When you are focused on fishing, there are many things you need; for example, you may want to go big this year with your gear and choose the best telescopic fishing rod.
However, before you hit the water, you may want to ensure that your boat is maintained and ready to go, and to do that, you need the best marine batteries.
That way, your boat will run smoothly while you’re on the water, and you won’t get stuck out on the water.
Today, we’ll talk about the best options for you. We also included a buyer’s guide and an FAQ section to help you learn more about marine batteries.
Best Marine Batteries: A Review
1. VMAXTANKS V35-857 12-Volt AGM Marine Deep Cycle Battery
VMAX USA manufactures high-performance batteries for more heavy-duty applications. They are designed to deliver high capacity, performance, and deep cycle capabilities.
Though primarily used for boats, this company’s batteries can also work well in audio systems, RVs, hydraulics, and various industrial and commercial applications.
This brand is found mostly on the company website, but you can purchase it from third-party e-commerce websites, as well.
This AGM Marine Deep Cycle Battery is designed to last for eight or more years. It’s highly durable and features the Electrolyte Suspension System, which is proprietary to VMAX batteries.
The system features AGM battery qualities with more porosity, so it can absorb and contain electrolytes to reduce the risk of damage. Plus, there are no contaminants, such as silica gel.
This battery can push your marine vehicles around the whole day with power left over when you’re done.
You’re going to have to use it for a very long time before it reaches half of its capacity.
What We Like
With this battery, you get heavy-duty grids. The lead-tin alloy ensures a little better performance and extends the service life for float and cyclic applications.
This is even with repeatedly over-discharging of the system.
We also like the maintenance-free operation of the AGM Marine Deep Cycle Battery. You don’t have to add water or check the gravity of the electrolytes.
What We Don’t Like
The biggest complaint with this battery is its weight. At just around 50 pounds, it is quite hefty and can’t be moved about quickly.
However, it compensates for its weight with better efficiency and functionality.
- Electrolyte Suspension System
- AGM cranking amp qualities
- Holds charge efficiently
- Strong reserve capacity
- Requires a specific charger
- Insufficient documentation
2. UPG 85980/D5722 SLA Battery
Since 1968, Universal Power Group (UPG) has been one of the world’s energy storage solutions. It features a variety of batteries for various applications.
The brand is an industry leader because it delivers high-performance and reliable batteries for any needs.
With its collaborative approach and engineering expertise, it can offer unique and tailored products that are more efficient, high value, and cost-effective.
You can find these products at some retail locations, but most of its sales are through its website and third-party e-commerce sites.
The UPG model can reach 100 Ah and is a 12-volt battery, plus it features pure lead plates and powering features.
It’s a trusted power source and can provide outstanding performance, so you can use it to start up the whole electronic system of the boat throughout your trip.
Sustainable and steady functionality are also expected, and the battery is easy to install and can enhance the functionality of your boat.
You also get deep cycling performances with its AGM design, plus there is a steady and consistent charge, while the battery is functional.
Lastly, the UPG 85980/D5722 SLA Battery can last for about five years.
What We Like
The UPG 85980/D5722 SLA Battery doesn’t require any maintenance, and the contents inside cannot spill.
Therefore, when you install it correctly, it won’t malfunction.
What We Don’t Like
Though this battery can last up to five years, that is a shorter lifespan than others on the market.
As such, you may need to replace it more frequently.
- Holds charge for six months without use
- Anti-spill structure
- Provides high-energy, steady power
- Compact and Lightweight
- Lifespan shorter than others
- Lower reserve capacity
- Shipping issues (bent terminals)
3. Odyssey 31-PC2150S Commercial Battery
The Odyssey brand is made by EnerSys Energy Products, which is a subsidiary of EnerSys. This company is a global leader for stored energy solutions in a variety of applications.
It has manufacturing plants in 17 different countries, as well as service locations around the world.
With over 100 years of experience, it’s a powerful partner for your boating needs.
Currently, you can find this battery from a variety of third-party e-commerce sites, and there is an online store on the website, as well.
The Odyssey 31-PC2150S might be one of the best starting batteries because it delivers 1150 CCA and 2150 pulse-hot crank amps.
It features AGM technology, has a rugged construction, and packed tight with lead plates, which means the battery recovers quickly, even after about 400 cycles.
With the sealed design, you never have to worry about spillage and can mount the battery in almost any position.
The Odyssey 31-PC2150S Battery’s terminals are made of corrosion-resistant brass and are highly conducive because of the plated tin.
What We Like
This battery has a lifespan of between three and 10 years, according to the manufacturer, but those who used the battery claim that they can get 12 years out of it with proper use.
The Odyssey 31-PC2150S also delivers steady voltage and can recharge in about four to six hours.
What We Don’t Like
The only issue we found with the Odyssey 31-PC2150S is that the newer models are much different than the older ones.
If you want to replace an older model in your boat, you must ensure compatibility, or you’ve wasted money.
