Test bat­tery be­fore head­ing out to sea

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

The good fish­ing on of­fer over win­ter draws plenty of boat­ing en­thu­si­asts to the wa­ter, but a lo­cal bat­tery store is urg­ing them not to ne­glect boat safety in their rush to get out there.

Bat­tery World Kar­ratha is part of a safety cam­paign be­ing run by the na­tional fran­chise for boat users to check their bat­ter­ies be­fore head­ing out onto the wa­ter.

It was started af­ter an in­for­mal sur­vey in Bat­tery World’s 92 stores showed hun­dreds of boat­ing en­thu­si­asts gave lit­tle thought to main­tain­ing their bat­tery un­til they ran into trou­ble.

Bat­tery World fran­chise part­ner Rus­sell Tay­lor said fail­ing to check on a boat bat­tery be­tween trips, not us­ing a marine-spe­cific bat­tery, and ac­ci­den­tally drain­ing the bat­tery by us­ing it to run a lot of other gad­gets were among the big­gest prob­lems he saw.

“We have peo­ple come into the store who have their fam­ily packed and ready to go out for the day — (they) get the boat off the trailer into the wa­ter and their plans are ru­ined be­cause the boat won’t start,” he said.

“They are a bit sheep­ish and em­bar­rassed when it is re­ally easy to check.

“We don’t ser­vice our boats as reg­u­larly as we ser­vice the car and time gets away from you.

“Peo­ple have brought bat­ter­ies in think­ing they bought it last year and it was ac­tu­ally three years ago.

“Bat­ter­ies are hid­den away so they are out of mind.”

Bat­tery World of­fers free bat­tery checks on marine and au­to­mo­tive bat­ter­ies.

West Pil­bara Vol­un­teer Sea Search and Res­cue Group pres­i­dent Bruce Hard­wicke said ev­ery year the team per­formed “about half-a-dozen” res­cues be­cause of flat bat­ter­ies, in­clud­ing one just last week.

”We had one out near the rigs the other day,” he said.

“They hadn’t checked their bat­ter­ies be­fore they left.

“The mo­tor started, so they pre­sumed the other one was okay.”

But the se­cond bat­tery failed when the group tried to restart the boat the next morn­ing, leav­ing them stranded “a long way out”, Mr Hard­wicke said.

Boat­ing en­thu­si­ast James McMan­away, who once had to be res­cued af­ter his bat­tery ran flat on the wa­ter, said a small amount of main­te­nance could make a big dif­fer­ence.

“It’s not like you can wave down a pass­ing car on a busy high­way,” he said.

“There could be lit­tle or no marine traf­fic where you are and the weather can change and sud­denly you are in a life-threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tion.

“I al­ways fire the boat up in the yard first to make sure it is good to go.

“If it doesn’t start, it can wreck the whole day and I never want to break down on the wa­ter again.”

Pic­ture: Bat­tery World

Boat­ing en­thu­si­ast James McMan­away has his boat’s bat­tery tested by Bat­tery World staff mem­ber Steve Min­ter.

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