Best marine batteries for the money in 2020. Tried, tested & reviewed.
Not everybody will find themselves in need of a marine battery but when they do they generally look for the best marine battery and marine battery charger. This is because some people choose to fish offshore or go wading through rivers and streams. But for those of you who like getting in a boat, fishing kayak or any other type of aquatic vessel you’ll more than likely need to acquire a marine battery.
This is largely due to the fact that things such as trolling motors and fish finders run off of these batteries. If you plan on using any kind of electric device you’ll more than likely need a way to power that device. This is where a marine battery and marine battery charger come into play. These batteries are specifically designed for marine, or aquatic applications.
Meaning they are designed to be waterproof and resilient to a more ‘wet’ environment. Of course you could run the risk of using any old battery, but we highly recommend that you use a marine battery for any water application. If you’ve been asking yourself, “what is the best marine battery?” here is a list of the 5 best marine batteries for the money in 2020.
12V 35AH Light Trolling Motor Battery Sevylor Minn Kota Review
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The Mighty Max ML35-12 is a compact, reliable, and maintenance-free battery that is well-equipped to handle all of your motor’s demands. With a weight of just 23.15 pounds and dimensions of 7.68 inches x 5.16 inches x 7.13 inches, it’s easy to transport and one of the lightest batteries on the market. But don’t let its size fool you. Despite its compact body, the Mighty Max doesn’t lack power.
This 12-volt, SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) battery is designed to perform and backed by a top-of-the-line, heavy-duty, calcium alloy grid. Its AGM technology employs a valve-regulated system that prevents leaks and spillage. Its design also bolsters its resistance to corrosion, improving the battery’s lifespan and giving you the freedom to focus on fishing.
The Mighty Max is built to withstand extreme temperatures and poor weather conditions, so you’ll never be put in a bad situation on the water with a battery that won’t start. Additionally, it has a high discharge rate and deep discharge recovery. The battery is also designed to be resistant to shocks and vibrations, a feature that will prevent potential damages and extend its life making this a the best marine starter battery. It comes with a guaranteed 30-day refund policy and a full one-year warranty.
Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery Review
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The Optima 8016-103 D34M BlueTop is a great fit for fishermen in need of a versatile, dual-purpose battery – suitable for dependable deep cycling and powerful starting. Like all of Optima’s top-of-the-line products, the 8016-103 D34M utilizes a cutting edge SpiralCell design that’s clean and safe for both you and the environment.
Its 750 cold-cranking amps are strong enough to smoothly get your motor started on chilly mornings making this the best marine cranking battery, and its 55 AH C20 capacity will provide enough juice to easily power your boat with all of your gear onboard, including electronics like a radio, GPS, and fish finder.
Backed by Optima’s first-class technology and dual SAE and 5/16-inch stainless-steel stud posts, this battery is sturdy and weather resistant. While many batteries are prone to vibrate, causing them to damage and sometimes fail, the 8016-103 D34M is 15-times more likely to withstand potentially destructive vibrations.
It’s 43.5 pounds and has dimensions of 10 inches x 6 7/8 inches x 7 13/16 inches. The battery also features up to two hours of reserve capacity, making it excellent for trolling. It has a fast rechargeability time and can endure up to three times more recharges than other marine batteries. Instead of thinking about needing to charge your battery, you can spend your time catching more fish.
VMAX857 AGM Battery 12 Volt 35AH Marine Deep Cycle HI Performance Battery Review
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Two of the most important qualities to consider when choosing the right battery are its longevity and ability to recover after deep discharges. The VMAX857 AGM battery embodies both. It’s a powerful, heavy-duty battery that will serve you well for a long time, allowing you to spend more time on the water fishing and doing what you love.
The VMAX857’s innovative design starts with the chemical and physical structures of its plates, which undergo special treatment and manufacturing procedures to ensure consistent top performance. Its AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) plates are top-quality and resistant to harmful shocks and vibrations, improving the battery’s lifespan.
These plates are sealed and protected in a tank, and heavy-duty tin alloys add improved performance and the ability to withstand repeated discharges. The VMAX is spill-proof and non-hazardous, making it highly durable. Because the battery comes maintenance-free, you won’t have to worry about adding water to the VMAX tanks or checking for the specific gravity of the electrolyte.
At 7.1 inches long, 5 inches wide, 6.1 inches high, and weighing at only 25 pounds, this 12-volt battery is light and easily transportable making it one of the best boat batteries. It’s an ideal fit to use with an 18-40-pound trolling motor, and you’ll get approximately 4-9 running hours with 50-60% depth of discharge.
Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Battery Review
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The Optima 8052-161 D31M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Battery is a viable option for fishermen looking for a robust, maintenance-free battery. When you’re on the water, you should be focused on fishing and having fun. Worrying about your battery and your motor’s startability should be far from your mind.
Armed with 900 cold-cranking amps, this 12-volt battery is reliable. The 8052-161 D31M BlueTop guarantees that you’ll never have to wonder whether your motor will start in cold or unfavorable conditions.
