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Hello fisherman and boat owners! Are you finished with boating this year?? If so don’t forget about your batteries. If your boat is stored away from home, or outside, remove your batteries, and keep them at home in the garage, because you want to maintain them over the winter, so they will be ready in the spring when you are. If you keep your boat in your garage, you can keep them in the boat, specifically a bass boat, which are generally easy to access. If not remove them.
The things you want to check are the fluid level inside if they are a flooded wet cell battery, the condition of the casing, and the post The fluid level should be level with the bottom of filler holes. Use only distilled water when topping them off. To make it easy use a basting bulb syringe. This will keep you from spilling water all over, plus better control of how much water goes in the battery. Then charge it with an automatic charger of at least 10 amps to give it a good deep charge. A good battery will hold 12.5 or better volts. Anything less than that, the battery is getting close to be needing replaced. AGM batteries just need charged. Optimas are a good example of AGM/SLA battery. They are sealed requiring no maintenance. The casing should be flat on the sides and without bulging. Bulging would indicate gassing caused by a short circuit in the battery or over charging of the battery. Also make sure your post are tight, and clean. If they have corrosion, you can mix some baking soda and water, and brush to clean the terminal post. When cleaned apply some Vaseline or some sort of protectant such as CRC Battery Terminal Protectant, and you can get that at any auto parts store.
The last thing you should check is the battery tray for corrosion from a venting or gassing battery spilling over of the battery acid. If you find that, remove the battery and tray, to clean with the baking soda mixture. If the tray is metal, clean/ sand all the corroded paint off and repaint, using several coats, and let it dry thoroughly before reinstalling. When reinstalling the tray, I like to put epoxy in the screw holes, before the screws put back in. Some people use silicone. This is done to protect from water intrusion. Plus the epoxy gives a little strength to keep screws locked down.
If at anytime, you killed your battery with electronics or stereo, you have lost a good portion of your batteries life, so you might be in the market for a new battery. When choosing a battery, get the biggest one you can! If you will be using a lot of big electronics such as the ew 10 and 12 ” screen LCD fish finders, they require a lot of juice, so get something with at least 1100 MCA, such as Diehard platinums. PM-1, 31 series. And remember to crank your engine often to recharge. Last , disconnect the battery cables from the batteries, to keep voltage loss to a minimum. I charge mine once a month overnight to keep them charged
Stay tuned for a little how to video of this process.

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