In order to start the motor or power up electrical equipment onboard your boat, you will need a reliable marine battery. You have two types to choose depending upon its usage, which include a starting and deep cycle marine battery.
The best marine battery is the Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop with a powerful 12 volt, 750 CCA specification that is perfect for bad weather.
Unlike car batteries, the marine alternative will store a higher voltage and discharge huge amounts of electrical current for an extended period of time. They are used for cranking and powering boats throughout the entire duration of use.
Table of Contents
- Best Marine Battery
- Marine Battery Buying Guide
Best Marine Battery
|Optima 8016-103 D34M||Dual Purpose||750|
|VMAXTANKS VMax857||Deep Cycle||300|
|Exide XMC-31 MEGACYCLE||Dual Purpose||1,110|
|Mighty Max Battery||Deep Cycle||N/A|
Deciding on the battery you need for your boat is dependent upon whether you need it to start the engine or power up devices and appliances onboard. For a marine starter battery, cold cranking amps (CCA) is a rating to check out whereas for deep cycle marine batteries, the power is the most important factor.
AGM marine batteries are the preferred type of battery because they are able to contain the battery acid and ensure that it does not leak whatsoever.
Factors such as types, weight, dimensions, capacity, cold cranking amps and much more go into find the best battery for your boat. Below is a list of the best marine batteries that provide a reliable source of power.
Optima Batteries BlueTop Marine Battery
The marine battery brand Optima produces a wide variety of boat batteries that are popular among enthusiasts. The BlueTop is a dual purpose marine battery with both starting and deep cycling qualities without the need of multiple batteries.
In terms of the specification of this Optima 8016-103, it includes:
- 750 Cold Cranking Amps
- 12 Volts with a 55 Ah C20 Capacity
- 10 x 6 7/8 x 7 13/16 inches
- Weighs 43.5 LBS
- Reserve battery capacity of 120 minutes
It is an AGM marine battery that is high performing in any weather and is able to withstand heavy vibration. Although it is a dual purpose battery, it is best used as a deep cycling battery but the ability to work for both is a huge bonus.
Overall, it is the best dual purpose marine battery for your boat with excellent starting power and deep cycling abilities. For those looking for a single battery, there is no alternative that comes close to the performance and value for money.Check it Out
Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST-M Marine Starting Battery
The Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST is a premium battery that is a top rated cranking marine battery. With a huge 1,150 CCA, it is by far the highest Cold Crank Amps battery within this article and it is warranted at 3 and 4 year full replacement.
In terms of the specification of the Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST, it includes:
- 1,150 Cold Cranking Amps
- 100 Ah Capacity
- Operates in -40 to 80 degree Celsius temperatures
- Full recharging in 4 to 6 hours
- 13 x 6.8 x 9.41 in size and a weight of 77.8 LBS
The estimated lifespan of the Odyssey boat battery is between 3 and 10 years of service with a longer cycle life than the majority of deep cycle batteries. You can achieve up to 400 cycles at 80% depth of discharge.
It is one of the biggest marine batteries and requires a large amount of lead to performs as it does. It is an AGM battery that will not spill and includes brass terminals that are highly conductive and do not corrode over time.
Overall, it is the best marine starting battery for boats with the biggest CCA rating in this article. It is also fairly heavy duty to the point it will withstand extreme loads, vibrations, long idling and other aggressive uses.Check it Out
VMAXTANKS Vmax857 Marine Deep Cycle Battery
The VMax857 is an AGM design deep cycle marine battery with a reasonable price tag. It can be used for a range of boat include powerful trolling motors that require a certain amount of power to be able to use all the available thrust.
In terms of the specification of the VMax857, it includes:
- 35 Ah capacity
- 300 Cold Cranking Amps
- Lifespan of 5 to 8 years when in float mode
- Weighs just 25 LBS for easy transportation
- Length of 7.7 by width of 5 and height of 6.1 inches
The build quality of this marine battery is fairly impressive with particular focus on the physical and chemical structure of the plates. During the manufacturing process, they undergo treatment to enhance the strength and reliability of the marine battery.
Overall, the VMaxtanks VMax857 is the best deep cycle marine battery that provides excellent value for money along with an impressive build quality. It is also the best trolling motor battery for those that use thrust to power their boat along the water.Check it Out
Exide XMC-31 MEGACYCLE Marine Cranking Battery
The Exide XMC-31 is another dual purpose marine battery that comes with a 2 year warranty for peace of mind. It is a premium battery that challenges the Optima battery with similar performance statistics.
The specification of the Exide XMC-31 MEGACYCLE includes:
- 925 CCA at 0 degrees and 1,110 CCA at 32 degrees
- 200 minute reserve capacity
- 100 Ah capacity
- Expect lifespan of 8 to 10 years in float mode
- 13 x 6.7 x 9.3 inches and weighs 71 LBS
It is an AGM construction with excellent performance for both trolling motors and small outboard motors for boats. With this boat battery, it is possible to achieve more than 1,000 cycles with the average depth of discharge being 60%.
Compared with the Optima dual purpose marine battery, it is slightly more expensive and heavier but it does win the battle in terms of performance.Check it Out
Mighty Max Boat Battery ML55-12
If you are looking for an affordable marine battery that provides a reliable source of power, then the Might Max Boat Battery may be your best buy. It is an AGM construction that has the benefit of high discharge rates, wide operating temperatures and a long service life.
