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  1. #11

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    I put the pigtail on and use a smart solar charger(There isn't any power on that side of the yard). But pretty much what K447 said..


  2. #12
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wotman View Post
    Wow ive left the ski for 12 months without charging and battery was fine.

    If you ride once a month, you should never have to charge.
    How long a battery can sit without needing recharge greatly depends on the battery type and battery condition. A healthy AGM battery should hold about 85% of full charge for many months.

    A traditional lead-acid battery may self discharge itself in less than four months.

    If the watercraft imposes a parasitic electrical load (battery drain) then the battery will discharge over time. How fast depends on the electrical drain and the initial battery health.

    I agree that even occaisional riding should be enough to maintain battery charge levels, IF the battery itself is healthy and not degraded from age or abuse. And of course the electrical system in the watercraft needs to be working correctly in regards to battery charging.

  3. #13
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetdave56 View Post
    Rod if your not going to use the ski for a month or more just take it out of the ski and keep on a trickle charge in let's say your garage no electronic worries ,on the charger you should be at least 13.25V check it from time to time ...

    when removing it's neg first when installing positive first, when battery is installed on ski should read at least 12.50v when not running and 13-14v v on and idling..
    Trickle charge is an outdated terminology dating from many decades ago when liquid filled lead-acid batteries in cars and trucks had a fairly high rate of self discharge.

    Those old-school batteries would lose stored energy so easily that a 'trickle charger' could continuously pump maybe 1-2 amps into the battery and it would not quickly overcharge. Hence it was common practice to connect a small output charger and just leave it running, with no electronic voltage/current controls or timer.

    Those big old batteries would just sit there and soak up the current flow. They would slowly out gas and lose water, so topping up the battery cells with distilled water was considered part of regular car maintenance.

    Compact modern watercraft sealed batteries don't work like that. Overcharging is to be avoided, hence the imperative to use an electronic smart charger that will control the charging and properly maintain the battery state of charge.

    When measuring battery voltage to check state of charge, there are factors which affect what the correct voltage should be. Battery type matters, AGM batteries have a higher 'resting voltage' than lead-acid.

    After charging, the battery must 'rest' for multiple hours before the voltage at the battery posts settles down. Measuring the battery voltage shortly after disconnecting a battery charger will show a misleading higher voltage. The battery must sit for quite a while before the measured voltage is useful for checking the state of charge inside the battery.

    Battery temperature also matters. Normal 'room temperature' voltage spec for a battery is circa 25C. Very hot or cold batteries will measure different voltages, yet be correctly 100% charged.

    Check the manufacturer specifications for the battery brand and model you have installed, and use that to determine what the measured voltage means for your battery.

    For example, 12.5 volts battery resting voltage might indicate a full charge on a lead-acid battery yet the same 12.5 volts on an AGM battery could indicate it needs charging.

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  5. #14
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    I only keep my recreational vehicles for 2-4 seasons and the stock Yuasa batteries are always in good condition when I sell them. So I have never seen the need to buy AGM batteries. But I always keep a charger on when not using them since conventional batteries can be ruined very easily if discharged completely and left that way for a period of time.

    K447 is exceptionally knowledgable on this subject. Read and heed.

  6. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Samband63 View Post
    Yes. The most appropriate method is to disconnect only the Negative lead off the battery during charging. The reason for removal of the battery lead and isolating it from the electronics is simply to take extra precautions to protect the ECM ( Control Module ) from accidental reversal of polarity during re-installation process of the battery or possible high current draw or any electrical surge thru the charger.

    I have personal experience of accidental reversal of the polarity and fortunately Ultra 300X protects the ECM by just blowing off the 15Amp fuse. But the only negative side of this removal of wire is that you will lose clock data on the cluster and you need to re set the clock.
    If the battery remains connected at all times there can be no reversal of polarity. The pigtail charger wire is polarized at the connector so no polarity reversal possible. The charger itself has polarity detection and it will not energize if polarity is reversed.

    Polarity reversal is only a risk, in my view, when the battery cables are disconnected. Leave them connected and the risk is not present.

    The quality of the charger is important. A good charger will not create voltage spikes, surges or reverse polarity risks for the watercraft electrical system.

    In addition, the battery provides a solid defense as it will absorb voltage and current spikes from the charger, within reason. AGM batteries are particularly good in this regard as they can absorb high charge currents, should the charger err in this regard.

    There is more risk of electrical pulses and spikes from frequent disconnect and reconnecting of battery cables. Messing with tools and small wrenches around the battery involves some risk of mistakes and user errors. The more often you are in there, the more chance of causing trouble.

    The battery itself, while connected to the heavy watercraft cables, provides a solid voltage stabilizing function and limits the havoc even a misbehaving charger can impose.

    In my view it is not 'safer' to disconnect the battery frequently, or ever during the riding season.

    Install a high grade AGM battery, include a charging pigtail and tie it out of the way, but accessible. Then enjoy the riding season. A good AGM battery should not lose much charge while the machine is sitting between rides, unless that duration is many weeks.

    My own watercraft generally do not see a charger at all during the riding season, there is just no need.

    Use the charging pigtail as needed to charge the battery should the need arise.
    Great info thanks!

