Choosing the best marine batteries for your boat starts with determining the job the batteries are doing. Starting boat batteries are different from storage batteries, and their use can play a role in which ones you choose.
Understanding Marine Batteries
Marine batteries are available in two main types. One for starting the engine and one to store power for lights, trolling motors, and electronics on board. The starting battery provides a burst of electricity to start the engine and then recharges from the alternator or generator once the engine is running.
The storage batteries do not work the same way, and while they can store a lot of power, they do not provide the same burst effectively. Marine batteries used for storage will allow a long slow draw until they are nearly depleted and recharged from systems on board or when you get the boat home.
Using your starting battery this way would damage it and reduce its effectiveness, but deep-cell marine batteries intended for storage can survive this cycle many times over. In some cases, it can improve the battery's storage capacity over time.
When replacing marine batteries, you must determine which battery on your boat is failing. When you need a replacement starting battery, choosing one with the same power rating is essential. The cranking amps for the battery should be on the top of the battery case, and it is vital to swap the battery out for one that is the same size dimensionally to ensure it fits in the same spot on the boat.
The same is true when the time comes to replace the deep-cycle marine batteries that you use. If you are unsure which batteries are best for your boat, you can take the old batteries to a marine battery supply, and they will help you choose the correct replacements. You may want to consider upgrading the batteries if you plan to more electrical components to the boat to ensure you have all the power you need while on the water.
If you are experiencing charging issues or your boat's batteries are not holding the charge they should, have a marine battery supply test them. The test will quickly determine if the batteries need replacing or if there is a problem with the electrical system in the boat. If the issue is in your charging system, take the boat to a marine mechanic and have the system checked.
An electrical failure out of the water can be a real problem. If you have a short or open circuit, you could have a fire risk on board your craft that needs addressing immediately.
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