While winter in Florida is not nearly as frigid as other parts of the country, winter boat storage is still an important consideration for boat owners. As part of that storage, it’s essential that you take care of your boat’s battery to avoid a hefty bill when it’s time to take to the water in the spring.
To answer the question that bears the title of this blog; yes, if we’re speaking broadly, boat batteries can freeze and continue to function. While freezing may not always do devastating damage to the battery, it can ruin it completely, reduce its lifespan, or minimize its performance.
To be more specific, it’s important to know which type of battery your boat has. There are three main types of boat batteries:
- Flooded batteries
- Gel batteries
- AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries
We’re not going to dive into the differences of these batteries in this blog, but it’s important to know that flooded batteries, which are the most common, are also the most prone to freezing since they host a good amount of water. However, with a full charge, a flooded battery can avoid freezing at temperatures well below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
A flooded battery with little to no charge will react much differently to freezing temperatures. In fact, in this scenario, it likely will no longer work.
Gel batteries can handle freezing much better than flooded batteries, although being exposed to extremely cold weather for extended periods of time could still cause freezing and permanent damage if the battery isn’t charged.
Lastly, the AGM battery is the most freeze-resistant. Even if the battery freezes, you can recharge it without any serious damage.
How to store boat batteries in winter
If you’re concerned about your boat batteries freezing, it’s best to carefully remove them from the boat and store them safely in a sheltered area where they won’t be exposed to winter conditions.
Safely storing your boat batteries and keeping them charged can save you money and help avoid headaches when spring arrives. Do your research and make time to store your batteries before winter.