How to Wire a Boat Battery

Lead Image
  • 1-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-50
What You'll Need
Soldering iron
Wire strippers or knife

A boat battery is a very important part of your boat's electrical system. Most boats have two batteries, one to start the boat and one to provide power for the electrical equipment. Wiring up these two batteries can be tricky if you're not sure exactly what to do.

Step 1 - Buy the Batteries

When buying batteries, you must make sure to buy reliable marine batteries instead of car batteries. Car batteries are not suitable for use on boats, as car batteries won't last long enough. Secure the boat battery with a strong strap inside your boat to prevent the battery from coming lose when waves pound your boat.

Step 2 - Buy the Wires

Next you need to buy wires to connect the batteries to the electrical systems in your boat. The wires used to connect the batteries will be the longest and the highest-rated wires in your boat. You should use the type of wire recommended by the manufacturer of the boat battery. Using 6- to 8-gauge wire will ensure that the wires don't get too hot.

Step 3 - Connect the Boat Battery

Now you will need to connect the boat battery to the electrical systems in your boat. To do this, start by connecting the positive connection because this will avoid any problems or danger. If you connect the negative terminals first, you can cause sparks when you complete the circuit. It's a good idea to use color-coded wiring so you can easily troubleshoot any problems with the electrical systems on your boat.

Step 4 - Connect the Second Boat Battery in Parallel

Connect them in parallel with one another. Connecting the batteries in parallel will allow the batteries to last longer before you need to charge them. Connecting in parallel will provide extra power to run more appliances.