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Old 28-10-2021, 16:28   #1
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Trickle charge batteries or remove?

For a few years I have removed the batteries while on the hard for the winter (New England). Last year I kept two house batteries aboard because I had water issues in the bilge and needed the float pump to be operational. That issue aside, there was a debate: remove batteries in cold weather or to keep them on board and trickle charge them with solar panels. I think my water issue may be solved so I am in decision mode now. Thoughts? Go.
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Old 28-10-2021, 16:33   #2
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Re: Trickle charge batteries or remove?

Leave them in and trickle charge them, if it cold is an issue in Maine maybe wrap them in a battery blanket?
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Old 28-10-2021, 16:38   #3
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Re: Trickle charge batteries or remove?

I suppose it depends on the type of battery. I have flooded lead acid, and put them on a smart maintenance charger. Fully charged, the batteries will survive down to -80 degrees F. Discharged, they can freeze at 20℉
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Old 31-10-2021, 15:18   #4
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Re: Trickle charge batteries or remove?

If they dont freeze its ok but I dont know yr weather.
Also it depends if you have sufficient light to keep them charged & a solar controller to monitor the batteries.
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:38   #5
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Re: Trickle charge batteries or remove?

Quote:
Originally Posted by djousset View Post
For a few years I have removed the batteries while on the hard for the winter (New England). Last year I kept two house batteries aboard because I had water issues in the bilge and needed the float pump to be operational.

No drain plugs?

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Old 01-11-2021, 04:43   #6
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Re: Trickle charge batteries or remove?

I always leave mine on the boat. I just turn off everything that's not needed, so the only breakers left on are for cabin lights and the stereo (being that I'll use those when checking on or working on the boat). Whenever I go to the boat to do anything, I plug it in for a bit while I'm there to keep the batteries topped off (doesn't take much with no draw while unattended beyond the stereo memory).
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:54   #7
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Re: Trickle charge batteries or remove?

https://marinehowto.com/winter-batte...aracteristics/

A healthy battery bank, fully charged, with no parasitic loads, will go dormant and easily survive a New England winter.
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Old 01-11-2021, 05:31   #8
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Re: Trickle charge batteries or remove?

That "no parasitic loads" bit is important.

I leave my (AGM) batteries fully charged on board for the Ontario winter, but make sure I disconnect them before leaving the boat.
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Old 02-11-2021, 16:55   #9
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Re: Trickle charge batteries or remove?

@Compass790: it is one small panel on a controller set to maintain, and enough sun.
@ranger42c: No plug, I am hesitant to drill a hole in the bottom of the boat....and I think the water issue is resolved.

Winters generally in the 20s-30s with cold snaps down to zero, and the occasional deep freeze. For practicality I'd like to leave them aboard but if months of colder weather is bad for them I'll haul them home.
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Old 02-11-2021, 21:26   #10
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Re: Trickle charge batteries or remove?

A fully charged battery will not freeze in a New England winter. Do you remove the battery from your car over the winter? What about the people in Alaska? Keep it charged and don't overthink it.
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Old 03-11-2021, 03:58   #11
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Re: Trickle charge batteries or remove?

Quote:
Originally Posted by neflier View Post
A fully charged battery will not freeze in a New England winter. Do you remove the battery from your car over the winter? What about the people in Alaska? Keep it charged and don't overthink it.
Cars and boats are not a great comparison. A car typically does not sit unused all winter. My motorcycle does sit unused, and I either pull the battery for heated storage or put it on a maintenance charger, or both.

In Alaska, it is common to plug in an engine heater during deep freezes. The OP is not overthinking it.
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