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The Best Marine Batteries of 2021 (Review)

Check out the best marine batteries of the year here!


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    Getting great marine batteries is one of the most important parts of sailing, which is why you should ensure that you get the right one. This is because compared to other batteries, they not only provide enough power to crank the high compression engines that boats have, but also supply energy for lighting, pumps, and other accessories onboard that let you enjoy your boating experience. Having said that, you need to make sure that you get a long-lasting and safe option, which is why in this article, we will be tackling the different types of batteries, their various properties, and the best ones in the market.

    Lead-Acid vs. Lithium-Ion Marine Batteries

    There are two types of chemistries that marine batteries have: lead-acid and lithium-ion.

    Wet-Cells (Flooded)

    Wet-cells, also known as flooded, are the first type of lead-acid batteries. Like traditional batteries, they contain liquid electrolyte or battery acid. They last the longest when they are properly maintained and are the cheapest options in the market. Despite that though, they have numerous disadvantages that make their worth questionable. Firstly, they have the lowest C rating of all types of batteries that we’re going to be mentioning in this article. That means that they cannot be charged quickly. Adding onto that, they need a more advanced charger to get the equalization that they need. They also cannot be left partially charged, and cannot be discharged below 50% of their capacity. This means that if your battery’s capacity is 360Ah, you can only use it or discharge it at a maximum of 180Ah.

    Image by pasja1000 on Pixabay

    These batteries are also position sensitive which means that when they are submerged, they will release dangerous chlorine gas. They need to be topped off with water and need good ventilation all the time since they release hydrogen while charging. When not given the proper ventilation system, they have a risk of exploding. These batteries also have a very high discharge rate even when not connected to anything so they need to be flowcharged. Overall, we do not recommend you to get this type of battery.

    Gel-Cell and Absorbent-Glass-Mat (AGM) Batteries

    These batteries are very similar to each other. They both contain less electrolytes compared to wet-cells and have a faster charge rate. Their internal plate structure is more rugged, which means that they require only little maintenance. They’re sealed, too, which means that they do not let out any toxic gases when charging and that they can be safely submerged in water. Their voltage also holds up better under heavy loads and they have a low self-discharge rate.

    Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay

    Even though they’re a great option, some things to keep in mind about them are that they are sensitive to overcharging and that they tend to have a higher price point compared to wet-cell batteries. Since they charge pretty quickly, you need to be vigilant when charging these batteries so that you don’t run the risk of damaging them.

    Lithium-Ion Batteries

    Lithium-Ion batteries are a very popular option among different devices and appliances, including boats and other marine vehicles. This is because aside from being compact and lightweight, they have the best cycle life compared to other types of batteries; you can use 95% of its capacity. It has a high C rating as well and it doesn’t require any maintenance. It’s sealed, too, so it won’t release any gases and is not position sensitive. It does not self-discharge and has a big temperature range which means that it can withstand both high and low temperatures. This means that you can leave this battery in your boat during the winter without any problems.

    Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

    The only disadvantage that you’re likely going to face with these batteries is its price. Lithium-ion batteries tend to be expensive, but they’re actually more cost-efficient in the long-run since they last longer and don’t require any maintenance. Overall, these batteries are the best bet for your boat if you’re ready for an investment.

    Best Marine Batteries

    In this section, we’re going to be showing you the best marine batteries available online. No matter what you’re looking for, we’re bound to have it here.

    Gel-Cell and AGM Batteries

    As previously mentioned, these two types of batteries are great options, having a faster charge rate and a tough internal structure. They only require little maintenance and are sealed, which means that they won’t cause any harm to the environment. These batteries are great for those who are looking for a more affordable option in terms of upfront cost and who don’t mind exerting a little effort in maintaining them.

    Lifeline Marine AGM Battery - GPL-31T

    BEST RUGGED

    The Lifeline Marine AGM Battery – GPL-31T is an excellent option, being Coast Guard approved and suitable for deep-cycle applications. They’re made with premium materials, being designed to be highly-capable. Having a 5-year warranty, you can be sure that this will last you for years to come. It has a really low self-discharge rate at 2% per month as well, making it a low-maintenance marine battery.

    Additionally, the Lifeline Marine AGM Battery – GPL-31T is leak-proof and spill proof, so you won’t have any accidental sulfuric acid leaks nor will it let out other dangerous chemicals that can harm you or the environment. It charges pretty quickly, and can also be used in recreational vehicles (RVs) too without any problems. This battery is pretty tough as well and is reliable to use during more extreme conditions.

    Optima 8006-006 34M Bluetop Marine Starting Battery

    BEST CONVENIENT

    This Optima 8006-006 34M Bluetop Marine Starting Battery was designed to be durable and have a strong crank, ensuring that you’re satisfied with its performance. This makes it possible for this battery to function properly in harsh conditions or bad weather. Because of its construction, it can also be recharged up to three times more than the average marine battery. It’s spill-proof and doesn’t require much maintenance, making it a heavy-duty option, perfect for your adventures.

