Tips for Picking the Right Marine Battery

August 12, 2020 10:49 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Figuring out how to pick the right marine battery in Houston, TX is important to the functionality of your boat. Unlike other appliances, marine batteries aren’t one size fits all—you need to choose the right type, size and construction in order to power your boat. You can always ask the team at Texford Battery Co. to help, but if you’re interested in learning why your boat requires a certain type, read on for a basic overview.

What do you need the battery for?

The first thing to do when choosing a new battery is to determine its purpose—do you just need to start the engine (starter batteries), or will you be using it to power the boat and appliances for long periods of time (cycle batteries)? Do you need both uses (dual-purpose batteries)? How much room do you have for the battery, and how much power will you need to get the job done?

The design type of a marine battery should match the intended use to provide ample power and long life. This comes down to the internal plates. A battery’s internal plates’ thickness and composition play a big role in determining the performance characteristics of a battery.

Marine batteries already have thicker internal plates than starter batteries, because marine batteries usually are not operated every day and thus are subject to lower voltages between uses.  Thicker internal plates allow the battery to survive lower voltages successfully. In contrast, thinner plates allow faster, more powerful starts, but do not do as well when the battery voltage is allowed to drop lower over longer periods.

Marine battery ratings

Understanding battery ratings is key to determining whether a certain type will work for you. Starting ratings are a comparison for the first 15 to 30 seconds of starting an engine (for example, starting a car or a boat first thing in the morning). Cycle ratings are comparisons over a much longer period—around eight, 10 or even 20 hours—and are meant to power trolling motors.

For starting batteries, small engines need 400 to 525 CCA, while larger engines require 550 to 1000 CCA. Deep cycle batteries should be selected as follows: if your trolling motor requires 10 amps and your battery has 80 amps, you can get 6.9 hours of power out of it, while if it has 105 amps, you’ll get 9.3 hours out of the battery.

Dimensions and weight

Dimensions and weight are also important because of available space considerations—basically, the more lead in a battery, the better its performance, but the more it will weigh and the more room it will take up. That’s why you can’t just buy the first battery that looks like it will power your boat for the desired amount of time—you need to be cognizant of whether it will actually fit in your boat.

If this all sounds Greek to you, talk to the team at Texford Battery Co. We have an extensive marine battery selection in Houston, TX—call today to get started!

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