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Author Topic: Winterize boat batteries  (Read 7495 times)

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StarBoard7

Winterize boat batteries
« on: December 18, 2011, 10:04:42 AM »

Hello all,

I store my boat outside year round.
I winterize it in mid Nov usually and start using it sometime in April.

I usually just leave my batteries in the boat .
I leave the Trolling batteries plugged in to my 2 bank charger all year long but my question is what should I do with my Cranking battery?

Every year it is dead when I try to start it up for the first time of corse until I jump it off my trolling batteries then its good to go.
I kinda figure this cant be good for the batteries though.

I know taking the batteries out would prob be the best option but what would be the best option if I did not take them out specifically for the cranking battery as the trolling batteries seem to do ok being charged by the on charger over the winter.

Is there some kind of charger I should buy for the cranking specifically?

Thanks guys.
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Durand Dan

Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 10:12:01 AM »

If you don't want to remove them to store indoors, just unhook the cables. They will still have a charge in the spring. Leaving any thing attached will drain the batteries.
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Waterfoul

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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2011, 10:18:03 AM »

Leaving it outside and letting it run down like that will shorten the batteries life drasticaly.  If not charged... they can freeze solid, which is very bad.

Either get a small trickle charger (if you want to leave it in the boat outside) or bring it indoors for the winter.  Even then, I'd either charge it up a couple times over the winter or get yourself a battery maintainer/charger and just hook it up.

Best option, bring it indoors.
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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2011, 10:36:06 PM »

These are good ideas.  However, you must make sure that your batteries are as full of water as they should be.  (assuming you have batteries with liquid in them).   If the water levels are low and you charge your batteries you can actually cause the plates to sulphanate.  This will also harm your battery and limit its capacity and its life.
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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 08:53:42 PM »

Would it be a bad idea to hook your cranking battery to an onboard charger?  I have a MK345D for my trolling motor, and I get really sick of hooking a charger up to my cranking battery when my electronics run it down.  So I went and bought a MK110D for the cranking battery.  I figure I will just plug that in after every other trip or so.  I also had the idea of a 2 way splitter, coming from the plug that is recessed into the side of my boat, then both chargers run when it is plugged in.  Bad idea?  I know my outboard charges the battery, to an extent, when it's running, but when everything is on, the battery doesn't last but almost 8 hours. 
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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2011, 06:49:00 PM »

1. You need a bigger or newer cranking battery that is a size 31 because it should last you all day! I recommend a Deka Marine Master Dual Purpose (combination deep and starting) size 31 battery because than you will not have to worry while out fishing. I never have. I run mine 5 years before I trade them in and have never had a problem with 1 battery.

2. You can hook an onboard charger to your cranking battery. A new charger should handle the charging correctly regardless of the usage as long as it is a regular wet cell battery (not gel or glass mat).

I'm not sure about the splitter idea. Nobody will ever call me an electrician! Might be okay?

This is some helpful battery information from the biggest battery maker in the US - East Penn - http://www.dekabatteries.com/assets/base/0273.pdf
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2011, 08:12:29 PM »

By splitter, I meant one of those adapters to plug more than one electric cord into.  That way I would only have to plug one cord into my boat and run both chargers to knock out all 4 batteries.

Thanks for the battery recommendation.  I went and took a look at the cranking battery, and it's tiny.  I have 3 new Deka 27's for the trolling motor.  I will definitely go get a bigger battery.....in the spring.
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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2011, 08:19:02 PM »

Size 24 doesn't cut it for a bass boat. You can get by with a size 27 but the 31 will run more stuff longer and last longer. The dual purpose will run all your electronics better while still giving you plenty of cranking amps.

You should be able to plug two chargers into one outlet as long as it is at least 15 amps outlet. One of my outside plugs is connected to a in plug circuit breaker and my camper would pop it but my 3-bank 30 amp charger doesn't (need more powa!!).
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.

