A marine battery serves as an essential requirement of powering up your boat engine. You can ensure the optimum performance of your boat by choosing a battery which is in sync with its specifications. You can take your pick amongst various sizes and types of batteries for meeting your specific requirements.
Making this selection can definitely seem like an overwhelming task. While starter batteries can crank, and start and engine, deep cycle ones are designed for being used in trolling appliances and motors. However, coupled with the right kind of knowledge, you can easily choose the most suitable battery for opening up greater possibilities for your marine adventures. Let’s now take a look at the three most popular battery types for understanding their area of usage:
- Starting batteries have been specially designed for starting either inboard or outboard motors. This variety of battery can deliver a great amount of marine crank amps or cold cranking amps (CCA) for cranking an engine to operate the same. You will however require a separate deep cycle battery for supplying power to trolling motors and 12v appliances once the outboard or inboard motor gets turned off.
- Deep cycle batteries can serve as a constant source of power for trolling motors as well as 12v electrical appliances. These types of batteries can deliver a steady electrical flow unless its charge gets completely exhausted. This comes in stark contrast to its peers which delivers just a sudden burst of energy and then gets lacklustre. You cannot start an engine with the deep cycle batteries making it imperative to have the backing of a starting battery for cranking your boat’s motors.
- Last but not the least, dual purpose batteries as the name suggests offers the best of both worlds. They can deliver a humongous amount of starting power along with a sizeable reserve capacity to fuel electrical appliances such as trolling motors.
Irrespective of the type of battery chosen, you can ensure best performance out of the same by following the tips lined out below:
- It is advisable to abide by a single battery chemistry consistently like AGM, gel or flooded. Every battery has specific charging voltage requirements. Mixing it up can lead to under or over charging. This in turn can lead to replacement of all batteries on the board simultaneously.
- Old and new batteries should never be mixed together as the old ones tend to bring down the capacity of the new ones to their depreciated level.
- Charge voltages need to be regulated in accordance with the acceptance and temperature of a battery for reducing charge time and maximizing battery life. Your charging system needs to be such that it delivers adequate amperage for efficiently charging the battery banks.
- Batteries should be stored in a cool and dry place when not in use.
- You can add distilled water whenever required to flooded lead acid batteries and keep them adequately charged.
- Terminal connectors need to be regularly checked for avoiding loss of conductivity.
- Corrosion can be cleaned using a paste of water and baking soda.
Nothing lasts forever and the same is also applicable in the case of marine batteries. They tend to get lacklustre with continued usage and face difficulty in retaining charge for long. In such a scenario, you can either try and repair your battery or invest in a fresh piece.