Choosing the right Marine Battery

by Ian Kuhl on November 11, 2012

in Chandlery

We usually only think about batteries when they fail to start the engine, but they also run all the other electrics aboard – radios, fish finders, stereo, cabin anchor and navigation lights.

Different types of batteries

  • There are marine batteries and automotive batteries.  Marine batteries have thicker lead plates and use paste or gel instead of liquid acid. This way they can be semi or fully sealed, so there is little chance of acid leaks. Marine batteries are made to higher quality specifications than automotive types.
  • There are start batteries and deep cycle batteries; both can be used to start engines.
  • Delkor Marine deep cycle batteryDeep cycles are used when a lot of power is used, and the bank will be drawn down without constant charging by an engine. These batteries are used in larger boats as a house bank, powering electric outboards on fresh water boats, solar power banks and RVs.
  • Many different types of batteries exist on the market. Sealed calcium batteries perform well without high cost; gel batteries are more expensive.

Marine battery maintenance

  • It is common practise to fit a second battery and change over switch to isolate the start battery when you are stopped and using power. Start with both batteries when possible, and run the engine with the battery switch on all so both batteries are charging.
  • When you are using power without a motor running you need to ensure there is enough juice left in the battery to start the engine.
  • All batteries should be in a battery box to insulate them from water and other contact; the box also prevents any acid from spilling. Batteries are heavy and the box should be securely tied down in the boat so you don’t wear them in a boat roll.
  • Many standard battery straps are poor design. If need be, fit new cam buckle straps and stronger tie down saddles. Even rope will do: just tie them down!
  • Battery terminals, connections and cables need regular maintenance and greasing to prevent corrosion. Make sure you tighten all bolts to cables.
  • To clean batteries, pour hot water over them; this will clean any acid spills away from the top of the battery which can cause discharge.
  • It is important not to mix battery types or chemicals as they charge at different rates. Replace the entire bank, especially if the batteries are unsealed types.
  • Keep the batteries on regular charge when boat is stored; always use a smart automatic battery charger if leaving on charge for extended period.

Franklin Marine stocks a wide range of quality marine, deep cycle and automotive batteries to suit most boats, RVs, solar and automotive applications.

We recommend and stocks quality Delcor marine batteries for start and deep cycle applications – all at competitive pricing.

Previous post:

Next post:

WordPress Admin