Just like a car needs a power-packed engine to vroom off the roads, a boat’s lifeblood is its battery. In other words, a marine battery is one that is used to charge up boats and its contents for hours. Be it for fishing, powering up a trolling motor or charging up navigational lights, a marine battery is used for multiple purposes. There are various types of marine batteries that are used for diverse applications. Right from Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM), Li-ion, Lead Acid to Starting and Dual Purpose batteries, boat owners choose among these to make their boats run varying applications. If you are looking forward to investing in a marine battery, pick the best one always and make your boat stronger and more powerful.
Our Favorite Marine Battery Options Reviewed
Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting Marine Battery
One of the first things boat owners consider while choosing a marine battery is how long it would run, and Optima 8016-103 D34M is exactly what it excels in. Scoring high on performance, this deep cycle marine battery will recharge your boat much faster in comparison to an ordinary battery. So, you don’t have to invest much time into getting your boat on track with this outstanding source of power. With an amazing vibration resistance ability, it is absolutely spill proof and will work wonders for any RV battery. This marine battery from Optima hardly needs any maintenance and is, therefore, a great choice for boats carrying heavier loads.
Features and Specifications:
- 750 Cold Cranking Amps and 12 Volts contribute well to its unparalleled performance
- Stud posts made of premium quality stainless steel makes it strong and sturdy
- Works well in unpleasant weather conditions with its optimal starting power
- Quite flexible to install as it can be easily mounted in any position
- Compact in size as it is 13 to 16 inches tall and weighs around 44 pounds
- Equipped with SpiralCell technology that makes it more efficient to operate on the waters
- Hardly requires any sort of maintenance
- Excellent reserve capacity of 120 minutes
- Works well with a trolling motor
- Maintains consistency in performance
- Can be recharged up to three times owing to its SpiralCell technology
- Vibration resistance enabled to stay away from harsh engine vibrations
- Power required is a lot high
- Capacity to run the boat for long is not up to the mark
Optima Batteries 8040-218 D35 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery
If your boat takes a number of hiccups to kick start, this dual-purpose and high-performance battery from Optima will surely save your day. With an incredible cranking ability and unmatched cycling power, Optima8040-218 D35 is superb for new-age loaded vehicles. What makes it worth every penny for a boat owner is its long battery life and zero maintenance. Moreover, its SpiralCell technology along with a 98-minute reserve capacity makes it perform with no glitches. Having the potential to work even in bad weather conditions, this yellow top dual-purpose marine battery is real value for money.
Features and Specifications:
- Has a reserve capacity of 98 minutes to perform with absolute consistency
- Holds a capacity of operating at 620 Cold Cranking Amps and 12 Volts
- Holds excellent starting power to work smoothly in rough weather conditions
- It is high on durability as it is almost 15 times more vibration resistant
- Three times more service life in comparison to that of ordinary marine batteries
- Works fine with tractors, forklifts and other applications as well
- Can withstand extreme temperatures without any obstruction in operation
- Light in weight and easy to carry that makes it perfect to power up small boats
- Construction is impressive for its exterior made of premium quality plastic
- Holds a decent reserve capacity and great to kick-start small motors
- Chances of overheating as it is an AGM battery
- Longevity of the battery has been recorded to be bad
Related Links: Want To Know About Best Trolling Motor Batteries
Optima Batteries 8006-006-FFP 34M BlueTop Marine Starting Battery
Worry no more to kick-start your boat even in odd weather conditions as this starting battery from Optima comes with a reserve capacity of 100 minutes. Optima 8006-006 34M is a 12-volt battery and is quite sturdy as it comprises stainless steel stud posts. Leaving no questions in durability, it has vibration resistance of up to 15 times. Having the potential to work with an RV battery, this powerhouse from Optima is too good to keep your boat powered for long. Owning such an efficient marine battery will keep all boat owners happy as the former just don’t need any maintenance.
