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What Floats Your Boat?

Power - by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 6/1/2021

Boat on the water with two people steering it

Well, they don’t necessarily make boats float, but they do make them go. Without a high-performing marine battery effectively powering your boat this summer, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment out on the open water. Learn which type of battery you need for your boat and how to care for it so you get the longest life possible.

Types of Marine Batteries Available at Batteries Plus

The most important thing to keep in mind is that there are different kinds of marine batteries that work best for different applications. Starting batteries provide the initial burst of power needed to turn over your engine. These batteries are also best for powering an inboard or outboard motor, as well as accessories like marine lights and radio communications.

Deep cycle batteries feature a heavy charge and discharge cycle and provide long-lasting power. Deep cycle batteries are used to power trolling motors, live well pumps, depth finders and fish locators.

A dual purpose marine battery works as a kind of in-between option, providing the cranking power of a starting battery with the ability to power additional

What is the Best Marine Battery For My Boat?

In order to answer this, it's important to determine how much and what type of power you will need to power your boat and its accessories.

Starting Power

  • Moderate Needs Motors of 100 horsepower or less
  • Heavy Needs Motors greater than 100 horsepower

Deep Cycle

  • Moderate Needs Radio, sonar, fish locator, running lights, etc.
  • Heavy Needs Trolling motor, refrigerator, portable tvs, inverters, multiple low drain devices, etc.

Which type of battery will be able to adequately handle your specific power needs?

Starting Needs Deep Cycle Needs Starting Battery Deep Cycle Battery Dual Purpose Battery Dual Purpose AGM Battery
Moderate None x   x x
Moderate Moderate   x x x
Moderate Heavy x x x  
Heavy None x   x x
Heavy Moderate       x
Heavy Heavy x x    

Summary: For smaller boats with minimal accessories, you may be able to get away with using just one starting battery. Larger motors and boats with accessories should consider using multiple batteries, including both starting and deep cycle types or upgrading to an AGM dual purpose battery for superior performance.

The Advantages of AGM Marine Batteries

You should also consider the advantages of going with an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) replacement option, regardless of your power needs. AGM batteries are completely sealed, enabling them to be mounted in a variety of positions. They also recharge faster, last longer and are more powerful than flooded battery options. Plus, they're more resistant to vibrations and extreme temperatures.

X2Power brand AGM batteries have a much higher lead content than other AGM batteries. This gives them more power and a higher reserve capacity, allowing you to turn over your engine faster while powering a larger number of onboard applications.

X2Power is the Best Battery for Your Boat

Looking for the best of the best? Batteries Plus’ exclusive X2Power brand lithium batteries outperform all other batteries on the market. These are a few of the advantages X2Power lithium batteries have to offer:

  • Longer lifespans - Can deliver up to 10X longer cycle life than a lead acid battery
  • Faster charging - Charges up to 4X faster than lead acid batteries
  • Constant power throughout the battery's discharge
  • Low self-discharge rate - Holds a charge for much longer in storage than flooded or AGM batteries
  • Lightweight - Over 50% lighter than lead acid batteries
  • Battery Management System - Controls the parameters of battery to provide optimum safety by protecting against overcharging and over-discharging
  • Longer warranty - Comes with an unmatched 5-year free replacement warranty

Marine Battery Maintenance

Now that you've determined which battery is right for you, here are a few tips to help you maintain it.

  1. Get your current battery tested - if you've had your boat in storage for the winter, bring it your local Batteries Plus and have it tested for free.
  2. Consider a battery box - an unsecured battery in a moving boat can cause potential damage to both the battery and your boat. Use a battery box to minimize the impact of vibration and keep your battery secure. Plus, they're often required by law.
  3. Keep connection points clean and electrolyte levels up - if you notice corrosion on your battery terminals, scrub it away using a mixture of baking soda and water. If you have a flooded battery, be sure to monitor the electrolyte levels before operating or charging.
  4. Look into waterproof chargers - Waterproof chargers allow you to take them out on your boat, so that you’ll never be stranded in the water with a dead battery. You’ll also want to be sure to select a charger with a high enough amperage for your battery. The Duracell Ultra Automatic and Ultra Marine chargers are good options.

Batteries Plus Has Marine Batteries, Chargers & More

Make sure your boat is ready for hours of fun on the water. Shop our online selection of marine batteries and boat battery chargers or visit your nearest Batteries Plus location. Want to read more about this topic? Get our recommendations for the best boat battery brands, plus get tips on how to find the right charger for your boat.

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