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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2011, 08:24:22 PM »

I got on the Deka website, and can't get it to tell me where I can buy their batteries around here.  Any suggestions?
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Dan

Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2011, 10:42:51 PM »

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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2011, 07:49:49 AM »

You could just upgrade to a 4 bank charger vs. running two chargers in your boat. I did that last year when I upgraded to a 36v trolling motor. 
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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2011, 08:37:52 AM »

I thought about that, but I have an MK345D that isn't even a year old. I didn't want to take a loss on selling that and then have to come up with the rest of the money for the 4 bank. I got a brand new MK110D for $97.  So, I'm just going to have two chargers.
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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2011, 01:22:58 PM »

Hey Mike... you know a guy who sells Deka Batteries.  I think you are fishing with him on Monday??  8)

I always say go big or go home.  My starting/electronics battery:  Group 4D... you wanna talk big?  But it will NEVER go dead I don't care how long you fish.  

I'll add this about splitting the incoming 110v to two chargers... neither charger will send it's full charging capabilities to the batteries.  Ohms law or something like that... been a long time since science class!  LOL!!  If you want to run two chargers at the same time you are much better off running them on their own 110v source, and on the heaviest gauge extension cord you can find.
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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2011, 03:52:27 PM »

Oh. That is exactly the response I was looking for about running the two chargers together. I think I will just put another plug in the boat, and only charge the starting battery once in a while. Guess we will have to talk about me getting a battery on Monday.
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tjrock

Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2011, 05:29:01 PM »

My brother-in-law and I always plug our boats into the same extension cord with a splitter when we are up north and we've never had a problem. Plugging the chargers into a splitter will not affect the voltage. You can plug as many as you want into the splitter and it will always have 120 volts. But, the more you plug in the more amperage or load you are putting on the circuit. I wouldn't see an issue with using a splitter, but always use a good quality extension cord.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 05:32:21 PM by tjrock »
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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2011, 01:04:17 AM »

Exactly... the amperage will drop drastically for every cord you add to the splitter  (I said volts earlier, I meant amps).  If you fish as often as I do... that just won't do!    :o  I need my batteries to get every amp they can take when I'm charging them.  A heavy gauge extension cord will help a LOT if you want to run a splitter.  As heavy as you can find.  Also, the longer the cord, the bigger the amperage drop from plug to boat.
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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2011, 10:54:12 PM »

I use 12-gauge extension cords most of the time. Heavy but they really help in campgrounds and for long distances. 16-gauge cords don't cut it. I have a couple cords and connectors for my camper that are designed to provide the full 30 amps or better that I can use in a pinch.

It amazes me to see anglers with $30,000 to $60,000+ bass boats and big trucks trying to charge their batteries with a $10 16 gauge extension cord?!? Never have figured that one out. Especially when they have cord separation, torn spots, missing grounds, etc...

Buy a Deka battery and buy a really good 12-gauge extension cord!!!

Uncoil the cord too when charging any long distance, especially when there's a lot of draw and/or weaker power is suspected. I remember at the St. Clair TBF divisional I fished that a bunch of the guys had their cords still wrapped because we were generally parked close to our rooms. We had poor electrictal draw and the resistance built up lots of heat. Cord covers started melting together! There was enough heat in a couple of the cord piles to start a fire!
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.

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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2011, 12:19:17 PM »

If I had a $60,000 bass boat and an expensive truck to pull it with, I too would be using a $10 extension cord!  Might even have to use a Dollar Store cheapy.  LOL!!

All humor aside, you guys have been very helpful on the topic of batteries and chargers here.  I will be buying a big Deka, but I figure I might as well wait until spring to do that.  No sense in buying a brand new battery for the garage all winter.  I will be putting the boat away after Monday.
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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2011, 07:40:08 PM »

I just make sure they have water and plug them in.
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Re: Winterize boat batteries
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2011, 09:49:28 PM »

I leave mine out in the boat and just put them on the charger overnight every few weeks over the winter. I checked the water levels before my last trip out.

I don't leave them on a charger longer than 24 hours ever. Risky. If I had ever had any draining problem I'd unhook the wires but I've never had that problem with my old Ranger. I just shut off the fuse box and unplug the trolling motor.
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.
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