Features and Specifications:
- Keeps it high on performance owing to its excellent reserve capacity of 100 minutes
- With a commendable starting power, it keeps boat safe and powerful even in bad weather conditions
- Recharges boats in quick time in comparison to the time taken by other marine batteries
- Very easy to install as it takes no effort to install in any position
- Delivers a cold cranking ability of 800 AMPs and requires a minimum of 12 Volts
- Excellent vibration resistance helps it stay away from sudden shocks
- Hardly requires any maintenance and quite consistent in performance
- Can operate in any type of weather condition for its strong exterior made of plastic
- Weighing less than 40 pounds, it is light in weight and compact in size
- A deep cycle battery required separately for the trolling motor
- Charging needs to be monitored as it might lead to overcharging
VMAX857 AGM Battery 12 Volt 35AH Marine Deep Cycle
If your boat has regular heavy-duty jobs to accomplish, VMAX857 will never let you down with its unparalleled performance and speedy delivery time. With heavy-duty lead-tin alloys, it is super durable and hence promises to stand strong despite confronting tough weather conditions. Forget adding water to the VMAC tanks or maintaining them as VMAX857 needs no maintenance at all. Portable as per dimensions, this battery can be easily carried and does not weigh much. There is no doubt about its strength as it boasts of superior-quality plates that will keep your boat all set to move.
Features and Specifications:
- Performs with full strength as it has heavy-duty lead-tin alloys
- Service life is brilliant in not only cyclic but also in flat applications
- No maintenance is required as there is no need to check the electrolyte gravity and neither one has to add water
- Use of AGM between VMAX plates makes it rank high in the category of marine deep cycle batteries
- Has an impressive running time of 4 to 9 hours that will easily make your boat head to long trips
- Involves no hazards or chances of short circuits on water
- Scores high in reliability and requires no maintenance at all
- Does not emit any dangerous gas and is completely spill-proof
- Completely weather-proof and resistant to heavy shocks
- Has the potential to last long for up to ten years
- Longevity of the battery is not good as it has not proved worthy for long drawn trips
- Construction is not so impressive
Odyssey 31-PC2150S Heavy Duty Commercial Battery
Odyssey brings boat owners a sensational marine battery, 31-PC2150S, which not only assures a long service life but also possesses good cranking abilities. Apart from being a reliable power source for all types of boats, this commercial battery boasts of an impressive cycle life that is 70 times better when compared to conventional marine batteries. Nothing can also beat its recharge time as it fully powers up a boat in just four to six hours. Being vibration resistant, it can tolerate extreme temperatures and still makes it a point to keep your boat active for hours. Odyssey31-PC2150S is a big time saver and comes comfortably within your budget as well.
Features and Specifications:
- Equipped with a voltage stability that will keep the boat contents powered for long hours
- High cranking ability of 1150 AMPs adds largely to its performance
- Assures a huge service life of up to ten years that makes it a reliable marine battery
- Super vibration resistance lets your boat stay safe from high impact shock
- Has a high recharge efficiency so as to charge up the boat in around four to six hours
- In terms of functionality and power, it is double of what conventional batteries deliver
- Commendable service life that may span from three to ten years
- Has the ability to recharge faster in almost four to six hours
- Non-spilling design with an awesome mounting flexibility
- Best used for all types of dual-purpose applications
- Minute care should be taken while it stays in charge due to chances of overheating
- A bit overpriced that does not make it a choice for all
Things Worth Knowing Before Buying a Marine Battery
A regular automobile battery needs to pass only one test – whether it can provide a big enough surge of electricity to the engine of the car for the car to start. Once the car has started with the help of the battery, then the battery doesn’t have to supply power after that, and the engine itself is able to power the running of the car and the appliances attached to the car. A marine battery, on the other hand, not only is responsible for the initial burst of power but a gradual supply of power at a lower level for an extended period after that, with which the other appliances on the ship can run. It is also referred to sometimes as a deep cycle battery.
Also, marine batteries are used in such vessels or in such environments where on demand recharging might not always be possible. For instance, in a windmill set in the rolling fields outside the city, or a 200 feet yacht out for the whole day in the bay. The marine battery they use must have the capacity to provide power for longer periods before they can be recharged. Again, the marine batteries are used in environments which are hostile and often witness heavy rolling or jerking movements, like the two examples cited above. So the mobile battery you use must be robust and hardy.
Apart from ensuring the marine battery is resistant to tough environments and can go for long periods without recharging, let us look at a few more things a potential buyer of marine batteries must keep in mind :
- The first thing to do before venturing out is to take a good look at where the battery will be placed. What kind of space do you have? Some marine batteries have humongous dimensions, so it might be a good idea to measure the dimensions of the space you have before you set out to purchase.
- The kind of recharging outlet you have needs to be checked, so that you can ensure that the mobile battery you buy has outlets and inlets compatible with your charging systems and charging power.
- You need to decide whether you need two separate batteries, one for starting and one for running the appliances, or whether you want a single marine battery that will do both for you. The voltages and amperages of the battery or batteries you buy will need to be checked accordingly. Also, if you plan to have multiple batteries in a bank, then it is preferred that all those batteries should have the same chemistry, because it will save you the bother of arranging for different charging voltages for the different types of batteries.