The MightMax boat battery has the following specification:
- 12V 55 Ah Capacity
- 9 x 5.43 x 9.13 inches and a weight of 38.5 LBS
- 1 year warranty
- Expected lifespan of 2 years
The ML55-12 is the better buy compared to the weaker ML35 version and it is ideal for trolling motors with a maximum of 30 LBS of thrust.
Compared with the VMax857, it is very close but the MightMax has a much greater Ah rating but this does result in a heavier marine battery. Both are top rated trolling motor batteries that provide a reliable source of power.
Marine Battery Buying Guide
The marine battery has improved hugely thanks to the advancements in battery technology. When investing a large amount of money into one, there are many factors to consider so that you are able to get the reliability and performance you require.
Factors such as capacity, CCA, maintenance, design are just a few of the many considerations. You will also need to decide on whether you require a starting, deep cycle or dual purpose battery for your boat too. Each have their own benefits and drawbacks but you must purchase the correct type for its intended purpose.
To help you make a more informed buying decision, we have produce an indepth buying guide as shown below.
Types of Marine Batteries
When it comes to the marine battery, there are three main type of battery that you can install to your boat. Not everyone will require a constant source of 12V in order to power onboard appliances, therefore a starting battery is more suited to their needs. Below are brief description of each marine battery type.
Deep Cycle Batteries
Boat that have electrical appliances onboard or use a trolling motor will require a consistent power source instead of all the power at once. This is where a deep cycle marine battery is required as they provide the appliances or trolling motor with steady flow of electric. Attempting to use another type of battery could send too much voltage to the appliances and potentially cause damage, so its important that you test beforehand.
In order to start an outboard or inboard motor, you will require a starting marine battery that delivers a large quantity of cold cranking amps (CCA). This will then power up the ignition and begin the combustion process. They provide sudden burst of power and once they have performed their intended task, they remain idle until they are needed.
Dual Purpose Batteries
The best way to describe a dual purpose marine battery is a combination of the two types above. It provides a large amount of cold cranking amps whilst also having enough reserve capacity to power appliances or trolling motors.
These types of batteries often cost more but the convenience of having a single battery to perform both starting and deep cycles is worth the price tag. However, you will always have better performance if you were to use a single purpose battery.
Battery Groups and Slots
Marine batteries come in various sizes designated as 27, 24, 6D, 31, 8D, and so on. The size of the battery box or slot will help you figure out the correct size of the battery that is required.
The number of battery slots that are provided by the boat manufacturer may vary. If there are numerous slots available, its worthwhile having different types of batteries to benefits from the various advantages that each type offers.
Cold Cranking Amps
The abbreviation CCA stands for Cold Cranking Amps and it is a measurement of a batteries starting power within a short duration of time. The rating provided displays how much of the electrical power is generated within 30 seconds at zero degrees Fahrenheit.
For starting most small to medium outboard motors, a rating of 600 CCA should be enough to start the motor. However, a larger CCA rating will be more capable of starting the motor and it is always recommend to choose a battery that exceeds the minimum requirements.
Reserve Capacity Rating
Reserve capacity is a rating that you will want to check when purchasing a deep cycle marine battery. It is measure of the length of time a fully charged battery delivers 25 amps of current before being discharged below 10.5 volts at 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
For instance, a battery with a reserve capacity rating of 150 minutes can last for two and a half hours while discharging a load of 25 Amperes.
When searching for the best deep cycle marine battery, you will want to look out for high reserve capacities. This will allow for high electrical demands to power all the electrical equipment onboard of your boat.
Batteries are primarily powered by stored chemicals that will diminish over the years. Therefore the date of manufacture has a significant bearing on whether it is suitable for use or not. You will be able to find the date labelled on the battery itself.
If you have just replaced the battery or are looking to purchase one second hand, this is something you will want to check. If the battery is a lot older than it should be, you will want to attempt to get your money back as it will not perform as well as a battery that is closer to the current date.
Charging of the Battery
To ensure that the battery is fully charged, you will require a marine battery charger to keep it topped up. The electric appliances on boats will draw current from the deep cycle battery overtime and it will need to be topped up regularly to prevent lasting damage to the battery.
There are many methods of charging the battery from onboard chargers to portable alternatives. Onboard chargers are often found on larger boats with multiple batteries that can be charged simultaneously.
Durability and Design
Unlike other batteries found in your car, golf cart or other location, they are not subjected to the tough marine environment. Therefore a marine battery is designed to withstand poor conditions and can be mounted in numerous positions.
Along with the poor conditions is the trouble of excess vibrations and movements from the waves, which can also cause damage. However, to combat this, marine batteries feature thicker plates and durable seals that help prevent the deterioration of the battery.
Thanks to modern marine battery technology, you no longer need to deal with the regular maintenance of the older lead acid batteries. This means no wiping spillages or refilling electrolytes, which is very beneficial to the average boat owner.
AGM batteries are the preferred type of marine battery as they are leak proof, mountable in any position and require virtually zero maintenance.
All of the recommended marine batteries in this article are suitable for a range of different applications. They are all an AGM construction too, which means they require almost zero maintenance whatsoever. However, before you purchasing any marine battery, you should ensure that you are choosing the correct type.
If your boat is able to accommodate multiple batteries, we highly recommend having one battery for starting and the other for deep cycling.