Battery Maintenace

Everybody has a different idea on how batteries should be maintained through the season and stored at the end of the year.  I am not here to tell you how to do it or to tell you your way is wrong.  As far and maintenance throughout the year it is really quite simple.  Most newer batteries are maintenance free and only have to have the voltage regulated.  If you do happen to have a battery that requires maintenance you pop the cap off the top and make sure the fluid is at the correct level, if not top off with distilled water.   With any type of battery you need to make sure the outside is clean.  If there is a lot of dirt/debris on the top of the battery it will create something called a parasitic drain and actually draw the batteries down dead.  When it comes to storing your boat at the end of the year there are a couple options.  Here are some simple options and what I think of them:

  1. Disconnecting the batteries at the end of the year
  2. Removing the batteries (depending on the size of the boat approx. <30′)
  3. Keeping the batteries hooked up and charging with shore power

When I winterize a boat at the end of the year I normally just disconnect the battery and leave it in the boat.  I don’t see a point in wasting all my electricity keeping the boat plugged in all winter.  Also when people pull the batteries out of the boat a lot of times they just stick the battery in the basement on a concrete floor which is worse than leaving it in the boat.  The concrete will actually act like a parasitic drain and draw it down.

Chris Karras

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