Power Up Your Boat With A New Marine Battery

Do you own a marine powerboat? Are you okay with the battery you are currently using, or sometimes you suffer setbacks because it doesn’t charge?

Well, this guide will solve whatever problems you are undergoing with your battery. In the end, you will find the right marine battery you have yearned to have for many years.

Many people looking for a marine battery have found themselves on the crossroads. They do not know the type of battery that will work on their boats. Below we’ll give you a short description of how different types of marine batteries work, what to look for when shopping for a good marine battery, and share some of our editors favorite options with our reviews of the top marine batteries on the market right now.

Editor Picks: Best Marine Batteries for the Money (2018 – 2019)

Reviews for these boat batteries are at the end of this guide.

Starting Vs. Dual Purpose Vs. Deep Cycle

As the name suggests, starting batteries main work is to help start your boat. This means that you can purchase this type of battery, and use it to start the boat’s engine, light, and ignite, commonly referred to as SLI batteries.

What happens when the battery gets low? The interesting part of Starter Batteries is that they are also rechargeable. An alternator, another important component in most machines that use batteries, recharges the batteries.

On the other hand, Deep Cycle Batteries get built with the ability to withstand long hours of recharge cycles thus the name ‘Deep Cycle.’ If during your voyages constantly drain the Starter Battery, changes of it dying soon are imminent.

As already mentioned, the main difference between Starter Batteries and Deep Cycle Marine Batteries is that the latter withstands constant discharge and recharge cycles. They are likely to stay longer even if at times they are almost flat.

Because of its power to sustain repeated deep cycle recharges, many marine boat owners prefer them to Starter Batteries.

Lastly, there is something important you need to know on Dual-Purpose batteries. These types of batteries come with extra large thick plates. Notably, this is a deliberate design to give the batteries more antimony than the Starter and the Deep Cycle batteries.

Besides, a Dual-Purpose Battery has a lead paste chemistry that is active. This is the reason why Dual-Purpose battery can be almost immune to any problem. In the end, a Dual-Purpose Battery can tolerate what a Starter and Deep Cycle batteries cannot.

Battery Chemistry

Speaking of battery chemistry, all marine batteries come in any of the four chemistries:
•    Gel.
•    Flooded.
•    Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM).
•    Lithium.

Each of the above battery chemistries has its limits. You need to look the need before you settle on what battery chemistry. I’ll address more on these four types of batteries below.

Did you also know that Deep Cycle Batteries are also known as Dual-Purpose marine batteries?

This is because you can use it to start the engine, just as you could with the Starter Battery and to perform other functions on your boat. I’m talking about functions such as different types of lights, electronics, inner controls, and other accessories.

What To Consider Before Buying A Marine Battery

As already mentioned in the above section, there are three types of marine batteries. By now, you know some of the differences between the Starter Battery, Deep Cycle Battery, and of course, the Dual-Purpose Battery. Is that all you need to know about batteries? No! This section delves into some of the nitty gritties you need to consider before you settle on a particular marine battery.

Cold Cranking Amps

This is what many people call CCA, which means the battery’s starting power. Conventionally, a battery is designed to deliver specific amounts of amps within the first 30 seconds of powering it.

If a battery has a higher CCA, it is most likely to help you do a number of things on your boat for a long time. The opposite is true.

Experts say that a battery whose CCA is high, it can power almost any engine. Is this not what you want? The same experts say that if the battery you are about to purchase has a genuine CCA or MCA rating of 700+, you consider it fit for your boat.

Reserve Capacity

This is another crucial factor. Many boat owners overlook this because inevitably, it is hard to prove. What is reserve capacity? The term refers to the difference in time that may be required for a new and fully-charged marine battery to drop its power to below 10.5V.

Many argue that it depends on the current state of the boat, the type of battery, and what the battery does. While this may be true, a good battery would take longer before it drops to 10.5 volts, a charge that may not be able to operate many tasks on your boat.

It makes sense though. The longer it takes the battery to drop to below 10.5 volts, the greater the assurance that it will last long no matter what you use it for in your boat.

