A good list Bill.
As best I'm able to discern, through formal testing and thru personal experience, for boats at dockside much/most of the time I believe it's best to:
1. use a smart battery charger only, and preferably one which uses pulse width modulation (PWM) technology...like the Iotas;
2. leave the charger on all the time (assuming that you have reliable dock power and that you have a properly installed AC system and battery charger);
3. equalize the batteries at intervals recommended by the manufacturer. Note that the PWM chargers like the Iota MAY reduce the need for equalization;
4. exercise the batteries periodically, drawing them down to not more than 50% of capacity and then fully recharging them;
5. use ONLY distilled water to be sure the electrolyte is at least 3/8" above the plates;
6. use Hydrocaps or WaterMiser caps to reduce the need for adding water;
7. keep all connections very clean and tight;
8. be extremely careful not to introduce contaminants into the battery cells; and
9. monitor battery voltage periodically, with and without charging and load.
Sound like a lot of work? Not really, just a little attention on a regular basis.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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