Since you’ve landed here, you’re probably on a quest to buy the best marine battery out there. Chances are you’ve been searching and may be unsure about which battery is right for you. Don’t you worry! Whether you need your battery for daily use or as a backup power supply, we are here to help you choose.
Check the quick list below for customer reviews and prices for my picks if you’re in a hurry, or read on for the full review:
The marine battery world is divided into 3 categories. Deciding how you will use the battery will help you choose the right one.
A Starting battery delivers a large burst of power for a short time to get your engine started. Since it’s designed solely to kick-off your engine, you’ll need a deep cycle battery along with it to power other electronics.
A deep cycle battery provides a smaller amount of current, over a longer period of time, allowing it to give a steady electrical flow. It can withstand repeated discharging/charging cycles.
Dual purpose batteries – as their name suggests – are a hybrid between starting and deep cycle batteries. Although at times it’s better to use a battery designed for a specific purpose, this battery serves as a good compromise in many cases, like when you don’t have much space, for instance.
What to Look for in Your Marine Battery
Cold Cranking Amperage (CCA)
That is the amount of amperage the battery can provide for 30 seconds maintaining at least 7.2V at a temperature of 0°F – which is the least power needed to crank an engine. Your aim is to select a battery with a value equivalent to or higher than your engine. If you don’t know how much power your motor needs, you should be able to find that out on the internet with a brief search.
This refers to the time it takes the battery to fall to a voltage level of 10.5, that’s when it becomes technically useless. The higher this figure is, the longer the battery operates. If you’re only running small devices, this figure isn’t as important to you as it is to someone who needs to consume a large amount of power.
Strength and durability
Needless to say, your battery needs to be strong enough to endure stresses and vibrations. you’re looking for batteries that come in non-spill, strong and sealed cases.
Dimensions and weight
The larger the size of the battery, the higher it performs. However, there’s no point in buying a battery that is too big for your available space. Check the space you have and look for batteries of a corresponding size. As for weight, we recommend choosing a battery that is easy to carry around.
Types of Marine Batteries
A Flooded/ wet batteries are the most common and most inexpensive. As it charges, it releases oxygen and hydrogen that get discharged through vents. It needs frequent maintenance but if you’re on a tight budget, this type of battery is good for you.
A Gel battery requires a lot less maintenance. it’s a good option if you’re looking for a higher quality battery.
An Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries (AGM): This battery requires no maintenance at all and has a high tolerance to shock and vibration. Its incomparable quality makes it the most expensive.
Best Marine Battery
Optima 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Marine Battery
This Optima battery is a dual purpose 55 Ah battery; it’s quite reliable and can start up almost any engine in no time. It’s ideal for boats and even works with RVs, which is a bonus point. Its CCA is 750 allowing the battery to provide optimum power even in very cold weather. It’s an AGM battery hence making it spill proof and maintenance free. It’s relatively small and comes in gray color with a blue top.
● Type: AGM
● Dimensions: 6.88 x 10.06 x 7.94 pounds
● Weight: 43.5 lb
● Exceptionally strong and reliable.
● Spiral cell technology achieves better performance and durability
● Recharges up to 3x faster than most other batteries
● Compact, lightweight design
● Comes with a 2-year warranty
● Performance can potentially decline when used on larger boats
Universal UB121000-45978 Deep Cycle Marine Battery
The Universal UB121000-45978 is a high-quality battery that delivers fast yet stable performance. It goes well with boats, RVs and electronic devices. Additionally, it’s considered a durable battery that can last up to 6 months without charging and that is a key point if you’re looking for convenience. This battery is a good choice if you’re searching for an affordable battery to run all of your devices while you’re on board. It comes in black color and it’s rather large.
● Type: AGM
● Dimensions: 12.17 x 6.61 x 9.16 inches
● Weight: 63.9 pounds
● Strong and reliable
● No maintenance required
● Doesn’t require frequent charging
● Resistant to shock and vibration
● Relatively bulky
Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Marine Battery
This Renogy battery is a general purpose battery that is specially designed for solar energy storage application. It’s another battery that is leak and spill proof so you can mount it in any position. This battery is especially worth considering if you’re investing in solar panels as it works great with solar systems. It’s a considerably large battery and comes in gray color.
● Type: AGM
● Dimensions: 13.00 x 6.80 x 9.00 inches
● Weight: 66 pounds
● Corrosion resistant
● Sealed and requires no maintenance
● Comes with 2-year material warranty
● Very heavy and has no handles for lifting making it difficult to move around
Renogy Deep Cycle Pure Gel Marine Battery
This Renogy battery is more on the expensive end; its heavy duty lead calcium grids make it corrosion resistant. Furthermore, it has a life service of 10 years and the gel-like material found inside the battery makes it completely sealed hence requiring no maintenance at all. This battery gives maximum storage for any solar setup. The use of the lead calcium grids and the way this battery is designed makes it a reliable battery with low-self-discharge.
Because it’s sealed, it can be placed in any position. Moreover, it has explosion-proof safety valves that prevent venting and its exterior protects the internal battery from catching fire. It comes in a blue-gray case with 2 side handles.
● Type: Gel battery
● Dimensions: 20.6 x 9.5 x 8.7 inches
● Weight: 128 pounds
● Explosion-proof safety valves
● Low discharge rate at 3% of the battery capacity/ month
● 10-year life span
● Comes with a 3-year material warranty
● Extremely heavy
ExpertPower 12V 33AH Rechargeable Deep Cycle Marine Battery
The ExpertPower battery is budget friendly with a life span of 3 to 5 years. It replaces the 34Ah, 35Ah and 36Ah battery and the manufacturer promises that it can hold a 10-hour charge. With this sealed AGM battery there is no risk of spilling out. It can deal with a wide temperature range. It’s small and very light, which is ideal if you’re looking for a portable battery. It comes in black color with handles.
● Type: AGM battery
● Dimensions: 7.72 x 5.16 x 6.34 inches
● Weight: 23.81 pounds
● Convenient size and lightweight
● Comes with a 1-year warranty
● Relatively short life span
At the end of the day, purchasing a marine battery boils down to your own preferences and needs. For us, after closely reviewing our five favorite batteries, we are certain that the Optima 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Battery earned its way to the top of our list and here’s why:
The Optima 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Battery is the best of both worlds. Without a doubt, it’s an impressive, reliable and powerful dual purpose battery that doesn’t compromise on quality and doesn’t break the bank when compared to other models like the Renogy Deep Cycle Pure Gel Battery. It functions exceptionally well in bad weather (that might come in handy). Not to mention its lightweight, compact design makes it ideal for moving around, which is something you may need to do often, especially in case of emergencies.
Fred is the Ready Zeal owner and editor. He has been passionately pursuing all things emergency preparation since working alongside his grandfather as a boy growing up in the Midwest. When not working on the family homestead he can be found brewing coffee and reading a good book or backpacking in the wilderness. Contact Fred at [email protected]