Best Marine Batteries

As a marine enthusiast, you surely own a boat that you dearly care for. Therefore, you most probably already know the importance that a quality marine battery has for your experience when using the boat. It provides power storage and backup for the watercraft and the onboard appliances that it features. To make your experience as pleasant as possible when using the boat for recreation or other purposes, we have done thorough research on marine batteries. This way, you will not only get the chance to inform yourself on everything related to these batteries, but you will have an easier time finding the right model for your needs as well.

Top 5 Marine Batteries Comparison

1. Odyssey 31-PC2150S 2. VMAXTANKS VMAXSLR125 3. Exide XMC-31 MegaCycle AGM 200 4. Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M 5. VMAXTANKS VMAX857
BEST MODEL
OUR CHOICE

Product Specifications

Manufacturer Odyssey VMAXTANKS Exide Optima VMAXTANKS
Dimensions (L x W x H) 13″ x 6.8″ x 9.41″ 12.9″ x 6.8″ x 8.7″ 15.7″ x 13.9″ x 9.8″ 10.06″ x 6.88″ x 7.94″ 7.7″ x 5″ x 6.1″
Weight (pounds) 77.8 75 74.6 43.5 25
Voltage 12V 12V 12V 12V 12V
Plates Material Pure Virgin Lead Military Grade Alloys N/A Pure Lead-Tin Alloy Military Grade Alloys
Container Material ABS Plastic ABS Plastic ABS Plastic Polypropylene ABS Plastic

Performance

Type Starting/Crank Deep Cycle Deep Cycle Dual Purpose Deep Cycle
20Hr Nominal Capacity 100Ah 125Ah 100Ah 55Ah 35Ah
Group Size 31 31 31 34 U1
Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) 1150 1130 925 750 300
Pulse Hot Cranking Amps (PHCA) 2150 1875 1535 1245 500
Marine Cranking Amps (MCA) 1370 1410 1180 870 390
Service Life 3-10 Years 8-10 Years 5-8 Years 10 Years 8-10 Years
Reserve Capacity 205 Minutes 260 Minutes 200 Minutes 120 Minutes 75 Minutes
Operating Temperature Range -40°F to 113°F -4°F to 140°F N/A -40°F to 125°F Weatherproof
Recharge Time 4-6 Hours 12-24 Hours 6.5 Hours 6-12 Hours N/A
Battery Life Cycles Recovery of 400 Cycles at 80% Depth of Discahrge Recovery of 600 Cycles at 75% Depth of Discharge N/A N/A 60% Depth of Discharge on 18-40lb Trolling Motors
Charging Options Any Charger or Alternator Smart / Microprocessor Controlled Charger; Alternator; Solar Panel; Charge Controller Solar Panel; Alternator; Any Charger Constant Voltage Charger Smart / Microprocessor Controlled Charger; Alternator; Solar Panel; Charge Controller
Typical Applications Cranking Battery for Starting Engines of Boats, Cars, Golf Carts, Vehicles; Deep Cycle Battery to Run Marine Unit and Onboard Vehicle Accessories N/A Deep Cycle Battery to Run Engines of Boats, Cars, Golf Carts, Vehicles; Marine Unit and Onboard Vehicle Accessories Starting Marine and High Power Vehicle Engines like Boats and RVs; Running and Powering Onboard Electronic Appliances Deep Cycle Battery to Run Engines of Boats, RVs, Cars, Vehicles, Golf Carts
Absorbed Glass Mate Technology

Features

Terminals SS 3/8″ Threaded Stud 8mm Hex Screw in Terminals 1/4″ Studs for Copper Terminals and SAE 5/16″ Stainless Steel Stud Posts and Dual SAE Dual Terminals with Hex Head Bolts
Shock and Vibration Resistance
Non-Spilling Design
Carry Handles

Warranty&Support

Warranty 4 Years 1 Year 2 Years 2 Years 1 Year
Online Support
User Manual

Top Rated 2017 Marine Batteries Reviews


Among all the items available on the market, we have selected the most reputable ones that will provide great performance every time you want to start your boat. Since it’s very important to prevent running out of battery offshore, make sure you rely on one of the following top marine batteries.

