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What do you do with your boat's batteries during the winter?


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17 replies to this topic

#1
ACE

ACE
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  • Location: Tri-Cities Wa
  • Boat: 06 Wakesetter 23 LSV
I did not disconnect my batteries this winter. I have been told to get the maximum life out of your battery that you should probably pull them out, but I didn't so now what? Do you purchase a charger to hook them up to? Thanks in advance.

#2
sheeprides

sheeprides
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  • Location: Southern California
  • Boat: 2004 Wakesetter
You should routinely charge them during the winter months. If you're not going to keep a trickle charge on them, at least pull them out and charge them up once a month. Buy a charger and start right away. BTW, lots of good information can be found in this thread from a few weeks ago. Good luck.

#3
SacRiverRat

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  • Location: Rescue, CA
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Try the search... this has been discussed before

#4
jphillips

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  • Location: Ottawa, Ontario
  • Boat: 2004 Malibu VLX
If you let a battery discharge all the way the plates warp. Once the plates are warped the batteries life is very limited. If you don't pull it and keep it charged up, life is over for the battery in the near future.

So I have been told (I always keep mine charged).

Rather than buying a trickle charger, I have my battery on a battery charger which is on a timer which comes on twice a week for 2 hours and is set to automatic.

John

#5
Big Mac

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  • Location: Central Minnesota
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Leave the battery connected in the boat, hook it up to a float charger (not a trickle charger) and ignore it until spring.

#6
Daman

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  • Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Leave the battery connected in the boat, hook it up to a float charger (not a trickle charger) and ignore it until spring.


I agree 100%

I did that with my last boat and my batteries lasted four years!!!

#7
tmcb

tmcb
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  • Location: Decatur In
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Leave the battery connected in the boat, hook it up to a float charger (not a trickle charger) and ignore it until spring.



Same here.

#8
CLOUT1

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I suppose 6 and 1/2 dozen or another...I have taken mine out of the boat in Nov., put it in the basement till april/may put it on the trickle charge for a day, put it in the boat and used it all season without any hesitation...going into year five with the same battery?!?!?!?!

#9
BlastRlxi

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I've always left the battery on the boat, disconnected, with the boat stored in an attached garage (where the temp rarely goes below freezing in the garage). I have not put the battery on any type of charger until a day or two before I am ready to use it again in the spring. The battery my last boat made it through it's 5th season just fine before I sold the boat.

If the battery doesn't see the extreme cold temps, does it really need to be on a charger all winter? I know what every winterization guide will tell you, but I haven't seen the evidence to support it. Maybe batteries are built tougher than they used to be.

#10
Big Mac

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Nothing wrong with disconnecting the battery, taking it out, store it on a shelf inside and charge it every so often - it's a perfectly valid way to treat a battery. It's just unnecessary and a lot simpler to avoid all that disconnecting and carrying stuff and just leave it connected in the boat.

When a lead-acid battery is discharged even a little, it begins to sulfate - little bridges of sulfide crystals between the plates. Those will cause internal shorts between the plates and more of them there are, the more self-discharge the battery will have. When a battery is kaput- won't hold a charge - it's because there is excessive sulfation. The best way to avoid that is to keep it fully charged with a float charger. Additionally, some such chargers (Optimate, for example) actually pulse the charger to break up any sulfide bridges that have formed.

As to freezing, a fully charged lead-acid battery freezes at about -56 F. A 50% charged battery will freeze at about +15 F. Keeping the battery constantly at full charge, especially if left in the boat in the winter, only makes sense, especially for the cost of a float charger for $30. It prevents sulfation, may reverse sulfation, and prevents freezing.

#11
Malibudude

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Try the search... this has been discussed before


Now that takes all the fun out of it.

#12
Baddog

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Bought a really cool, smart charger from Lowes, of all places, and hook it up to the removed battery every two months. Come to think of it, it's time.

#13
Captain Blood

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I have one of these mounted and hardwired to the batteries in the boat.
http://www.marinco.c.....st Industrial

When ever they need a charge, I just run an extention cord out to the boat, and plug it in over night.

#14
electricjohn

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I take my batterys out of the boats for the winter, and store them in my basement on a metal shelf, throwing a 1 amp overnight charge on them twice during the storage season. The Delco (marine) battery in my Winner boat is going to be 14 next year. The battery before that (Diehard marine) lasted 13 years. So I stick to that method cause it seems to work. The crank amps on my Winner is 115 amps. If it falls below that number during my spring cranking test, I know it won't last the season or the starter is going, which has never happened. 40 years of boating have taught me that.

#15
mbwagoner

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got a Battery Tender Junior
http://www.powerwerx...I...&CtgID=3576

I've got it plugged in next to my garage door opener and the cable dangles down almost straight to my boat where the battery is. I just leave it plugged in all the time, even during the summer now. I've been having a slow couple years because of newborns so it goes long stretches without starting. Never came out to a dead battery.

Same company make a waterproof model for cases where the boat is outside but you can get an extension cord to.

#16
Mike d Wakeboarder

Mike d Wakeboarder
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  • Location: Virginia Beach, VA
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I did not disconnect my batteries this winter. I have been told to get the maximum life out of your battery that you should probably pull them out, but I didn't so now what? Do you purchase a charger to hook them up to? Thanks in advance.



i have been told to unplug them but it is not necessary to take them out of the boat. but that is only what i heard. i could be wrong.

#17
wienrdog

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I pull out the batteries, put on a stand in the garage & trickle charge them on the first of each month. I've gotten 5+ years out of the boat battery (The boat battery was in the boat when I bought it) and 4 years out of each jet-ski battery. I store the water vehicles in an unheated & unpowered storage area about a half hour away. It can get cold for a few days here once or twice over the winter, so I just feel more comfortable with the batteries where they don't have any chance of freezing/cracking/leaking in the boats. Also, I can maintain them & have them fully charged & worry-free in the spring without having to make an extra trip to the storage area.

#18
east tx skier

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I take my batterys out of the boats for the winter, and store them in my basement on a metal shelf, throwing a 1 amp overnight charge on them twice during the storage season. The Delco (marine) battery in my Winner boat is going to be 14 next year. The battery before that (Diehard marine) lasted 13 years. So I stick to that method cause it seems to work. The crank amps on my Winner is 115 amps. If it falls below that number during my spring cranking test, I know it won't last the season or the starter is going, which has never happened. 40 years of boating have taught me that.


Alright! Finally another person with the Delco marine battery. This was recommended to me by a local auto mechanic who is also a boat owner. I'm going into my fourth season with it. Until this past winter, when I finally remembered to buy a float charger, I just disconnected the negative cable for winter layup. I have never had any hesitation from this battery in spite of what I realize was not ideal maintenance until this winter. Anyway, just wanted to put in another thumbs up for the Delco marine battery. Probably worth mentioning that the price is reasonable on these, too.




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