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The Beginner's Guide to Marine Boat Batteries

battery fully charged

Did you know that about 12.4 million Canadians go boating every year? With over five million Canadians owning a boat, boating is increasing in popularity.

If you’re one of the many Canadians who own a boat or are thinking about buying a boat, you need to know how to choose the right boat battery. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about marine boat batteries!


What is a Marine Battery?

A marine battery is responsible for powering several things on a boat. It has to start up the engine and supply all other power needs on the boat. That might include lights, gauges, pumps, and other electronics.

The design of marine batteries helps them resist vibrations from waves or rough water. They are made from thick lead plates and have a sturdy structure.


Types of Marine Boat Batteries

There are three main types of boat batteries. They include starter, deep cycle, and dual-purpose.


Starter Battery

The starter battery sometimes referred to as a cranking battery, is the most important battery for a boat. It is responsible for starting up the boat and is critical for a boat to function.

Starter batteries are similar to the battery that starts a car. They work by quickly sending a burst of electricity to the engine. That electricity turns the starter, which in turn starts the boat’s engine.

Starter batteries are comprised of thin layers and are prone to wear from high impact. Draining them below 50% capacity or improper winter battery storage can cause damage and shorten their lifespan. In comparison to other marine batteries, the lifespan of a starter battery is relatively short.


Deep Cycle Batteries

Once the boat is started, you'll need a battery that can run the boat's accessories for a lengthy period of time, such as GPS, pumps, and trolling motors. Deep cycle batteries are useful in this situation.

Deep cycle marine batteries can drain slowly over long time periods. Certain types of deep cycle batteries can be drained down to 80% of their capacity without causing damage. These batteries do not have the ability to start large motors.

When choosing a battery for your marine boat, keep in mind that the weight of the battery is directly correlated to the amount of lead contained. That means that the heavier the battery, the more energy it provides.


Dual-Purpose Batteries

A dual-purpose battery can start up a boat and handle powering certain parts of the boat for a long period of time. While dual-purpose batteries have some properties of a starting battery and deep cycle battery, they don’t have all the benefits.

Dual-purpose batteries should not be used for all boats. While a dual-purpose battery is a good choice for a small boat, large boats need the combination of power from two batteries to function properly.


Ready to Choose your Marine Boat Battery?

Now that you know about the different types of marine boat batteries and what they do, are you ready to buy your next boat battery? The right battery for you depends on the size of your boat and your specific needs.

If you have any questions or need help finding the right battery for your boat, contact us at Prairie Battery. We’ll have your boat powered up in no time!


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