6 Tips for Choosing the Best Boat Battery

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Boat Battery

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Boat Battery

Great Britain is no doubt a sea fairing and boat loving nation. I am pleased to live in a country where we get adequate rainfall all the year round. Of course this rain is what keeps our canals and rivers flowing.

Thus Abelling millions of people to go sailing and just generally messing about on the canals an rivers. Thousands of miles of canals also contribute to the lets say slower vessels. Meaning the canal boat or narrowboats as we like to call them.

This boat industry has opened up many openings for would be people who can spot a gap in a market and make a living. All over the country huge marinas have opened up. Giving moorings for thousands of boats that stay there permanently or just call for a couple of days.  

This is where I come in! Boats require batteries. Both to start the engine and then to run the on-board electrics. Some boats will have eight batteries to do this job.

Best Boat Battery
© Can Stock Photo / Durdenimages

So, importantly a good boat battery is essential for any boat owner.

 Of course the batteries are the beating heart of your boat, supplying power to everything from your fridge and TV set to complicated navigation systems.

Choosing the wrong battery can cause mariners some headaches! Not to worry! Here are six simple steps to help you choose the best boat battery for your requirements.

Determine Your Boat’s Requirements

Here in the UK many boat owners have downsized from their brick and mortar home to a narrowboat. This could be due to all sorts of reasons. However these newbies are the ones less likely to know about their boats battery requirements.

Like many other thigs in life then money does come into the equation. So if your batteries need changing then understanding your boat’s power requirements for the Best Boat Battery will be the first step.

The first option would of course be to replace the old batteries for new ones.

This is where some people make thing complicated. Most of these vessels have a bank of 6 batteries. Owners start looking at other options and start complicating things. They ask us such things as “can we get bigger batteries”, and “will this of that brand last longer that our old batteries”.

After all most of them are just sat about on their boats enjoying the scenery. With plenty of time to think about the Best Boat Battery requirements.

 Consider your daily usage, the devices you rely on, and how long you usually spend on the water. Make a list of your essential equipment and investigate its power requirements. Here is an example from a good website with calculation tables for this sort of advice.

100 Ah × 12 V ÷ 1000 = 1.2 kWh. Most batteries that are lead acid batteries will use a bank of 100Ah batteries. In fact Numax 105Ah twin post leisure batteries are very often used for this purpose. The twin post make it very easy to connect the batteries together.

Especially when working in a confined space such as on a narrowboat.

Best Boat Battery
Best Boat Battery

Select the Appropriate Type

Generally, boat batteries are classified into three types: starting (car batteries), deep cycle, and dual-purpose. Of course, starting batteries provide a burst of energy to crank the car’s engine, whereas “deep cycle batteries” provide consistent, long-lasting power for your electronics.

 Dual-purpose batteries, were purposely deigned for the leisure industry. As the name implies, serve two purposes. Examine your boat’s requirements and select the type that you think may be the correct Best Boat Battery.

Deep cycle batteries are usually the most expensive but are more powerful and long lasting than say a standard wet truck starter battery. Incidentally, the truck batteries are still used on many vessels today. A popular one is the 643 ant 622 part numbers!

Consider the Chemistry of Batteries.

So, lead acid boat batteries come available in a variety of chemistries. Including wet lead-acid, gel and AGM (absorbed glass mat), each has advantages and disadvantages. As I have said, Lead-acid batteries are inexpensive and are often the popular choice, although most are now sealed and maintenance free, they must be maintained on a regular basis.

 Gel and AGM batteries are all sealed and so low-maintenance and spill-proof. However they are the most expensive coming from suppliers such as U.S batteries in America.

Best Boat Battery
© Can Stock Photo / jabiru

Seek out Quality Brands

Once again this depends on how much money the boat has to spend on batteries. If possible, select a reputable battery brand that has a proven track record of performance and dependability.

It is a fact that a high-quality Best Boat Battery such as a Varta leisure battery will last longer, perform better, and save you money in the long run. Optima, Numax and Trojan are some well-known brands. Don’t be tempted by low-cost, off-brand batteries because in the long run, they may not provide the power and lifespan you require.

Examine the Warranty

Before purchasing your boat batteries, ask about the warranty. A good warranty shows the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. Look for batteries with a one-year warranty at a minimum. Although some top-tier brands such as Numax offer warranties of up to three years.

Remember to include the size and weight.

As stated earlier, batteries can be very heavy, requiring two people to handle them. Batteries of the same size should be bought as replacements. Because they will just slot into the same space as your old batteries.

Should you be buying different style or brand then check that it will fit comfortably in your boat’s battery compartment and will not impair your boat’s performance?


Choosing the Best Boat Battery does not have to be a difficult task. By following these six simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to confidently powering your boat. Keep in mind your boat’s needs, battery type, chemistry, brand, warranty, and size, and you’ll find the Best Boat Battery to keep you cruising the open waters worry-free.

eric roberts
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