- CCA rating of 1150
- Fully charged in a short period
- 80 percent self-discharge rate
- Various design types for newer models; might not match old ones
- More expensive than other brands
4. Optima 8052-161 BlueTop Starting/Deep Cycle Battery
Optima has been around for the last 40 years and has focused on engineering and innovation, so their products provide unstoppable power for those who need an ultimate power source.
This brand designed the first-ever maintenance-free battery, but it didn’t end there; now, it features SpiralCell Technology and so much more.
You can find these batteries from a variety of third-party sellers, as well as the company website and select retailers.
The Optima BlueTop Battery (8052-161) is a dual-purpose battery, so it delivers the best starting power, as well as 155 minutes for deep cycling.
You’ve got 900 cold-cranking amps with 1125Ah marine crank amps, so it’s quite powerful and ideal for outboard motors. It is also a highly versatile battery.
The design is plastic, but the manufacturer claims that it is stronger than others in its class.
Your boat’s vibrations aren’t going to affect the battery, so it works well in a variety of equipment.
What We Like
The Optima BlueTop Battery can charge very quickly, and you can recharge it three times more often than similar batteries. As such, you can use it for longer.
What We Don’t Like
The exterior of the Optima BlueTop Battery is plastic, though it is quite solid and durable.
Still, we feel that this might not be the best option when others come with tin- or lead-lined plates.
However, the company does claim that the exterior is 15 times resistant to vibrational damage as similar batteries.
- Quick charging
- 900 CMA and 1125 MCA
- 155-minute reserve capacity
- Plastic design
- Heavy and quite large
- Must charge carefully and avoid over-charging
5. Odyssey TROLLING Thunder Marine Dual Purpose Battery
Whether you’re on an excursion to the deep seas or are relaxing on deck as your boat sits on calm, crystal-clear waters, you would the Odyssey TROLLING Thunder Marine Dual Purpose Battery to power most of your electronics onboard.
Not only does it have immense starting power, but it also has a deep cycling capability that is unmatched.
With this battery, you’re offered more than just the traditional two choices when it comes to marine batteries.
You no longer have to choose between a deep-cycle or starting battery because you can have both.
Thanks to the Odyssey TROLLING Thunder Marine Dual Purpose Battery, you can spend several hours trolling in the water and still be able to experience comfort and convenience.
It can supply power to any and all of your contraptions on board, helping ensure you accomplish your mission in the water efficiently.
All this is owed to the delicate balance of massive starting power and the ability to withstand discharge depths without losing too much power.
If you happen to be using a kayak, don’t hesitate to pair this awesome battery with any of the best kayak trolling motors in the market.
What We Like
While there is no question that “400 cycles at an 80 percent discharge depth” is madly impressive, the things that stand out most about the Odyssey TROLLING Thunder Marine Dual Purpose Battery are the environment-centered features.
It’s optimized for recycling, designed to help eliminate acid spills, corrosion-resistant, and possesses a sealed design that allows for internal recycling of gases.
What We Don’t Like
If there’s one thing about the Odyssey TROLLING Thunder Marine Dual Purpose Battery that disappoints, it’s the fact that it has a slightly different design compared to the older version.
With this new version, the terminal areas are switched, so if you’re buying this as a replacement, don’t be surprised to find that the cables may no longer work for your vehicle.
- 70% longer life cycle compared to conventional deep-cycle batteries
- High-recharge efficiency
- Protects against high-impact shock
- May not work for your vehicle because of its slightly altered design
When it comes to choosing a battery for your boat, there are many considerations.
We think it’s important that you know the various types and functionalities they have so that you are better prepared to pick the right one.
1. Battery Type
When people speak about the battery type, they might refer to various things. It could be that they are discussing the chemistry within the battery or what role it plays.
We discuss battery chemistry later, so we will not do that again here.
All of the batteries we reviewed today are lead-acid batteries with an AGM construction. This style works well because it holds a charge longer, even if not used frequently.
Though they all use a similar structure, the batteries do have different purposes. There are three different types of batteries that we reviewed here.
Deep cycle batteries are designed to give away more of the stored energy within before they take on damage.
They can provide power for many continuous hours, so they work well in trolling motors. On the other hand, starting batteries will put out high current in short bursts.
From the name, you can tell that they are used to start the engine, which means you cannot run a motor with a starting battery.
It is going to discharge too far and could be damaging to the system.
Lastly, dual-purpose batteries are a hybrid of deep cycle and starting batteries. They’re used to start the engine and provide power for the long-term.
This option works well if you need to start your engine and power up the electronics system on the vessel.
2. Battery Chemistry
The batteries listed here are all called SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) batteries. They’re dry, which means they can’t spill and won’t leak, but they’re also valve-regulated.
To achieve this, an AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) is used to contain the electrolyte fluid and battery acid.
When the gases are released (oxygen and hydrogen), they’re almost fully recombined inside the battery, so no venting is needed.
This battery type is more advantageous because it’s maintenance-free and operates in almost any mounted position, though not upside down.
They’re also fast to recharge when you’ve got the right charger.
