Boat 101: How to Pick the Right Marine Battery

Losing power while you’re out in the middle of the ocean is a worst-case scenario. Every boating enthusiast wants a reliable battery that keeps on going. Your boating success all starts with the right choice of battery in the first place. With so many variations on this basic power source, it’s time that you learned how to pick the right marine boat battery. Explore these features, which will only help you on that next battery purchase.

Cranking Designs

Think of cranking batteries as starting batteries. They’re designed to provide a rush of power in a short amount of time. Igniting your engine is the sole purpose for these batteries. They typically demand a good recharging session afterward.

According to Bass Pro Shops, cranking batteries come with thin plates that fill their interior spaces. The extra surface area provides this jolt of energy to the engine.

There are very few other applications that a cranking battery is designed for, so buy this product for engine ignition only.

Deep-Cycle Products

When you need power throughout the day, a deep-cycle battery is your best friend. It has thick plates in limited numbers within the interior, reports Discover Boating. These thick plates give the battery a robust construction, which allows it to be deeply discharged on a regular basis.

Use these batteries to power almost everything on the boat besides cranking the engine, including:

  • Electrical items
  • GPS equipment
  • Stereos
  • Various accessories

In a pinch, you could swap a deep-cycle product for a cranking battery, but don’t make it a habit. Both batteries will have extremely short lifespans when used in the wrong applications.

Cold-Cranking Amps

Another way that you can pick the right battery is by looking at its features. Cold-cranking amps or CCA is a measurement of the energy provided to the boat upon ignition at about 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s more of a reference value since every boater will be at a different temperature than this benchmark.

Ideally, pick a boat battery with a high CCA rating. Most vessels come with recommended values anyway. The higher value means that the battery can withstand a lot of temperature variations while still operating in a reliable way.

Wet Cells

As you learn how to pick the right marine boat battery, you’ll encounter products referred to as wet cells. These batteries are traditional choices for the average vessel. They cost less than other batteries, which makes them attractive to the budget-minded captain.

Contrary to popular thought, these marine batteries cannot get wet. They have an electrolyte solution along with openings along the top housing. These batteries are meant to have distilled water added to them on a regular basis.

For an inexpensive but high-maintenance choice, consider wet cells during your shopping excursion.

Gel Cells

A boat often has limited space for various items, including the battery. Gel cells are clever choices because they can be installed in almost any orientation. They won’t spill any contents either.

The secret behind their success is sulfuric acid mixed with silica dust. It becomes a gel that can also conduct electricity. You might find this battery in both a cranking or deep-cycle design. Be careful about which one you choose for the application.

Absorbed Glass Mat

AGM batteries have the same sealed design as gel cells, but they use glass fibers to hold the electrolyte solution. Many boaters have switched to AGM batteries because of their fast charging times. It’s a good idea to have a smart charger for these batteries, however, because they can succumb to overcharging with an old-style charger.

Read the label to verify if you have a cranking or deep-cycle AGM battery as well. Battery manufacturers are constantly updating and expanding the marketplace.

Get in touch with┬áNortheast Battery┬átoday for any help you need with your marine battery. Tell us all about your vessel, and we’ll point you toward the best battery for it. Knowing how to pick the right marine boat battery requires knowledge on several different subjects. A reliable power source will only keep you exploring for the foreseeable future.