Waeco PerfectCharge W8 battery charger

A FULLY charged and maintained battery is vital if you’re to enjoy safe and hassle free boating.

Modern batteries are very reliable but they still go flat so you need a good automatic charger to keep them in peak condition. An “automatic” charger will take the battery up to full charge and then maintain it without overcharging the battery.

So you can leave it connected for as long as you like, safe in the knowledge that the battery will be kept in peak condition for when you next need it. I make it a habit to connect my boat batteries to chargers whenever I’m not using the boat.

In my estuary boat I plug the PerfectCharge W8 charger into the 80Ah starter battery at the transom and use a more powerful charger for the 100Ah deep cycle battery for the electric motor at the bow. The W8 looks a bit “old school” compared to many auto chargers available these days. It’s also quite sizable at 180x110x130mm and weighs in at 3.2kg.

As such it’s ideal for use in a shed or similar where it’s used on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. A carry handle on to the unit allows for easy transportation, if required. I like the W8 for its relative simplicity – instead of a confusing array of flashing lights and symbols, the W8 uses a amperemeter (which displays 0-8A) and two LED lights – a green one which signals that the unit is working and the battery is charged and a red one which lights up if you incorrectly connect the battery terminals.

A rocker switch allows you to select “slow” or “8A”. Select “slow” for small batteries of between 15Ah to 30Ah and 8Ah when charging bigger batteries up to 120Ah. The W8 should fully recharge a flat 12-volt boat or battery in about 12 hours.

While the battery is charging the amperemeter needle should show the charging current level. The W8 retails for $179, which is pretty good value for a charger of this ilk. It also carries a one-year warranty. For technical info, check out detailed specs at

By Jim Harnwell

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