A Little Liquid Refreshment for your Deep Cycle Battery / Midwest Outdoors
A Little Liquid Refreshment for your Deep Cycle Battery
Outdoor Writer and
Fishing Guide from Woodruff, Wisconsin
This question is for boat owners who fish a lot: How long does your trolling motor’s deep-cycle battery last? Yeah, mine too. Disgusting, isn’t it, considering how much those suckers cost? How would you like to buy your next battery a little refreshment, sort of a shot and a beer to cheer up a hard worker who’s in for a long tough summer? Over the past four years I’ve become a life-long believer in a little pick-me-up for my batteries that’s very affordable, very effective, and can double or even triple your battery’s average life span.
I fish a lot. Low-balling my estimate, I’d say I’m on the water 120 days a year. Every time I get home from a fishing trip I hook up the charger and recharge the trolling motor battery. Deep-cycle batteries are intended to handle repeated charge and discharge cycles but that’s a lot of charging nonetheless (especially when you consider I come home tired and am not exactly diligent about checking my battery fluid levels each time). A summer has never passed when I haven’t ignored water levels until the plates were eventually exposed. Whatever percentage of plates was exposed, the battery subsequently lost that percentage of recharge ability.
There were also a few times over the past 20 years when I was in a situation where I couldn’t recharge after each use, sojourns to the far reaches of northwestern Ontario or extended island camping vacations on the Willow Flowage. For over 20 years the end result of this battery abuse has been the purchase of a new one every spring. That’s both frustrating and expensive.
Then four years ago I happened across a press release about Thermoil batteries, found my interest piqued by what I read, called Terry Fellner, the president of the company, and asked about a zillion questions before I bought one of his batteries. This past November I completed an Unprecedented fourth season with that same battery. The battery I bought from Fellner is a high-quality, heavy-duty marine deep-cycle battery with extra thick plates; one of the batteries Thermoil used to sell before they opted to sell the patented high tech oil itself instead of trying to develop a nationwide network of battery distributors. I’m not sure how many cycles my battery is rated for but it has already been through 300 or more and I fully expect to get at least one more year out of it. If that happens I’ll have used the same trolling motor battery five times longer than any battery I’ve ever used.
Don’t take my word for any of this, be skeptical. Go to the following website: www.thermoilbatteries.com and read anything and everything but especially the Frequently Asked Questions section. For instance, don’t expect to rejuvenate a used battery that already has corroded plates. Realize that you can’t extend a battery’s life indefinitely. Learn why Thermoil now sells the oil instead of batteries, etc. Your new battery will thank you. I strongly urge any boat owner who piles up the frequent-fisherman miles and plans to buy a battery this spring to invest a little pocket change in a bottle of Thermoil. Thermoil currently sells for $12.95 per bottle, which is enough to buy you next trolling motor battery a shot and a beer before it spits on its hands and digs in to work.
February 2002 Midwest Outdoors “Helping People Enjoy the Outdoors” Page 7