Type Of Battery

Again, let’s speak about the battery type. This time, we are not looking at the basics but the detailed chemistry that is behind batteries.

  • Flooded Battery– this battery is fitted with liquid electrolytes. Even with minimal boat imbalance, the chances are that the liquid inside the battery can spill over. It even sulfates when not in use. You need to have a regular check on it.
  • Valve-Regulated or Sealed Acid Battery– some of the features of this battery is that you can mount it nearly anywhere on your boat. No one has reported that it leaks thanks to its seal-proof. This battery requires minimal maintenance to keep running, and it is portable.
  • AGM Battery– Do you remember this type of battery? Absorbent Glass Mat Batteries do not spill. One good thing about this battery is that it is light. It withstands a lot of hardship conditions, can be mounted anywhere on the boat, and requires minimal maintenance.
  • Gel Cell battery– it belongs to the AGM family. This battery has a thick gel that is in the form of putty. Many who have used it say it lasts long, but you cannot compare it with AGM. As is the case with many other batteries, Gel Cell Battery requires minimal checkups.
  • Lithium Battery– it features high-end qualities. For instance, the battery is lighter, more reliable, compact, and safer. What is more, Lithium Batteries are more of anodes that simply batteries. Perhaps, this is why most boat owners prefer them to other batteries.

Now that you have made an informed choice on the type of battery that suits your boat, what should follow? Well, although most new marine batteries come full-charged, you will soon need to recharge them.

Charging a Marine Battery

While charging a marine battery may be a simple thing, it is also important to know that many boat owners have rendered their newly-acquired batteries useless. If you want your battery to last longer, you should learn the secrets of charging it.

In this write-up, I’ll address how to charge an AGM battery because as of now, many boat owners prefer these types of batteries. However, you can use the process to charge other batteries unless your type of battery requires special treatment.

After locating the position where you have mounted your battery, follow this simple and quick process to charge it:

  1. Turn off the battery switch.
  2. Remove the battery lid.
  3. Be sure to master the battery terminals (+ & -).
  4. Clean them to remove any corrosion, debris, and any dirt.
  5. Connect the charger to the battery. (Assuming you have the right charger because most marine batteries require a ‘Smart Charger,’ which insert power to the battery depending on the battery’s temperature and chemistry.)
A good Smart Charger will insert power into the marine battery in three phases namely:

  • Bulk phase.
  • Acceptance phase.
  • Float phase.

Most Smart Chargers come with an adjustable setting to enable you to conduct easy charging. It is important that you read the user’s manual carefully.

The good thing with a Smart Charger is that it shows the battery’s charging percentage. Observe it from time to time. As mentioned, the charger will perform its work on the three phases until your marine battery is fully charged.

After your battery is full, disconnect the charger and take back the battery to its box, where you usually mount it, connect the (+) and (–) terminals. Set the switch on, and you are good to go.

8 Best Marine Batteries For 2018-2019

I have been undertaking a lot of research lately to find you some of the best marine batteries. The following list contains eight batteries that are specifically hand-picked for you.
The list will feature:

  • Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 12V 125Ah
  • Optima Batteries 8027-127 D27M
  • Vmaxtanks MR107 Deep Cycle AGM
  • Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34
  • Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M
  • Optima Batteries 8006-006 34M
  • Optima Batteries 8040-218 D35
  • Universal UB121000-45978.

1. Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 12V 125ah AGM Deep Cycle Marine Battery

Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 AGM Deep Cycle 12v 125ah SLA rechargeable Battery for Use with Pv Solar Panels,Smart chargers wind Turbine and Inverters

Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 12V 125ah comes with custom-made plates that take the form of a military grade. This battery can stay for a long time. According to the manufacturer, it can last for up to 10 years.

Once you fit it on your boat, you will not expect Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 12V 125ah to emit fumes, bad odor, or any harmful toxins.

From its name, you can tell that it is powerful thanks to a 125Ah making it one of the best Deep Cycle batteries.

Pros

  • 12-month warranty.
  • You may qualify for discounts when you buy from some authorized dealers.
  • Durable (up to 10 years).