It’s designed with Optima’s unique SpiralCell Technology – a clean, strong, and safe power source. This battery also stores remarkably well over long periods of time. Even if you decide not to use it during the winter months, it will be ready for you in the spring without needing to be charged again. Holding a reserve capacity of 155 minutes, it has outstanding rechargeability and a substantial shelf-life making it one of the best marine battery for the money.
For increased durability, the battery is spill-proof, 15-times more resistant to vibrations, and features dual SAE and 5/16-inch stainless-steel stud posts. It’s a sturdy 59.8 pounds and is 12 13/16 inches x 6 ½ inches x 9 3/8 inches. The battery is also highly versatile, capable of mounting in a variety of positions.
Optima is one of the best and well-known battery manufacturers. Their 8040-218 D35 YellowTop battery is powerful, reliable, and designed for small-to-medium-sized outboard motors. With great cycling capability (rechargeability), 300+ discharge/recharge cycles, and top-notch cranking power, it won’t let you down.
This 12-volt battery includes a number of features to ensure optimal performance in less-than-ideal conditions. It has 620 cold-cranking amps, giving your motor plenty of starting power during the winter and on cool mornings when you’re on the water baitcast fishing before the sunrise.
Seasonal fishermen will benefit this battery’s low self-discharge rate, which allows for long periods of storage without charging. The battery is also an excellent option for trolling motors and can operate up to 98 minutes on reserve capacity. It is reliable during inclement weather and 15-times more resistant to harmful vibrations, adding to its durability.
To generate its power, the 8040-218 D35 YellowTop uses Optima’s environmentally-friendly SpiralCell Technology, which utilizes unique spiral-wound cells. These cells are made of two pure (99.99%) lead plates that are each coated in lead oxide, and are an upgrade over traditional flat-plate AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries. The battery weighs 36.4 pounds with dimensions of 9 5/16 inches. x 6 13/16 inches. x 7 5/8 inches.
Many of the modern fishing boats we have today need to power various electronics such as pumps, lights, stereos, trolling motors, and fishfinders. If you have ever found yourself having difficulty powering each of these things over an entire day of fishing, then it’s likely you will need to purchase a battery with a bigger group size. Needing a battery with a bigger group size is a common problem, especially when adding newer and larger marine electronics to an older or slightly outdated fishing boat.
But not to worry, in this guide, we will explain the meaning behind battery group size and important parameters that must be taken into consideration before buying a new battery. With this information, you will expand your knowledge on what to look for when it comes to buying a new battery for your boat and what to look for in group size specifications found in boat batteries. With that said, let’s get started!
What is the Meaning of Group Size?
A marine battery group size is known as one of the many specifications found in boat batteries. Group size represents the dimensions of the battery housing unit as set by the BCI (Battery Council International). The battery housing unit can increase by width, length, or height. It’s essential to consult a marine battery group size chart to see all standard sizes available.
Be sure to find your current battery’s group size on one of the marked labels because that information will be useful when comparing your battery group size on the chart.
Group Size Considerations When Buying a New Battery
As a rule of thumb when it comes to purchasing marine batteries, the larger the group size, the higher the amp hour capacity and ability to power your boat for a longer period.
It is important to note that there are two types of marine batteries and depending on your needs, it is important to know the difference between them so you can choose the right one. A dual-purpose battery is designed to both crank engines as well as provide power for trolling motors and other electrical devices such as your lights, stereo, fish finder and more. A dual-purpose battery is ideal if you just want one battery to power your entire boat, including its trolling motor. However, a dual-purpose battery won’t be able to offer the same performance as another type of battery designed specifically for powering trolling motors.
If you find that your trolling motor is weak near the end of a day of fishing in the wind, then you could greatly benefit by using a separate deep cycle battery to power your boat’s trolling motor. Be sure not to attach fishing electronics like fishfinders, pumps, and accessory items to your deep cycle battery. A deep cycle battery should only be reserved for trolling motors.
With that said, depending on your specific needs and whichever battery type you currently use on your boat, you can always upgrade the group size of the battery type that you are using to provide more power and last longer.
Here are some important things to remember when it comes to shopping for new batteries:
Be sure to look for marine batteries with the correct group size for your specific boat and that display the letter “M” in the name, which is the BCI designation for marine and RV use.
Be sure to measure the available space inside your boat before buying new batteries to know what space is available. You may find that you need to stay within the size of your battery’s dimensions or consider upgrading to a more substantial housing tray for bigger battery group sizes.
If you find that even with a more powerful battery you are still experiencing issues powering your boat’s electronic equipment and accessories during a full day of fishing, you may have a problem with the wiring. Be sure to examine the wiring installation of your boat to ensure the wire sizes are able to support the current draw of your electronics.
In addition, you can also consider adding in a dedicated dual-purpose battery to only power your fishing finders, allowing there to be less demand on the cranking battery.
Always make sure that you have a reliable onboard marine battery charger to care and maintain your battery investments. These chargers are not only convenient to have, but they also can recharge your batteries faster and safely while ensuring they stay charged until your next fishing trip.
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