Got a boat recently - Catalina 25 - and the battery seems okay, but the charger looks quite antique. I was charging the battery the other day and the meter on the charger was jumping from nothing to 4 amps then back again. This is truly a basic meter that is old, and I'd like to get something like I've seen that indicates the charge of the battery, has auto shut-off, etc.
My main question is do I need to pay more money and get a marine-specific charger via West Marine or somewhere, or would a charger from an auto parts store with the same apparent features be fine?
My battery is an Exide Nautilus, NC-24, 625 MCA, 500 CCA, 70 Amp/Hr. Because I am a wood-and-fiberglass kinda guy, I have a basic understanding of wiring stuff but the numbers don't mean a lot to me (I mean, i know that CCA is cold cranking amps, etc., but not sure how this info applies when looking for a charger and what I need.) So I'm shooting in the dark.
Would this O'Reilly Auto Parts charger (or something similar) be fine? Or what would you recommend I look for? I can't believe I need to get the latest thing at West Marine.
from the website.....
Schumacher - Battery Charger
Part Number: SS51A-PE
* Ship 'N ShoreTM
* 10 Amp
* Fully Automatic
This Ship 'N Shore model is a state-of-the-art charger for boats and RVs with deep-cycle batteries. Circuit-controlled, fully automatic. Never worry about overcharging. Use it for onshore charging needs. Can also be switched to manual mode for special uses. For conventional 12 volt batteries.
* 10 amp fast charge - for everyday charging needs. Charges a deep-cycle battery in 7 to 11 hours; an automotive battery in 3 to 5 hours.
* Fully automatic - will not overcharge batteries.
* Manual Operation.
* Maintains charge.
* LED - Full Charge indicator.
* Reverse hookup safeguard.
* Convenient carrying handle.