How Do I Install a Boat Battery?

To install a boat's battery, select the correct battery, remove the old one, clean the terminal clamps and install the new battery. Replacing a boat's battery takes roughly 20 minutes and requires latex gloves, goggles, baking soda and water, a wire bristle brush, and white lithium grease.

  1. Choose the replacement battery

    Boat battery options include lithium, gel-cell and flooded-cell batteries. Lithium batteries are light and have a high electro-chemical potential, but the internal cells must be kept in balance at all times. Gel-cell batteries are low maintenance, but they have strict recharge requirements. Flooded-cell batteries are heavy and last a long time, but the chemicals inside can corrode the boat's interior if the battery leaks.

  2. Prepare to remove the old battery

    To avoid the corrosive effect of any leaking battery acid, wear latex gloves and goggles. Prepare a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent baking soda.

  3. Remove the old battery

    Open the battery compartment. If there are any signs of leaking battery acid, use the baking soda solution to neutralize it. Disconnect the black terminal with the negative sign, which is the earth connector. Remove the clamp from the terminal with the plus sign. Follow this order to reduce the risk of electrical shock. Remove the old battery, and place it in the baking soda solution until it's time to dispose of it.

  4. Clean the terminal

    Use the wire bristle brush to clean rust and build-up from the terminal clamps. If necessary, replace any broken clamps.

  5. Install the battery

    Place the battery in the compartment. Attach the red clamp first and then the black clamp. Coat the clamps with white lithium grease to prevent rusting. Close the compartment.