Cons

  • It is heavy at 75 lbs.
  • With the weight, Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125 12V 125ah requires a proper, stable mounting.

2. Optima Batteries 8027-127 D27M Deep Cycle Battery (Blue Top)

Optima Batteries 8027-127 D27M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery

Optima Batteries 8027-127 D27M Deep Cycle Battery comes with Spiralcell Technology, which allows the battery to last longer no matter the condition. The technology is the reason why boat owners are able to use this battery while it is pure (66Ah and C20).

The cells of this battery are tightly compressed. With this ability, no amount of sea and boat vibrations will shake the battery. It also helps in the event that it falls. The cells will not fall apart easily.

It seems that the manufacturer took the time to work on the Spiracell Technology such that it is possible for the product to resist whatever vibrations. This, in turn, ensures the battery’s durability.

Pros

  • By default, Optima Batteries 8027-127 D27M Deep Cycle Battery comes with a CCA/MCA of 800.
  • Compared to its competitors, Optima Batteries 8027-127 D27M Deep Cycle Battery is light at 53.8 lbs.

Cons

  • Requires an AGM charger.
  • It has to be in constant use.
  • May not be available in some countries for ordering.

3. Vmaxtanks MR107 Deep Cycle AGM Marine 12V 85Ah Battery (Ideal For 30lb-55lb Boats)

Vmaxtanks MR107 12V 85AH Marine AGM SLA Deep Cycle Battery ideal for boats and 30lb-55lb thrust Minn Kota, Newport Vessels, Cobra, Sevylor and other trolling motors. BCI Group 24

Although Vmaxtanks MR107 Deep Cycle AGM Marine 12V has 85Ah, it is truly a heavy-duty marine battery.

With the lifespan of 8-10 years, it’s an assurance that Vmaxtanks MR107 Deep Cycle AGM Marine 12V will give you the best service especially on medium-sized boats.

The electrolyte suspension system that is used in Vmaxtanks MR107 Deep Cycle AGM Marine 12V makes the battery immune to any leaks and contamination that might come as a result of water and other things.

Even if the battery experiences repeated discharges, the tin alloys that are incorporated allow Vmaxtanks MR107 Deep Cycle AGM Marine 12V to maintain high levels of performance.

Note that Vmaxtanks MR107 Deep Cycle AGM Marine 12V is Maintenance Free thus you shouldn’t be worried of the battery’s gravity.

Pros

  • A complete seal ensures no contamination.
  • It is maintenance free.
  • Last up to 10 years.

Cons

  • None so far.

4. Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34 Deep Cycle Battery (Blue Top)

Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery

With a CCA of 750 and an MCA of 870, you will be assured that Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34 will give you the best service throughout your voyages.

If you decide to buy this marine battery, you are not only going to land on one of the lightest marine batteries but also one that requires a small mounting space. Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34 measures 10 by 6 by 7 inches and 43.5 lbs respectively.

Would you believe if you read that Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34 is 15 x resistant to wave and boat vibrations? Now you know! The battery has a very nice and quick start even on conditions that are considered harsh.

According to the manufacturer, Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34 is best suited as a Starter as well as deep Cycle battery. It also comes with SpiralCell design, and a stainless steel stud ensures that there are no leakages and spillages.

Many small and large recreational boats use this type of battery because it has the ability to work on the several accessories that are normally in these types of boats.

Pros

  • Nice and light battery at 43.5 lbs.
  • Rust-free thanks to stainless steel covers.
  • High-performance (CCA 750/MCA 870).
  • Easy to fit anywhere on the boat thanks to its medium size.

Cons

  • The 15 times more resistance may be an exaggeration.
  • Some boat owners say it is pricey.

5. Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M With a Blue Top

Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Battery

If you have never used an Optima battery, whether, with a Yellow or Red top, you may not know the potential of the Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M with a blue top. But this is what you need to know about the battery:

The battery comes with a power reserve capacity of up to 155 minutes while the battery is on its optimal performance.

According to current statistics, the 59.8-lbs Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M marine battery has a staggering 900 CCA.

Like its sister Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34, Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M comes with stainless steel covers, can resist high vibrations thanks to compact cells and is durable.