- Read up and understand some technical words like cranking ampere (CCA), reserve capacity (RC), battery capacity, and understand how much of these you need. The person at the store would help you if you explain the proposed usage of the marine battery to him. It’s a waste of your money to buy a bigger capacity marine battery than you need, but you also do not want to be left stranded and look for recharging often, so choose wisely.
- Do check the warranty conditions. Some manufacturers provide free replacement, while some give you a pro rata coverage. This is not something that can be negotiated for, so you need to compare the conditions of several marine and batteries and take the best.
- And finally, the price. Compare, ask, negotiate, repeat, that should be your mantra till you get your best price. It is possible to negotiate yourself a good price or at least get them to throw in a few freebies along with your new marine battery. But please keep in mind that your new marine battery will be your companion in desolate areas, so don’t compromise on specifications while bargain hunting.
Now that your new battery is here, make sure that you recharge after every use, so that the life of your marine battery can be extended. You need to do regular housekeeping like cleaning of the terminals, refilling of fluids regularly. For your marine battery, please ensure that you are using the correct charging voltage. Try not to go beyond a discharge of 80% before you recharge.
How to Choose the Best Marine Battery
If you are a proud owner of a boat, you will know how well it guides you in accomplishing multiple tasks. Well, boat owners are not always concerned with fishing. Instead, they help to power up a lot of things like trolling motors, aerator pumps, navigation lights and more. This means that your boat needs to have the strongest of batteries, or otherwise, things can go a little tough in the midst of a voyage. Therefore, boat owners should never compromise to spend on a marine boat battery because it has to be one that would keep the boat active, especially during challenging situations.
Now, when you will be heading to choose the best marine battery for your boat, a good number of points should be kept in mind. By considering these points, it would be easier for you to pick the right battery, even if you are new to it. So, let’s take a look at some crucial considerations:
- Choose which applications you want to run –
You might be involved in doing several activities with your boat. In this process, your boat runs on a very powerful motor that can last for long hours. For such long-drawn activities, you might, therefore, be in need of a deep cycle battery that is designed to provide a good volume of energy as and when required.
Some even go for starting marine batteries to kick-start the trolling motor without effort. These batteries are often used for courtesy lights, bilge pumps, and other marine electronics. Apart from these, there are dual-purpose batteries whose capacity is much higher than starting batteries. For electrical needs, dual-purpose batteries are considered important.
- Choose what type of battery you want to install in your boat –
As a matter of fact, there are various types of marine batteries to consider. The first to talk about is a Lead Acid battery that is used to run the majority of automobiles. These are quite cost-effective and keep power discharges in absolute control.
Next is Absorbed Glass Mat or AGM batteries that are quite popular in the category of marine batteries. What makes these stand out among others is their ability to charge faster and they do not leak. If you are looking for sturdy batteries, the Gel batteries can well serve your purpose. On the contrary, Lithium Ion batteries are for those who have been looking for lighter batteries.
- Check the key battery specifications–
Prior to choosing a marine battery, there are a few specifications that must be checked at all cost. One is checking your battery’s physical case size. If you are having a small-size boat, you might then be limited to a group size fitting all those dimensions.
Next comes the reserve capacity, which can be tested by calculating the time the unit can bear a load of up to 25 AMPs prior to falling at 10.5 V at a given temperature. Also, checking the Ampere-hours is crucial for a marine boat. This actually determines how strong your boat is in terms of life expectancy.
Now that you have come to know about various aspects of choosing a marine battery, it would not take much time and effort in doing so. Just be a little careful, draw comparisons and then make the deal to bring your very own boat to life.
Finally, you are geared up to set sail with all your loved ones. So, have you checked everything on your boat, especially the battery? Remember, a marine battery will provide the crucial amount of power your boat will need to glide smoothly on the waters. So, it has to be a good battery and which should also be perfectly compatible with it. If you are still confused, talk to an expert or draw a quick comparison between the popular marine batteries that would give you a clear idea. Have a crystal clear idea about your marine boat battery and enjoy your upcoming trips without any worries.
How To Install a Boat Battery
Many boat owners now understand the fact that installing their boat battery is same as installing their car battery. Though, the installation process differs when people are using two or more battery. Even though battery installation is a simple task, but fixing or merging more than two batteries is very difficult for users who do not know the installation principles and rules. For eliminating the complexities, this guide comes with some simple guidelines for installing a marine battery easily and safely.
