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Getting the best marine battery for your boat is the key to having a successful outing, whether you are fishing, sailing, or boating. The device might not be as huge as some other components of a boat, but you can be sure your battery-powered boat isn’t moving an inch without it unless you resort to paddling.
A marine battery doesn’t only start your boat’s engine. It also powers all onboard appliances.
It would seem like an easy thing to choose a marine battery considering the vital role it plays in a boat, but that’s always the case. You’re probably reading this article because you are faced with the seemingly difficult task of picking a suitable battery for your boat. We’ve rounded up some of the best options, as you’ll find out.
Best Marine Battery – Reviews
Best Overall Choice
1. Odyssey 31-PC2150S Heavy Duty Commercial Battery
Odyssey might be a relatively new energy solutions company, but it has established itself as a force to reckon with when it comes to rugged, long-lasting equipment. There is a reason the Odyssey 31-PC2150S battery is called an extreme battery. That’s because it is specifically designed to meet the demands of heavy-duty vehicles from farming equipment, tractor-trailers, boats, and more.
This battery has enough power to start many powerboats without breaking a sweat, and its rugged construction protects it against vibration and impacts that can easily damage other batteries. It is fitted with pure virgin lead plates for maximum conductivity and power. The brass terminals are tin-plated and corrosion-resistant.
Specs and Features
100 amps, 12 volts
1150 cold crank amp
Weighs 77.8 lbs
Retains stable voltage for long periods
70% longer cycler life compared to many traditional deep cycle batteries (up to 400 cycles)
Fast recharge (up to 100% recharge in 6 hours or less)
Non-spillable design for flexible mount
– 40oF to 113oF operating temperatures
4-year full replacement warranty, 3-year limited warranty
Banshee did not exaggerate when it described this Lithium-ion LifePo4 battery as a super lightweight and long-lasting model. The deep cycle battery weighs 60% less than any typical lead battery and lasts up to three times longer than most SLA or AGM batteries.
Dual terminal marine posts effectively eliminate the need for adapters. Just in case the battery runs down for any reason, the emergency start function will get the juices flowing again.
Specs and Features:
100 amp hours, 12 volts
Lightweight battery compared to other similar marine batteries (weighs only 24.2 lbs)
Built-in LED voltage indicator tells you the battery voltage
High power battery management system (BMS) to keep the battery from over-charging, excessive discharge, and short-circuiting
Emergency start button (only activated when the battery is depleted)
Dual marine posts
Low self-discharge allows it to start after long periods in storage
Green energy battery (non-toxic and does not contain lead)
We recommend the Optima YellowTop D27F Dual Purpose battery for boaters who want to install heavy electrical appliances in their boats. It is powerful enough to crank up the engines and also power demanding electrical accessories, including inverters, audio systems, winches, and more.
This option outperforms other traditional batteries when it comes to cranking power. In addition to faster-charging capability, the model has three times the cycling ability of most conventional batteries.
YellowTop D27F comes in a durable polypropylene case that is designed with durability in mind. It is completely spill-proof and mounts in virtually any position. Plus, it can handle vibration way more than most other models.
Specs and Features
66 amp hour, 12 volts
830 Cold cranking amp
1026 cranking amp
Weighs 54 lbs
Can be mounted in all positions
Over 300 recharge and discharge cycles
Excellent vibration resistance
Faster charging and maintenance-free
Best Budget Choice
4. Bass Pro Shops Pro Series Deep-Cycle AGM Marine Battery
Only a few small to medium marine batteries combine a reasonable retail price with outstanding performance the way the Pro Series Deep-Cycle Marine Battery does. Bass Pros Shops packed quite some power into this model, with outstanding cold-cranking amps, reserve capacity, and marine-cranking amps, so you don’t need to load up on batteries.
It starts up your engines, and the deep-cycling function quickly kicks in to power your trolling motor and any other onboard appliance, including audio systems and fishfinder. The battery recharges very fast and can withstand lots of deep discharges.
Installing the battery is quite easy due to the dual terminal design, and you can be sure of long-term use because the AGM construction is engineered to resist shock and vibration.
The Mighty Max ML35-12 – 12V 35AH Deep Cycle Battery is proof that buying the best marine battery doesn’t necessarily leave a dent in your wallet. It is constructed with small trolling motors in mind and works well for small kayaks, canoes, and boats.
It might be very affordable, but it comes with the remarkable benefits of AGM construction, including maintenance-free and leakproof. Mounting can be done in almost any position, so it can fit in lots of tight spaces and around accessories.
Specs and Features
35 amps, 12 volts
Weighs 23.15 lbs
Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) and Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) chemistry
Wide operating temperatures
Impressive performance in low and high temperatures
High discharge rate with deep discharge recover
30-day refund policy, 1-year warranty
6. VMAX SLR125 AGM Sealed Deep Cycle 12V 125Ah Batteries
Adding more appliances to your boat may mean upping your battery power, and sometimes more output power means buying two separate batteries. If you ever find yourself in that situation, you may want to consider the VMAXSLR125 AGM Sealed Deep Cycle batteries.
These are not the typical marine batteries that die out after a couple of years. These batteries can deliver exceptional performance for up to 10 years in float mode. The twin-device is backed by a 12-month warranty policy.
