There are numerous types of boat batteries available on the market. Thus, it can be challenging to choose one, especially if you are a new boat owner. It is vital to consider all available options and compare them to your needs. Here are some factors you should consider before making your purchase:
Battery chemistry affects several aspects of boat batteries, including optimal operating temperature, voltage, and energy output. There are four main types of boat battery chemistries. They include flooded batteries, gel batteries, (AGM) absorbed glass mat batteries, and lithium iron phosphate batteries. Flooded batteries use sulfuric acid to produce oxygen and hydrogen when charging. They have vented wet cells that allow the escape of the explosive hydrogen gas hence their ability to handle overcharging without issue. Flooded batteries require recharging around every few months since they self-discharge. Gel batteries discharge at a slower rate compared to flooded batteries. They also do not need maintenance, and manufacturers seal them, thus guaranteeing they will not leak. AGM batteries consist of microfiber glass separators and acid electrolytes. They recharge quickly and have long battery life.
Before buying a boat battery, consider what purpose you intend it to serve. There are two main applications for boat batteries. That is, starting batteries and deep-cycle batteries. Starting batteries can only crank a boat's engine, which generates a large amount of power for short periods. As a result, they consist of numerous lead plates that help increase surface area, thus contributing to their ability to generate power.
On the other hand, deep-cycle batteries deliver a steady stream of power to the engine over a more extended period. They consist of fewer and thicker lead plates since they discharge at a slower rate. Therefore, they are the best option when operating accessories on your boat like sensors, lights, and radios. Alternatively, you can purchase a dual-purpose battery that can perform both tasks.
Engine Type and Climate
The different types of boat engines available include diesel engines and high-compression gas engines. Such engines require large boat batteries with high starting power to avoid failure after a few seasons of use or issues during cranking. Moreover, if you reside in an area with cold average temperatures, look for boat batteries with high cold cranking amps (CCA). CCA refers to the amount of power a battery generates for 30 seconds at 0°F at 7.2 volts. Batteries with high CCA create more power and work best in cold climates. Therefore, ensure the battery ratings are appropriate for your boat's engine and your area's climate.
For more information about boat batteries, contact a local supplier.