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Battery charging

Advice please on keeping. BAtteries charged during winter

Asked by: Ken jones  | 3.32pm, Tuesday 5 January

WW says:

The best way is to use a three or four stage marine battery charger. This will take the batteries through various charging stages to ensure that they are fully charged, and then maintain them in the 'float' stage at around 13.4-volts.
Some chargers also have an anti-sulphation stage where the voltage is raised periodically for a short time to remove sulphates from the plates. However, this should only be used on open vented lead acid batteries. An article on marine battery chargers was published in the October 2015 issue of WW.
This obviously requires you to have a supply of mains electricity to the boat. If this is not available, you could run the engine for an hour or so until the engine is well warmed and the batteries charged. This should be done every three to four weeks to avoid the voltage dropping and the plates sulphating. If possible, it is better to take the boat for a short cruise as this will put more load on it which should reduce the possibility of the cylinder bores glazing.
If neither of these options are possible, you could consider taking the batteries home and charging them there but it depends on the accessibility of the batteries, the complexity of the wiring to them and the distance from the boat to your car. This option may not be possible if you have an automatic bilge pump.

Graham Booth  | 7.20PM, Tuesday 5 January

A solar panel will help keep the batteries in good condition even in the winter.

Rupert Smedley  | 9.18AM, Thursday 7 January

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