Power When You Need It: Best On-Board Battery Chargers Reviewed

While lures, rods, lines, and lures are all very attractive, the battery charger is what keeps you fishing day after day. They are essential tools that anglers quickly come to appreciate and respect.

Many bass boats include a charger, as well as the possibility of upgrading. Sometimes, however, these durable electronics can wear out. If you are considering buying a boat, an upgrade, or simply need to replace your charger, there are likely questions.

Which amperage is right for you? What number of banks do you really need? Which brands are trustworthy? Yes, we’ll be referring to name brands. This is because chargers are vital equipment. Your batteries will last longer if you have a good charger.

We have the answers. Below, you will find a detailed, fact-based discussion about onboard chargers.

Here’s a quick look at the top marine battery chargers today:

  • Minn Kota Precision On-Board Charger
  • Minn Kota Digital On-Board Charger
  • Dual Pro Professional Series On-Board Charger
  • Cabela’s Pro Series on-Board Charger
  • NOCO Genius On-Board Charge

Related: Best Trolling Motor Battery, Best Marine Batteries

Best Marine Battery Charger Reviews

Minn Kota Precision On-Board Charger

Minn Kota 1834600 Precision On-Board Charger, MK 460pc (4 Bank x 15 Amps)

ModelMK 460PCMK 440 PCMK 345PCMK 330 PCMK 318 PCMK 230PC
Banks443332
Amps/Bank15101510615
Total Amps604045301830
RTIt takes between 3-5 hours.It takes between 4-6 hours.It takes between 3-5 hours.It takes between 4-6 hours.10-12 hours5-4 hours
Size14.75 x 9.25x 3.9.25 x 10.5x 3.11 x 9.25×39.25 x 8.25x 3.9.25 x 8.25x 3.7.63 x 9.25x 3.

Approved for salt-water: Yes
Types of batteries: Wet/flooded cell. AGM and gel
Multi-stage chargingYes
Distributed chargingYes
Low-line voltage compensation: Yes
Automatic temperature compensations

Minn Kota’s chargers have a legendary reputation. Dual Pro may be the exception, but they are the most trusted on the water.

The MK precision series is the best choice for serious anglers. There’s a model for you, whether you have to get back on the water in a matter of hours or want to wait until the morning.

There are 2, 3, or 4 bank options. You’ll find all the bells, including automatic temperature compensation, low voltage compensation, distributed charging, and low-line potential compensation. All this tech translates into almost unbeatable performance, whatever your requirements may be, and improved battery life.

AGM and gel batteries are expensive so it is worth looking into top-flight charging systems like the MK precision series. The ability to customize your charging is a great benefit, especially if you have more than one type of battery (e.g., a starter battery for the trolling motor and a bank with AGMs for the wet cell).

Pros

  • High-end, full-featured charging system
  • Excellent selection of RTs
  • Perfect for anglers who have more than one type of battery

Cons

  • It is not bargain-priced

Minn Kota Digital On-Board Charger

Johnson Outdoors MinnKota MK 106D On-Board Battery Charger (Black)

ModelMK 106DMK 210DMK 220DMK 315DMK 330DMK 440PC
Banks122334
Amps/Bank651051010
Total Amps61020153040
RT10-12 hours10-12 hoursIt takes between 4-6 hours.10-12 hoursIt takes between 4-6 hours.It takes between 4-6 hours.
Size8.75 x 4.75x 3.11.5 x 7.75 x 4.13.5 x 7.75 x 4.12.5 x 7.75 x 4.16.5 x 7.75 x 4.11.75 x 6.75x 8.
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Approved for salt-water: Yes
Types of batteries: AGM and wet-cell
Multi-stage chargingYes
Distributed charging
Low-line voltage compensation: No
Automatic temperature compensations

Minn Kota’s Digital Charger is a great choice for anglers looking to strike a balance between price and performance. These chargers provide the tech you need, but nothing too flashy. They are an easy-to-use option that can be used to get the job done.

The MK digital series supports wet-cell and gel batteries but not AGM. It promises multi-stage charging and temperature compensation. These features increase battery performance and extend service life, which are critical issues for any boat.

This charger is ideal for small boats that have only one battery. It won’t let go, as countless fishermen can attest.

