Can I Jump Start a Boat Battery?

There's nothing like boating during the summer – you've got your sunscreen and your new favorite pair of sunglasses, you packed towels and a change of clothes, grabbed some snacks and water, pulled out the safety gear, and you're ready to go. Don't let a dead boat battery stop your summer fun and leave you dead in the water. With a portable boat jump starter, you can get your battery running again and save the day!



How to Jump Start a Boat Battery

Using a jump starter on a boat battery is similar to how you would use one for a car. These instructions are for the Cobra Jump Starter 1000A; whether you're using this product or a different model, always read and follow all manufacturer instructions to start your boat safely.

  1. Turn off all electrical appliances that use your boat's battery
  2. Connect the jump starter's jumper cable clamps to the battery terminals (first Red to Positive, then Black to Negative)
  3. Connect the cable to Cobra Jump Starter 1000A
  4. Wait for the green LED on the jumper cable to light up and then start your boat
  5. Once the motor is running, disconnect the jumper cable from the jump starter first, and then disconnect it from the battery in reverse order (black first, then red)

If your boat doesn't start after several attempts, your jump starter may go into "recovery mode" to prevent the battery from overheating. This can happen if the vehicle battery is too far drained to be able to be jump started; in this case, you may need to remove the battery and fully charge it before you can use it.


Can any jump starter be used on a boat battery?

Not all jump starters are suitable for all types of vehicles, so before you use a jump starter, always verify that it can be used on a boat battery. You'll need to make sure that the jump starter provides enough peak output current (amps) to start your battery. The jump starter you choose should also be water-resistant and include safety features – such as built-in reverse polarity, short circuit, and overcharge protection – as well as meeting all UL safety standards.


Why Boat Batteries Stop Working

Like any vehicle battery, boat batteries can stop working if they've been drained or if they've gone bad. Every battery has a limited lifespan, but when used correctly, a boat battery could last seven years or longer. Deeply discharging the battery frequently can shorten its life, as can failing to fully charge it regularly. If you live in an area that gets very cold during the winter months, you'll need to fully winterize your boat. If you simply won't be using the boat for a while, you'll want to disconnect the batteries and move them indoors if there's a risk of freezing temperatures.

Regardless of temperature, batteries can lose up to 30% of their charge each month when not used, so charge yours once a month to keep it functioning. Better yet, use the Cobra Battery Charger 2A to keep your boat's battery topped up and ready to go when you are! With multi-stage smart charging, built-in battery protection, and support for multiple battery types, it's a safe and reliable way to keep boats and all types of recreational vehicles charged during the off season.



Make sure that you're checking your boat batteries regularly, maintaining them as needed, and storing them properly when not in use ... and keep a Cobra Jump Starter 1000A on hand, just in case. It has a large, 44.4Wh internal Lithium-Ion battery that lasts for a year (or longer), so take it with you every time you head out on the water. Plus, with USB-A and USB-C charging ports, you can fast charge all of your devices!