    It’s also fifteen times more resistant to vibration, so no matter what type of marine vehicle you have, this should work out for you. It’s not position-sensitive, which means that you can set it up however you want. Lastly, other than its portability and lightweight form factor, it has a rugged plastic casing that makes it suitable for any location. This battery from Optima is truly convenient, perfect for those who are always on the go.

    Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST-M Trolling Thunder Marine Dual Purpose Battery

    BEST VERSATILE

    The Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST-M Trolling Thunder Marine Dual Purpose Battery has both high capacity and high cranking power, which means that it’s slightly more expensive compared to the previous options in this category. Its construction provides an optimal gas recombination rate that helps avoid battery dry-out. It’s a versatile marine battery that is able to charge quickly and that is able to retain power well.

    It can handle high cycling operation and any kind of vibrations, including extreme ones, with no problem. It has a 70% longer life cycle compared to other deep cycle batteries and has a higher stable voltage for longer periods of time. It has a flexible design, too, that is non-spillable. It’s also able to tolerate extreme weather up to -40˚C and 80˚C. This type of battery will ensure that you will be able to go wherever you want without any worries.

    Lithium-Ion Batteries

    With lithium-ion batteries being able to pack lots of power in a smaller form factor, it is no surprise that they’re rising in popularity for use across different gadgets, devices, and vehicles. They don’t require any maintenance, do not self-discharge, and can handle extreme temperatures, making them a dream. They’re cost-efficient in the long run, too, so if you’re ready to invest upfront, these batteries are for you.

    Powertex Batteries 12V 6Ah / 7Ah 73.2WH Lithium Ion LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Rechargeable Battery

    BEST FEATURES

    These Powertex Batteries 12V 6Ah / 7Ah 73.2WH Lithium Ion LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Rechargeable Battery come with a built-in Battery Management System that protects it from overcharging, overloading, overheating, deep discharging, and short circuiting by regulating the power that the cells produce. This contributes to its longer life span that will last you ten times longer than an average lead-acid battery. Additionally, it doesn’t have any harmful liquids or chemicals that can drip out to the lake or sea and harm the environment.

    Aside from those great features, this battery also has a convenient and efficient LCD screen with real-time battery monitoring of voltage, capacity, and days in use. This means that you can easily keep track of it, without having to wonder and worry about its status. This is perfect for vigilant boat owners, especially for those who like to take long trips so that you can ensure that your battery’s stats are still good.

    ExpertPower 12v 12ah Lithium Lifepo4 Deep Cycle Rechargeable Battery

    BEST LONG-LASTING

    The ExpertPower 12v 12ah Lithium Lifepo4 Deep Cycle Rechargeable Battery is a long-lasting marine battery that is said to last up to 10 years. You can use 95% of its capacity and even though it packs a lot of power, it’s still incredibly lightweight – being only ⅓ of  a regular lead acid battery’s weight. It also has a Battery Management System that protects it from damage.

    This makes it possible for you to store it for up to one year with no worries, no matter the weather conditions. This is because this battery has a built-in temp cut-off that prevents it from charging under -5˚C. Come winter time, you don’t have to worry about this option since it’s bound to last you through many years to come. It’s also more affordable than most lithium-ion marine batteries in the market, so it’s a good starting battery for those just getting into the LiFePO4 hype.

    Talentcell Rechargeable 12v 100ah Lithium Iron Phosphate (Lifepo4) Deep Cycle Battery Pack

    BEST SAFETY

    This Talentcell Rechargeable 12v 100ah Lithium Iron Phosphate (Lifepo4) Deep Cycle Battery Pack has a long cycle life, being able to be charged and recharged up to 7,000 cycles. It has integrated safety systems, too, such as cell-balance control, over-charge and over-discharge protection, and short-circuit protection. It has the same appearance and specifications that a lead-acid battery has, but is way lighter and less bulkier.

    Finally, it has an LCD display that shows you the status of your battery and its volts so that you can easily track its output. This is good since you’ll be able to tell when it’s time to charge it without any extra hassle. With all those characteristics, this battery is truly the best option for those who want to make the switch to lithium but still like the overall look and feel of lead-acid options.

    Conclusion

    With the different types of marine batteries available in the market, it can be quite overwhelming to choose which one to go for. One thing’s for sure, though, and that is whatever you are looking for, you’re bound to find the best marine batteries for this year here. From traditional lead-acid batteries that are rugged and require low maintenance to more modern lithium-ion ones that are lightweight but powerful, these batteries will surely allow you to go and enjoy many adventures for many years to come. Happy sailing!

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