The fishing season comes with many preparations; you have to ensure everything is in order. Yes, you need to consider your fishing tackles and tools, but one thing that you should not forget is your boat. You need the best marine battery that ensures your boat is ready for the fishing trip.
A good marine battery will give you the best performance while ensuring that you are safe while out in the water. However, buying a marine battery isn’t as simple as it sounds, considering the many options you have in the current matter.
In this in-depth review, we will take a look at the top ten marine batteries. We also included an extensive buyer’s guide to help you understand all there is to know when buying a marine battery.
Best Marine Battery – Our Picks
When you want the best-starting battery with the capability of delivering 1150 CCA, then the Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST-M Trolling Thunder Marine battery is an excellent option.
You get a marine battery with extreme durability and rapid recovery that gives you long-lasting service. It is an excellent fit for heavy-duty use that does not disappoint.
This marine battery is constructed from high-quality material that makes it vibration-resistant, thus ensuring that you can use it in various positions. It can withstand harsh weather and long idle periods without impacting on its performance.
The Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST-M TROLLING utilizes AGM technology, which ensures that it can fully recover after 400 cycles of more than 80% discharge depth. This marine battery does not lose charge when stored in cold temperatures. However, ensure that you store it with a 12.84 voltage.
- The Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST-M Trolling Thunder Marine battery makes it to the top of our list because you get 8-12 years of heavy power usage.
- This means that you get long-lasting service when using any watercraft or boat. You get the top value for your money when you purchase this marine battery.
- Highly flame-retardant construction.
- Long-lasting marine battery.
- It takes 5 hours to recharge fully.
- The battery terminal for new models has changed from the earlier versions.
The Optima Batteries 8004-003 34/78 Starting Battery is an excellent option when you need an optimum starting application battery. It features durable construction with a red top that makes it stand out from the rest of the Optima family.
You get a 12-volt marine battery with 800 cold-cranking amps that weighs just 38.8 pounds. This battery has a reserve capacity of loo minutes, guaranteeing stable performance. It is vibration and spill-proof, thus giving you flexibility in terms of positioning.
The charge time is between 6-12 hours using the battery charger. You get adequate cranking power and reserve time with the Optima Batteries 8004-003 34/78. The compact size gives you more flexibility when you need to use this marine battery in limited space.
Why the Optima Batteries RedTop 8004-003 34/78 Starting Battery is a top pick:
- The Optima Batteries RedTop 8004-003 34/78 made it to our top ten list due to its highly portable small design construction.
- Unlike most marine batteries, this model is easy to move around, and you get a carrying handle for more convenience.
- It is also 15 times more vibration-resistant than other marine batteries in the market.
- 100-minutes reserve capacity.
- Durable construction.
- Spill and vibration proof.
- It comes with a convenient carrying handle.
- No warranty is included.
The Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop battery is a dual-purpose marine battery with a compact, lightweight design. It is a versatile marine battery that provides the user both deep cycles and starting power.
It utilizes spiral wound AGM technology to ensure that it is maintenance-free and spill-proof. It has a battery capacity of 48Ah and a 98-minute reserve capacity. Combine these features with the 620A cold-cranking amps, and you have a powerful marine battery. With this model, you get good cranking power with impressive cycling capabilities.
Fast charging is guaranteed with this marine battery due to the low internal resistance. The rugged design ensures that you get a durable marine battery that will give you long-lasting service.
Why the Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery is a top pick:
- This marine battery stands out from the rest due to its powerful punch wrapped in a small battery.
- You get deep-cycle power from mid-sized motors and electrical equipment.
- Users equally get sufficient reserve capacity and cranking power.
- Lightweight construction.
- Made from durable materials.
- Long lifespan of about seven years.
- It is an expensive model.
The Optima Batteries 8006-006 34M BlueTop is designed for use as a starting battery. It is a 12-volt marine battery that features 80 cold-cranking amps, ensuring that it can start even in harsh weather conditions.
It has a dark grey case and blurred top and is not supposed to be used for deep cycling applications. You need to differentiate it from the other Optima blue top battery with a light grey case that can be used in deep cycling applications.
With three times more recharges when compared to other marine batteries and a 100-minute reserve capacity, the OptimaÂ Batteries 8006-006 34M BlueTop Starting Battery gives you a longer run time and consistent performance.
There is no maintenance required, which means you get to save on the extract maintenance costs required by other marine batteries. This marine battery can be mounted in any position since its vibration-resistant and sealed.
This marine battery makes it to the out list due to the spiral technology used in its construction that is environmentally friendly and guarantees safe usage. The high reserve capacity is equally a great feature because you get a longer shelf-life.
- Highly durable construction that is vibration-resistant.
- Great for starting applications.
