When picking a new boat battery, the most crucial question to consider is how much you wish to spend. While quality and good performance are also important, the money you spend will most likely be given back in life expectancy. Paying a little bit more will give you not only a better quality battery, but also one which is designed to last for longer. Alternatively, buying a cheaper boat battery will be costly in the long-run, as it will cost more in replacement and usage than a higher-quality model. Instead, look for one that has a good AMP capacity and a strong service life.
Factors to Consider
Other important considerations are the weight of the battery, which will be dependant upon how much your boat can carry, and how far you intend to travel in it. Small batteries will suit boats that will not do much more than travel around the bay, but larger batteries will be necessary for those motoring yachts along the coasts.
The size and cost of the battery will be influenced in turn by the HUP: the hours of usable power, which is the amount used to estimate how many amps can be discharged in an hour. A slow speed battery will release about 30 amps an hour; driving at half this speed using a battery like the DELCO M30 will allow you to travel for between five and six hours.
AC DELCO batteries have long been known as a good purchase, as they help to reduce the likelihood of shorted-out batteries, helps to keep the electrolytes in place, and generally increases the life of the battery. Their lead-calcium grid retains the active parts of the battery, and freely passes electrical current.
You should also pick the correct kind of battery for your boat: a wet cell battery is ideal for marine boat batteries (such as flooded acid, gelled acid and AGM).
Preserving Your Boat Battery
In order to avoid buying a new battery too frequently, it is a good idea to take care of your current battery. There is more to be done than simply plugging into a battery charger, although this can extend the life of the battery. A good charger that matches your battery can extend the life of any boat battery. Take care not to overcharge your battery, as this can increase the corrosion of the battery and cause permanent damage.
Batteries should also be taken care of by surrounding the battery terminals in a mix of water and baking soda, which will help to clean the terminals. The more often simple maintenance like this is performed, the longer the battery will last. If you use a flooded acid variety battery, then you will need to keep them full; used distilled water to top them off. Coat batteries with anti-corrosion spray, and keep the cable connections tight.
It is also possible to run your boat off of your trolling motor until the battery is almost totally empty without doing any harm to either the boat or the battery.