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storing boat batteries in the winter

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    storing boat batteries in the winter

    What do all you guys for your batteries in the winter? refill and trickle charge them until spring? If I were to keep them on my on board charger through out the winter will that be to much of a charge?

    #2
    Depends on the charger. I have a dual pro and keep it plugged in all year when I’m not using the boat. The key is whether or not your onboard charger has a dedicated “maintenance” or “storage” mode. Mine does this automatically and I believe other brands like the digital minn kotas do as well. My batteries are cheap exides from menards. 3 years old and running strong. I’ve refilled them twice. I have read that some “trickle” chargers can actually shorten battery life. Hope this helps.

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    • Harold
      Harold commented
      Editing a comment
      Starter batteries are designed to be charged constantly to maintain top (full) reading. Deep Cycle- Trolling batteries (thicker plates) are designed to be charged when reaching an XX% (I've read from 60 to 80 from various sources).

      From those battery MANUFACTURERS (NOT sellers!) it would suggest that, yes, "trickle chargers can actually shorten battery life".

      At least on the Deep Cycle ones.
      Last edited by Harold; 11-13-2018, 05:40 PM. Reason: punctuation

    • Hard_Launch
      Hard_Launch commented
      Editing a comment
      Word of caution, I had a dual pro go up and smoke and catch fire, I would not leave it unattended. I went to a minn kota, no issues

    #3
    I leave the batteries in the boat, in a garage. First of every month, in the winter, I plug in the on-board charger for one day. In the Spring I will top off the electrolyte and clean the posts and battery top. My lawn mower and camper battery are on a board in the garage with a trickle-charger/maintainer from Harbor Freight hooked to one of them, I rotate the first of the month.
    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.-Dr. Seuss

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      #4
      I take mine to Arizona for the winter.

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        #5
        I have mine on a Minn Kota two bank charger. Plug it in everytime I come home and all winter.

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          #6
          I have mine on a Cabela's two bank charger. Plug it in every time I come home and all winter. The first starter battery lasted 10 years and the battery of the electric motor are Wal Mart specials and they last about 4 years.

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            #7
            My boat batteries are happy now ( in AZ) it is the car battery that died over the summer when it was left here.

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              #8
              I bring mine indoors, charge to full once a month till spring

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                #9
                Mine stay on the boat, plugged in to the onboard charger. I've only done this for two seasons, so I'm learning too, but so far no problems. I know the batteries weren't new when I bought the boat two years ago, but I'd have to go look at them to know how old they are. I'll give the starting battery a load test in the spring before I do too much.

                Nate

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                  #10
                  I have a Duracell sealed AGM deep cycle battery. In past years , I've just left it in the garage on a block of wood. This winter I'll plug in the new NOCO Genious charger every month or so unitl it reads 100% (about 13.6 V), even though it says you can leave it hooked up all the time.

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                    #11
                    Originally posted by NateWC View Post
                    Mine stay on the boat, plugged in to the onboard charger. I've only done this for two seasons, so I'm learning too, but so far no problems. I know the batteries weren't new when I bought the boat two years ago, but I'd have to go look at them to know how old they are. I'll give the starting battery a load test in the spring before I do too much.

                    Nate
                    I finally looked this year, and my starting battery is 5 years old, while my trolling battery is 10. Ten!!! And not suffering (yet) from any horrible performance issues, load testing just fine in the spring this (almost past) season.

                    If you can do it, onboard charging is the way to go. If I had to store my boat outdoors or somewhere else without power, I would keep the batteries indoor on a trickle/maintainer device.

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                      #12
                      Originally posted by NateWC View Post

                      I finally looked this year, and my starting battery is 5 years old, while my trolling battery is 10. Ten!!! And not suffering (yet) from any horrible performance issues, load testing just fine in the spring this (almost past) season.

                      If you can do it, onboard charging is the way to go. If I had to store my boat outdoors or somewhere else without power, I would keep the batteries indoor on a trickle/maintainer device.
                      Why indoors? Is it a fact that storage of a battery in an unheated garage is a problem?

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                        #13
                        Originally posted by bass_wrangler View Post
                        I bring mine indoors, charge to full once a month till spring
                        Why indoors?

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                          #14
                          Originally posted by pelican View Post

                          Why indoors?
                          I store indoors, because I believe over time, the cold winter temperature will shorten battery life.

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                            #15
                            Originally posted by pelican View Post

                            Why indoors? Is it a fact that storage of a battery in an unheated garage is a problem?
                            I don't think it has to be indoors. I store my boat in my unheated, but somewhat insulated, garage, where it's usually about 50 degrees when the outdoors is near freezing.

                            I don't think that storage in the cold shortens a battery's life, although the chemistry it takes for a battery to both charge and discharge becomes less efficient as temperatures drop.

                            So, to summarize where I'm at, batteries don't need to be stored inside, but I store them inside because I leave them hooked up to my boat and I store my boat inside.

                            Charging them back to full once a month when they're cold will just take longer than if they're at room temperature, but I don't think it will affect longevity of the battery itself.

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