As you sail along enjoying your boat, you aren’t often thinking about the batteries that are making the good life possible. However, you might want to evaluate your current marine battery or upgrade to a newer model. Well-maintained, quality batteries insure stress-free enjoyment on the water with no power issues. The guide for purchasing the correct battery for your craft are fairly simple. You will need your owners’ manual.
Marine batteries serve to very different functions. Cranking batteries to start your boat’s main engines, while deep cycle batteries power radios, fish detectors, and other essential devices. If you have a medium-sized or larger boat with lots of technology, it’s always best to have separate batteries for these functions. Also, it is important to replace both at the same time. Dual power marine batteries, designed to perform both actions, are best used in small boats.
Engine start-up requires short bursts of power, the more surface on the leads plates inside the battery, the faster the power is delivered. Cranking batteries are constructed with thinner, more numerous lead plates. These batteries recharge while the boat’s engine is operating. Check your manual for recommended marine cranking amp (MCA) or cranking amp (CA) ratings. Choose a battery with a rating equal to or greater than the suggested values.
Deep cycle batteries are rated by their reserve capacity (RC) which determines how long they operate before falling into the dreaded dead zone. The higher the RC number, the longer your onboard accessories will be powered. Substitutions to save a few dollars are not worth the hassle. For instance, using a cranking battery to power your trolling motor may cause overheating and power failure. On the other hand, using a deep cycle battery for cranking the engine might be a bit frustrating.
Consult your manual and stop by the Marina Store for batteries that meet your vessel’s requirements. Don’t forget that you can use Semiahmoo Marina’s Expedited Parts Delivery Service as well. Choosing the right battery and other equipment extends the life of your boat. Make the most informed choice and bon voyage!