1. Odyssey 31-PC2150S

Our top pick, the Odyssey 31-PC2150S, features pure virgin lead plates and an ABS plastic container of a superior quality. It weighs 77.8 pounds. It’s a starting/cranking model that belongs to the 31 group size. It has a 20-hour nominal capacity of 100Ah, a CCA of 1150 amps, a PHCA of 2150 amps, and a MCA of 1370 amps. It has a recharge time of 4-6 hours, the charging options for it being any charger or alternator. It features the absorbed glass mate technology, being highly resistant to shocks and vibrations. The reserve capacity of this battery is of 205 minutes. Its service life ranges between 3-10 years. The terminals that it comes with are SS 3/8″ threaded studs. It features a non-spilling design and a useful carry handle that makes positioning it easy. Also, it comes with a 4-year warranty.


2. VMAXTANKS VMAXSLR125

The VMAXTANKS VMAXSLR125 comes with military grade alloy plates, and the container that it features is made of ABS plastic. This deep cycle model weighs 75 pounds. It boasts a 20-hour nominal capacity of 125Ah, meaning that it will offer a reliable performance to those who choose it. It belongs to the 31 group size and it has an impressive service life of 8-10 years. It provides 1130 cold cranking amps, 1875 pulse hot cranking amps, and 1410 marine cranking amps. Another aspect that has impressed us is its 260-minute reserve capacity. To recharge it, you have to wait between 12-24 hours and to charge it you can use a microprocessor controlled charger, an alternator, or a charge controller. The fact that it features the absorbed glass matte technology shows that it is resistant to shocks and vibrations. It features 8mm hex screws in its terminals. The carry handles that it comes with allows for easy maneuvering and placement. In addition, it is covered by a 1-year warranty.


3. Exide XMC-31 MegaCycle AGM 200

The Exide XMC-31 MegaCycle AGM 200 is a deep cycle battery that comes with an ABS plastic material for the container, weighing a total of 74.6 pounds. It has a 20-hour nominal capacity of 100Ah and it belongs to the 31 group size. It provides 925 cold cranking amps, 1535 pulse hot cranking amps, and 1180 marine cranking amps. It has an impressive reserve capacity of 200 minutes. If the marine battery is being handled properly, it will provide a service life of up to 8 years. It takes about 6 and a half hours for it to recharge, and you can use an alternator or any charger for this task. It comes with a carry handle that allows you to place it where you need with ease. Due to the fact that it features the absorbed glass mate technology, it’s shock and vibration resistant. It features 1/4″ studs for copper terminals and SAE. When it comes to warranty, it is backed up for 2 years by the manufacturer.


4. Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M

The Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M is a dual purpose battery that weighs only 43.5 pounds. The material of its plates is pure lead-tin alloy, the container being made from polypropylene. It has a 20-hours nominal capacity of 55Ah and it belongs to the 34 group size. It provides 750 cold cranking amps, 1245 pulse hot cranking amps, and 870 marine cranking amps. It boasts an impressive service life of up to 10 years. The recharge time is between 6 and 12 hours, and you can use a constant voltage charger or an alternator for this task. It’s shock and vibration resistant due to the fact that it features the absorbed glass mate technology. Also, it’s backed up by the manufacturer for no less than 2 years.


5. VMAXTANKS VMAX857

The VMAXTANKS VMAX857 is a deep cycle battery that weighs just 25 pounds, making it the lightest battery in our top. The plates are made from military grade alloys, and the container is made from ABS plastic. It has a 20-hour nominal capacity of 35Ah, and it belongs to the U1 group size. It provides 300 cold cranking amps, 500 pulse hot cranking amps, and 390 marine cranking amps. It boasts an impressive service life of 8-10 years if it’s properly taken care of. It is weatherproof, which means that it doesn’t have an operating temperature limit. It has a reserve capacity of 75 minutes. The charging options for it are a microprocessor controlled charger, an alternator, or a charge controller. It’s shock and vibration resistant due to the absorbed glass mate technology that it comes with. It features dual terminals with hex head bolts. Also, it’s backed up by a 1-year warranty.


