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Lance
12-05-2004, 08:44 AM
What do you guys do with your battery during the winter? Do you: 1) leave it in the boat, 2) removed from the boat but store it in cold garage, or 3) keep inside. Also, do you do any cycling (discharge / charge) during the winter or just "top it off" periodically? Also, would any of this be different if you were using a deep cycle batter?

I have a horrible track record with batteries and have killed several over the years. Even if they seem to work I don't have much confidence in them because I haven't done anything in the winter and don't want to find out that it is only good for 30 seconds of cranking when out on the lake. As such, I have been replacing the battery almost every year with a cheap battery that will get me though the summer.

Now that I bought another boat (which came with deep cycle battery) and a small tractor that I won't use during the winter I am a little more interested in keeping the batteries in good shape. What do you do? or suggest?

Thanks in advance.
Lance

G-man
12-05-2004, 09:35 AM
Lance I got a cheap battery to last seven years by using a Guest brand maintence charger every winter. I got it from overtons for about $30.00. The charger looks like a cell phone charger with battery leads. It's a trickle charger that cycles so it doesn't boil the water out of the battery.

Mag_Red
12-05-2004, 10:10 AM
I use a Charger called the Battery Tender (http://www.batterytender.com/) Supposed to best the best charger for long term storage.

stevo137
12-05-2004, 11:51 AM
I went with an Optima gell battery about 4 years ago and I just charge it in the spring.
It can go all the way down and it doesn't even phase it!
This battery is a tank!

Footin
12-05-2004, 03:44 PM
1. Remove it from the boat (or tractor).
2. Clean the outside and the terminals.
3. Top off each cell with water (distilled water is better if you have very hard water)
4. Trickle change the battery at 2 amps for a few days.
5. Store the battery it the garage.
6. Charge it once every 4 to 6 weeks with a trickle charger.

It use to hurt batteries to store them on concrete when the cases were made of a hard rubber. This is not the case with modern batteries.
Concrete will not effect the battery.

Lance
12-05-2004, 04:21 PM
Interesting comment on storing the battery on concrete floor. I had always heard that and to this day store them on a piece of wood but felt like an idiot when doing so because it felt like an old wives tale.

Wonder how they could get discharged even when using the old hard rubber cases?

Thanks for the suggestions.
Lance

JimN
12-05-2004, 04:49 PM
The case acts as a dielectric, which means that there is not supposed to be any electron flow between the concrete(electrical ground) and the charged battery. Hard rubber isn't as good of a dielectric (lower dielectric coeffiicient) as polypropylene, which is what all barret cases are made of now. The rubber case batteries were even more prone to discharge when the concrete or dirt was wet.

It's a good idea to use distilled, filtered water for batteries and cooling systems regardless of how hard the water is. Most drinking water has flouride in it and this can have an effect on the battery in the long run, even if the amount is small.

It wasn't an old wive's tale till they started using poly for the cases. Then, it became one instantly.

east tx skier
12-06-2004, 10:50 AM
When the boat was winterized last year, they left it hooked up and it has gotten me through another season. When I did it myself this year, I just disconnected the negative cable.

George, with that charger you mentioned, do you just leave it plugged in all winter or just put it on there in the spring?

G-man
12-06-2004, 11:11 AM
Doug I leave it on all winter. It is very similar to the Battery Tender Mag Red mentions. Water temp 48 and a few skiers Saturday but not me.

east tx skier
12-06-2004, 05:55 PM
This weather is ridiculous. It was 70 here today.

greeneng
12-17-2004, 08:39 PM
I used to go through batteries every couple of years. Then I bought, from the automotive aisle in Sears, a "battery maintainer." This is a little box, about 5" x 3", with an AC plug on one side and two wires, red and black, on the other. I crimped ring lugs onto the red and black wires and permanently attacted the lugs to the battery posts. I just plug an AC extension cord to the AC plug, and forget about it. I do this all winter, and in the summer when I will be not using the boat for a weekend. Then, the clock and bilge pump will not drain the battery, even in a monsoon. I have had the same battery now for over seven years. I heartily recommend this, but the "battery maintainer" must be smart, and not just a trickle charger.

_JR
12-20-2004, 12:50 AM
I installed a dual bank battery charger in the boat last winter, so when she is tucked away for hibernation, the charger is plugged in and the batteries receive a trickle charge.

:cool:

Bongo
12-20-2004, 12:55 AM
Lance,

To answer your original question / comment: "As such, I have been replacing the battery almost every year with a cheap battery that will get me though the summer."

I just leave my old batteries with my brother and sneak off with his new ones. I haven't purchased a new battery for years...

;-)

--Bongo--

Lance
12-20-2004, 07:02 AM
Bongo,

Welcome aboard. i thought I was going to have to come down there and type in tmcowners.com myself to get you online.

Lance

Tom Wortham
02-22-2005, 11:40 AM
Interesting comment on storing the battery on concrete floor. I had always heard that and to this day store them on a piece of wood but felt like an idiot when doing so because it felt like an old wives tale.

Wonder how they could get discharged even when using the old hard rubber cases?

Thanks for the suggestions.
Lance

Lance,
Right with you on this one... Mine is out of the boat, sitting on two 4x4 blocks of wood. LOL

Doug.... you got to love this weather.... did you run your boat this past weekend? It was hard not to... holding off to get my gray skins in.
Cheers. :D

MarkP
02-22-2005, 11:51 AM
1. Remove it from the boat (or tractor).
2. Clean the outside and the terminals.
3. Top off each cell with water (distilled water is better if you have very hard water)
4. Trickle change the battery at 2 amps for a few days.
5. Store the battery it the garage.
6. Charge it once every 4 to 6 weeks with a trickle charger.

It use to hurt batteries to store them on concrete when the cases were made of a hard rubber. This is not the case with modern batteries.
Concrete will not effect the battery.

Thats about my drill too.

east tx skier
02-22-2005, 11:56 AM
Yup. Ran it yesterday (see intake manifold post). Battery has been reinstalled since late December. This is its 3rd season. It won't be my last Delco Marine battery, that's for sure.

jimmer2880
02-22-2005, 11:58 AM
In the winter:
Remove from boat
Store on concrete floor in garage (heated)

In Spring: Clean terminals
charge
re-insert in boat