If you've decided to take up a new hobby and will be spending many happy hours in the season ahead trying to hook a fish for supper, you may be learning about all matters marine. You may have your eye on a second-hand boat, but need to equip it properly if you're going to have a reliable and consistent experience. In particular, you will need to power it and its ancillaries and must be looking for an ideal battery. What do you need to consider?
At the highest level, you need to choose between three types of battery depending on the type of power you need to generate, the number of accessories that you have and the size of the boat. Essentially, marine batteries are 12 V and are classified as either starting, deep cycle or a combination of the two, known as dual-purpose. As the name implies, the starting battery is designed to do little else other than to crank the engine, while the deep cycle battery is typically a separate unit and powers all the accessories. If you don't have much room on board, you may need to choose the dual-purpose battery, which will perform the work of both the others.
You will also find, however, that these batteries have different chemical compositions. In this case, you can choose between wet cell, AGM and gel, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
If you're starting out and looking for best value, then you would probably choose the wet cell option as this is by far the most popular. It weighs less than the others and is quite hardy, although you have to make sure that you keep up with maintenance through the season. They have to be regularly inspected and distilled water added whenever needed, although this is not too difficult a task.
If you like to be "hands-off" then you may choose AGM, or absorbed glass-mat. While they're shock and vibration proof to an extent, you do need to be careful when recharging them, as a significant overcharge could damage them beyond repair.
The final option – gel based – is almost bullet-proof and there's actually no need to add water. They are very resistant to overcharging and can hold the charge much longer than the others. Expect to pay a lot more for these solutions, however and to get a very specific type of battery charger.
Making Your Choice
If you're still a little confused, have a word with your supplier to make sure that you get the right type of battery for your precise needs
I'm Tony and I live alone in Brisbane, Australia. I say I live alone, but I don't really. I live with my collection of classic cars and trucks. Since I was a boy, I used to play with my toy trucks and cars all day long. When I turned 18, I bought my first car and I decided to do it up. But I didn't know what I was doing. Thankfully, my uncle was on hand to help me. He taught me how to source the right parts I needed to repair and restore the vehicles. I would now like to help others. Enjoy my blog.