6. Exide Edge FP-AGM24DP

One of the most reliable items of this type available on the market is Exide Edge FP-AGM24DP that is a dual purpose marine battery designed to be used for both cranking and deep circle and it is suitable for cars and marine as well. The Cold Cranking Amperage is 775, which is not so much compared to more powerful batteries but it’s enough to get it started. FP stands for the flat plate design that consists of six sets pf plates separated by glass mats arranged in a straight line. It is robust and designed to last, with a non-spill AGM construction that ensures maximum safety in use. It features a strong starting and staying power that keeps it running like new each day. Being a deep cycle battery makes it more resistant to higher cycling and more efficient while recharging. Thanks to the SureLife Graphite technology, you can rest assured knowing that it will yield highly on the water.


What You Should Know about this Type of Batteries


If you’re not an expert in the field of boat batteries, you have definitely come to the right place. Here, we have broken down all you need to know about the batteries, their most important particularities, and elements, making it easy for you to understand them. So, in case you want to know more about them, we have gathered here below some useful information about the boat batteries that will surely help you learn more about them.

  • Technology

The technology refers to the chemistry, electrolyte medium, and conduction medium of the marine battery. Based on these elements, there are four basic types of batteries, more precisely AGM, flooded, gel, and lithium-ion batteries.


  • The glass mates of AGM models are absorbed with electrolyte, being placed between the lead plates. As the electrolyte saturates the glass mate, it allows water to form internally by recombining the oxygen with the hydrogen gas. These types of marine batteries require the least maintenance, they are highly resistant to shock and vibration, and their self-discharge rate is extremely low as well.
  • Flooded models are better known as wet-cell batteries. Each wet-cell is composed of a mixture of distilled water and sulfuric acid. What makes them the preferred choice of many people is the fact that they come at relatively cheap prices. Best of all, they don’t sacrifice quality despite their price tag, being highly resistant against overcharging and overheating, and providing reliable service for a long time due to their durable construction.
  • Gel models resemble flooded batteries in the sense that they are both filled with liquid electrolyte. What differentiates them is the fact that the liquid electrolyte contains silicates, giving it a gel structure. They don’t require any maintenance work due to the fact that they are sealed, they can withstand high overcharging, heavy shock, and heavy vibrations. Also, they tolerate extremely low temperatures.
  • Lithium-ion models are a newer arrival on the market, this being the reason why despite their increased safety and reliability, they haven’t managed to surpass other types of batteries in popularity. They feature power control to prevent the possibility of an accidental overcharging, they are maintenance free and environmentally friendly, their automatic features protect them from short circuit, low voltage, or reverse polarity, and they offer a deep discharge depth as well.
  • Application

Based on the tasks that these batteries can perform, they are separated into three different application categories, which are starting/cranking, deep cycle, and dual operation.

  • Starting/cranking models crank the starter of the boat’s engine, being the sprinters of the electrical system. They are able to deliver a maximum of 400 amperes for up to 15 seconds, afterward being recharged by the alternator of the engine. Their construction consists of alternating layers of negative and positive plates that are insulated. An excellent example of a top of the line starting/cranking battery is the Odyssey 31-PC2150S, being a market leader due to its impressive specs and performance.
  • Deep cycle models are able to power the electrical loads on the boat when there is no charging source available. Basically, they store energy and wait for it to be used. After being put through intense use, they completely recover due to their ingenious design that features thick plates with a high content of antimony. It’s their impressive performance that makes them fan favorites, even our ranking of the finest batteries out there consisting of no less than 3 products of this kind.
  • Dual purpose batteries have large, thick plates that contain a high amount of antimony. What makes them a great choice to go with is the fact that they can tolerate extreme deep discharges, being perfect for use in powerboats that use a single battery for starting and running loads when the engine is turned off, and boats that feature a bank that performs double duty for engine starting and home applications.
  • Battery Charging

Boat batteries are unbelievably pretentious when it comes to charging. The consumed energy has to be put back immediately, or else it will sulfate, this being the moment when the performance and longevity decrease. Just be careful what you use to recharge them because these batteries have different charging options. For example, our top picks have the alternator as a common charging option, but they can be charged using other methods as well.

