Jump Start Your Sailing - Genius Boost GB30 Lithium Review

There are cool hi-tech gadgets for cruising and then there are must-have accessories. But how many of those cool hi-tech gadgets are must-haves? Thankfully, not many. I'm not sure sailing and cruising would be quite as satisfying if we all needed cutting edge gear to make it happen. After all, many of us like the fact that at the core, it just takes a little wind and a simple craft to sail far and live free.

However, Noco's tiny Genius Boost GB30 lithium jumpstarter has very quickly become a must-have hi-tech gadget on our boat. We've all run down engine starter batteries, whether in your automobile or sailboat. In fact, between Erin and I, our automobile has required a jump start no less than 4 times during the last 12 months. We haven't ever ended up with a dead battery on our sailboat (we have 3 total: 2 house, 1 starter), but I'm happy to have the added insurance of the GB30.

Genius Boost - Tiny, portable jump starting power!

The Genius Boost GB30 jump starter is amazing, particularly if you're familiar with the large, heavy traditional jump starters that are essentially like carrying around an extra lead-acid group 24 battery with jumper cables built-in. The GB30 is lithium-ion powered so it weighs only 1 pound (Yes - One pound!). At that size, you're probably thinking there must be a power trade-off. Nope. This thing has a peak current rating of 400A and can be used for up to 20 jump starts on a single charge. At that size and with the power to start just about any sailboat's auxiliary engine, why wouldn't you carry this in your emergency gear?

But perhaps the best feature is that this jump starter is extremely safe. The processor inside the GB30 includes thermal sensors and power management, so it won't produce any spark or boost until it is correctly hooked up, as indicated by the LED lights on top of the unit. You can touch the clamps together and nothing happens. No reverse polarity worries either. 

Hooking the GB30 up correctly is simple too. Just hook the red clamp to the positive terminal and the black clamp to the negative terminal on your dead starter battery. The internal processor senses the correct connections and illuminates the LED to indicate you're ready to start the engine.

Genius Boost GB30 ready to start our Honda Pilot

I haven't tried jump starting our Universal M-25XPB diesel (3-cylinder, 1 liter) with the GB30, but I did successfully jump our Honda Pilot (6-cylinder, 3.5 liter) 3 times for this review. I purposely ran down the battery overnight by leaving on the interior map lights. By morning, the battery was so dead the ignition just clicked when I turned the key, but the engine didn't even attempt to turn over. The GB30 got it started immediately (see video below). I then tried starting again with the GB30 with the headlights, air conditioning and radio all on. It didn't jump to life quite as quickly, but it did fire up after about 4-5 seconds. There are even a couple of YouTube videos showing the GB30 jumping cars with the battery totally removed. Suffice it say, I don't think I'll have any problems jumping our little sailboat diesel if the need ever arises.

Want more cool features? The GB30 also includes a built-in bright dual LED flashlight with 7 modes (SOS, emergency strobe, flashlight beam, etc.). Charging the unit is done with the included 40" USB to micro USB cable. The cable can also be used to power and charge other accessories (such as laptops, phones, tablets, etc.) from the GB30. The unit itself can hold 70% of its rated capacity for up to one year. While not completely waterproof, the GB30 does carry the IP65 water resistant rating and has port covers, so it'll be just fine on a boat as long as you don't submerge it.

I'm very impressed with the Genius Boost. It's safe, powerful and compact. Just what I want in a jump starter for the car or boat.

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