In this post: Choosing The Right Boat Batteries – Which One Should You Pick?
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    Choosing The Right Boat Batteries – Which One Should You Pick?

    3 Bass boats on lake in the sunset.

    The boat’s ready and the bass are biting, but you’re stranded at the dock. What gives? Dead boat batteries.. If your old boat batteries have gone their very last mile, it’s time to buy some new ones. It may even be time to upgrade!

    Now, figuring out which boat battery to buy can be confusing. It seems like there are a zillion different options out there. And there kind of are. We’re talking lead acid, lithium, and AGM batteries. Not to mention, starter batteries, deep-cycle ones, and dual purpose. It’s a lot to take in. So how do you know which boat batteries are best?

    We’re here to answer your questions and steer you in the right direction. So keep reading to learn more!

    So What Kinds Of Boat Batteries Are There?

    There’s no better place to start than with the basics. But if you’re a veteran boat owner, you may want to skip ahead.

    So basically boat batteries serve two different purposes: one is to start the engine. The other? To run everything else. With these two purposes, come three different types of batteries: cranking/starter batteries, deep-cycle batteries, and dual-purpose batteries.

    The name kind of gives it away, but a cranking/starting battery is what fires your engine. Like a sprint runner, it revs up quickly, but is only meant to endure for a very short period of time.

    The second type, deep-cycle batteries, are meant to power applications that require long-term energy. Think trolling motors, radios, your GPS, and more. Basically, the fun stuff! This is definitely the marathon runner of the three. A good deep cycle boat battery should offer reliable, long-lasting power.

    Finally, there are dual-purpose batteries. These bad boys can both start your engine and power your accessories. So why on earth would you want anything else? Well, they do have limitations. Most anglers prefer having separate batteries. Why? Longer life and more power.

    No matter which type of boat battery or combo you wind up with, it’s important to choose one that matches your power needs. If you’re powering a higher power trolling motor, souped up stereo, and all the extras…you’re not going to get by with a dinky battery. That’s why considering voltage and amperage is important. In many cases, you’ll even need a battery bank. This is where two or more batteries are wired together in series or parallel. This is where looking through your user manual, seeking expert advice, or past experience come into play.

    Two people in a rowboat on a lake.

    Boat Batteries: Choosing The Best Technology

    Ok, so now that you know about the function of each battery, let’s get to battery technology..

    Lead acid batteries have been around for a whopping 150 years. Though we think they’re a bit outdated, you have to give ‘em props for hanging around for so long. The big allure of lead acid batteries is the price point. They’re affordable and many people are familiar with them. But that’s kind of where the good stuff ends. First off, lead acid batteries require a lot of maintenance. They need this special electrolyte concoction of water and sulfuric acid to function. They’re also very hefty, sometimes weighing double what other batteries weigh. And they just don’t last as long..

    Then there’s AGM batteries. They’re the new and improved version of lead acid batteries. They feature better technology, come sealed (meaning no annoying water solution), and they won’t leak. Though they’re more expensive than traditional lead acid batteries, they’re in many ways an improvement. On the flip side, they’re sensitive. No, not emotionally..but to overcharging and voltage issues. The kind of problems you don’t want to deal with when it comes to boat batteries. But if you’re looking for a mid-range option and have time to babysit your batteries, this isn’t a bad option.

    Then there’s lithium LiFePO4. Other battery types only last 500 – 1,000 cycles on average. Lithium takes the cake with 3,000 – 5,000 cycles. These treasure troves are worth their weight in gold. But, as with every battery type there are pros and cons to consider. The cons? Well, we can only think of one..and that’s the up-front cost. They do cost more than both battery types. However, with thousands of more cycles, you’re not replacing your boat batteries nearly as frequently! So we wouldn’t be surprised if you actually save money. If you’re looking for a battery that’s maintenance-free, uber lightweight, and doesn’t overcharge/undercharge (thanks to an advanced battery management system), you’ve found your golden ticket.

    Do you know what size battery you need for your boat? Find out here!Image with Ionic battery and text "Stay on the Water Longer With Lithium Marine Batteries"

    What Makes Ionic Brand Boat Batteries Different?

    In the end, the best boat battery is going to depend a lot on your needs, your time, and budget! And really, there’s no wrong option. It all depends upon what’s going to best serve you at the moment and in the future.

    Obviously, we’re big fans of lithium LiFePO4 batteries. In general, lithium batteries last years longer, charge 5x faster, and are 50% lighter. At least, that’s what Ionic boat batteries are capable of. We think they’re the best in the business. Why? Well, a lot of reasons but here are a few more: they’re backed by an incredible warranty (most feature an 11 year warranty), they have a built-in battery management system, we only use Grade A cells, and then there’s Bluetooth. Did you know that with our Ionic boat batteries, you can check the status of your batteries in real time? Gain instant access to your battery’s current charge, voltage, current, and so much more.

    We challenge you to learn more for yourself. Be sure to click through to our marine battery page to gain more important knowledge. Then take a gander through our reviews and see what other users have to say about specific boat batteries. And if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to answer your questions and help you select the boat batteries that will work best for you.

    Wondering how long a marine battery should last? Get the answers here!

    Headshot picture of Martin Koebler, founder and president of LithiumHub.
    About the Author: Martin Koebler

    Picture a world powered by the hum of lithium batteries – in our homes, gadgets, vehicles, and more. Martin Koebler, our founder, has spent decades making this world a reality. His groundbreaking work in lithium battery technology is changing how we see energy storage. Learn more about his journey and vision here.

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