The Advantages of Using Them


You might wonder what is the importance of finding a great battery to use on your boat, not fully understanding what difference its quality makes. If this is the case, we advise you to read this section to find out what advantages are brought by the top of the line batteries like the ones that feature in our ranking.

  • Durability

The most reliable batteries out there, like the VMAXTANKS VMAXSLR125, boast a design that makes them more durable when compared to other models on the market. This means that they are an investment worth making, providing a generous service life that ensures you won’t go shopping for another battery for a long while.

  • Low Maintenance

Another important advantage, that the best models out there come with, is the fact that they require little to no maintenance. Such batteries are AGM, lithium, and gel batteries, being the least pretentious due to the fact that their design prevents spills and terminal corrosion. A perfect example of a battery that doesn’t require much in the way of maintenance is the Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M, which is one of our top choices.

  • Resistance

Of course, vibration and shock resistance are other aspects worthy of consideration, the finest models on the market boasting a high resistance to them. This means that they are less likely to get damaged, providing users with a reliable and constant top notch performance, no matter what they are put through.

  • Cost-efficient

Another great advantage of using these marine batteries is the fact that they are cost-efficient. Even though they may be expensive, we consider them to be a long-term investment, which in time will help you save more money. So, you may have to pay a greater amount of money when you buy a certain battery, but eventually, it will pay for itself. Here you have to consider the purpose and the efficiency of this type of battery, and not necessarily its price.

How to Choose the Best Products


Knowing how important it is for your boat to use a great battery, we have put together this buying guide. After reading it, you will know what to look for in order to choose one of the best batteries out there, enjoying a reliable performance due to the purchase you will make. So, let’s see which are the most important aspects to consider when you decide to buy a reliable marine battery that won’t let you down.


  • Purpose

Before you hurry to make a certain purchase, you first have to consider the purpose of the boat battery. For example, if you plan on simply using it to crank the boat, you need a certain type of battery, while if you want to crank the boat and run onboard appliances, you have to go with another type of battery. The purpose that you need it to have will show you if you must go with a starting/cranking, a deep cycle, or a dual purpose model.


  • Reserve Minutes

The reserve minutes show for how long it can sustain a 25 amps load before it drops to 10.5V at 80°F. The longer, the better when it comes to this aspect, meaning that you must choose a battery with a long reserve capacity, like the 260 minutes offered by the VMAXTANKS VMAXSLR125.


  • Amp-Hours Capacity

The Amp-hours measure how much energy it can deliver over a 20 hour period at a constant rate of discharge until the voltage reaches 10.5V. To ensure that you’re making the right choice, go with a battery like the Exide XMC-31 MegaCycle AGM 200 that has a capacity of 100Ah.

  • CCA and MCA

CCA and MCA are power measurements that you can guide yourself after to determine whether you have your eyes set on a quality item or not. They show the amount of amperage it can provide for 30 seconds to maintain a minimum of 7.2V at a certain temperature.

  • CCA, better known as cold cranking amps, show the amount of amperage it provides over a period of 30 seconds in order to maintain a minimum voltage of 7.2V at a temperature of 0°F.
  • MCA, known as marine cranking amps, show the amount of amperage it provides for 30 seconds in order to maintain a voltage above 7.2V at a temperature of 32°F.
  • Longevity

Of course, you have to consider the longevity of the battery as well. When talking about such a battery, the longevity refers to its cycle life, showing how many discharge cycles it provides over its lifespan. From this point of view, deep cycle models are superior to starting/cranking models due to the fact that they can cycle repeatedly, meaning that they last for a longer period of time. To measure the longevity of the batteries they sell, the manufacturers discharge the full batteries at a temperature of 80°F until their voltage reaches 10.5V. Afterward, they are recharged, the process being repeated until the batteries fail to hold half of their rated capacities.