Cleaning and safety measures
It is smart and convenient to clean battery terminals and battery tray once you reinstall the old battery. You can try to use warm water to avoid corrosion and acid. Warm water and baking soda are required for neutralizing both additional acid and heavy corrosion. There are many safety gears available to install a battery, but the perfect pair of quality goggles brings you extra protection. The sturdy brushes play a vital role in removing the debris present on the battery box. Apart from that, you can clean all terminal connections of a battery to avoid the hassles created by corrosion. You can replace the connections, batteries, and cables when there are fully corroded.
Guide to install your new Marine battery
The following guide helps you to learn the simple procedure for installing your boat battery without experiencing any challenges. In addition, you can also know about the preparation process that makes battery installation much simpler and quick.
Simple-to-follow preparation steps
- Buy a suitable boat battery
It is basic to ensure that you are purchasing perfect and reliable boat batteries. The specially designed and most effective batteries include lots of powerful features to withstand regular shifting, greater draining, increased wave pounding and many vibrations. It is highly recommended to use the boat batteries for your marine use because other types of batteries are not capable to bring these benefits.
- Make it sturdy
You need to secure a battery before starting the connection task. Many boat owners use the best battery compartment because it helps them to place and strap their marine battery tightly. It will also ensure that the battery is in a safe condition even the boat is moving. If you look for a perfect alternative for the battery compartment, you can use a safe battery box. It is smart to mount a battery box before placing a battery in it.
- Perfect wire size
You can purchase the high quality and suitable wires when you need to replace the damaged old wires. You can choose the quality and largest wires because they will supply lots of power to your boat engine and circuit breaker.
- Connecting your batteries
Once you complete all previous steps, you can put your special efforts for connecting your battery. The previous markings in cables let you hook them without any confusion. The proper hooking process not only enhances the working of your battery, but also prevents dangerous spark formation.
If you need an extra battery for improving the performance of your boat engine, you can choose the similar types of batteries. Some boat owners use different types of marine batteries, so they experience less battery life. For avoiding the inconveniences, you can prefer the same kinds of batteries. Strapping plays a major role in the installation process, so you can do it carefully. There are two installation types available to boost the capacity for meeting the power demands. It includes:
- Series Installation
There are two boat batteries are joined, negative terminal to positive terminal and positive terminal to negative terminal, in this series installation procedure. It is used in many batteries. It is helpful to know that this installation type does not boost the life of the battery. Instead, it increases your battery voltage and keeping its capacity constant.
- Parallel Installation
There are 2 batteries are joined negative terminal to negative terminal and positive terminal to positive terminal in this parallel installation process. This parallel installation not only boosts the capability of boat battery but also aids in maintaining a particular voltage. Moreover, it increases the life of your boat batteries.
If you are correctly following these installation guidelines, you can able to ensure that your boat batteries are installed successfully and safely.
Marine Battery Safety Tips
So you have done all your research, spoken to boating buddies, read up reviews online, visited several stores in person and finally you have made your choice. Your new marine battery is finally home and you are all set to have her started off. You are looking forward to taking your boat out for happy trips. But wait! You know as well as any boater that one can never be too careful, so you have to do a few things (and not do a few others) to make it safer for your boat, yourself, and your surroundings.
- Electricity is a double edged sword if there was any. It can make so many things so convenient, but if it takes a wrong turn, it can burn away everything. So read up the instructions on your battery’s user manual very carefully and follow them to the T.
- Make sure the new marine battery is placed in a cool and dry place. OF course, when you take your boat out, it might not be possible to protect it completely from the salty air and spray, but the better you can protect your marine battery, the greater would be its longevity.
- Please do not flex your muscles and try to do all the heavy lifting by yourself. It is always recommended that a lifting team (of at least two!) do the shifting and movement of marine batteries, because they can grievous injury otherwise.
- If your marine battery is not the sealed type, then please make adequate arrangements for the gas and fumes to go out into the air instead of being cooped up in a closed space. That can be dangerous and even fatal.
- If you have come into contact with some acid vapors released from your vapor, you might feel giddy and nauseous, and have trouble breathing. Go into an open area which has fresh air, and lie down for some time, and try to take a few deep breaths.
- If you have come into contact with liquid discharges instead, then the skin needs to be immediately washed with a mild soap water solution. Use wash water for several rinses if the liquids come into contact with the eyes. That is why most boats keep a large container of water near the battery area, and you should follow that example as well.