The precision series is lagging in high-end RTs. If you require fast recharge times, you will want to spend more money on a higher-end charger.

Pros

  • It provides the features you require without any extra cost
  • A wide range of options available in banks
  • Perfect for anglers looking to strike a price/performance balance

Cons

  • But it’s not cheap
  • Higher precision series have slower RTs

Dual Pro Professional Series On-Board Charger

Dual Pro 15 Amp/Bank Professional Series 3 Bank Charger

ModelPS1PS2PS3PS4
Banks1234
Amps/Bank15151515
Total Amps15304560
RTIt takes between 3-5 hours.It takes between 3-5 hours.It takes between 3-5 hours.It takes between 3-5 hours.
Size8.25 x 6.38x 5.8.25 x 9.5 x 6.8.25 x 13.x 6.8.25 x 15.78x 7.25

Approved for salt-water: Yes
Types of batteries: AGM and wet-cell
Multi-stage chargingYes
Distributed charging
Low-line voltage compensation: No
Automatic temperature compensations

Dual Pro is Minn Kota’s serious rival. Many anglers swear to DP chargers. One of their main selling points is the fact that they can be fixed if it fails. The only options are warranty replacement or purchasing a new charger.

Dual Pro is a charger that you get what you pay. You don’t have the option of distributed charging or low-line voltage compensation.

What’s the answer?

It’s simple. RTS is blisteringly fast, holding each model steady at a remarkable 3 to 5 hours. Tournament anglers will find this to be the pinnacle of fishing. Only the most elite Minn Kotas are capable of keeping up, but only in 4-bank models.

Pros

  • Features you require
  • A wide range of options available in banks
  • Perfect for anglers who require ultra-fast RTs
  • Can be repaired, not replaced

Cons

  • Expensive

Cabela’s Pro Series onboard charger

NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp 12-Volt UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter Bo

ModelPS6PS8PS12PS20PS20
Banks12223
Amps/Bank646106.67
Total Amps68122020
RT10-12 hours10-12 hours10-12 hours10-12 hours10-12 hours
Size7.3 x 7.7.2 x 2.58.4 x 7.2 x 2.510 x 7.2×2.5″12.4 x 7.2 x 2.512.4 x 7.2 x 2.5

Approved for salt-water: Yes
Types of batteries: AGM and wet-cell
Multi-stage chargingYes
Distributed chargingYes
Low-line voltage compensation: No
Automatic temperature compensations

Dual Pro is rumored to be the manufacturer of Cabela’s Pro Series charger. No matter what the truth is, the Minn Kotas and Dual Pros are priced at an outrageous price. There’s no cheaper charging system available.

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Cabela has reduced amperage and added distributed charging to keep the prices down. This means that even though RTs are affected, the chargers in this lineup can charge you overnight.

The Pro Series supports both AGM and wet-cell batteries. These chargers are a great choice for budget-minded anglers.

Pros

  • Priced to fit your budget
  • Features you require
  • A wide range of options available in banks
  • Perfect for anglers who can tolerate overnight charging

Cons

  • If you have to get back on the water quickly, long RTs may not be ideal.

NOCO Genius On-Board Charger

NOCO Genius GEN1, 1-Bank, 10-Amp (10-Amp Per Bank) Fully-Automatic Smart Marine Charger, 12V Onboard Battery Charger And Battery Maintainer

ModelGen 1Gen 2Gen 3Gen 4
Banks1234
Amps/Bank10101010
Total Amps10203040
RTIt takes approximately 4-5 hours.It takes approximately 4-5 hours.It takes approximately 4-5 hours.It takes approximately 4-5 hours.
Size8.25 x 6.38x 5.8.25 x 9.5 x 6.8.25 x 13.x 6.8.25 x 15.78x 7.25

Approved for salt-water: Yes
Types of batteries: AGM, Gel, and Wet-cell
Multi-stage chargingYes
Distributed charging
Low-line voltage compensation: Yes
Automatic temperature compensations

The Genius series chargers from NOCO are rapidly gaining a reputation for flawless function. They’re able to match Dual Pro’s speed while still providing low-line voltage compensation. That’s a major problem for tournament anglers and NOCO’s advantage helps to explain their increasing popularity.

