The best marine battery is a must-have item to smoothly launch your boat motor by helping fuel all electronic attachments, many on-board appliances, and a trolling motor. Marine batteries will decide the overall quality of your travel.
Many people believe that choosing a good boat battery is not easy because they are available in many sizes and shapes on the market. But it will not be hard either if you read our article carefully.
So, why don’t we start right now?
Types Of Marine Batteries
Commonly, there are 3 chemical types of marine batteries available: Absorbed Glass Mat (or AGM), Flooded, and Gel batteries.
1. AGM Batteries
AGM batteries have layers that separate the saturated glass panels from the acid electrolyte between the anode and cathode plates. When you charge these cells, oxygen is generated on the anode plate and will move to the cathode plate and produce water by recombining with the hydrogen.
Compared to the other 2 types, AGM batteries are showing outstanding vibration resistance without requiring regular maintenance. The internal resistance in AGM batteries is lower; therefore, having higher starting and charging capacity.
They fasten the charging process and last for a long time. That is why these batteries are always the top options for any smart investor. Of course, the quality always comes with the price. Some AGM models can cost you an arm and a leg to own.
2. Flooded Batteries (Wet Batteries)
They have a liquid sulfuric acid tank connecting the lead plates. This electrolyte generates hydrogen and oxygen while charging.
So the cells and battery compartments must have vents for the gas to escape outside of the boat safely. Because of the heat and gas released during charging, you have to periodically check and rinse this type of battery with distilled water.
Flooded batteries have a higher rate of self-discharge, approximately from 6 to 7% each month. Normally, they are placed in a vertical position and do not expose to extreme vibration. That makes the maintenance process more difficult.
The overcharging problem is not severe for flooded batteries. More importantly, it is offered at a very affordable price. So, if you cannot afford expensive AGM batteries, these flooded batteries are worth considering.
3. Gel Batteries
Gel batteries are the combination of fumed silica, pure water, sulfuric acid, and phosphoric acid. Thus, they have quite a vicious texture and avoid leaking problems when the battery case is damaged.
Due to being charged at a low voltage, these ones are susceptible to overcharging. So if you want to use these batteries, be careful and pay attention to this point.
And here are some tips we find quite useful that you can refer to. For example, you should maintain only one chemical type for all batteries as each one has single charging voltage specification. If you have 2 or 3 types simultaneously on your boat, it is harder for you to monitor your batteries’ charging status.
Besides, never let your battery drain for any time because that will damage the sulfides and reduce the capacity. So, after each time using them, recharge it.
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Top 10 Best Marine Battery Reviews
Despite various models on the market, we only narrowed them down into the top 10 marine batteries in this article. So, let’s take a glance at each of them.
1. Odyssey Thunder Marine Battery 34M-PC1500ST – Best For Amazing Efficiency
Most boat owners desire to have a battery that can deliver reliable, stable starting power when operating and avoid massive power loss.
Although that seems impossible, Odyssey upgrades this model to become the revolutionary one and the best dual-purpose marine battery.
Deserved to be the best deal on marine batteries is the Odyssey Marine Battery 34M-PC1500ST with dual roles for optimal efficiency. It is a harmonious combination of incredible staring power with great deep-cycling capacity.
With double overall capability and 3 times longer lifespan compared to other traditional marine batteries, this Odyssey model is ideal for engine starting system, trolling motor, and many common on-board electronics and accessories.
It is designed with high electrical conductivity materials and vibration-resistant construction. That means it can work efficiently without damages from mechanical shock or high-impact vibration. Odyssey 34M-PC1500ST can even withstand extreme weather, like when the temperatures drop to below 0 degrees Celsius.
It includes pure lead plates to maximize the surface area and optimize recyclability. With AGM technology, you do not have to worry about acid spills problems anymore.
There is no negative complaint about its superior performance, except for some shipping issues. But we believe the shipping company is the one who should hold the responsibility instead of Odyssey.
