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Finding the Right Marine Batteries for Your Boat

Having your own boat and enjoying time out in the open sea can be one of the most fulfilling moments one can have after a hard day's work.  You commune with nature, enjoy the serenity of the calm seas and of course, the fresh fancy fare after making your live catch.

However, there is more to just getting on the boat and rolling out to sea.  For a neophyte, having your boat die on you while you are alone at sea could be your worst nightmare. To avoid this, here are some straight forward information you might want to consider when getting that dream boat.

  1. Type:  Unlike your car battery that has two parts performing separate and distinct functions (the alternator to start it up and the battery to keep it running), your boat should have two batteries to do two distinct things: cranking and deep cycle.

Cranking is that process you do when you start up a boat:  this is measured by cold cranking amps, the power rating needed to start your motor boat.

Deep cycle, on the other hand, is measured in amp hours and determines how long your boat can be in the open considering that you will be running at different speeds. 

Thus, the longer you expect to be out in the open sea, the higher amp hour batteries you need.

There is also the issue about the different variations in boat batteries. The wet-cell ones are the most used in the industry and would be good for an experienced boat person.  There are the maintenance free batteries though, which may be of better use for beginners and these are the “sealed” and the AGM or absorptive mat glass.  Of course, these may be a bit pricier than your open cell ones but will give you less problems in terms of breakdowns.

  1. Size of Boat:  Motorboats are measured by pounds of thrust. A 75 pound skipper motor is equivalent to 1 horsepower which would need at least 746W to run smoothly.  Thus, the bigger the boat, the higher the battery voltage needed.
  1. Usage:  The frequency of use, its storage means, and the manner by which the boat is used also determines the motorboat's battery life.  To be safe, bigger boats should be equipped with at least 2 more trolling batteries.
  1. Maintenance:  As much as possible, do not let the battery become so depleted as it would take a while to have this fully recharged again.  Also make sure that the batteries are properly maintained.  Sulfur builds up on the batteries and since this is toxic material, extra care should be taken so that these do not harm you.  Use masks and gloves when doing maintenance on the batteries.
  1. Damage.  Even damaged batteries can wreak havoc when these are dropped so be careful in handling these used batteries.  Frequent bobbing of the boat can also damage your batteries so make sure that this is avoided.

The above information could prove to be very helpful to aspiring boat owners so be sure to keep these in mind when choosing your batteries.