After enduring my share of aborted boating trips due to battery failure, I decided to invest in a portable jumpstarter. These handy devices come with a set of jumper cables and will provide enough juice to crank the engine if the battery isn’t up to the task. They typically cost anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on the amount of amps you need and number of bells and whistles to you want. Price is largely determined by amp capacity, and your choice should be based on the cranking requirements of your engine. My jumpstarter has a 500 amp capacity, a built-in air compressor (for inflating tires and watersports toys), a bright LED light, a pair of DC outlets and a USB port for charging laptops, cell phones and other devices. It also has a DC adaptor cord so I can charge or run it from my vehicle. Another useful feature is the built-in voltmeter, which tells me the current charge level.
I keep my portable jumpstarter in the truck and bring it with me on the boat. This way I don’t ever have to worry about accidentally draining the battery while at anchor or drifting, and can help out a fellow boater, if need be. Either way, having a portable jumpstarter is just one more piece of insurance against a preventable boating headache.
New England Boating’s recent review: The Cobra Line of Products.
If you already own a portable jumpstarter, has it come in handy?
Do you recommend a favorite make or model?
Let us know in the comments box below.