If you have never turned your boat or tow vehicle’s ignition key only to have it do absolutely nothing, you should be both wary and happy.
Be wary because it happens to almost everyone sooner or later, and be happy because you still have time to prepare for it.
I used to carry a set of jumper cables in the boat that were long enough to reach between its cranking battery and No. 1 trolling motor battery (the one with the trolling motor’s black ground cable connected to its negative post).
This is the trolling motor battery of choice because you can’t accidentally get more than 12 volts from it while jump-starting your boat’s engine.
The cables were too short to reach the front of my truck, so I would have had to remove a boat battery and carry it to the front of my truck to jump start it.
Well, a Weego portable jump starter replaced those cables some months ago, as I reported in this column. It is small enough to fit in the glove compartment of my truck or boat, yet its internal lithium battery could easily start my truck’s V-8 or my boat’s outboard engine.
It also has a brilliant emergency flashlight/signaling device, and can power my laptop computer and recharge practically any USB-chargeable device.
The unit can be recharged from a 12-volt cigarette lighter plug in the truck or boat, or I can plug it into a wall socket at home.
My only worry was the unit’s vulnerability to water damage: It simply wasn’t designed for the marine environment, so I carried it in a waterproof container.
Weego just eliminated that worry by coming out with a family of jump starters designed for use in boats.
Their IP65 rating means they are dust proof and can even resist water from a low-pressure hose. However, they are not designed to survive being submerged, so some care is still called for.
The new Weego 22 and 22S models are aimed at boats, PWCs, motorcycles, ATVs and vehicles with gas engines up to 5 liters of displacement or diesel engines up to 2.5 liters.
The basic 22S ($74.99) is a jump-start-only model, while the 22 ($99.99) is equipped with a 250-lumen LED emergency flashlight with strobe and SOS modes, and can automatically charge phones, tablets and other devices.
The Weego 44 ($149.99) can handle gas engines to 6.4 liters and diesels to 3.2 liters. It has a brighter, 500-lumen flashlight, and can put out 19 volts to charge laptop computers.
The Weego 66 ($199.99) can jump start gas engines to 10 liters and diesels to 5 liters, and it includes a 600-lumen flashlight and extra-long 24-inch jump-starting cables.
All Weego unit batteries last at least 1,000 full charge/recharge cycles. They also have Connection Detection to ensure proper hookups, and feature reverse-polarity, overheat, power surge and anti-spark protection.
The model 44 is available now, and the others are coming in March 2017.
Visit www.myweego.com for more information.