- When the marine battery is not being used, you should keep it disconnected. Otherwise it would self discharge quickly.
- Please keep a close watch on your battery to ensure that it is never discharged more than 80%, and soon as your battery reaches close to (not breaches) that mark, take steps to recharge.
- Do not pinch pennies while purchasing spare charging terminals or wires or any other accessories. Remember your boat is only as safe as the most unsafe accessory in it, even if you have the best in class charging equipment otherwise.
- Cleanliness is paramount for safety when it comes to marine batteries. Be very careful of spillages on your deck which could lead to burns or someone slipping, and for the battery itself, there is a risk of short circuiting. For those who would be handling these batteries, the use of goggles, aprons and rubber gloves is a smart thing to do, because some of the electrolytes in marine batteries can cause severe burns, depending on the type of battery.
- Many batteries are sealed and are therefore designed to prevent spillage. But for such batteries it is a good idea to physically inspect from time to time, to ensure the sealed condition has indeed been maintained. For unsealed batteries, keep a close watch on escaping fumes or spilled liquids.
- Regular servicing of the battery might be a pain for your operations, especially if you are running a busy rig and have to keep her away from the seas for a day to allow the maintenance to happen. But it gives you a chance to get the marine battery back to top shape, and repair/replace any parts that you notice are broken down or worn out.
Always remember that a good marine battery is very necessary for smooth running of your operations, but unless you keep some basic handling and usage safety tips, you might end up with more hassles and expenses. As they say, better safe than sorry.
Difference Between A Marine Battery And A Car Battery
Be it land or sea, you are travelling both with the help of battery technology. You need to thank the different batteries in action to provide you a comfortable journey. But, what about the differences in the makes of the car and marine batteries? This is something that should be discussed in detail. And that is exactly what we are going to do here.
Differentiating The Marine And The Car Batteries
One of the major differences between the batteries is the place where they are in use. The marine atmosphere demands a different type of battery. The car batteries also are different. From construction to the jobs that they perform, everything is different.
For those who want to know, here are some differences that we are pointing out. This will help you in deciding the roles of each battery.
- How Big Are The Lead Plates?
One of the common things that you will find in both batteries are the lead plates. Yes, the boat batteries have them and the car batteries have them. This particular lead plate is then dipped in sulphuric acid. Why do you ask? Well, because with the dipping of these plates, a certain charge takes place. This charge along with the lead plates are then stored in the respective batteries.
Why are we discussing this suddenly? Well, because it is the thickness of the plates that are a matter of concern here. The difference in the size decides the type. Starter batteries, used in the cars, have a much thinner set of plates. But the marine batteries have a combination of both thin and thick plate. This keeps the marine batteries in the territory of deep-cycle batteries. Not many people know that but the marine batteries are a great hybrid of the starter and thicker ones. They are also made to use in the charging of solar power channels.
There are different settings of voltage in the car and the marine batteries. But the supply of power is almost the same (up to 12 volts DC). A specific car battery has cranking amps to rate it. But things are a bit different with the deep cycle batteries. They often have a reserve rating technique. This rating is an indicator of the running time of the battery. It shows the time for which the battery is capable of running before losing any power.
There is another difference to notice between the marine and the car battery. A marine battery, compared to a car one, has a deeper discharge.
- What Does Your Car Battery Do?
Batteries are not responsible for producing electricity. However, there is one thing that they do. They store the energy. The batteries are responsible for taking the charge during the working of a machine. This particular charge is stored for further use.
For your car, the battery has a simple task. To start the engine of the car. Hence, the name starter batteries. Powering the ignition and starter motor is all that it does. If your car battery isn’t functioning properly, your car is good for nothing. With the thin plates in action, car batteries differ from the marine ones.
Since the batteries form such an integral part of the car, it is essential to take care of it. Make sure that you check the connections and the battery of your car once in a while. Doing that you can avoid the future problems.
- What Does A Marine Battery Do?
Marine batteries have an ability to discharge small amounts of energy. What they do is provide the initial boost of energy and then maintain a regular supply. They perform two functions. Starting the boat and providing the energy to the electrical aspects of the boat. These aspects include sound, lighting, pumps and everything else.
They are also pretty much robust in the size when compared to the car batteries. Consisting of thick lead plates, they have a sturdy look. And why not? After all, they have to cope with the shaking and the vibrations as well.
For someone who wants a particular battery for a boat, the marine battery would be the perfect option. Not only are they more efficient and useful, but they are also pretty durable and reliable as well.