byAlma Abell

There are a lot more considerations when buying a battery for a boat compared to buying a battery for most types of vehicles. Knowing a few basics about marine batteries can help you to make a good choice in battery even if you are a first-time boat owner.

Deep Cycle Batteries

Deep cycle batteries are used for smaller boats and trolling motors or for devices on the boats that run off of battery power. These batteries provide a constant, low-level power throughout use and are not charged during use.

The key to finding the right marine batteries for deep cycle use is to choose one with a high reserve capacity. This is the total amount of power the battery can provide before it totally discharges and is dead. Additionally, the deep cycle battery will be able to withstand being completely drained or discharged without impacting future performance.

Cranking Batteries

These marine batteries are designed to provide a burst of power to start a boat engine. Remember, a new boat has more the engine that will draw on power. This can include an onboard computer and even the pumps in the boat.

Ideally, look for a cranking battery with a high marine cranking amp or MCA rating. Your boat manufacturer will provide a recommended rating for your particular watercraft. It is essential to choose a battery in the recommended MCA range to prevent problems with powering up everything on the boat with each start.

Dual Purpose

Many boats will have both a cranking battery as well as a deep cycle battery on board. For some boats, a good option is called a dual-purpose battery. These provide a higher MCA and reserve capacity rating to allow them to function in both roles.

It is critical not to try to use one type of battery as a substitute for the other. This will not only not be ineffective in starting the boat or running devices and components, but it will also lead to extremely fast battery failure. It may damage electrical and computerized components on boats as well.

Once you know the type of battery you required as well as the manufacturer’s recommendations for power and size, you will have to choose from wet cell, AGM and gel batteries.

It is important to talk to a marine battery specialist about which type of battery is right for your needs. There will be differences in price, maintenance and installation issues with between the three options. Getting the right match for your boat, budget and needs will allow you to enjoy your time on the water without having to worry about battery failure.

Motor City Battery Company offers a top selection of marine batteries for new and old boats as well as personal watercraft. To find out more go to You can also connect with them on Facebook.