Maintenance of Boat Batteries Over the Winter Season
When it’s time to put your boat to bed, you need to make sure it’s adequately prepared for the (sometimes long) winter season. While caring for your boat’s hull and engine are extremely important, caring for the battery of your boat is just as, if not more important. Marine batteries are particularly sensitive to weather change and moist environments, two things that will inevitably be present when you begin to winterize your watercraft. How can you properly prepare your battery or batteries for the winter season?
First, you’ll want to locate a cool, dry place to store your battery. Remember when we said marine batteries are sensitive to temperature and humidity? We weren’t lying. The chemicals inside the battery can react, poorly, causing corrosion of the interior of the battery as well as reduced efficiency.
Once you’ve found a reasonably dry place that doesn’t dip down below freezing, you’ll want to make sure you can access your battery at least once a month during the offseason, in order to charge it. The reason you need to keep your battery fully charged is because the lead acid and the electrolyte within the battery are much more tolerable of colder temperatures if they’re fully charged.
Next, you’ll want to check the state of your battery. When we say this, we simply mean checking the voltage in order to ascertain how much charge you need to give it in order for it to be fully charged.
Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to go! Keep your marine batteries off the floor on a base such as a wooden pallet. You can store them in your garage or your basement, just don’t leave them in your boat!
Your battery is an important and rather expensive part of your boat. Don’t waste money by not taking the necessary steps to winterize it!