When it comes to marine batteries, the sheer number of options can confuse the best of us. Moreover, understanding the strange acronyms and jargon can be overwhelming.
A boat battery is usually a lead-acid battery, which is different from a car battery as car battery only needs to crank. In this post, we will take a look at the three most popular types of boat batteries – deep-cycle, starter, and dual-purpose batteries.
Deep-cycle batteries, as their name indicates, can be deeply discharged regularly. Deep-cycle batteries, also known as house batteries, are normally used for powering electronic equipment in the boat. These electronic accessories usually comprise radio, DC lights, trolling motor, and sounder (fish-finder).
Since a deep-cycle battery delivers power at a consistent rate for a longer time period, they are ideal for running a yacht’s electronic equipment. Deep-cycle batteries come equipped with robust lead plates that shield them from the damage caused by repeated recharging.
Starting or starter batteries are so called because they are generally used for ‘cranking up’ a boat’s engine. You need to supply a good burst of power to your boat’s engine, and this is where cranking batteries come handy. A starter battery is designed in a manner so that it can deliver a large amount of electrical energy in short bursts.
Cranking batteries have several slim lead plates to supply electrical power in large amounts for a short period of time.
You may stumble upon dual-purpose batteries while shopping for quality marine batteries. A dual-purpose battery serves as a quasi-hybrid power supply source, incorporating the features of deep-cycle and cranking batteries. So, you can use dual-purpose batteries for starting your boat as well as powering the electronic equipment housed inside.
Use a dual-purpose battery only if your boat does not have sufficient space to house both starting and deep-cycle batteries. Dual-purpose batteries usually have a short shelf-life as these have to provide energy for all processes.
What to Keep in Mind When Choosing Marine Batteries?
Ensure to check out the RC (reserve capacity) to assess the battery’s longevity and the maximum charge cycles. Also, make sure the size of the battery corresponds with that of your vessel’s dimensions. Check for labelling like Group 24 same size as N50ZZ . Group size 27 same size as N70ZZ,Group 31 same size as 86. More power more in reserve. Some boats are setup with starting battery and isolator switch to deep cycle battery giving you piece of mind that you can discharge your deep cycle and still start motor.
Tip always keep your batteries in charge state. During winter give them a charge.