A boat battery is essential, as it's responsible for powering the boat's electrical components, such as lights and navigation systems. Choosing the right battery for your boat is critical because it can affect the performance and reliability of your vessel. Here's what to consider when choosing the right one.
There are three primary types of boat batteries: starting batteries, deep cycle batteries, and dual-purpose batteries. The type of power your boat needs will dictate the type of battery you choose:
Starting batteries are designed to deliver high-cranking power for a short period to start the engine. They're not intended for deep discharge through continual use, and their lifespan is limited. These are only for starting up the boat's engine.
Deep cycle batteries provide a steady flow of power over an extended period, and thus are used for the duration that a boat is being run. They're able to withstand deep discharge and are suitable for powering onboard appliances and accessories. You might even use a deep cycle battery to power a stove and refrigerator when your boat is anchored and turned off for the night.
Dual-purpose batteries are a hybrid of starting and deep cycle batteries, combining the cranking power of starting batteries with the deep discharge capabilities of deep cycle batteries. These are a good all-around option.
Evaluate your boat's power needs when the engine first starts, and then as the boat runs. You'll be able to determine which of these battery options is best accordingly.
Battery capacity is measured in ampere-hours (Ah), which represents the amount of current a battery can provide over a given period. The higher the battery capacity, the more electrical energy it can store, and the longer it can power your boat's electrical components.
To determine the right battery capacity for your boat, consider the total power consumption of all the appliances and accessories you have onboard. Also, factor in the length of time you intend to use your boat.
The battery you choose should provide ample ampere-hours to run your boat's engine and appliances, and have some extra Ah remaining in case you're ever in trouble.
Boat batteries are available in different voltages. The voltage you choose depends on the type of electrical system you have onboard.
Assuming you have a pleasure craft that's under 50 feet, you'll likely need a 12-volt boat battery. If you have a highly specialized, commercial, or larger vessel, then you might need a battery with a higher voltage. Consult your boat's electricals to confirm that they run on 12 volts (or another specific voltage).
Visit a marine supply store to find boat batteries today.