- Incredible combination of starting power and deep cycling capacity
- AGM technology
- 3 times higher lifespan
- Pure lead plates for optimum surface area
- Good electrical conductivity and vibrant-resistant
2. Optima Deep Cycle Marine Battery OPT8016-103 – Best Selling Marine Battery
Another promising candidate for the best marine battery is the OPT8016-103 from Optima lineups.
It brings the customers an excellent overall performance with standout recharging ways and other charging features.
It operates at 12V and cold cranking capability of up to 750 AMPs for 120 minutes of continuous working time. Besides 15 times better vibration-resistant, it delivers more reliable power and recharges 3 times faster than any other competitor.
The most outstanding feature of the Optima series is SpiralCell technology. That is the reason behind the Optima blue top marine battery’s high-quality performance.
Though it is not the smallest and lightest battery on this list, you can still mount it anywhere in your boat. It is an ideal option for trolling motors, electronic systems, RVs, and other 12V machines. Thanks to this unique producing process, vital tolerances, humidity, temperature are constantly maintained and monitored.
The only minus point is about its glass mat, which can easily be damaged when being overcharged. But you can avoid that by charging properly at a certain time.
- 12 V with 750 AMPs of cold cranking
- Exceptional running time
- Excellent vibration-resistant design
- Dual functions for starting and deep cycling
- Great mounting choice
- Easily damaged glass mat technology
3. Banshee Marine Battery 27M-Banshee – Best For Surface Area
If you want to search for the top trolling motor batteries, why don’t you take a closer look at this Banshee Marine 27M-Banshee with double terminals? All Banshee products are manufactured to endure both serious charges and slow charges for a long time.
It can do fast recharging for long-term use. The pre-installed hydrometer helps you monitor the battery life’s current status more easily. Like other Banshee Group 27 battery models, it is robust, resilient, sturdy, and the perfect one for igniting, cranking, and lighting.
Another distinctive feature is that it contains many thin panels, meaning it will have more surface area.
That is why it is twice as powerful as other conventional ones.
You can completely expect reliable performance from this equal-sized battery, even in a low-temperature environment.
It can handle up to 400 cycles at a discharge depth of 80%. Thanks to the Enhanced Flooded Battery technology, also known as EFB, on the current market, it will improve the charge acceptability, and the cycle durability is higher.
Unfortunately, there is also a minor issue. Some customers find the charging instructions quite confusing. So if you also have the same trouble, try to contact Banshee customer service right away.
- Built-in hydrometer
- Perfect for ignition, cranking, and lighting
- More panels for more surface area
- More powerful
- EFB technology
- Confusing charging instructions
4. VMAX TANKS Marine Battery XTR27-110 – Best For Lifespan
Here we continue with another prominent option – 12V VMAX TANKS Marine Battery XTR27-110. With 99% recombination capacity design, it creates no dangerous gases or smokes detrimental to the boat’s functions and people’s health.
The pure lead-acid plates allow the battery to withstand extreme conditions and high temperatures. This best dual-purpose battery of the VMAX TANKS model works well with other units. And we find that it is compatible with most ships.
This battery is designed for long-term use. Its lifespan can even reach the tenth year without any serious problems. Therefore, it is understandable why it is a wise initial investment.
Besides being used in boats, this battery is also a great choice for powering house appliances, big and small vehicles consistently for over 8 hours.
It can provide the reserve capability of continuously 25 AMPs at the temperature of 80°F.
Nonetheless, with the item weighing up to 70 pounds, it is one of the bulkiest and heaviest marine batteries on the market. But overall, it still does an excellent job and lives up to our expectations.
- Long-lasting and reliable
- Fast recharging
- No detrimental smoke and gas
- Versatile choice for many uses
- Quite bulky and heavy
5. Optima Deep Cycle Marine Battery 8027-127 D27M – Best For Small and Medium-sized Fishing Boats
The next Optima blue top AGM battery worth considering is the D27M (8027-127) model. Its body is durable, strong, and well-built. The manufacturer even claims that it is 15 times tougher than any conventional battery.
Though it takes about 10 hours to recharge from 0, overall, its recharging time is not too long, compared to some other models on the current market. That is all thanks to the amount of acid in the battery, which offers more energy in each charge.
