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Old 12-09-2016, 14:27   #1
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Winterizing the batteries...

Hard to believe on this nice sunny summer day I am about a month from pulling the boat out of the water. Trying to figure out what to do with the electrical system as this year I don't think I will be getting to the boat very often.

I have 550 W of solar hooked to a 420A house, and 2 sets of starts. The starts don't recharge from the solar.

My plan was to disconnect the neg/ground wire of the starts. Any reason to also disconnect the pos wire as well?

I am not sure if I should do the same with the house bank. I was hoping that the solar, even through the winter would provide some charge and keep the bank ok? In a crowded boatyard, with snow though. Maybe lift the ground, but keep the solar attached?
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Old 23-09-2016, 08:49   #2
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Re: Winterizing the batteries...

Well, it is now Fall, so I wanted to bump this thread up and see if I can get some thoughts on what to do with the batteries when the boat is on the hard and probably away from AC electrical recharge for at least 3 months. See above post. Thanks.
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Old 23-09-2016, 09:12   #3
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Re: Winterizing the batteries...

jbinbi.

Keep the solar connected to the batteries. Batteries that are fully charge will not freeze in the winter and do not have to be removed from the boat.

Make jumpers from the house to the starter batteries or mount small 5 watt solar chargers panels to the starter batteries.

This post may help as well.
Haul Out, On The Hard, Antifoul & Winter Storage
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Old 23-09-2016, 09:13   #4
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Re: Winterizing the batteries...

Batteries should last three months, no problem. Just make sure they are charged up and that there is no draw on them. We do that here in Toronto and the boat's on the hard for six months.
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Old 23-09-2016, 09:18   #5
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Re: Winterizing the batteries...

The annual electrical ritual for my boats on the hard in the winter:

1. Charge all of the batteries all the way up
2. Disconnect both terminals
3. Clean the terminals, connectors, check for cracks/corrosion

I disconnect the ground wires first and then then positive. I leave both disconnected - no reason not to if I'm cleaning everything anyway.

Take the ground wire off first as if you bump from the ground terminal to something metal you shouldn't cause a spark. If you still have the ground connected and you bump the positive to metal you'll more likely cause a short. It all depends on your boat and how things are laid out...but taking the ground off first on batteries has always been the safer way for me.

Let's hope for a short and mild winter!
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Old 23-09-2016, 10:23   #6
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Re: Winterizing the batteries...

Cotemar, you used to be right down the road from me in CT, so same conditions as me sort of, but worried about snow accumulating on solar panels and them not putting out. Also, crowded boatyard, short days, very low sun incidence angle, so not sure how much they put out to begin with.

If I leave the solar attached, possibly I just disconnect the house bank from the system. On my system, EVERYTHING goes through the battery switch (bilge included) so in theory if I leave my battery attached, but just turn off the switches NOTHING should be drawing. (Typical Beneteau/Juneau/Lagoon setup).
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Old 24-09-2016, 11:51   #7
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Re: Winterizing the batteries...

If the battery is disconnected, nothing much can go wrong. If anything, such as solar stuff, something could go wrong. A fully charged lead acid battery will be fine for many months be low freezing.
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Old 24-09-2016, 14:56   #8
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Re: Winterizing the batteries...

jbinbi,
By leaving your solar connected to your house batteries all winter they will get a little power every day and with everything shut off and no draw on them they will be in perfect shap for spring splash. I do go down an clean the snow off the boat on every large snow fall, so the solar panels are always making power. Did that for 8 years with our last cat and the batteries tested like new when we sold her.

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Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
Cotemar, you used to be right down the road from me in CT, so same conditions as me sort of, but worried about snow accumulating on solar panels and them not putting out. Also, crowded boatyard, short days, very low sun incidence angle, so not sure how much they put out to begin with.

If I leave the solar attached, possibly I just disconnect the house bank from the system. On my system, EVERYTHING goes through the battery switch (bilge included) so in theory if I leave my battery attached, but just turn off the switches NOTHING should be drawing. (Typical Beneteau/Juneau/Lagoon setup).
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Old 24-09-2016, 15:51   #9
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Re: Winterizing the batteries...

Either way, top off the water.
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Old 25-09-2016, 05:43   #10
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Re: Winterizing the batteries...

We leave our solar and batteries hooked up. As for snow buildup I have never seen oit in 13 years. As sun as any heat hits a corner of a panel they clear them selves quickly
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