Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-18-2018, 11:35 AM   #1
Member
 
BuoyOBuoy's Avatar
 
City: St. Catharines, ON
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Sunny Daze
Vessel Model: Mainship 34
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 22
Winterizing Batteries

I've looked through the threads for this one, so if it should be obvious please point it out.
My Mainship has two golf cart batteries as the House Bank to which nothing else is turned on, but the bilge pump is connected. Although they are fully charged they are not plugged in to AC while the boat is on the hard for the winter.
I leave for Florida for six months and she is left to fend for herself.
Although she is covered with a tarp this year, can I put a small solar trickle charger ( the type used on dashes in car lots ) to ensure the batteries are kept topped up?
What say you?
__________________
Advertisement

__________________
Life begins where land ends.
BuoyOBuoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 12:40 PM   #2
Guru
 
Lou_tribal's Avatar
 
City: Quebec
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Bleuvet
Vessel Model: Custom Built
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 3,011
Disconnect them and leave them rest alone that’s it

L
__________________

Lou_tribal is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 12:48 PM   #3
Guru
 
kchace's Avatar
 
City: Brookline, NH
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Blue Heaven
Vessel Model: Albin 43 classic double cabin, twin 135 Lehmans
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,170
A small solar charger could be good, but if anything happens to the feed from the solar panel the solar controller itself can run the batteries down over a period of months. If the batteries are fully charged and positively no devices connected, they will be fine. Many thousands of boats are stored in New England for 6-7 months every year the same way.

Ken
kchace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 12:52 PM   #4
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: Litchfield, Ct/Punta Gorda, Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Atlas Pompano 23- outboard
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,924
As your post implies, batteries are fine in the winter as long as they are kept charged up.


It is not clear to me how your boat is set up, but you do state that no charger is hooked to the pair of GC battteries used for the house (hurray for using GCs!).



So a small solar charger is ok, but I recommend that you get one of the 50 watt packages with a controller that we discussed on another current thread. That gives enough power to compensate for parasitic loads like a CO detector. The other way is to make sure that the GC batteries are fully charged and remove the negative lead to the batteries so that any unknown parasitic loads don't draw it down. It will be fine next spring if you do this.


David
djmarchand is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 02:11 PM   #5
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 7,190
If your boat is on the hard for the winter presumably it won't sink. Unless you have problems with rain leaking into the boat and filling the bilge, I'd just check the water level, charge the batteries, and disconnect them and let them sit. With no drain they will be fine over the winter. This gives you a chance to clean the contacts for the batteries, use some dialectric grease and reconnect them in the spring. They should be just fine.


Nothing wrong with using a small solar to keep them charged but since there is no need to have the batteries connected, I see that as an unnecessary complication.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 02:54 PM   #6
Member
 
BuoyOBuoy's Avatar
 
City: St. Catharines, ON
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Sunny Daze
Vessel Model: Mainship 34
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 22
Thanks for your advice. Last winter I did as advised; charging fully and taking off the negative lead.
It was the first winter I had the boat and it appears snow (or rain) may have gotten in through the tarp openings and with Toronto being always in a state of flux; cold snowy days followed by warm or rainy days, so in the spring there was 4 or five gallons of water in the bilge.
I don't have a garboard drain (as yet; with plans to install one) so to insure it doesn't happen again I wanted to keep the bilge pump operational during the winter. I plan to tighten up on the tarp cover as well. I should have mentioned that in my original post.
With this new knowledge would you still consider a small solar charge?
Some locals recommended loosening the packing gland to let small amounts of water to exit slowly. Is that an option?
__________________
Life begins where land ends.
BuoyOBuoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 03:20 PM   #7
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: Litchfield, Ct/Punta Gorda, Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Atlas Pompano 23- outboard
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,924
If that 4-5 gallons freezes (and in Toronto it will) and the bilge pump is sitting in it, then the bilge pump will possibly be ruined. If the bilge pump is frozen and topsides water thaws and leaks in and triggers the bilge pump then that will ruin the bilge pump. So I would not leave the bilge pump powered with the boat on the hard- been there, done that.

If you can tighten the tarp up so no more than 4-5 gallons gets in this winter, just pour 3 gallons of antifreeze in the bilge with the bilge near dry. Then when water gets in, it won't freeze.

Loosening the packing gland might work if the 4-5 gallons of water gets up to the packing gland. On most boats it won't. Reread the first paragraph to see what could happen.

David
djmarchand is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 03:49 PM   #8
Guru
 
boatpoker's Avatar
 
City: Port Credit
Country: Ontario
Vessel Name: DIRT FREE
Vessel Model: Benford Fantail 38
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,235
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
If that 4-5 gallons freezes (and in Toronto it will) and the bilge pump is sitting in it, then the bilge pump will possibly be ruined. If the bilge pump is frozen and topsides water thaws and leaks in and triggers the bilge pump then that will ruin the bilge pump. So I would not leave the bilge pump powered with the boat on the hard- been there, done that.

If you can tighten the tarp up so no more than 4-5 gallons gets in this winter, just pour 3 gallons of antifreeze in the bilge with the bilge near dry. Then when water gets in, it won't freeze.

Loosening the packing gland might work if the 4-5 gallons of water gets up to the packing gland. On most boats it won't. Reread the first paragraph to see what could happen.

David
It will take less time to install a garboard drain than to hook up a solar panel especially after you realize you need to buy wire and connectors to extend the cord of that 40Watt, $40 unit from Canadian tire and it might not keep your batteries up. The low angle of the winter sun and cloudy days may (will likely) negate it's usefulness.