- Environmentally friendly design.
- Not used in deep cycle applications.
- Not compatible with all chargers.
With a capacity of 35AH, the VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 AGM Deep Cycle Marine Battery is an excellent choice when you need a deep cycle application marine battery. It features high-quality construction with AGM technology that gives users long-lasting services.
It is a quick-charge, spill-free, and maintenance-free marine battery that was designed to provide a quality performance.
You get long-life servicing when using the VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 AGM Deep Cycle Marine Battery for cyclic application since it can recover with a depth discharge of 60%. With this marine battery, you can expect a lifespan of 5-8 years when in float mode.
This battery is equally highly portable thanks to its lightweight construction and integrated handle. Being shock and vibration-resistant, you can use the VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 AGM Deep Cycle Marine Battery in any position.
- What we found interesting about the VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 AGM Deep Cycle Marine Battery is its maintenance-free design. You don’t need to add water to the tank or check the gravity of the electrolyte during float service life.
- This means that you get a hassle-free marine battery that lasts for years without needing any maintenance.
- Heavy-duty construction.
- Compatible with all AGM smart chargers.
- Integrated handle increases portability.
- Shock and vibration resistant construction.
- Charge time is considerably longer.
6. Optima Batteries 8016-103D34M BlueTop Deep Cycle Marine Battery (Best Starting & Deep Cycle Marine Battery )
If you have an RV or boat with heavy electrical accessories, then the Optima Batteries 8016-103D34M BlueTop Deep Cycle Marine Battery is an excellent choice. Being spill-proof, you can mount this Optima battery in any position that suits your needs.
It is a powerful 12-volt deep cycle marine battery that gives you three times more recharge than most marine batteries.
The Optima Batteries 8016-103D34M BlueTop Deep Cycle Marine Battery is a dual purpose, which means it serves starting and deep cycle applications. It is a maintenance-free model that works effectively in all weather conditions.
It incorporates spiral-cell technology, which gives the user a clean power source that is highly efficient and long-running. It also has a reserve capacity of 120 minutes which provides you with enough time to recharge.
- The optimal starting power that gives you great performance even in bad weather makes this one of the top picks in the market.
- This means that you can never run into problems when you encounter bad weather while in the water.
- You need a battery that is reliable when out in the water because the weather changes all the time.
- It is highly durable due to its vibration-resistant construction.
- More energy storage due to the 99% pure lead plates.
- 120-minutes reserve capacity.
- Optimal starting power.
- Risk of overcharging.
- Slightly heavy.
When you look at the image of the VMAXTanks VMAX MR-127 Deep Cycle Marine Battery, it is clearly described as a Maximum Charge Delivery System.
So, does it live up to the description? Yes, the VMAXTanks VMAX MR-127 Deep Cycle Marine Battery certainly provides everything you need from a marine battery.
This battery will last a long time and can hold a charge for a considerable time. If, for example, you are running a 40lb thrust motor, then the VMAXTanks VMAX MR-127 Deep Cycle Marine Battery will give you around 12 hours of continuous usage when at low speed.
You will get about 2.4 hours on full throttle, which is just as ideal. When using this marine battery, you must monitor the power you are using to avoid surprises. It features a compact design that is powerful enough to move a 14ft Jon boat.
- This marine stands out because of its affordable price without compromising on power and features.
- With the VMAXTanks VMAX MR-127 Deep Cycle Marine Battery, you get as much power as other marine batteries but at a very pocket-friendly price.
- The fact that it provides 100 amp hours also makes it ideal for a wide range of crafts.
- Maintenance-free marine battery.
- Durable construction for long life.
- Suitable for deep-cycle applications.
- Fits on all Group 27 battery boxes.
- It is rather heavy.
Best Marine Battery: Buyers Guide
Choosing the best marine battery isn’t as simple as it seems. Several options in the market leave most people confused about which model to get. Remember that you need a marine battery that suits your needs. However, if you find yourself in such a position, you need to get worried. We have compiled everything you need to know when choosing the Top marine battery.
The first thing that you must consider before purchasing a marine battery is the usage. What do you want to use your marine battery for? This is a question that will help you narrow down your search for the Perfect marine battery.
Understand that some marine batteries are built for a single application, while others are made for multiple applications. Look at it this way; some marine batteries are only suitable for starting applications. Such batteries cannot be used for deep cycle applications. You, therefore, need to decide whether you need a dual purpose or single-purpose marine battery.
Types of Marine Batteries
Before you decide to purchase a marine battery, you must understand the different kinds in the market. Here is a complete rundown of all the marine battery types that you could buy:
- Cranking or Starting Marine Battery
These marine batteries are designed specifically to crank/start the outboard and inboard motors. Such marine batteries usually have a high CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) rating so your engine can start quickly. However, you will need a separate deep cycle battery if you need to power 12V trolling motors and appliances. Most people buy the starting marine batteries because they already have a deep cycle battery.
