There’s nothing more frustrating than finally getting the boat out on the water after many weeks or month only to find that it won’t start because the battery is dead.

Despite many batteries being labelled as maintenance free, if not used for extended periods of time they still require some attention in order to preserve their charge and lifespan.

Here’s a few tips to help ensure your boat will kick over every time.

Clean the terminals, connectors and case to remove any corrosion or acid. Many batteries fail because grease and acid forms across the case becoming a conductible connection between the terminals.

For conventional batteries, check and fill the cells with distilled water. Tap water can contain minerals that can affect the internal plates.

Make sure the positive terminal of the battery is covered. This will help prevent accidental sparks and arcing.

Lightly grease the battery terminal posts, preferably with a dielectric grease, which is non-conductive.

Mark your battery to record the date of installation or keep a record in the service manual or logbook.

Be sure to properly secure it in place.

Keep idle batteries fully charged. Leaving a battery even partially discharged leads to sulfation and loss of capacity.

By following some of these simple tips you can help ensure your boat’s battery will be ready when you need it.