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Marine batteries are usually intermediate between starter and deep cycle batteries, although some Marine batteries are truly deep cycle batteries.
Deep cycle battery
Deep cycle batteries are thick enough to discharge up to 80% (deep cycle) again and again without causing damage. Starter batteries, by contrast, send short pulses of large current to start the engine, meaning they often discharge only a fraction of their capacity. The main difference between true deep cycle batteries and other types of batteries is that they have a solid lead plate instead of a sponge. They are most commonly used in back-up industrial applications and solar power plants.
Marine batteries can be starter batteries, dual-use batteries or deep cycle batteries. They are usually a mix of starter and deep cycle batteries, with lead sponge panels that are thicker and heavier than starter panels, but not as thick as true deep cycle panels.
Starter batteries are suitable for inboard or outboard Marine engines, but if you need to power a tug motor, use deep cycle batteries or our boat dual purpose battery.
Battery life span
The life of a deep-cycle battery depends on external factors such as how it is used, maintained and charged, and temperature. How often the battery cycles and how deep it goes can also affect life. Although these variables are almost impossible to provide definitive service life, Marine batteries typically last from one to 6 years. AGM deep cycle batteries typically last 4 to 8 years, cementite deep cycle batteries 2 to 5 years, and industrial deep cycle batteries 10 to 20 years.
Most of us know that when we buy a new or used boat, the batteries provided aren't necessarily top-of-the-line. If they seem up to the job, we don't think much of them. But in warmer climates, the daily heat is the batteries' main enemy and can greatly shorten their life. In areas where we are forced to store our boats for the winter, how the batteries are maintained during this time is also crucial to extending life.
It is best to place the battery in a regular "trickle" charger and keep it charged when not in use. A battery that is not charged (or is constantly charged) can freeze at low temperatures, potentially causing the battery case to rupture. Batteries are like many things in life -- use them or lose them! Car batteries usually last longer than yacht batteries because the car is often used and the battery stays charged. When it comes to boats, the old saying that the battery life is two years is apt. When it's about to abandon you, you'll usually get a warning that one morning the battery is "dead" or starting up slightly slower than you're used to. You plug in your charger, the battery miraculously comes back to life, and you're ready to go. You might think that one of the lights was on, or that the radio memory had lowered the voltage. The reality may be that the battery is being sulphated, the film is distorted and it no longer charges as it once did.
Avoid tips for marine battery problems
Use a good battery tray to secure the Marine battery. The tray should have a base that is bolted or bolted to the ship and has a rigid bracket or locking strap to hold it to the base. You don't want batteries popping in choppy water.
Check battery terminal connections frequently to ensure they are comfortable and free of corrosion. Replace the airfoil nuts commonly found on Marine batteries with nylon lock nuts, which are less likely to come loose.
If you don't use the boat regularly, use a maintenance-type battery charger to keep the battery fully charged between outings.
Before off-season storage, fully charge the battery and then disconnect the terminal so there's nothing to pull the battery down. If your storage location has electricity, place the battery in a battery maintainer/charger during the off-season and maintain your battery continuously. Otherwise, remove the batteries from the boat and store them in a place where they can be connected to a maintenance charger.
If not installed by a boatman, install a cover or "boot" on top of the positive electrode of the battery, even if the battery is in a covered box. Start prevents sparks and arcing and possible explosion if, for example, a tool drops on the terminal.