How Long Does It Take to Trickle Charge a Jet Ski Battery?

A jet ski battery trickle charger is a device that will charge a jet ski battery more quickly and effectively. Many jet ski owners prefer to have a smart charger in the vehicle and rightly so. These chargers are quick to charge the vehicle and that can be very helpful unlike a trickle charger which, while steady, does take an awful lot of time to get the battery to its full capacity. That’s just one piece of information. For more, keep reading.

Trickle chargers are slow to charge a jet ski. If you have a completely dead battery, you should charge it overnight. Consider that to be about 10-12 hours. But if you have a half-dead battery, you can start with four hours and take it from there. 

But charging a jet ski with a trickle charger, simple or otherwise (yes, there are at least a few types) is not that simple. As is the case with many appliances and their chargers, there are a few ifs and buts to this too. And we’ve put it all together under one roof so that you don’t have to wander on the internet. Here’s what you need to know.

How Long Does it Take for a Jet Ski Battery to Charge?

If you don’t have a smart charger on you, which you should, you still have the option of charging your jet ski with a simple trickle charger. What you can do is use it to charge your jet ski overnight. This is in case your jet ski battery is completely dead. If it is at half the capacity, charge it for four hours and you should be in a good place.

Now, trickle chargers used to be a way to get slow but uninterrupted supplies of current to a battery that is fully charged. They were used to keep the battery stable for a long time. But sometimes, when you leave it on for a long period of time, you will end up damaging the battery because of overcharging.

Thankfully, that is not always the case nowadays because of the many developments made to trickle chargers. In fact, some of them are almost as good as smart chargers which are a faster way to charge your jet ski.

Now, these models also come equipped with the ability to tell you when the jet ski is completely charged and automatically turn off to prevent the above-mentioned battery damage.

When the battery once again needs charge, they automatically turn on and keep the vehicle going much like many of our smartphone and laptop chargers these days.

So, when shopping for a charger, look for one of these hybrid models which is a mix of a trickle charger, a smart charger and a battery maintainer. It is essentially a three-in-one.

Can You Trickle Charge a Jet Ski Battery

Quite a few experts actually do not recommend using a trickle charger for jet ski battery because of how slow it is in powering up the jet ski. In these cases, they are often talking about a simple trickle charger without the ability to detect full charge and switch off on its own. So, if you want to leave the charger on overnight, you might not want to get a simple trickle charger. It is in those cases that it is not a preferred choice.

Now, it is important to remember that in most places it is not jet ski season throughout the year. This means that you will have to do some extra maintenance during those months that your jet ski is parked at home. This is an important point because a lot of people operate with the assumption that jet ski batteries are similar to car batteries. They are not.

Now to the question of can you trickle charge a jet ski battery. The best way to charge the battery of your jet ski is to use a trickle charger when you are not using the jet ski. This helps extend the lifespan of the battery. That is because, as mentioned briefly above, the rate of charge from a trickle charger is slow and if your jet ski has lead-acid batteries, they will be self-discharging when the vehicle is not in use.

They also go bad when not charged periodically. With trickle charging you will also not be required to do too much maintenance off-season. That is because this kind of charging keeps the jet ski battery from draining when it is not being used.

You also don’t have to worry as much about overcharging because they take their own sweet time getting the battery to its full capacity. Some of them also come with features like thermal compensation and automatic desulfation.

If you weren’t aware already, sulfation is a process where the plates of the battery accumulate lead sulfate crystals when they are not in use. This affects the performance of the battery adversely. And so, any feature that delays or slows down this process if not completely avoids it is a good one to have.

How to charge a jet ski battery?

Now, when it is time for you to park your jet ski, you must charge it, right? This is actually a part of the maintenance routine, especially in winters. Let’s take you through the process of charging a jet ski battery step by step.

  1. Take the battery out of the jet ski. You might need a screwdriver to remove some panels and covers. If your battery has a breather hose, well, remove that too.
  2. Disconnect the terminals starting with the black cable.
  3. Inspect the battery for any cracks and leaks. If you spot any, stop right here and get a new battery. Otherwise, keep going.
  4. Get the battery to the place where your power outlet is. It should be dry, away from flammable substances and have a decent amount of ventilation.
  5. Get some baking soda and clean the corrosion from the terminals if you find any. Wait till they are dry.
  6. Remove the charger from its outlet on the wall and then connect it to the battery. Start by connecting the red cable to the positive terminal and the black cable to the negative terminal.
  7. Now plug the charger into the outlet. Set it for one amp/hour if that is possible. It is important to remember here that under no circumstances should it be more than 2 amps/hour.
  8. If you have a hybrid model which is both a trickle charger and smart charger, you can leave it on and it will switch off when the battery is full. Otherwise, keep an eye on it.
  9. Once the battery is charged, turn off the plug and unplug the charger.
  10. Remove the cables from the charger. Start by detaching the black cable from the negative terminal and then remove the red cable from the positive terminal.
  11. Place the battery back in the jet ski. Place the panels and covers back exactly where they were. This goes for the breather hose too in case you had one and removed it at the beginning of this process.
  12. If you want to take care of corrosion in the future, you might want to spray a little bit of lubricant. You’re all set for the next season.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should I Leave a Trickle Charger On?

Overnight if you have a dead battery but if not, jet ski battery charge time start with four hours.

Can a Trickle Charger Kill a Battery?

Overcharging is a real problem in the batteries of a jet ski. So, while a dead battery is required to be charged overnight, if you are not careful, you might end up overcharging it which causes some damage to the battery.

And if you accidentally or recklessly end up doing this more than once, you will most definitely damage the battery. The way to avoid this is to get a smart charger or a hybrid of a trickle and smart charger.

Can You Charge a Jet Ski Battery While Still Connected?

It is recommended to remove the battery from the jet ski when charging it. This is because if there is a problem with the charging process, it’s easier to troubleshoot if the battery is not connected to the jet ski. Additionally, if you leave the battery in place while charging, it can overheat and cause damage to both the battery and the jet ski.

About the author, Phil Borges

Phil Borges is a battery aficionado. He's written extensively about batteries, and he loves nothing more than discussing the latest innovations in the industry. He has a deep understanding of how batteries work, and he's always on the lookout for new ways to improve their performance.