7 Best Marine Batteries of 2020
The marine battery is a special type of battery that been designed in such a way that it is resistant to water, offer you with excellent durability, and dependable when used on a boat.
It is also quite flexible as this type of battery is available in different sizes, types, prices, and capacities to match your need and purpose. But one of the best things about the marine battery is its high capacity and reliably even in extremely cold temperatures.
If you are fresh on the market for the best marine battery for the money, we have you covered! Let’s find out which marine battery you need to buy right now.
- 7 Best Marine Batteries – Reviews
- 1. Mighty Max Battery 12V 55AH – Excellent Price to Performance Ratio
- 2. Universal UB121000-45978 – Very High Capacity of 100 AH
- 3. Optima 8016-103 BlueTop – Compact, Reliable, and Resistant to Vibrations
- 4. Optima 8052-161 D31M – High Resistance to Cold Temperatures
- 5. Odyssey 34M-PC1500ST – Long Shelf Life and High Resistance to Cold Temperatures
- 6. Optima 8006-006 – Compact and Vibration Resistant
- 7. Vmaxtanks MR107-85 – Good Priced and High-performance AGM Battery
- Marine Battery vs. Car Battery
- How to Buy the Best Marine Batteries
- Marine Battery Use and Maintenance Tips
7 Best Marine Batteries – Reviews
1. Mighty Max Battery Trolling Motor Marine battery
Deep Cycle, Starting, Trolling Motor
2. Universal UB121000-45978 Battery
Deep Cycle, General Usage
3. Optima 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Battery
Deep Cycle, Starting
4. Optima 8052-161 D31M BlueTop Marine battery
Deep Cycle, Starting, General Usage
5. Odyssey 34M-PC1500ST Trolling Marine battery
6. Optima 8006-006 BlueTop Starting Marine battery
Starting, RV, General Usage
7. Vmaxtanks MR107-85 Marine battery
Deep Cycle, Trolling Motor
1. Mighty Max Battery 12V 55AH – Excellent Price to Performance Ratio
- Capacity: 55 AH
- Cold Cranking Amps: 200 CCA
- Best for Deep Cycle, Trolling Motor
Most marine batteries than to be expensive. This is where the Mighty Max really shines. It is an affordable marine battery that offers decent performance for the money. Indeed, it has a capacity of 55 AH which is not the most powerful we have seen but still powerful enough for both general-purpose usage as well as powering a trolling motor.
In addition, the build construction is also very good as it is made with a hard-shell plastic that is durable and long-lasting.
Since this is a lead acid battery, it will have no problem sending a high current for a short period of time which also makes it an excellent starting battery. Best, this battery has a deep discharge protection circuit which means that even if it is discharged entirely, you will still be able to recharge it with a regular marine battery charger.
The only caveat we have with this model is that it has a fairly weak cold cranking amp of 200 CCA. Therefore, this battery is not the best marine battery for cold temperatures. However, for anything else, it is pretty decent, especially when used with a trolling motor.
2. Universal UB121000-45978 – Very High Capacity of 100 AH
- Capacity: 100 AH
- Cold Cranking Amps: 615 CCA
- Best for: Deep Cycle, General Usage
If you need absolute performance, then it is difficult to beat this model by Universal. Indeed, deep under the hood, this marine battery packs an impressive capacity of 100 AH.
And given that this battery is also deep cycle, this means that it will be able to send a high current for an extended period of time before discharging. If you need a powerful battery for demanding electric devices on your boat, then this model is one of the best deep cycle batteries on the market.
Moreover, the cold cranking amps of 615 CCA means that you will be able to start this battery in cold temperatures as well. It is definitely not the best battery for cold weather, but it is still more than enough for most cold regions.
All in all, this battery by Universal will make an excellent general-purpose battery on your boat.
3. Optima 8016-103 BlueTop – Compact, Reliable, and Resistant to Vibrations
- Capacity: 55 AH
- Cold Cranking Amps: 750 CCA
- Best for: Deep Cycle, Starting
With its capacity of 55 AH, this Optima battery is pretty average. However, what it loses in capacity it gains in terms of reliability and compactness.
Indeed, if you have a small installation space, then this Marine battery measures only 10 inches in length which means that it will be able to sit in a very small area.
Moreover, this deep cycle marine battery is very easy to mount almost anywhere, and it has a spill-proof design which means that it will not leak battery acid making it safer. Also, this battery is maintenance-free which makes it very easy to use both in the short term and in the long term.