  7. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jetdave56 View Post
    Rod if your not going to use the ski for a month or more just take it out of the ski and keep on a trickle charge in let's say your garage no electronic worries ,on the charger you should be at least 13.25V check it from time to time ...

    when removing it's neg first when installing positive first,when battery is installed on ski should read at least 12.50v when not running and 13-14v v on and idling..
    Hi Dave Yes good idea thanks, I should also point out that these factory batteries are excellent in holding a charge, but I just like it at 100% charge before I go out for a ride. Thanks for the note about disconnecting the negative first as I have been doing it the other way, now I know....

  8. #17
    steve45's Avatar
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    I have a pigtail permanently mounted on the batteries of all my 'Skis. After use, I plug in the trickle chargers and keep them connected all the time. HOWEVER, each charger is plugged into a timer. It is set to charge for 15 minutes per day. No chance of overcharging them.

    My original Ultra 150 battery lasted NINE YEARS.

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  10. #18
    The timer sounds like a good idea, yes these Ultra batteries seem very good as I purchased a Yamaha VXR along with my ultra in 2013, and the VXR battery has long been replaced and the ultra battery is still going strong

  11. #19
    "just sayin".. jetdave56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jetdave56 View Post
    Rod if your not going to use the ski for a month or more just take it out of the ski and keep on a trickle charge in let's say your garage no electronic worries ,on the charger you should be at least 13.25V check it from time to time ...

    when removing it's neg first when installing positive first, when battery is installed on ski should read at least 12.50v when not running and 13-14v v on and idling..
    Trickle charge is an outdated terminology dating from many decades ago when liquid filled lead-acid batteries in cars and trucks had a fairly high rate of self discharge.

    Those old-school batteries would lose stored energy so easily that a 'trickle charger' could continuously pump maybe 1-2 amps into the battery and it would not quickly overcharge. Hence it was common practice to connect a small output charger and just leave it running, with no electronic voltage/current controls or timer.

    Those big old batteries would just sit there and soak up the current flow. They would slowly out gas and lose water, so topping up the battery cells with distilled water was considered part of regular car maintenance.

    Compact modern watercraft sealed batteries don't work like that. Overcharging is to be avoided, hence the imperative to use an electronic smart charger that will control the charging and properly maintain the battery state of charge.

    When measuring battery voltage to check state of charge, there are factors which affect what the correct voltage should be. Battery type matters, AGM batteries have a higher 'resting voltage' than lead-acid.

    After charging, the battery must 'rest' for multiple hours before the voltage at the battery posts settles down. Measuring the battery voltage shortly after disconnecting a battery charger will show a misleading higher voltage. The battery must sit for quite a while before the measured voltage is useful for checking the state of charge inside the battery.

    Battery temperature also matters. Normal 'room temperature' voltage spec for a battery is circa 25C. Very hot or cold batteries will measure different voltages, yet be correctly 100% charged.

    Check the manufacturer specifications for the battery brand and model you have installed, and use that to determine what the measured voltage means for your battery.

    For example, 12.5 volts battery resting voltage might indicate a full charge on a lead-acid battery yet the same 12.5 volts on an AGM battery could indicate it needs charging.

    You can spend all nite Googling all your info and making your case BUT I been using a Battery Tender in the off season on my skis with all the goodies like float rate for 11 years and I've NEVER had a battery issue starts like champ the first time and have gotten thru 11 seasons nada..

    Come to think of it I've never bought a battery that didn't come with the ski...

    Oh wait my first ski bought used and 8 yrs old already after 3 yrs though it showed 13+v on Multimeter wouldn't hold a charge as battery might be have 11 yrs old and not maintained...

    Rod will make the decision what's best for him...

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  13. #20
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    If using a battery charger is it best to remove the wires from ski battery first?

    Quote Originally Posted by jetdave56 View Post
    ...

    You can spend all nite Googling all your info and making your case BUT I been using a Battery Tender in the off season on my skis with all the goodies like float rate for 11 years and I've NEVER had a battery issue ...
    Was that Google comment intended as some sort of insult or slight?

    I did not use Google or any other Internet search for any of the material I posted. My background includes electrical and electronics, my posts were written from my knowledge of the subject.

    Battery Tender is not a dumb trickle charger nor is it a high current charger. Battery Tender is a well regarded brand of smart battery charger for traditional lead-acid Powersports batteries. That aligns with my recommendations.

    My 'case', as you put it, is straightforward.

    Use high quality batteries in personal watercraft. Replace them before they get old enough to risk failure. Battery failure when out on the water is to be avoided, minimize that risk.

    When off the water during riding season, good quality batteries in good health should not need AC charging unless the machine is going to be sitting without use for multiple weeks.

    If personal preference is to 'top off' or maintain the battery at 100% charge, use a smart charger that knows how to manage float mode.

    Permanently install a pigtail cord to the battery for the charger, and leave the main battery cables connected.

    When a charger is needed for extended storage and off season, use a good quality smart charger appropriate for watercraft batteries, connected via the pigtail lead.

    In very cold winter climates it is reasonable to remove the battery to indoor storage if the watercraft itself will be subject to weather extremes and temperature swings. Outside of that situation, my view is that it is just fine to keep the battery installed in the watercraft while connected to a smart charger (float voltage maintainer).

    When installed and fully connected with both battery cables, the battery itself provides protection to the electrical system in the watercraft. A healthy battery can absorb electrical fluctuations and defend against incorrectly operated chargers. It is the disconnection of the battery and potential for incorrect reconnection that creates much of the risk.
    Last edited by K447; 05-08-2016 at 03:50 PM.

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