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  #1  
Old 12-05-2004, 08:44 AM
Lance Lance is offline
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Winter maintenance for battery

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
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2004, 09:35 AM
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G-man G-man is offline
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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.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2004, 10:10 AM
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Mag_Red Mag_Red is offline
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I use a Charger called the Battery Tender Supposed to best the best charger for long term storage.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2004, 11:51 AM
stevo137 stevo137 is offline
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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!
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2004, 03:44 PM
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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.
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2004, 04:21 PM
Lance Lance is offline
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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
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2004, 04:49 PM
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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.
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2004, 10:50 AM
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east tx skier east tx skier is offline
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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?
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:11 AM
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G-man G-man is offline
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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.
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  #10  
Old 12-06-2004, 05:55 PM
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east tx skier east tx skier is offline
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This weather is ridiculous. It was 70 here today.
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To me, this forum is about love of inboard boats. It is about the sharing of information and, on a good day, some humor. It is not about post count, brand of boat, or any other superfluous labels that lend themselves to a false sense of superiority. Please, respect one another, try to pass on accurate information, and keep your eye on the ball.
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