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Winter Battery Storage

Discussion of batteries, chargers, wiring, generators, distribution panels, battery switches, etc.
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Topic author Canada
feeez
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Winter Battery Storage

Postby feeez » September 6th, 2015, 11:19 am

I am looking for some feedback on where everyone stands on winter battery storage. I have had differing opinions on this from my marina mates. So, for all those who live in the colder regions of the continent, do you remove your batteries in the winter or just disconnect them and leave them on board?

Thanks in advance
Fraser
Former 2001 350 Mariner owner

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AaHubb
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Re: Winter Battery Storage

Postby AaHubb » September 6th, 2015, 8:33 pm

If your boat is in the water, LEAVE THE BATTERIES IN! The batteries provide power to the bilge pumps which are there to keep your boat from sinking, most would consider this a good thing : ) Install an engine room rated bilge heater if you are connected to shore power to keep um above their freezing temp.
..Aaron
'99 404 CPMY
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waybomb
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Re: Winter Battery Storage

Postby waybomb » September 6th, 2015, 8:48 pm

When I kept my boat outside shrink-wrapped, I brought the batteries home as well as anything with an LCD panel.
But now they are all inside heated. Everything stays on the boat.
Thanks
Fred
1964 Barron Flatbottom with BBC Chevy
1969 Glaspar Avalon /1969 Johnson Electromatic 85
1987 Carver Mariner
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RGrew176
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Re: Winter Battery Storage

Postby RGrew176 » September 6th, 2015, 9:18 pm

I used to pull and bring them home. One year I decided that I would turn the battery switch off and leave them onboard through the winter. I live in Michigan so it can get cold. In my last boat I installed a new set of 4 batteries in the spring of 2005. I left them onboard every winter and when I sold the boat in 2011 I was still using those batteries and they were showing no signs of deterioation. BTW they were all Sears Diehard Deep Cycle Marine Batteries.

Hope this helps.
Rick Grew

1981 Carver 3007 Aft Cabin

2004 Past Commodore
West River Yacht & Cruising Club
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Re: Winter Battery Storage

Postby Viper » September 7th, 2015, 8:47 pm

As long as your fluids are topped up and they are fully charged when disconnected (test them), the amount of natural discharge during winter temps is negligible in a GOOD battery. To be sure there are no loads draining power, disconnect them.

While it was the popular thing to do at one time, removing the batteries for winter is old school but there are still a few old school misconceptions about batteries that some find difficult to let go of like having to put batteries on wood instead of directly on concrete. That's okay though, what ever floats your boat and has been working for you over the years is right for you!
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waybomb
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A couple of dinghies
Location: Saint Joseph and Trenton, MI
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Re: Winter Battery Storage

Postby waybomb » September 8th, 2015, 9:29 am

I froze a pair batteries once. That's why I took them out after that. Really sucked on the 4207 with 8d batteries.

May be old school, but as the electrolyte loses it's acidtity (=voltage) reaches H20, it's freezing point rises. All you need is a -10 day and a -20 night. Expanded cases and possible cell support damage.
Thanks
Fred
1964 Barron Flatbottom with BBC Chevy
1969 Glaspar Avalon /1969 Johnson Electromatic 85
1987 Carver Mariner
1988 Cougar Kevlar 46' with triple blown 572s
http://s4.beta.photobucket.com/user/waybomb/library/
Past - 1988 2807, 1989 4207 Aft

Canada
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Re: Winter Battery Storage

Postby Viper » September 9th, 2015, 9:09 am

It's all about one's comfort level. Hey if it's peace of mind for the winter then remove them. I have never had a battery freeze on me over the winter in Ontario so I feel totally comfortable leaving them in. By the time we winterize systems, temps are too cold for natural discharge to occur at a meaningful rate. No discharge - no conversion to H2o. If there is an issue with the battery not holding a charge to begin with then it will freeze, that's why I said "GOOD" battery. I top up fluids, charge, disconnect, and test. If they test good, I leave them for a week then test again to ensure they are holding a charge. If they are, I'm done. If not, I pull them out. I certainly wouldn't want to haul and install a set of 8Ds all the time if I didn't have to...getting too old for that!

Not trying to sway anybody here one way or the other, just putting my experience out there. There are several variables/contributing factors resulting in a dead battery come Spring time but a good battery put to bed properly will still be charged in the Spring and crank over your engine no problem. If it doesn't, then it was a bad battery anyway and it's best you find that out at the beginning of the season rather than later out on the water.

One should also consider the following about taking batteries home; flooded batteries don't like to be moved around too much, the less you move them the better. In some applications where they are really tight access, you're apt to do more damage than good by removing and installing them twice a year. Consider too that the average person is not familiar with proper practices and will typically overcharge their batteries throughout the winter as a result of using a cheap charger at home (battery killer) because of the need to feel that they must always be on charge to keep them "topped up"

If you feel you must take them home indoors, keep them cold to minimize discharge like in a cold room/cellar. Directly on the concrete will keep them colder (yes I said on the concrete). And if you feel the need to keep them on charge, get a smart charger, and make sure your connections are tight or you will overcharge them. Don't keep them on charge indeffinitely, just once a month if you feel you must charge them. If you are going to charge more than one at the same time, make sure you group them into similar types like crankers and deep cycle as they would be on the boat. Have fun with that ;-)
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Topic author Canada
feeez
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Re: Winter Battery Storage

Postby feeez » September 13th, 2015, 10:12 pm

Thanks for the input!!

Lots to ponder now

Fraser
Former 2001 350 Mariner owner
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Lyndon670
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Re: Winter Battery Storage

Postby Lyndon670 » September 15th, 2015, 12:22 pm

Leave them in Fraser - I have never pulled mine. Check specific gravity, add distiller water and say "good night".
Lyndon,
2000 Carver 506
FOXY JOE
Volvo 7.4TAMD
Queens Cove Marina
Georgian Bay, Ontario
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John
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Re: Winter Battery Storage

Postby John » March 8th, 2016, 6:02 pm

Just bought my first Carver.......can anyone tell me what group battery I should have? 1991 Carver 28 aft cabin.

Thanks

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