But where this model absolutely shines is in its resistance to vibrations. Indeed, this marine battery has an impressive resistance to vibrations that is 15 times higher than your conventional car battery. If you experience a lot of vibrations, then this model by Optima is one of the best marine battery for the money.
4. Optima 8052-161 D31M – High Resistance to Cold Temperatures
- Capacity: 75 AH
- Cold Cranking Amps: 900 CCA
- Best for: Deep Cycle, Starting
This Optima marine battery has been designed in such a way that it will never leak even when it undergoes severe vibrations. This is because it has a closed and tight internal design that is encapsulated with very hard and durable plastic.
But where this model absolutely shines is in its cold cranking amps. Indeed, with a cold cranking amp of 900 CCA, this model is the best we have seen so far. It will be able to withstand very cold temperatures and have no problem powering your various electric devices without any hiccups regardless of the temperature.
Due to its decent capacity of 75 AH, it can be used as a starting marine battery to start a trolling motor and can also be used for other general-purpose electrical consumption because it has a good reserve capacity of 155 minutes.
5. Odyssey 34M-PC1500ST – Long Shelf Life and High Resistance to Cold Temperatures
- Capacity: 68 AH
- Cold Cranking Amps: 850 CCA
- Best for: Trolling Motor
If you need a marine battery for very cold temperatures, then this model by Odyssey is an excellent battery. Due to its cold cranking amps value of 850 CCA, it will have no problem powering your electric devices regardless of the temperature.
Its capacity of 68 AH is high enough so as to power high electric demand devices like a trolling motor for an extended period of time. What we like about this model is that it has a long service life of 3 to 10 years and it is maintenance-free as well.
But best, it has a shelf life of 2 years without recharging which means that this model is an excellent battery for those who need a marine battery for occasional and casual use. The casing is also fully sealed, so this marine battery will not leak battery acid even if it is installed in an awkward position.
The only caveat is that the price of this marine battery could have been a little bit better.
However, you still get a lot of bang for your buck, and this model still remains one of the best marine battery to buy especially for those who live in a very cold area.
6. Optima 8006-006 – Compact and Vibration Resistant
- Capacity: 50 AH
- Cold Cranking Amps: 800 CCA
- Best for: Starting, RV, General Usage
One factor that demarks this Optima model from the rest is its compact form factor with a length of only 10 inches. It does not require a large installation space, and since it has a sealed design, it will not leak battery acid even if it is installed by accident in an awkward position.
The terminals of this marine battery are made from stainless steel, so it is corrosion resistant. Even if he gets in contact with water, it will not corrode.
Moreover, its cold cranking amps of 800 CCA is excellent especially for those who live in cold regions. This battery will have no problem delivering optimal performance even in very cold temperatures.
Also, its long reserve capacity of 100 minutes means that it can be reliably be used for an extended period of time. So, this marine battery is excellent as a starting battery, in a small RV or as a general-purpose battery.
The only caveat is that its capacity of 50 AH is weak when compared to other models in this marine battery review. However, this Optima battery was not designed for performance, but rather reliability and ease of use in cold temperatures.
7. Vmaxtanks MR107-85 – Good Priced and High-performance AGM Battery
- Capacity: 85 AH
- Cold Cranking Amps: 700 CCA
- Best for: Deep Cycle, Trolling Motor
The Vmaxtanks tries to mix the best of both worlds by providing you with a high-performance Marine battery at a competitive price. Indeed, based on a price to performance ratio, it is difficult to beat this model.
Additionally, since this is a deep cycle AGM battery, it is able to provide a high-capacity current of 85 AH for an extended period of time. This capacity is definitely not the strongest we have in this review, but it is still plenty strong for most people especially if you’re looking forward to power only a trolling motor and a couple other low consumption devices.
Therefore, if you have demanding electric devices on your boat, this Vmaxtanks AGM battery is an excellent choice.
Coupled with the fact that it has a decent cold cranking amp of 700 CCA which makes it a reliable performer in cold temperatures. But best, this unit has a service lifespan of 8 to 10 years which makes it one of the best AGM marine batteries that you can currently buy.
Marine Battery vs. Car Battery
There are several key factors that make the marine battery different from a car battery. If you don’t know the difference, then here is a quick overview of those distinctions:
Car batteries are mostly designed for ignition which starts the engine of the car. Once the engine has started, the car battery is pretty much done, and the alternator of the car takes over.
However, in a boat, this is not possible as almost all electrical components on the boat are constantly dependent on the marine battery as a power source.
