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Old 16-08-2007, 08:02   #1
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Removal of heavy batteries

Greetings all - my first post.

I am contemplating the best way to remove the 2 8D batteries from my boat when I winterize in a few months. In the past, I have paid the marina to remove the batteries for indoor storage and trickle charging. This year, I was thinking of doing it myself. The problem is how to get these two heavy batteries from the bottom of the port-side lazarette up to the floor of the cockpit (3 to 4 feet) and then back down to the ground ~ 7 feet when on the hard.

I have considered swinging the boom over and using the main sheet to lift and then lower the batteries. Is this a crazy idea? I welcome any other ideas.

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 16-08-2007, 08:51   #2
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This will work. If you have a topping lift at the end of your boom use it as addiotion support. For the boom, not the batteries. If the main sheet is not centered over the batteries, rig a block and tackle.
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Old 16-08-2007, 09:16   #3
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Thanks Maddog,

The topping lift is a good thought. I have a rigid vang, but there is no point in having it support all that weight over a fairly long lever.

Pete
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Old 16-08-2007, 09:49   #4
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Pete,

Why do you remove the batteries? We keep them in while the boat's on the hard for the winter. Charge them up before haul-out and leave them. Make sure there is no possibility of a draw, everything off including bilge pump. It's a lot colder here than in NJ and batteries can last all winter without a charge although it doesn't hurt to give them a shot in Jan or Feb if you have access to power.
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Old 16-08-2007, 10:16   #5
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Rick,

You may well be right. I remove them simply because I have read in a number of books on the topic that it is better for the batteries to be out of the harsh cold. I have no idea if this is true, but it is a simple enough task, so I never thought to question it.

Pete
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Old 16-08-2007, 10:20   #6
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Another trick is to use a 2x4 as support in either the cabin or cockpit. loosen your vang to take the strain off it. Also secure any lateral movement if you just use the 2x4 and not the topping lift. But i think you know that.
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Old 16-08-2007, 12:03   #7
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If you have shore power over the winter, leave a work light on next to the batteries. Trickle charge on your weekends at the boat.
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Old 16-08-2007, 12:11   #8
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It might be even simpler. I have removed engines this way: Simply lower the halyard through the companionway hatch, pad those spots where the halyard comes in contact with wood, and take a load up on the halyard while another person guides the batteries up out of the lazarette. It takes much of the load off your back. Once on the cabin sole (which is protected with cardboard or an old throw rug), slide the battery to the companionway and hoist away. Pulling laterally on the halyard moves it quite well and around obstructions. I have successfully manuevered 500 pound engines around this way. I can send pictures if you can't envision it.
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Old 16-08-2007, 12:20   #9
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The lazarette is towards the rear of the cockpit, so a halyard would enter at too large an angle. I could possibly rig some sort of fairlead, but at that point it will likely be simpler to use the main sheet.

Pete
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Old 16-08-2007, 13:31   #10
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How cold are you talking here. To freeze a battery takes some mighty low temps. Like Arctic type temps. I thinkn you will have some major issues with many other components on board before you have issues with a battery. Is their anyway to get power to your boat?? Can you leave a small, say 40W light bulb going down in the engien room? This won't be enough to keep the place warm, put it sure will stop freezing.
If it doesn't, you guy's need to find somewhere warmer to live. Now while your brains are thawed and you can think about it.
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Old 16-08-2007, 15:38   #11
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Another idea:


Hire a strong local kid or two to help out.
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Old 17-08-2007, 01:45   #12
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As Alan & Vasco indicated, your battery is only likely to freeze, if your it is stored in discharged (or almost discharged) state:
Put your boat to bed (for winter) with the batteries fully charged (& equalized), and you should be safe over a winter season.
Because batteries all suffer some self-discharge, you might check them every 3 months, and apply a short trickle charge (mid-season) if indicated. This is not usually essential, and is primarily for your peace of mind.

Excerpted from Trojan Battery Co FAQs:
Can a battery freeze?
The only way that a battery can freeze is if it is left in a state of partial or complete discharged. As the state of charge in a battery decreases, the electrolyte becomes more like water and the freezing temperature increases.
The freezing temperature of the electrolyte in a fully charged battery is -92.0 deg. F.
At a 40% state of charge, electrolyte will freeze if the temperature reaches approximately 16.0 deg. F.

Goto: Trojan Battery Company - Maintenance

See also: Electrolyte Freezing ~ Dynasty VRLA Batteries
http://www.cdtechno.com/custserv/pdf/7953.pdf
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Old 17-08-2007, 06:22   #13
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Thanks for the info, Gord.

I guess the deciding factor is how easily I can access power when on the hard. Since I will be keeping the boat in a new location this winter, I will have to ask around to see. I am at a very large marina with many boats being stored, so it may depend on what part of the yard I am in.

Pete
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Old 17-08-2007, 07:05   #14
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I wouldn’t worry about a mid-winter recharge, as long as the batteries were laid up:
- fully charged
- with proper electrolyte level
- cables disconnected, & battery tops clean and dry (to prevent parasitic drain).

Even a 75% charged (25% discharged) battery is in little danger of freezing.
Battery State of Charge - Specific Gravity - Freeze Temperature
75 %............................... 1.250................... -52 C, -62 F
50 %............................... 1.220................... -36 C, -33 F

Flooded lead acid batteries sel-discharge at a rate of 4% to 6% per month, at 80 degrees F; but the self discharge rate is halved for every 10 deg C (18 F) that the storage that temperature is reduced.
Hence, stored at as high as 26 deg, F, your battery will only self discharge less than 1% per month.
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Old 17-08-2007, 07:45   #15
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Thanks again, Gord.

I have been blindly following the advice that I have read regarding removal of batteries over the winter. While I guess it can't hurt to remove them and keep them on a trickle charge, your information would seem to indicate that the small upside is not worth the effort and risk of damage (dropping) that is involved in the removal and re-installation.

Pete
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