I just did a quick price comparison to get myself up to date on marine battery pricing. I immediately noticed that the price spread from traditional flooded batteries to gel or AGM technology has diminished dramatically, at least for small basic batteries you might use in a center console powerboat or small cruising sailboat. None-the-less, prices for these batteries has risen over the last few years just as for everything else on boats. The cheapest traditional flooded cell battery I found in the West Marine catalog was $120, worth thinking about if you are having to replace batteries every couple of years.
Some years ago I discovered a company that makes products most boater’s are not familiar with, PulseTech Products Corporation. I learned about the company at a boat show in Chicago, and at the time the boating industry gave PulseTech an innovation award for its Pulse battery chargers. I was impressed enough to buy one of their units for my 25′ walk-around fishing boat because it seemed like I was going through batteries annually and I really wanted to get past that.
With that boat I at least doubled my battery life simply by adding one of the solar powered PulseTech units. To this day I’m the only person I know that utilizes a PulseTech charger so I thought I’d introduce the concept and product here. One of their current 5 watt units is shown below:
So heres the scoop, the unit shown above retails for $179.95 and is available direct from PulseTech at www.pulsetech.com . I’m using one on my current boat which spends way too much time just sitting on a mooring and I can honestly say that I’ve at least tripled my battery life with this boat.
The trick is the “Pulse” which at approximately 25 KHz literally rattles damaging sulfate particles off my battery’s plates while it sits waiting for me to get enough time to go run the boat. Besides the increase in battery life expectancy, the unit keeps my battery supplying the parasitic loads for radio memory and bilge pump on my boat during my long spells away.
I highly recommend this technology for boaters that are not plugged into a shorepower charger all the time. Don’t expect the units to recharge dead batteries overnight, their output is just not designed for that, but to maintain and replenish during long periods of no running, these silent solar chargers will keep you powered up.