Things You Need To Know When Replacing The Batteries In Your Boat


Boat batteries are the lifeblood of any offshore vessel. They provide essential power to everything from the lighting to the engine, so they must be chosen and maintained with care. 

The Types of Batteries

There are two main types of batteries, flooded cell and sealed. Flooded cell batteries are the more traditional batteries that use removable caps to add distilled water as necessary. These can be found at marine stores or auto parts retailers and need to be topped off with distilled water every few months. 

The other type is the sealed battery which is maintenance-free and does not require distilled water. However, these batteries have less overall capacity than older-style flooded batteries, and often the service life is not as long, so you may need to replace them more often.

Size Matters

When picking boat batteries, size matters. You should consider the size of your boat, the amount of power needed, and the space available for the battery on board the craft.

Marine batteries range in size and output, measured by Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) and Reserve Capacity (RC). CCA is the measure of the cranking battery's ability to start a cold engine under extreme conditions, and RC is the amount of time a storage battery can run accessories without being charged. Both numbers are vital, and a marine battery supply can help you with the math to calculate the requirements for your batteries. 

The Right Battery for the Job

There are three main types of boat batteries available; starting batteries, deep cycle batteries, and dual-purpose batteries. Starting batteries are designed to provide a large burst of power to crank your engine and get your boat engine running.  

Deep-cycle batteries are built to provide power over long periods and are best suited for boats with multiple accessories and appliances. Radios, lights, and other items can also require power when the boat engine is not running. A sailing vessel may operate without the engine running for long periods, so large storage capacities are critical. 

Dual-purpose batteries are batteries that are good for both starting and deep-cycle purposes. Dual-purpose marine batteries are becoming more popular as marine applications become more advanced but can be expensive compared to their counterparts.

Installation And Maintenance

When installing your new battery, make sure you choose a spot in the boat that is clean, dry, and ventilated. Boat batteries release gas when charging or discharging, so a well-vented area will help prevent any hazardous buildup. Proper maintenance is essential for boat batteries to continue functioning efficiently. It is crucial that your batteries are being charged properly, and overcharging your battery can lead to boiling and early battery failure. 

Routine checks will help monitor the electrolyte levels (in flooded cell batteries), and keeping the terminals of your battery clean will help prolong the battery's lifespan. 

For more info about boat batteries, contact a local company. 


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