- Deep Cycle Marine Batteries
These marine batteries are created solely for providing consistent power for 12-volt trolling items and appliances. Such marine batteries don’t deliver a sudden burst of energy and instead deliver a steady electrical flow. Understand that deep cycle marine batteries are not designed to start engines, and you will need a separate battery.
- Dual Purpose Batteries
The dual-purpose marine batteries are created to give the user both deep cycle and starting applications. These marine batteries will deliver a high starting power amount while offering a large reservoir capacity to power appliances and trolling motors. What you need to know is that the dual purpose marine batteries will provide you with good performance but not as effective as the single purpose batteries. The advantage of dual-purpose batteries is that you don’t need to buy another battery.
Cold Cranking Amps
A battery’s starting power is rated as CCA (cold cranking amps). This is the amperage amount that the battery can provide for a 30-second duration while maintaining at least 7.2 V. A rating of about 500 CCA will give you 10V, which is practical in most engines. However, the bare minimum should be a rating of 300 CCA. We don’t recommend that you go for the bare minimum because it may not serve you effectively.
These ratings will show you that starter batteries pack a considerable punch when compared to the deep-cycle models. You must look at your engine specifications before you buy a marine battery. Make sure you buy one with a higher rating than what you need.
Your battery capacity is measured using ampere-hours, commonly written as Ah. If the specifications indicate that your battery has 100Ah, then you get that value per hour. Most batteries have a rating of 5A for 20 hours or 20A for 5 hours. You need to understand what capacity you are getting from your marine battery.
A higher capacity battery means that you get to run all your appliances for much longer. This is one of the most critical things to consider when purchasing a deep cycle battery. Keep in mind that to have a long-lasting battery, then you shouldn’t fully discharge it. The recommended depth of discharge should be around 60%.
Typically, you will spend about 50 % of your deep cycle marine battery to complete a fair day’s work. However, if you need more power, then consider constructing a power bank by using several marine batteries.
The reserve capacity is simply the number of minutes that your battery can be discharged at 80-degrees Fahrenheit and a fixed 10.5 V by 25 A rate. A higher rating means your marine battery will last longer under heavy use.
However, it is essential to note that this is just a theoretical value. In real-life situations, users typically draw less amperage, which results in longer-service. The different temperatures will affect the amperage you draw.
Dimensions & Weight
Who has unlimited space for installing marine batteries on their boat? Almost everyone doesn’t have much storage space, making weight and dimensions a vital consideration. Yes, bigger batteries have higher capacities, but you could always wire several smaller batteries to get more power.
Equally, weight and dimensions will determine portability. This is especially important when you frequently move your battery between applications. Some individuals use their marine batteries to power both their boat and RV. This means that they need a portable, lightweight design that can be moved easily.
Marine batteries get exposed to different types of harsh conditions, such as bad weather and a lot of vibrations. Most batteries in the market don’t do well with salt water, temperature fluctuations, and rain. This means that marine batteries have to be constructed to withstand such conditions.
You, therefore, need to get a marine battery with a protected battery compartment. If you don’t get such a battery, then you will have to buy a battery box. There are a lot of options that you can choose from, depending on your preference. Some have USB charging ports, while others display info such as battery health.
Battery boxes are designed to keep splashing water and rain away from your marine battery. Ensure that you get a battery box that is fastened down or strapped. Consider a quick-strap model if you regularly remove your battery for other applications.
Benefits of Using the Best Marine Battery
You must be wondering why you need a marine battery and not the regular cheap batteries. This is because you get several benefits when using a marine battery when compared to regular batteries. Below are some of the benefits you get when you use a marine battery:
Marine batteries are maintenance-free, which means that you get to save up on a lot, including effort and money. The maintenance-free marine batteries ensure that the user can get peace of mind knowing that they don’t need to carry out any scheduled maintenance practices.
- Low self-discharge
Unlike regular batteries, marine batteries have a much lower self-discharge. This means that you get to store them during winter without needing to recharge them all the time. On the other hand, regular batteries have to be recharged often to ensure they don’t lose functionality.
- Greater vibration resistance
Marine batteries are built with sturdy material to ensure that they are vibration resistant. Understand that your boat encounters several harsh conditions when you are out in the water. A marine battery was designed to withstand the vibrations that come with the harsh conditions.
You need a battery that can be installed in different positions on a boat. This is usually because of space issues. Marine batteries incorporate a spill-free design, which ensures that you can install them in any place that suits your needs.