Therefore, the marine battery needs to be more heavy-duty, has a higher capacity, and able to provide electricity for an extended period of time (deep cycle).
The marine battery may look very similar to a car battery. However, internally (and even externally) the marine battery is built in such a way that it is waterproof.
Indeed, since the marine battery would be used on the boat, it should not be affected by water. Therefore, almost all components of the marine battery will not corrode when it comes in contact with water.
As a matter of fact, many top-rated marine batteries offer good resistance against both freshwaters as well as saltwater.
Rugged Build Construction
Since the marine battery needs to provide more power for an extended period of time than the car battery, it is more heavy-duty and built more solidly.
The electrodes inside the marine battery are also thicker than a car battery.
Because there are more materials involved in the construction of the marine battery, it costs more than your average car battery even if it has the same specs.
Better Recharge Time
A car battery is not meant to be discharged completely. If that is the case, then your car battery would be dead in a few months only.
Even if you should not let your marine battery discharge completely, it has a higher tolerance to complete discharges.
And due to a different internal design, you will be able to recharge the marine battery more times than a car battery.
Which means that based on a discharge to charge ratio, the marine battery lasts much longer than a car battery.
How to Buy the Best Marine Batteries
One of the biggest aspects that will decide on the type of marine battery that you buy is usage. Not all marine batteries are the same, and some are better suited for a specific task than others.
Starting: This type of marine battery is similar to the typical lead-acid car battery. It has been designed so as to produce a high amperage current for a very short period of time.
Therefore, the starting Marine battery is an excellent choice for those looking to power a high demand electric device for a short period of time.
For example, the starting Marine battery can be used to start a trolling motor.
Deep cycle: Unlike the starting battery, the deep cycle battery is a more heavy-duty type of battery.
It has been designed from the ground up so as to produce a steady and constant through of current for an extended period of time.
Therefore, if you need electricity for long periods, like powering up a fog light on your boat throughout the night, then the deep cycle marine battery is the ideal choice.
Dual purpose: As its name suggests, the dual-purpose battery is a versatile marine battery that behaves both as a deep cycle marine battery and a starting battery.
This type of battery delivers the best of both worlds. It can power your various electrical components with constant electricity but can also be used to start a high demand electric device like a motor.
When it comes to usage, this type of model is undoubtedly the best marine battery that you can purchase because of its versatility, heavy-duty use, and reliability.
2. Types of Marine battery
There are several types of marine batteries on the market. Each had their own advantages and disadvantages.
Here are a few of the most common marine batteries that you will encounter online:
Flooded: Also known as a wet cell, the flooded marine battery uses a mixture of distilled water and sulfuric acid as its electrolyte.
One of the main advantages of the wet cell Marine battery is its affordable price and reliability.
In addition, the wet cell batteries also deep cycle which means that it is able to produce a constant flow of current for an extended period of time, no problem.
All this combination makes the wet cell battery a very popular choice for many buyers.
AGM: AGM marine batteries have quickly become very popular because of the high reliability, high performance, and low maintenance.
And AGM battery uses very thin sheets of fiberglass stacked one next to another inside an electrolyte composed of distilled water.
Since those sheets of fiberglass are so close together, they increase the surface area of the electrode multiple times. This allows the AGM battery to produce a higher capacity current than a traditional battery.
Additionally, AGM is known for having a low discharge rate, and a classical AGM battery will discharge around 3% per month only which makes them very reliable especially when used occasionally in the boat.
Gel: The gel Marine battery is usually referred to as being a superior type of wet cell battery.
It uses the same electrolyte which is a liquid inside the battery, but this time a sulfate is added to the mixture of distilled water and sulfuric acid.
This creates “gel” inside that is very viscous and allows this type of battery to cope very well with overcharging.
The main disadvantage of these gel Marine battery is that it is not very durable when compared to other types of battery, especially if it will be used in situations where a lot of vibrations may occur.
The capacity of the marine battery is an indication of how “powerful” the marine battery is. This value is measured in AH, which means amperage per hour.
The higher the AH, the more electricity the marine battery would be able to deliver in an hour.
4. Cold Cranking Amps
Cold cranking amps or CCA is a standard used in temperate countries so as to signify the resistance that a particular battery has to cold temperatures.
Most batteries have difficulty starting in colder temperatures so the CCA value would give you an indication of how reliable the battery would be when using those kinds of temperatures.
In general, it is usually best to go with the marine battery that has a high CCA value.