Pros

  • It is light compared to many other batteries.
  • Resistant to vibrations.
  • High reserve capacity.
  • Stainless steel covers make it hard to rust.

Cons

  • The manufacturer has stiff restrictions in the event that the buyer may want to return the item.
  • It is costly.
  • Not available for shipping in some parts.

6. Optima Batteries 8006-006 34M Starting Marine Battery with Blue Top

Optima Batteries 8006-006-FFP 34M BlueTop Marine Starting Battery

Optima Batteries 8006-006 34M only weighs 38.4 pounds, making it one of the world’s lightest marine batteries in the market today.

The battery has a Cold Cranking Amps of 800, is 12V, stainless steel cover studs, and comes with 100 minutes of reserve capacity time.

Because of its features, most boat owners prefer using it on their boats and RV recreational machines. According to the manufacturer’s details, the battery is 15 x more resistant to any form of boat vibrations and that it the event that it falls, the plates that hold cells do not disintegrate easily.

Because of its stainless steel covers, it is not easy for Optima Batteries 8006-006 34M to catch rust or exhibit any form of corrosion.

Pros

  • Light weight, at just 38.4 lbs.
  • Good at starting your boat.
  • Stainless steel cabinet.
  • High reserving power.

Cons

  • Only ideal for starting (doesn’t work better in powering a boat with many accessories.)

7. Optima Batteries 8040-218 D35 Dual Purpose Yellow Top Battery

Optima Batteries 8040-218 D35 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery

Optima will stop at nothing to give you the best high-performance marine batteries. This particular product, Optima Batteries 8040-218 D35, can be used to start and to power several other accessories such as lights.

Optima Batteries 8040-218 D35 is rather light, at 36.4 lbs and comes with 3000+ recharge and discharge deep cycles thus lasts longer than most dual-purpose marine batteries in the market.

The battery has a +ve terminal strategically located on the right, making it easy to connect. Besides, it comes with 98+ minutes of reserve capacity; thus you shouldn’t be worried about optimal power to start and continue igniting the motorboat.

Optima Batteries 8040-218 D35 comes with 48 Amps per hour, has a C20 capacity, and 620 CCA.

Pros

  • The battery is nice for a boat with many accessories such as lights, stereo, hydraulics, winches, and other components that need power.
  • Highly resistant to vibrations.
  • Super light.

Cons

  • Not available for shipping in some parts.

8. Universal UB121000-45978 100Ah 12V/24V/48V AGM Deep Cycle Black Marine Battery

Universal UB121000-45978 12v 100AH Deep Cycle AGM Battery 12V 24V 48V(Black)

Universal UB121000-45978 is a Deep Cycle battery. Although it is an AGM marine battery, it is heavy (63.9 pounds), large, and ultimately powerful.

You are likely to love this battery because it is spill and maintenance free. These attributes make it easy for you to continue doing your work with the boat without the fear of losing the battery’s charge for a longer time.

Although it may be big, it’s design makes it easy for boat owners to mount it anywhere on their boats. Wherever you decide to mount it, you’ll be assured that it will not fall, or spill. Even if it falls from its place, Universal UB121000-45978 will not lose its cells thanks to high-resistance to vibrations.

Universal UB121000-45978 is 100Ah! With such amps, you will be able to power and run your boat for many days without losing its charge.

Pros

  • High resistance to vibrations.
  • Easy to mount.
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty.
  • With 100Ah, it is one of the high-performance marine batteries.
  • Doesn’t spill.
  • Affordable.
  • The battery comes with additional fitting accessories such as nuts, bolts, washers, and some cables to help you connect it to the boat. Additionally, it is fully charged when you purchase it.

Cons

  • Some users have complained that it drops to below 10.5 volts fast.
  • May not retain its charge for long.

Verdict

I’m sure this guide has enlightened you on a number of things. You should not at any given time think that you have hit the rock when your battery fails to pick power. Perhaps, you only need to learn how to charge. Take your time to look at some of the pointers shared above on what a better marine battery should come with. After mastering those pointers, now it is time to choose the ideal marine battery for your boat.

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