Marine Battery Charging & Maintenance Quick Tips
Proper maintenance of your marine battery is essential. Understand that these marine batteries are not cheap, and you will probably spend a fortune to buy one. You can get long-life service with proper care, which will help you get value for your money.
- How Do You Charge a Marine Battery?
Changing a marine battery is not so different from installing a car battery. Let’s start by first acknowledging that battery installation can be rather dangerous, and there are several risks involved. You need to exercise a lot of caution during the installation process. You will need a 9/16 and 1-½ inch wrenches for the installation process. These tools will also ensure that you can easily remove your old battery.
Locate your old marine battery and proceed to remove it. Switch the battery to “off” before you start using the wrenches to remove it. Start by disconnecting the negative cable before you disconnect the positive cable. Once you remove the old battery, you can begin installing the new one.
Ensure that the new marine battery terminals are lined with your cables. Place the new battery in the battery box and secure it in place. Grease the terminals before reconnecting the cables is always a good idea. Simply apply a small Vaseline amount on the terminals and attach the wires. Ensure that you start with the positive terminal before moving on to the negative terminal.
Use your wrench to ensure that your cables are firmly attached for better performance. Don’t tighten excessively; what we are looking for is a soft but firm connection. A soft firm connection makes it easier when you need to remove your battery.
- Installing Your Deep Cycle Marine Battery
The first step when installing deep-cycle marine batteries is recharging them. Deep-cycle marine batteries are not fully charged during purchase because of self-discharge during storage and transit. The amount of discharge is dependent on the ambient temperature and storage time.
Installing a deep-cycle marine battery is relatively simple once you identify the terminals. Start by switch off your battery before you get to the terminals. You need to connect the positive terminal before connecting the negative terminal. Once connected, ensure that your battery is correctly secured in the battery box.
- Safety Tips
Below are a few safety tips when using a marine battery:
- Don’t add new electrolytes
- Do not use an unregulated battery charger with high output
- Don’t detach battery cables while the engine is in use
- Don’t add tap water
- Regularly charge your battery
- Do not discharge more than you need to
- Always charge your battery if you purchase a new boat
Best Marine Battery FAQs
What type of battery do I need for my boat or vessel?
Marine batteries have two particular applications; starting the engine and powering up appliances and devices onboard a vessel or boat. The starter batteries will do the starting while deep cycle batteries will do the powering up.
All these marine batteries are rechargeable using generators, solar power, or shore power. You need to select a marine battery type that suits your need. Yes, there are also dual-application marine batteries that start up your boat and power applications.
The type of marine battery that you need will depend on what you intend to use it for in your vessel or boat. If you need a battery to start your engine, then go for a starter battery. If you need to power up appliances, then go for the deep cycle battery. If you want a battery that does both, then go for the dual application marine batteries.
Does my boat motor charge my battery?
Yes, your boat motor can charge your battery. The outboard motor’s lightning coil can be used to charge your marine battery. These coils work by producing an alternate current and can power up small lights around the boat.
However, you should not experiment with your marine battery. Understand that a marine battery is an investment, and you want to get long-lasting service. Charge your marine battery as indicated by the manufactures to get long-lasting use.
Can you overcharge a marine battery?
Yes, you can overcharge a marine battery, which will significantly reduce its life. You need to charge your marine battery according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Most marine batteries take about 6 hours to recharge fully. The amount of time it takes to charge your marine battery will vary depending on the type.
How long will my battery last?
Marine batteries are generally designed to last for long periods. Typical, a marine battery will last for 4-10 years, depending on a lot of factors, including usage, proper maintenance, and battery type. There are signs that you need to watch out for, which will dictate when you need a battery change.
Some of the common signs include battery discharging quickly, and not keeping the charge for an extended period. Watch out for such signs to figure out when you need to purchase a new marine battery. This means that there is no exact period that your marine battery will last.
Do Marine Batteries Need Ventilation?
Yes, marine batteries need ventilation so that they do not overheat. Because marine batteries are sealed, most users assume that they do not need ventilation, which is wrong. Understand that your battery doesn’t have an integrated venting system on the case top.
Marine batteries have check valves that open at around 3PSI to discharge hydrogen gas. Proper ventilation is, therefore, important for safety. Hydrogen gas can be quite dangerous when left unchecked because it’s explosive.
Best Marine Battery Conclusion
Our extensive guide and in-depth review should come in handy when selecting the best deep cycle marine battery for your needs. Start by determining the amount of storage space that you have and your onboard power needs.
For a neat installation, keep things separate by buying both a deep cycle and a starter battery. However, some vessels have insufficient space, and a dual-purpose marine battery will do just fine. Use our buyer’s guide and top ten list to determine the right marine battery for your needs.