For most people, a marine battery that has a CCA of 600 or more will have no difficulty delivering electricity in a reliable manner when used in cold temperatures.
5. Reserve Capacity
The reserve capacity simply means how much the marine battery can be discharged to a voltage of 10.5 V by 25 A at a temperature of 80°F.
Basically, the reserve capacity will show you how fast the battery will be depleted and needs a recharge.
Of course, a battery that has a high reserve capacity of 60 minutes or more will usually be the best marine battery for outboard because of its long-lasting performance.
6. Manufacture Date
Just like any other product, marine batteries also expire.
Therefore, in order to get a reliable and performing marine battery ensure that you check the manufacturer date and get a model that has been built as close as possible to the date you are making the purchase.
7. Size and Weight
Both the size and weight remain important factors to consider.
The size of the marine battery will tell you the amount of installation space you will need. If you are installing it on a small boat with limited space, then the size is extremely important to you.
On the other hand, the weight will show you how portable it is. If you need to constantly carry your marine battery from point A to point B, then go with a model that is lightweight.
However, note that by going with a lighter marine battery, you would be sacrificing performance.
Marine Battery Use and Maintenance Tips
Since the marine battery goes through a constant cycle of recharge and discharges, it is more vulnerable to failure.
However, with proper maintenance and usage, you can help extend its lifespan.
Here are some helpful advice and tips to consider when using and taking care of your marine battery.
1. Improper Charging
Improper charging is probably the number one cause for failure. In order to charge your marine battery, you need a dedicated charger like a marine battery charger.
Just any type of battery charger will not work. For instance, you cannot use your regular car battery charger to recharge your marine battery.
Even if it will charge the marine battery, the amount of electricity and the way it sends it to your marine battery is simply not optimized to charge the marine battery in the most efficient manner possible.
Furthermore, you need to recharge your marine battery after each and every use in order to promote its lifespan.
Remember, always remember to check the terminals before charging to ensure they are dry.
Wet terminals may cause overheating, the risk of fires or failure to your battery.
Temperature is not good for a marine battery, and even the best deep cycle marine batteries on the market that are known for their high capacity, heavy-duty use, and reliability suffer from high temperatures.
Consequently, if your marine battery heats up or is overheating, then you will be diminishing its lifespan.
This can usually happen if you use a marine battery charger that does not have a function like “auto power off” which will automatically power off the charger once the charging is done. This overcharging usually results in overheating of your marine battery.
Therefore, ensure that you always get a quality marine battery charger with safety functions that will prevent your battery as well as a charger from overheating.
In a similar way that a high temperature is not good for your Marine battery, extreme cold is not beneficial as well.
A marine battery normally has a spec value cold CCA or cold cranking amps. What this tells you is how resistant the battery is too cold temperatures.
The higher the CCA value, the more likely your battery will be able to function properly under cold temperatures.
So, if you live in a cold area then ensure that you get a marine battery that has a high CCA value.
In addition, you can also make it more efficient and protect it from the cold by protecting your battery with Styrofoam. It will act as an insulator.
4. Terminal Cleaning
Even if the marine battery is usually made from materials that are corrosion-free, you will still notice some rust and corrosion on the metal parts of your Marine battery terminals over time. This is very normal.
In order to ensure optimal electrical conductivity, you will need to clean those terminals often with a metallic brush and some WD-40.
5. Improper Storage and Installation
Another factor that will not make your marine battery last long is improper storage.
For example, you need to store your battery perfectly flat and in a clean and dry space.
If you slant your marine battery at an angle, it will cause damage to the interior parts as the electrolytes inside will have more contact with some parts of electrodes than others.
6. Wrong Battery Type
There are several types of marine batteries, each specialized in the specific task.
For example, some deep cycle batteries are usually best for starting a trolling motor as well as powering it up for an extended period of time. Those types of batteries are usually AGM or wet cell batteries.
On the other hand, batteries like lead-acid are able to provide a burst of powerful current for a short time only.
This type of battery is not the best for powering your motor for long periods but can be used with an electrical device that needs a high current for a short period of time.
As we have seen, in order to get a comfortable boating experience and use electricity on your boat, you need to purchase a marine battery.
It is very easy to install this battery in your boat, and you do not need any experience to do so. In addition, most models are heavy-duty, so they will be able to power multiple electrical devices at the same time.
You can also quickly and easily recharge your marine battery with a regular marine battery charger, no problem.
Lastly, if you have not made your pick from our marine battery review above, then we recommend you read the review again.