Battery manufacturer Century Batteries is hoping the chance to win free fuel for a year will encourage boaties to check their marine battery ensuring they are safe on the water this summer.
Thousands of boaties, and jet skiers, will need rescuing this summer because of battery failure, with battery related issues annually accounting for more than 50% of incidents Coastguard volunteers respond to across New Zealand.
Century Batteries Australian and New Zealand national training manager Paul Linehan said there were still many cases where boaties were actually using an auto battery instead of a specific marine battery.
Mr Linehan said if your engine struggles, or barely turns over to start, or your cabin lights are dimming faster then it’s time to upgrade that battery.
“That’s two sure signs you could have a shortage of power,” he said. “Today’s marine batteries take a hiding from the moment they hit that rough road on the back of your trailer to your favourite boat ramp to seas that throw its worst at you. Unlike car batteries, marine batteries must be able to resist vibration from wave pounding and trailer transportation.
“Our marine batteries use our exclusive Platelock technology to handle the harsh and demanding effects of repeated vibration and wave pounding.”
Data from Maritime New Zealand continues to show an upward trend of recreational boaties in New Zealand. In the third quarter of 2022, figures show close to half (47%) of the general New Zealand was involved in recreational boating – up from 42% in 2017.
“There was a rush of people buying boats during the pandemic as we looked to holiday at home, so there will be people with boats who are not familiar with battery operating systems,” Mr Linehan said. “They may have bought a second-hand boat with no history of the battery’s age.
“We also don’t service our boats as regularly as we service the car, and time gets away from us: suddenly you realise the battery you thought you bought last year is, in fact, three years old. It could be close to its use-by date or need a good charge. We recommend getting a free battery test to avoid problems out on the water.”
Boaties who purchase a new Century marine battery will go into a draw to win one of four fuel cards for petrol for a year.
“As the cost of living continues to rise, battery maintenance is a good investment, as is buying the right battery for the job,” Mr Linehan said. “We’re hoping this is an incentive for people to think about their battery safety.
“Boat technology continues to become increasingly complex, incorporating advanced electronics and engine management systems, all placing greater demands on a battery. While there might be enough charge to get the watercraft started and out on the bay, it’s vital, when you stop to fish there’s enough charge to restart for your home journey. It’s not like you can wave down a passing car on a busy highway.”
Boating battery safety checklist:
• Make sure your battery is properly installed and securely fastened.
• Check the terminal connectors are free of corrosion.
• Check the battery is fully charged, especially if you haven’t used the boat for a while.
• Don’t mix old batteries with new ones on the same battery bank: old batteries can pull down new ones to their deteriorated level.
• Turn off gadgets like ‘fish finders’ if you’re not using them: even small loads can eventually sap a battery over the course of a day on the water.
• Lastly if out for the day, remember to leave enough charge in the battery so it will start for your return journey
To enter the prize draw, end users must purchase an authentic Century Marine Pro battery from any New Zealand retail outlet during the promotional period and complete an online entry form through https://www.centurybatteries.co.nz/promotions/fuel-your-summer!-win-free-fuel-for-a-year!.
Participants will receive one entry into each of the four prize draws.