Inshore fishing is not a trip to the farm pond. Some fishing trips inevitably go wrong and it's important to be prepared when they do. The GB30 is a high-tech battery jumper that will bail you out in more ways than one.
Twilight shimmered as the sun burned darkness away. The air was still and the landscape quiet, save for one hungry bird. Peering into the water, a great egret perched on a walkway between boat slips running in a row down the shoreline.
The brilliantly white bird was determined to get something to eat and get something to eat right now.
With overhead light from a bay boat, she leaned down towards the water, careful to not spook her prey. She was lining up a shot on a finger mullet when a loud, white diesel truck pulled up. Not wanting to chance an encounter, the hungry bird took off down the bayou, protesting the machine in loud squawks.
Five men in their late twenties hopped out of the truck, grabbing assorted fishing gear to load into the boat. They were all wearing short sleeves and shorts save one, who began dropping the boat into the water.
The boat's slow descent stopped just short of the waterline. He knew better than to set the boat adrift before starting the motor.
No one noticed the overhead light in the boat's T-Top was still on, but he did. After all, it was his boat and he knew it like the back of his hand. The last cooler and group of rods were lashed down inside the boat when he spoke up.
"Guys, I left the overhead light on. The battery is probably dead."
"Whatcha gonna do, Cap'?"
"It's not an issue. Alan, can you reach into the center console and pull out the big dry bag?"
In minutes he had an emergency battery jumper connected to the main battery. The motor turned effortlessly and their fishing trip continued on time.
The man in long sleeves looked like a rock star, but it was no accident. He had experience with unexpected accidents like this and learned how to be prepared.
After all, there were speckled trout to be had.
I will never forget that day because it was an occasion my preparedness paid off.
I do many things to stay prepared for the worst, but at the end of the day I have learned it is quality equipment that does me best.
The battery jumper I used years ago was old. The lead-acid technology was dated, making the device to be bulky and heavy. Today I use a much better piece of equipment that is smaller, packs more punch and is far more versatile.
I use a NOCO Genius Boost GB30.
NOCO Genius Boost GB30 Review
The GB30 is ahead of its game in the portable battery jumping world due to it's unconventional, but superior, design and capabilities. It is not built around lead-acid but lithium ion, which is lighter and more powerful.
This allows the GB30 to be smaller but still pack enough punch to jumpstart your outboard motor.
In fact, according to the NOCO fact sheet, the GB30 is about 2lbs in weight while similar lead-acid battery jumpers weigh in about 18lbs. That's a big difference! For being so light and compact the GB30 has impressive specifications:
- Dimensions of 6.7 x 3.2 x 1.7 in
- recharges in 3 hours (at 2 amps)
- jumping power of 400 amps
- 7000 joules of energy
- can hold a charge for up to a year
- can handle over 1,000 cycles
- capable of jumping gasoline motors as big as 6.0L up to 20 times
The GB30 can jump every outboard out there.
Yamaha's largest outboard motor is their 5.3L V8 Four Stroke F350. Being able to jump any single-battery outboard up to 6 liters in size, the GB30 won't have a problem with the F350.
In fact, the GB30 can jump a motor that big up to 20 times before losing a charge. This is a great emergency tool for boats running multiple motors with their own starting batteries.
Have a bigger motor? Get a bigger Genius Boost, like a GB70.
The Genius Boost can do more.
The GB30 is more than a battery jumper. It has other features that will keep you using it outside of emergency situations.
The GB30 sports an adjustable LED Light that has multiple functions that include a high, medium and low light output, an SOS blink pattern, a continuous blink pattern and a strobe pattern. High light output is 100 lumens.
Additionally, the GB30 has a built-in charger outlet for smart phones, tablets or anything charged via USB. Just be sure to have that particular cable with you.
Phones can be recharged up to 12 times.
Mistake Proof Tech
All of NOCO's battery jumpers feature mistake-proof technology that will keep even the least mechanically-inclined angler from frying every electrical component on their boat.
You can touch the clamps together or put them on the battery backwards and no energy will discharge from the GB30. NOCO technology will instantly recognize the polarities are reversed and keep the very worst from happening.
The GB30 also protects against over charging, over heating and sparks.
Why it's a Life Saver
The GB30 will do more than make you look good jumping a neighbor's car or a boat at the marina.
If you fish enough it will inevitably happen that for whatever reason your battery will die when you are out in the middle of nowhere. You are not avoiding this risk if you don't fish a lot.
The absolute worst thing that can happen to a boat is to let it sit there, unattended, and not be ran.
It is common for people to pull their boat out of storage and have something go wrong long after they have launched and are deep inside the marsh.
Because the GB30 can hold its charge for up to a year you will be prepared for emergencies.
I've actually used the GB30 and it works!
Disaster struck the other day on my way to the marina. It was about 5:15 in the morning when a trailer tire blew up and I had to swap it out. The built-in light of the GB30 helped me see in the dark.
Later that week, the neighbor's SUV was dead and needed a jump. I pulled the GB30 out of my boat and had her up and running in no time.
On a separate fishing trip my phone stopped charging. A quick inspection revealed the 12v outlet had become too corroded to work. Plugging the phone into the GB30 was an easy fix.
Tips for Using the NOCO GB30
There are a couple things I learned to make the most of keeping and using a GB30.
First off, the GB30 is designed for single-battery 12 volt applications. I know it seems obvious, but it's important to point that out. If you drive a larger diesel truck like I do, then chances are you will need a larger battery jumper like the GB70 I mentioned before.
Secondly, the GB30 uses "smart" technology to recognize when it is properly hooked up to a half-dead battery, but some batteries that are really dead don't put out enough juice for the GB30 to detect it. These batteries typically have a voltage of less than 2 volts.
There is a manual override feature for this situation. However, it is important to know that enabling the manual override will disable the mistake-proof technology mentioned earlier.
Last, but certainly not least, coat all contacts on your GB30 with a light coat of grease to protect against saltwater corrosion. The unit is sealed and has plugs for its contacts, but you know those things are a mere speed bump for saltwater.
I have found saltwater corrosion in the darndest places, so I use a light coat of Corrosion-X to protect the GB30. Of course, it stays inside a ziplock bag, too.
Where can you get one?
I got my GB30 from Craig Gullung at Lawson Filters & Supply in Harvey. Their contact information is:
Lawson Filters & Supply 539 Peters Road Harvey, LA 70058
Hours: Monday thru Friday 7:30AM - 4:30PM
I recommend buying from Craig over an online retailer because he knows his products inside and out. When others parrot the manufacturer's specifications Craig can tell you exactly how a product fits into your fishing trip.
Above all, he is an avid inshore angler. He is one of "us" and understands how these NOCO products benefit the Louisiana fisherman. His company sells more than just battery jumpers, they also offer a selection of batteries for recreational and commercial uses as well as a myriad of other products.
You would be doing yourself a service by doing business with Craig. It's funny because I met Craig on the water while I was fishing with a friend. We were on a decent trout bite when we saw another boat approaching. We waved them over to get onto the trout and, of course, got to chat a little.
Overall, I think the NOCO Genius Boost GB30 is a great product. Time will tell how often it will bail me or another angler out of a bad situation, but for now I have used it long enough to see it's worth the investment.
The GB30 is discontinued and has been replaced by the GB40.