More importantly, it is one of the top batteries in terms of vibration and shock-resistant. The SpiralCell technology and solid construction make this battery 15 times better against vibration.
That also means a better lifespan and increased durability.
For medium-sized boats, this item is capable of providing enough energy to the trolling motors. As a decent-0 Optima blue top dual-purpose battery, it is also a great cranking battery, especially with small fish finders and other fishing accessories.
However, there are numerous marine batteries out there that are more suitable for large and big boats than this one.
- Well-constructed, durable, strong
- Fast recharging
- SpiralCell technology
- Highly compressed cells
- Ideal for small and medium-sized boats
- Unsuitable for big-sized boats
6. Interstate Batteries Deep Cycle AGM DCM0100 – Best For Technology
This Deep cycle battery from Interstate is the best 12-volt battery for trolling motor units, thanks to its durability and efficiency. It is rechargeable, maintenance-free, and spill-proof. That is because it features the valve regulated (VRLA) technology that avoids overpressurization and spilling.
To extend the battery’s life span for deep discharge use, you should use it with a unit that periodically discharges and recharges it. In this way, you can maintain the long-lasting and constant performance for your large equipment and your Interstate battery deep cycle marine.
Interstate develops this battery, especially for scooters and wheelchairs.
But it also universally fits a wide range of 12V 100Ah heavy demand applications like deep cycle marine batteries.
This battery is quite heavy, weighing nearly 65 pounds with the dimensions of 12.99×6.81×8.35 inches (length x width x height). In case you own a small to medium boat, this should be a consideration. Nonetheless, like other AGM batteries, you can easily install them in any place or angle you like on your boat.
The manufacturer includes a 1-year warranty to bring the best experience for users. Because it is not returnable, you had better have a second thought before purchasing it.
- Features spill-proof VRLA technology
- Long-lasting performance
- Works with different applications
- Easy mounting
- 1-year warranty
- Quite heavy
7. VMAX TANKS Marine Battery VMAX857 TM – Best For Compactness
Made from ABS plastic casting and equipped with a metal handle, this product is famous for its sturdiness and easy transportation. It is completely sealed, which prevents the interior components from water and degradation.
The manufacturer utilizes lead-tin alloys for the interior to maximize the conductivity and produce a consistent and powerful discharge.
As a good deep cycle marine battery, its cells and leads can retain a full electric charge for some periods, a maximum of 6 months, without depleting.
Because of that high performance, it is great for large trolling motors.
That is not mentioned in its versatility to fit other units such as power inverters, solar applications, and wind turbines.
Another impressive feature is its compactness, with the dimensions of 7.7×6.1×5 inches (length x height x width). Small yet powerful is what people always talk about it.
It comes with higher amp output (nearly double) than other competitive products but is still available at an affordable price. If it is properly used and maintained, this battery can last long, from 8 to 10 years.
Though it is possible to charge it with the standard 12V chargers, VMAX TANKS suggests using their chargers for the optimal charge. Remember to pay attention to overcharging, which can damage the battery and shorten its life in no time.
- Easy carrying
- Durable construction
- Maintains full charge for 6-month time
- Versatile and compact
- High amp output
- Last up to 10 years
- Possibly overcharge
8. Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery RNG-BATT-AGM12-200 – Best For Capacity
Renogy is a reputable brand for top-rated trolling motor batteries that you can rely on, and this deep cycle battery is not an exception.
This high-performance battery is powerful with a maximum continuous charging current of 60A, which is compatible with multiple devices. In particular, it can reach 2000A for the maximum discharge current in just 5 seconds, thanks to the quinary alloy plates and treated grids.
The capacity can reach up to 200Ah to last and meet all the basic demands of most users. It is equivalent to a 20-hour rate to 10.5V.
During the float charging mode, the voltage will be maintained around 13.6 to 13.8V.
What is special about this battery? It has a low self-discharge rate. Renogy claims that the monthly rate is less than 3%, allowing it to reserve its power for a longer time.
