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Thread: Winter battery maintenance

  1. #1

    Question Winter battery maintenance

    I'm considering leaving my batteries on my boat this winter as they are a chore to pull out. The boat is stored alongside the house and it has a built-in charging system. My plan is to plug-in once a month and get the batteries back up to capacity. I believe this should protect the batteries from potentially freezing and any damage. Does this make sense? I would appreciate any comments, especially if you see a fatal flaw in my plan.

  2. #2
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default No Problem

    Should not be a problem. I left my ATV on the deck last year just starting it 2 times a month if that and the battery was fine.

    Leaving them in the boat though, and not using them or charging them is going to be a problem. Replacement costs.......

  3. #3
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    Default I would.

    I don't see a problem, if the batteries have the proper water level and there is no way they will discharge. (Clean the terminal and disconnect the cable). If the batteries are not being discharged you do not need to recharge them untill summer and only if you want to. If you do not have a hi quality charger it can cause more problems than not charging at all. A cheap charger will over charge a battery causing it to loose water if left on for several days.
    A cold battery will last longer in storage than a warm battery.

    The reason batteries are going bad in car/truck over winter storage is with the new electronic system the batteries are never completly disconected and are being discharged.

  4. #4
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    Default

    On all my ATV's, RV, boat and motorcycles I only remove the the cord from the negative terminal and leave the batteries in place till next season. On my last RV I had done this for 6 years and the batteries was still in great shape when I sold it. I have learned the hard way that if you do not disconnect the neg there is always some sort of parasatic drain and then the battery will discharge and freeze.
    Disconnecting the neg wire insures the batteries will not drain. The gentleman at Alaska Battery told me a battery will discharge even less in cold weather than a heated garage.
    Putting a charger on them occassionly would be a nice treat though and would even help them more.
    Go for it!

  5. #5
    Member plankton's Avatar
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    Exclamation How much of a chore?

    I'm cheap,
    I have more time than money and would rather spend a half hour pulling batteries than putting them through the wear and tear of winter temps that will ultimately decrease the life of the battery (If not kill it). I don't know how much of a chore it is, but I'd pull em'. The winter charging sounds good, but I know.... I'd get a little distracted with other winter activities and probably not follow through. Maybe you a little more disaplined than I am and would follow through.

  6. #6
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    Default

    I pull both of my batteries out of the boat. I clean the tops off with water, grease the terminals, top off the water and charge them. I set them on a wooden shelf in my heated garage and make sure not to leave them on a concrete floor which can drain the batteries down.

  7. #7
    Member Crumm's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Contender View Post
    I make sure not to leave them on a concrete floor which can drain the batteries down.
    From the interstate battery site "Will storing my battery on concrete drain the charge? No. Regarding today's batteries, this is a myth. A battery placed on concrete will not discharge any faster, but a battery will discharge over a period of time wherever it is placed. If the battery has a surface layer of acid or grime which is conductive, the battery will self-discharge more rapidly than if it were clean and dry.

    This myth does have some historical basis. Many years ago, wooden battery cases encased a glass jar with the battery in it. Any moisture on the floor could cause the wood to swell and possibly fracture the glass, causing it to leak. Later came the introduction of the "hard rubber" cases, which were somewhat porous. A current could be conducted through this container, which had a high carbon content, if the moist concrete floor permitted the current to find an electrical ground. The wise advise of the old days to "not store batteries on concrete" has apparently been passed down to us today, but it no longer applies."

  8. #8
    Member Doug in Alaska's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Contender View Post
    I pull both of my batteries out of the boat. I clean the tops off with water, grease the terminals, top off the water and charge them. I set them on a wooden shelf in my heated garage and make sure not to leave them on a concrete floor which can drain the batteries down.
    Contender,
    I'm with you, I winterize my batteries exactly the same way and have had great luck for years.

  9. #9

    Default

    I use a smart charger with dual outputs and leave on all winter long. In the spring I clean and grease the terminals, thats all I've done for the last 6 years with no problems.
    Frank
    Alaska Wildrose Charters and Cabins
    www.wildroselodge.com

  10. #10
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Contender View Post
    I pull both of my batteries out of the boat. I clean the tops off with water, grease the terminals, top off the water and charge them. I set them on a wooden shelf in my heated garage and make sure not to leave them on a concrete floor which can drain the batteries down.
    In following this method you absolutely can't go wrong. I have read the same information from Interstates site as posted but it all boils down to what you are comfortable doing. Some habits are hard to break. I pulled my battery and put it in the garage.

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