to an AC power source to charge. DC chargers connect to the boat's alternator and charge the batteries when the outboard motor is running instead of using AC power. In theory this is a great idea, but oftentimes an outboard engine does not generate enough electricity from the alternator to meaningfully charge your batteries, hence the overwhelming popularity of On-Board chargers.
Precision vs. Digital Chargers: Please see this comparison between precision and digital chargers. Generally speaking, precision chargers are smaller, lighter, faster, cooler and offer the ability to select what battery type you have connected to each bank. This is helpful if you are charging a different type of cranking battery as opposed to your trolling motor batteries.
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