$20 for a garboard drain, a little caulking, 30 seconds to drill the hole, 2 minutes to put in three screws.
or .... $2.95US if you buy it here
__________________
If you can live with the consequences, go for it - wg
Y'am what y'am an' thats' all that y'am - Popeye
I had an allergic reality - Jillie the Bean
boatpoker is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 04:06 PM   #9
Guru
 
Lou_tribal's Avatar
 
City: Quebec
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Bleuvet
Vessel Model: Custom Built
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 3,011
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
It will take less time to install a garboard drain than to hook up a solar panel especially after you realize you need to buy wire and connectors to extend the cord of that 40Watt, $40 unit from Canadian tire and it might not keep your batteries up. The low angle of the winter sun and cloudy days may (will likely) negate it's usefulness.

$20 for a garboard drain, a little caulking, 30 seconds to drill the hole, 2 minutes to put in three screws.
or .... $2.95US if you buy it here


And even if you do not plan to install a drain right now, it will take you less time to empty your bilge with a shop vac then to setup your trickle charger.

L
Lou_tribal is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 04:25 PM   #10
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 7,190
What is a garboard drain?
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 04:32 PM   #11
TF Site Team
 
Larry M's Avatar
 
City: JAX, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hobo
Vessel Model: Krogen 42-120
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 6,974
When we were in the tropics, a lot people who left there boats on the hard, installed drains. No maintainance.
Larry M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 04:33 PM   #12
TF Site Team
 
Larry M's Avatar
 
City: JAX, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hobo
Vessel Model: Krogen 42-120
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 6,974
Dave:
Attached Images
 
Larry M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 05:53 PM   #13
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 7,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
When we were in the tropics, a lot people who left there boats on the hard, installed drains. No maintainance.

Thanks Larry. I assume that is installed near the lowest point in the bildge and goes directly through the bottom. That would seem to be the simplest solutions. If it was me, I'd be lazy and just have the yard install one when the boat was hauled.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 06:02 PM   #14
Guru
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Country: US
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 2,651
Back in the days of wooden boats, the garboard was the first plank next to the keel. So a garboard drain was a drain fitted into the garboard.

I think that I would vacuum the bilge dry before you leave and then put some non toxic antifreeze in the bilge in case some water gets in. Easy.
Comodave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 06:02 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
City: Baltimore, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Starshine
Vessel Model: 1989 Bayliner 3288
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhays View Post
Thanks Larry. I assume that is installed near the lowest point in the bildge and goes directly through the bottom. That would seem to be the simplest solutions. If it was me, I'd be lazy and just have the yard install one when the boat was hauled.


On trailer boats they’re generally installed through the transom.

John
johnrupp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 06:15 PM   #16
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 18,110
Last time I was on the hard in Florida, either you had a drain or the marina drilled a hole in the bottom of your boat.
psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 07:21 PM   #17
Guru
 
High Wire's Avatar
 
City: Cape May, NJ and Englewood, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Irish Lady
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,374
If you have a removable paddle wheel speed transducer just pull it out and stuff the hole with old fiberglass screen material to keep critters out.
__________________
Archie
1984 Monk 36 Hull #46
Englewood, FL and Cape May, NJ
High Wire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 07:35 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
City: Great Lakes
Country: USA
Vessel Model: OA 440
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 186
The literature says lead acid batteries self discharge at a rate of about 5% per month. Some say as high as 10%. Trojan says 70% is their bottom line for discharge. I lost two batteries when the marina failed to plug in the charger on the house bank midway through an 8 month winter storage period (inside heated). (The contract said they would do so). I have them plug it in every two months for peace of mind. I also do an equalize cycle the day before it goes into the storage building. By the way, many cheap trickle chargers to not have circuitry to prevent them from sucking the life out of the battery if the AC happens to get disconnected for an extended period....
Rufus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 07:48 PM   #19
TF Site Team
 
Bacchus's Avatar
 
City: Seneca Lake NY
Country: US
Vessel Name: Bacchus
Vessel Model: MS 34 HT Trawler
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,083
When I had GC battys I removed them for winter storage and kept them home on a maintainer. I did have a garbord drain but never had enough leakage in to be a problem.
Current Mainship has 3 - 8D's AGM's and I make sure they are charged and disconnect neg terminal... too much parasitic drain if they stay connected. Too much hastle to remove being 8D's. I won't replace them in kind when the time comes - likely will be AGM GC's for house ? start TBD?

I have checked V in spring for last 3 yrs and have always had 12.5 - 12.6V after 6 mos on the hard but that's w/ AGM's - FLA will likely lose roughly 2x what an AGM does.
A few gals of water in the bilge shouldn't be a problem but if you can install a drain all the better. I would remove the GC's and put them on a maintainer - they like being kept charged and it will help longevity of the battys IMO.
__________________
Don
2008 MS 34 HT Trawler
"Bacchus"
Bacchus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2018, 09:01 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
City: Great Lakes
Country: USA
Vessel Model: OA 440
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 186
If the boat is parked anywhere near a building with plain ol' 110 wall sockets, I'd attach a light weight extension cord into the power inlet on the side of your boat (via a 30 amp to 110 adapter). Disconnect everything but the battery charger from your battery bank. Leave the charger switch "ON" on your AC panel. Coil a long extension cord and leave it on a hook or bungee attached to the boat. Have a friend or yard person plug it in for a day every couple of moths. That's how it's done inside our storage building (for the past 13 years). There's a small arc when plugging in. Guess you could put a switch on the cord if that's a concern to anyone. No big deal with a 50 amp charger. I leave an AC light on in the salon as a tell tail .
__________________

Rufus is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012