All boats have a need for electricity onboard and a good working battery is of great importance, not only for running your equipment, but also from a safety perspective.
It is a simple fact that batteries degrade over time They are a finite commodity, therefore all batteries will need replacing at some point. When that time comes, it is important you choose the right battery for your requirement. However, how do you know which the right battery is, as every boat will have a different requirement depending on many different factors.
It can be very difficult to decide as the choices are plentiful. Technology, Reserve Power, Cranking Output, Voltage, Weight, Size, etc. The first consideration should always be based on what the battery is expected to power. Will the battery be required solely for starting the engine, will it need to run key instruments, or is there a host power hungry of equipment in the cabin that needs to be powered such as a fridge, microwave, etc.? Maybe all three?
Marine Batteries basically fall into three categories from a performance-based perspective:
- Cranking Battery
- Deep Cycle Battery
- Dual Purpose Battery
Other important considerations when purchasing a new battery should be:
- Battery Capacity – Reserve Power (Ah rating)
- Battery Dimensions, i.e. the battery’s physical size (make sure the battery fits where it is supposed to)
- Weight (does the battery need to be handled / moved regularly)
- Output (marine cranking amp rating, reserve capacity rating, cold cranking amp rating)
- Technology (flooded lead acid, gel, AGM, lithium-iron)
*Always check your owner’s manual for the recommended battery types and ratings. Always choose along with the rating equal to or greater than the recommended value.
Cranking or Starting Batteries
These types of batteries offer high bursts of power for short periods of time to start your engine. Starting batteries are designed to put out a large amount of current for a short period of time. A cranking battery usually has a higher number of lead plates that are thinner and sometimes purer lead, with more surface area to provide the off the mark power.
Deep Cycle Marine Batteries
If you are looking to power both onboard electronics and accessories a deep cycle battery would be what you need. A deep cycle battery puts out less energy density for a longer period of time. It is designed to produce discharge cycles while the engine is off and therefore not being charged. A deep cycle battery generally consists of fewer lead plates that are thicker and more robust to provide continuous power output over long periods of time.
Dual Purpose Marine Batteries Batteries
Dual purpose batteries are designed to both start the engine and to power any equipment / electronics.
When purchasing a new battery, don’t forget to recycle your old one. Lead acid and Lithium Iron batteries can be safely completely recycled when done properly in the right facilities.
A Battery Monitor is highly recommended
Marine batteries have a pretty tough time of it including conditions out at sea, seasonal / occasional use and long hours without being recharged. BBL Batteries always recommends it is worth investing in a battery monitor. A huge number of marine batteries are either massively under-charged or massively over-charged which will certainly end their life prematurely. If you opted for a LIFOS, Lithium Iron battery then you would have the benefit of a built-in communication system that talked to your smart device (smart phone, tablet etc.) via a bluetooth app which would constantly provide you with the key performance indicators of the battery such as state of charge, power output / input etc.
BBL, The Marine Battery Experts
Choosing the right battery for your requirements, following a simple maintenance routine and monitoring your marine battery on a regular basis will ensure your battery remains healthy for a longer period of time ensuring your onboard equipment performs as it should making your marine activity both pleasurable, hassle free and most importantly safe. At BBL, our battery experts will offer you the very best advice based on nearly 50 years’ experience, a full range of marine batteries covering all options and the world’s leading brands of marine batteries such as Lifos, AVON and Yuasa.
TO FIND OUT MORE, PLEASE CALL OUR BATTERY EXPERTS OR EMAIL YOUR NEAREST BRANCH…
Bristol - 0117 955 0535 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Exeter - 01392 254 418 - email@example.com
Plymouth - 01752 338 501 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Swindon - 01793 616 646 - email@example.com
Truro - 01872 270 011 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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