Specs and Features
125 amp hours, 12 volts
Two deep cycle batteries (sealed)
Weighs 75 lbs
Between 8 and 10 years float mode lifespan
VMAX BC1215 12V 15Amp 7-stage charger recommended
Designed for 99% recombination capabilities
Safe for use, does not contain dangerous gases or fumes
When it comes to the best marine battery for boat racing, the XS Power D6500 takes the lead. It is one of the AGM batteries that use the highest energy density chemistry. You can mount this model in almost any position, and because it is both spill-proof and vibration-resistance, you can be sure of an extended lifespan.
Shopping for a medium power cranking battery? You may want to consider buying the Optima 34M BlueTop Marine Starting Battery. This is an excellent choice for people who want to be absolutely sure that their boats will start no matter what.
You can rely on the Optima 34M BlueTop for cranking power, even in terrible weather conditions. A tightly wound construction ensures the plate movement is kept very low, with great vibration resistance. It also comes with a high reserve capacity for longer shelf-life. That means, even when your boat is not in use, you can be sure it will crank up easily with this marine starting battery.
The brand’s unique SpiralCell design offers clean power, making the battery safe for the environment.
Specs and Features
800 cold-cranking amps, 12 volts
100 minutes reserve capacity
Weighs 36.4 lbs
Optimal starting power regardless of the weather
Excellent vibration resistance
Versatile use (for boats and RV)
Marine Battery: Types and Maintenance Tips
It goes without saying that marine batteries are specifically meant for use on boats, making them more expensive than their automobile counterparts. These batteries are engineered with more robust designs to withstand the hard knocks that occur in boats.
It is never a wise decision to use a car battery on your powerboat. Even if it succeeds to power the engine, it is only a matter of time before it crashes under the heavy vibrations and demands of a boat.
Types of Marine Battery
Marine batteries fall into three broad categories, namely:
Marine Starting Battery: As the name suggests, this battery type is designed to start the boat’s engine, providing quick bursts of power. The onboard alternator rapidly recharges the battery. If you ever need to power your appliances or troll motors, you should do so with another type of battery, as starting batteries are not suitable for these purposes.
Marine Deep Cycle Battery: This is the ideal battery for powering onboard accessories, including fish locators, windlass, audio systems, thruster, depth finders, and more. The device is designed to discharge slowly over a long period. It goes through hundreds of charging and discharging cycles. Avoid using a deep cycle battery to power your boat’s engine.
Marine Dual-Purpose Battery: Having one battery onboard for starting your boat and another for powering your appliances can take up space. A space-saving solution is a dual-purpose battery that combines the performance of deep cycle and starting batteries. Keep in mind, though, a typical dual-purpose battery will not provide the top-notch performance of either starting or deep cycling batteries separately.
Charging a Boat’s Battery
Unlike cars that are used almost daily, boats are less likely to be on the waterways every day of the year. This explains why an automobile battery tends to last longer in cars than even the best marine battery in a boat.
If you have to leave your boat in storage for a while, it is important to make sure the battery retains its charge. Trickle charging or regulated charging is recommended when the boat will be out of use for a long period.
Also, remember to properly charge the battery in a boat you just purchased, whether it is a new or used boat. The batteries that come with a new boat will typically lose most of their charge while in storage.
If you’ve had a battery for a while, and it suddenly goes dead when you go to start it one morning and will only come to life when you plug in the charger, you may need to start preparing to replace the battery.
Replacing the Battery
When it comes time to get a new marine battery, make sure to buy a new one that works for your boat. A good place to start is looking through your boat’s owner’s manual or consulting a marine dealer to find out the option for your specific boat. You need to pay attention to the battery ratings, including marine cranking amps, amp hour rating, and reserve capacity.
If you need to replace a starting battery, you should take particular note of the marine cranking amps and make sure it matches your boat’s engine specifications. If you are in the market for a deep cycle battery, your primary focus should be on the reverse capacity and amp hour rating. Shopping for a dual-purpose replacement battery will mean looking out for all three rankings.
Getting a replacement battery is not limited to only when you end up with a dead one. If you consider adding new electrical accessories to your boat, it is vital to upgrade to a model with an adequate ampere-hour rating. This is particularly important if you use your audio system a lot while your boat is at anchor or if you troll with the engine running at low speed.
Tips for Preventing Battery Problems
Marine batteries may not be particularly classified as very expensive, but no one enjoys shopping for a new one ever so often. However, even the best marine battery will develop problems if not properly maintained. Here are some easy-to-follow suggestions to keep your battery running smoothly and extend its life expectancy.
While it may not be possible to use a boat every day, it is important to get it out in the water and give the electrical system some good exercise. This is one of the simplest ways to make sure your marine battery lasts for a long time.
A maintenance-type charger is ideal for keeping the battery fully charged when you are not using the boat. Consider getting this type of charger if you use your boat once in a blue moon.
You want to fully charge your marine battery before storing your boat for the off-season. Make sure to disconnect both terminals so that nothing drains the battery while in storage.
Keep the battery secured with a tray specifically for that purpose. The tray should be tightly screwed to the boat with a locking strap to keep it in place. This should prevent it from coming loose as the boat vibrates in rough waters.
Develop a routine of frequently checking the terminal connections. While a good battery try can keep the battery in place, wear and tear often happen with all the vibration and banging around on the water. Ensure the terminals are tightly connected and free of corrosion.
Make sure the positive terminal of the battery is covered. If it is not, install a cover, regardless of whether the battery is inside a covered box. A terminal cover is your surest bet to prevent arcing, sparks, and possible explosion (a tool dropped on the terminal can cause an explosion in some cases).