NOCO’s chargers are available in 1, 2, 3, and 4 bank versions. They support AGM, gel, and wet-cell batteries. These chargers also provide the technology to maintain your investment’s battery health.

A NOCO charger can provide a 4- to 5-hour RT across the range and will get you back on the water in no time. It is about half the price of a Dual Pro.

This is simply amazing. I recommend you take a look at these chargers.

Pros

  • Amazing performance at an amazing price
  • High-end features such as low-line voltage compensation
  • A wide range of options available in banks
  • Perfect for anglers who require ultra-fast RTs

Cons

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Basics of On-Board Battery Charging

Your alternator is responsible for keeping your starter battery charged in your car or truck. If your alternator fails, you will know what to do next. Your battery will quickly go dead because it is drained by the constant output.

Your outboard only needs to be on the water for a small portion of freshwater fishing. Modern outboards are equipped with an alternator. However, they won’t run if it isn’t.

It’s not like you are running to and from your fishing spots. The rest of your day is wastedUseWithout a charger that is high quality, battery power will not last long.

Banks

It can be confusing as anglers use it in two different ways. A “bank” of battery is a collection of connected batteries, such as three 12v batteries and a 36v trolling engine.

However, when it comes to chargers, a bank is one battery.

Commonly, chargers come in 2, 3, or 4 bank models.

A charger should have a number that is equal to your total number, including your starting batteries.

Recovery Time and amperage

Your batteries will take longer to recharge if you drain them more. Another important factor that affects recovery time is the amperage rating of your charger.

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Simply put, the faster your recharging speed, the more amps you have. All other things being equal

A slow recovery might work well for recreational anglers who only make a few trips per month. A tournament angler will need a more powerful recharger.

What to Look For When Looking for the Best On-Board Batteries Charger

Size

It is easy to forget that your battery charger must fit.

Measure the area where your charger will be placed and ensure that your new model fits in.

Automatic Temperature Compensation

The mercury can rise, and batteries can overheat when charging, potentially causing them to fail or even ruin.

Automatic temperature compensation battery chargers adjust to the ambient temperature and meter power to keep your batteries cool.

Low-Line Voltage Compensation

There is nothing to be concerned about if you hook up your boat at home using a good extension cord. If you fish for several days and require the dock’s power, your charger likely has too low a voltage to function properly.

This problem can be solved by some chargers that include low-line voltage compensation.

Smart Charging

Some chargers may not be compatible with advanced battery types such as gel, AGM, and lithium-ion.

  • Digital –Many digital chargers can be used with AGM or gel batteries as well as older flooded cell tech. They can’t be modified for different types of batteries, such as a starter battery for a trolling motor and a set of three banks of AGMs.
  • Precision –While precision chargers are more expensive than digital ones, they let you choose the type of battery for each bank. This ensures maximum battery life and performance.
  • Lithium-IonSpecialized chargers are required for lithium-ion batteries. If you have one or more of these high-tech batteries, it is best to get recommendations from the manufacturer.

Distributed Charging

Some onboard chargers don’t offer distributed charging. This means that even if the charger is supplying 10 amps to each bank, and one or more banks are fully charged, it cannot shunt additional power to the one that is not.

Distributed charging, on the other hand, allows for more power to be used where it is needed and faster recovery times.

Multi-Stage Charging

Multi-stage charging is a feature that modern chargers often offer. They evaluate the battery’s power and choose the best way to charge it or keep it charged. This smart technology leads to longer battery life and better performance.

Last Thoughts

There is no one “best” charger for your onboard computer. You will find the right one for you.

For serious tournament anglers who need blazing RTs, Minn Kota’s precision series, Dual Pros Professional Series and NOCO Genius series can get you on the water before anyone else. This is a great advantage that’s worth the price. Depending on what features you want and the type of battery that you have, these options are great.

Minn Kota’s digital series or Cabela’s more budget-friendly Pro Series can be used for relaxed fishing. They deliver excellent performance and acceptable rates. However, they won’t break the bank. Instead, they will help you increase the longevity of your quality batteries.

It doesn’t matter what brand you choose, it is worth buying a reliable charger. You’ll be happy that your outboard started every time and your trolling motor ran all day.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.