The company also occupies it with a maintenance-free design to protect it from water loss and acid leakage. You do not have to add water to the tank frequently as well.
Moreover, the advanced electrolyte formula let it operate stably in a wide temperature range, from -4℉ to 140℉ in the discharge mode and 32℉~122℉ in the charge mode.
The only downside is complicated installation due to its heavyweight (128 pounds). You had better mount it upright or on the side if you especially need it. But no upside-down mounting is allowed to ensure stable capacity and performance.
- High currents
- 200Ah capacity
- Below 3% monthly self-discharge rate
- A wide operating temperature range
- Difficult installation
9. Optima Marine Battery OPT8006-006 – Best For Cranking
This Optima blue top starting battery is a multi-purpose product that can power up any 12V application. Its 800 cold-cranking amps and 1000 marine cranking amps are more than enough to start your medium-power engine, even under severe conditions.
Optima casts this battery with thick plastic to protect it, and optimize its performance and efficiency in harsh environments. That construction helps minimize the plate movement and offers 15 times more vibration resistance than other products at the same price.
It is also small and lightweight (39 pounds only), meaning you can transport and install it in any position that suits the boat’s configuration.
There is no need for frequent maintenance, too, since it has a fully sealed, maintenance-free design.
It takes 6 to 12 hours to fully charge this battery, depending on the charging rate and the remaining energy level. However, it could keep that power level for almost a year if you keep it at lower room temperature.
The performance is so impressive that it hardly receives any negative comments. It is the best boat starting battery you should invest in.
- High cranking amps
- Thick plastic casting
- 15 times more vibration resistant
- Reserves capacity for a year
10. ExpertPower LiFePO4 Marine Battery EP12100 – Best For Lightweight
This LiFePO4 rechargeable battery is the newest series from ExpertPower, the trustworthy seller of sealed lead-acid batteries.
Compared to other typical batteries, its lifetime is much longer, with 2500 to 7000 full charge and discharge cycles. That number is equivalent to a 10-year operation.
Unlike other competitors, the LiFePO4 series are environmentally-friendly. ExpertPower utilizes non-toxic and abundant materials to make this battery so that it is easier to recycle.
What amazes me the most about this battery is it’s super lightweight, only 22.6 pounds. It is ⅓ of others, making it a lightweight trolling motor battery for marine, RVs, and off-grid applications when it comes to mobility.
In terms of safety, it features a unique integrated Battery Management System.
The BMS function is designed to protect it from deep discharge, overcharge, overheating, overloading, short circuit, etc.
The self-discharge rate of 2% per month allows the battery to hold a full charge for up to 1 year. The built-in low temperature cut off also prevents the battery from charging in unfavored conditions below 23 °F.
The high quality and outstanding performance lead to the high price of the product. Some users argue that spending a huge amount of money on a deep cycle marine battery might not be necessary.
- 10-year lifetime
- Super lightweight
- Comes with the built-in safety BMS system
- Low self-discharge rate
- Quite expensive
There are various aspects that can influence the quality and performance of a marine battery. Below, we have listed some fundamental features that you must consider to choose the best boat battery.
1. Cranking Amperage
We mention the cranking amperage here includes both cold cranking amperage (CCA) and marine cranking amperage (MCA). The former indicates the Amperage where a battery can fully charge over 30 seconds at 0℉. Meanwhile, the latter performs the same thing at 32℉.
Some people consider the MCA an alternative to CCA; however, we recommend you look at both.
These indications are crucial for starting batteries, as the higher the cranking amperage is, the more efficiently the battery can start the engine. A battery with over 700CCA/MCA is powerful enough to run a medium or small trolling motor easily.
2. Battery Voltage
The lead-acid batteries deliver around 12.4V per cell for a 12V fully charged battery. New batteries can hold that voltage for some time before discharging.
The discharge rate varies upon different types and surrounding conditions. Most modern AGM batteries are designed with a low monthly self-discharge rate of 1 to 3%. That means you can store your battery for almost a year without use.