On the other hand, wet or flooded batteries don’t work well for marine use. They can vent or spill and pose a significant risk to the environment, so they aren’t recommended for boats.
Plus, these batteries are susceptible to shocks and vibrations, whereas AGM batteries are not.
3. Starting Functions
The starting function is the amount of power needed to crank the starter of the motor, and your battery must be strong enough to do its job.
There are several ways to measure this, including CCA or MCA, Reserve Minutes, Size, and the like.
We’re going to discuss each of these methods below.
4. CCA vs. MCA
The most common measurements for starting functionality are Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) and Marine Cranking Amps (MCA).
You are going to find that Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) is the number of amps the battery can deliver for a full 30 seconds at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, all while maintaining the voltage at or above 7.2 volts.
Marine Cranking Amps are similar, but they’re measured at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
MCA batteries are higher than CCA because the battery works better when at a higher temperature.
5. Reserve Minutes
This indicates how long the battery can sustain its load of about 25 amps before dropping it to 10.5 volts.
When a battery is rated at 150 minutes, that means it operates the 25A load for about 2.5 hours, while at 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
The starting battery doesn’t handle loads for that long, so the reserve minutes aren’t as necessary.
The type, ambient temperature, and engine size determine the size of the cranking battery you would need.
A larger battery with high cranking power is necessary for diesel engines, cold temperatures, and high-compression and large gas engines.
The first criterion for size is to meet the minimum CCAs if there are any, which is stated by the boat or engine manufacturer.
If it’s a Group 24, the 550 CCA battery can work well for about five years and then should be replaced by a similar model.
However, if you noticed that the battery cranked slowly or failed after just a few seasons, you may want something with a higher MCA or CCA rating.
7. Deep Cycle Functions
Usually, battery capacity measurements are expressed using Reserve Minutes and Amp-hours (Ah).
The Amp-hours measure total energy amounts that your battery can safely deliver for 20 hours with a constant discharge rate before voltage ends up dropping to 10.5 volts.
Therefore, a 200Ah battery could run for 20 hours with a 10A load.
For the reserve minute rating, this is the number of minutes the battery could run a load of 25A before dropping to 10.5 volts, just as with the starting battery.
For example, a Group 27 battery (deep cycle) with 180 reserve minute ratings can run a load of 25A for about three hours.
The house load can range from 5A to 25A and sometimes more.
A battery manufacturer often measures longevity by discharging the battery at full life at temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit until the voltage is dropped to 10.5 volts.
Then, the batteries get recharged in a controlled environment.
The process keeps getting repeated until the battery cannot hold half of the rated capacity anymore.
This is called the cycle life measurement, and it shows you how many discharge cycles your battery will provide throughout its lifespan.
Since it can cycle repeatedly, it is different from starting batteries because it can’t withstand more than a couple of deep discharges before beginning to fail.
The cycle life can provide a baseline to compare batteries.
1. Is There a Difference Between Deep Cycle and Marine Battery?
In a sense, a marine battery can be a deep cycle battery, but it might also be a dual-purpose or a starting battery.
Usually, marine batteries are hybrids of the deep cycle and starting battery.
They often contain a lead sponge plate, which is heavier and coarser than a starting battery plate without the thickness of a true deep-cycle plate.
2. How Many Years Does a Deep Cycle Marine Battery Last?
The answer depends on the type of deep cycle marine battery you choose. Since all of the ones we reviewed are AGM, we are going to focus our response on that.
Generally, an AGM deep cycle battery can last anywhere from four to seven years with proper maintenance.
3. How Many Marine Cranking Amps Do I Need?
The best way to determine what cranking amps your boat needs is to put an amp clamp on the biggest red wire attached to the starter motor.
Someone needs to crank the engine over for you so that you can see the amperage on the meter.
When you know the max amperage amount the starter motor draws under optimum operating conditions, you have a benchmark with which to work.
You should also check with the manufacturer of the boat or engine to determine what it recommends you use.
4. Are Dual Purpose Marine Batteries Good?
Yes, dual-purpose marine batteries can be an excellent thing to have.
You are going to see better performance, and it works to handle the cranking amps for starting and can help your boat maintain its charge when you’re out on adventures, or it is in storage.
5. How Often Should I Charge My Boat Battery?
The general rule of thumb is to have the batteries charged each time you run your boat. If you run it every week, then charge it after each trip, and you should be fine.
However, if your boat often sits longer than one week, you may want to charge the batteries, even if you plan to go nowhere.
It’s best to have a voltage gauge or a digital multimeter to check the battery’s charge. If it appears low, then it is time to charge it.
Our Final Recommendation
Though we liked all of the batteries we included, we did think that the VMAXTANKS V35-857 12-Volt AGM Marine Deep Cycle Battery is the best of the best marine batteries.
It features excellent durability and longevity, plus it offers a faster recharge rate and maintenance-free operation.
Although you do need a special charger for the battery, we liked the heavy-duty grids and the fact that if you accidentally over-charge it, there is less risk of damage.