Not every angler pays enough attention to boat batteries and the need to have the right type on their boat. If they get the choice wrong, they could end up stranded out on the lake, river or open water and wonder what they did wrong. At that point, they’ll need the radio to get help.
Buying the wrong battery type or brand is just as bad as not having one because it’ll let you down when you most need it. Trust us on this.
Why Does a Boat Need a Deep Cycle Battery?
A boat may already have a functioning battery that’s getting the engine started, so why is a second battery needed?
If the battery installed already is a dual-purpose one, then it has the cold cranking amps capacity to start the engine and provide some deep cycle capability to run some boat appliances too.
If the battery is essentially a starter battery only designed to get the engine going and to restart it when an engine stalls out, then it doesn’t have a deep cycle capability.
What is Deep Cycle and Why Does It Matter?
Without getting all technical on you,first you have to check marine battery reviews, and a starter battery is designed only to provide a burst of energy to start an engine. It won’t supply a steady, non-interrupted stream of power over multiple hours.
A deep cycle battery is not designed to provide enough amps to start an engine successfully. That’s not its function. What it is designed to do is provide continual power over a period of time. This can power some boat accessories like lights, radio or a trolling motor to operate as a backup should the main prop get damaged or the engine fail on you while out on the water.
I have a Dual-Purpose Battery; Do I need a Deep Cycle One?
There’s a reasonable debate about the need to own a separate, deep cycle battery. The argument goes that when using a dual-purpose battery to start your boat’s engine, if you accidentally drain the battery (perhaps falling asleep), then it will be sufficiently drained to not be able to get the engine going to head back to shore.
While you may think this scenario doesn’t sound like you, when plugging in different boat accessories to a dual-purpose battery it will drain down within a handful of hours either way. By having a fully charged backup deep cycle battery, you’re free to use boat accessories and don’t have the nagging worry about remaining battery power and whether the reading is accurate or not.
Battery Brands – Do they Matter?
Get a reliable battery brand that’s easy to replace. If you have built a case for your battery, you don’t want to have to change it later because you cannot find the same exact size battery the next time.
Choosing a good brand ensures you that they’ll usually stand up for their warranty because they have a reputation to protect. Typically, they will cover a replacement, or a portion of the unused battery based on how much use was received compared to the warranty period.