Nonetheless, most batteries discharge rapidly at high temperatures, leading them to die after a few months. To avoid this case, you need to keep the charge or a trickle afloat when storing your battery.
3. Reserve Capacity
That is a measurement of a fully charged battery at the 25A discharge rate and 80℉. It aims to see how long it can last till the voltage drops to 10.5 or lower.
The higher indication means the battery can last longer. As the performance is less efficient over time, you should opt for a battery whose reserve capacity is higher than your expectation.
Deep cycle batteries usually have 2 or 3 times more reserve capacity than the regular ones. That is why boaters prefer them, as they can hold the full charger longer.
There is currently Amperage per hour (Ah) batteries on the market, which show the possible energy storage. That is a traditional way of measurement. This type of battery may come in handy for marine batteries when the discharge rate matters more.
Modern AGM batteries are built with spill-proof, leakproof, and hardly require any maintenance from boaters, which people call “maintenance-free.” They are also waterproof and weather-resistant, making them perform well under bad weather conditions like rain or storm.
Unlike AGM batteries, you need to power up the lead-acid batteries internally so that they can work constantly. Due to the regular internal maintenance, they are not waterproof. That might be a huge risk when boats mainly run on the water. Therefore, AGM batteries are a greater option for boaters.
The size of the marine battery plays an important role when you need to save space on the boat. For small and medium ships, a compact and lightweight battery is an ideal choice.
Fortunately, there are numerous small batteries built with excellent performance to fit all types of boats. Keep in mind that the size determines the holding reserve capacity and the output as well.
One of the benefits of batteries is their versatility. They can be compatible with plenty of applications, not for marine use only. Or can they work well with other electrical devices and motors, recharge vehicles, power up household security alarms, etc., or not?.
Nevertheless, the multiple-use may affect their durability. If you use it as a starting battery, it may last from 3 months to 1 year. The lifetime may extend up to 8 years for deep cycling use. For combined use of both starting and deep cycling, their lifespan may maintain around 3 and 4 years.
7. Optimum Performance
Deep cycle marine batteries are more popular among boaters as they are perfect for trolling motors. In case you have big and high demanding engines, you can connect multiple batteries to create a stable power source.
A good battery can work as electric power, too. In case your boat is out of power, it can provide sufficient energy for basic navigational devices and instruments. However, depending on the energy your boat requires, it can maintain efficiency for a long or short period.
Buying a cheap product from unknown brands is a risky investment as you may not know what will happen on the water. Good battery brands always focus on customer experience and offer great customer service that you can rely on.
Furthermore, their package includes a long warranty period, up to a few years. That means they will take all responsibilities for their manufacturing faults and support you to fix them. For those who plan to purchase a battery with a long lifespan, this is a good consideration.
9. Manufacturing Date
As we mentioned before, a battery performs less well over a while. The older batteries might not be as good as when it was manufactured. Therefore, you should purchase a recently produced battery rather than an inactive one for over a year.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are Marine Batteries Better Than Car Batteries?
Although they are designed for different purposes, marine batteries are normally more powerful than others. To be specific, marine batteries must have vibration resistance to limit the effects of waves. However, that feature seems insignificant in car batteries since cars only travel on sealed, smooth roads.
2. How often should I replace my old marine batteries?
A good marine battery’s regular lifespan is about 3 to 4 years, but it can last up to 6 years under proper conditions and meticulous care. So, if you want to maximize its lifespan, connect and fully charge it with a maintenance charger.
3. Who makes the best rated deep cycle marine battery?
It is hard to decide which one is the best sailboat battery and which brand makes them. Optima, Odyssey, Banshee, VMAX TANKS,… have multiple years of experience, and all products above are outstanding for many distinctive features.
It is a close match, but our final winner is Optima for Optima Deep Cycle Marine Battery OPT8016-103. Believe us, and you will not be disappointed.
The Bottom Line
Our review about the best marine battery is coming to an end. Is it getting easier for you to pick out the most suitable one for your boat? Hopefully, this article is useful enough for you to make your final buying decisions.
Thank you for reading!