It’s that time of year, at Skagit Valley College Marine Technology program, where instructors are eager to train another round of technicians.

As many of you know, SVC provides ongoing technical training for former students, the boating industry, and boat owners. Lately there is a lot of talk about lithium batteries. These batteries are everywhere from electric toothbrushes, vacuums, bikes, cars and boats. The boating industry knows that boat installation can be much more complicated than a simple eBike, phone, or computer.

Upgrading to lithium batteries makes sense for many cruisers and the benefits are great. Over the past 10 years we have learned a lot about using these batteries in the marine environment. The latest buzz word is “Drop-In” lithium batteries. Drop-In really means the batteries have a built-in Battery Management System BMS and are often marketed as a simple replacement for your current lead-based batteries. As you can imagine, this is not the complete story, and is mostly marketing hype. There are many things to consider when using these batteries, including a new standard announced by the American Boat & Yacht Council, E-13 Lithium Batteries.

Want to learn more? Join us for a free Cruisers College class at the Marine Technology Center in Anacortes, Friday, October 7th at 5 p.m. This information session is for students, technicians, and boat owners. Registration for the free class is required, so follow this link to secure your seat as space is limited.

Following the lithium talk, we will have staff available for a fun, open topic, “Ask the Experts” as we kick off the Cruisers College season of courses for boat owners at the Technology Center located at 1606 R Avenue in Anacortes, a part of Skagit Valley College.

Also check out the 20 or so Cruisers College courses offered this fall by Skagit Valley College and the Waggoner Cruising Guide at the Marine Technology Center. Follow this link for a list of fall classes.

by Michael Beemer
Skagit Valley College
Marine Technology Dept. Chair