Maintenance Tips for the Best Performance


No matter the quality of the battery that you purchase, it won’t last for long if you don’t take proper care of it and if you don’t use it under appropriate conditions. Therefore, make sure you comply with the maintenance procedures of these batteries in order to perform at their highest capability for as long as possible.

  • Don’t Reuse Old Batteries

Never mix in the bank old batteries with the new ones that you buy. You might be tempted to think that this is a good idea because it will increase the overall capacity, but in fact, you’re just harming the new batteries that you have bought. This happens because the old batteries don’t perform as well as they did, deteriorating the new ones too.

  • Remember to Clean the Battery

What you must never forget is that cleaning is occasionally required. When dirt gathers on top of it, take a cloth and wipe it off. Also, as soon as corrosions appear on the terminals of the battery, handle them by using a wire brush post cleaner. By doing this, you extend the lifespan of the product, and you maintain the constant and powerful flow of electricity that the boat needs.

  • Pay Attention to the Charging Recommendations

Without a doubt, charging is the most important maintenance work that you have to do in order to keep the marine battery up and running for a long time. First of all, make sure that you respect the recommended number of hours for recharging the specific battery that you choose. Also, don’t forget to recharge it immediately, especially if it has been stored separately or the boat hasn’t been used for a long time.

  • Check the Battery for Cracks and Bulges

No matter the type of battery you go with, make sure to occasionally check it for cracks and bulges. If these problems do arise, it means that either the alternator of the boat has a problem or the charger is overcharging it.

How to Install a Boat Battery


Although it might sound complicated to install a new battery in your boat, it’s a fairly easy procedure even for those who haven’t dealt with such tasks before. In case you have installed a car battery before, you will find it a lot easier to install a boat battery as well, the whole task taking less time. Nonetheless, regardless if you’re experienced or not, it’s still a chore that you will surely be able to perform.

First, you need to buy a high-quality marine battery, and to check if you have a battery box as well. In case you don’t already have one, buy it as it’s important because it protects the battery from the elements. For the procedure, you need two wrenches that you will use to remove the connections of the old battery and install the new one. Also, you should have a small container of vaseline with you as it comes in handy for greasing the terminals of the battery.

To replace the old battery with a new one, locate it and switch it off. Disconnect the cables, proceed to lift it out of the box, and store it somewhere safe. Now that the old battery is out of the picture, you must check the terminals of the marine battery that you have bought to ensure that they provide a reliable connection. Apply a small amount of vaseline to these terminals and reconnect the cables while making sure that no loose cables remain in your way. Use a wrench to check for the cables to be firmly attached to the terminals of the battery, and place the lid back on the battery box.

After installing it, it’s time to check if the installation has been successful and if the battery works. Switch the battery’s power on and turn on an electronic device that uses it as a source of power. If the electronic device works, it means that the installation was a success, and you can start the boat to sail off with it. If it doesn’t work, check the whole procedure again to make sure that the cables are well connected to the terminals.

Top 4 Brands You Can Trust


Certain brands become important names on the market that they activate in due to the fact that they deliver only high-quality batteries to customers. Therefore, a great principle to base your search on when looking for a top of the line battery is the brand that manufactures it, a renowned and trusted producer most likely delivering marine batteries that are worth your money.

  • 1. Odyssey

    Odyssey is one of the most respected brands on the market, offering nothing but the best quality boat batteries out there. The Odyssey marine batteries are manufactured by EnerSys, which is a global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial, military, and automotive applications. Now that you are aware of what actually stands behind the manufacturing process of some of the finest batteries on the market, like the Odyssey 31-PC2150S, it’s easy to understand why this brand is worth your attention.

  • 2. VMAXTANKS

    VMAXTANKS is a brand that solely focuses on the production of high-end batteries that deliver impressive performance while requiring minimum maintenance and maintaining a good value. Nonetheless, what makes this brand stand out from its competitors is the fact that it uses only superior quality materials in the production process, meaning that the batteries they sell will surely last for a long time.

  • 3. Exide

    Another reliable name in this industry is the Exide brand that has been dedicated to manufacturing high-quality batteries for a long period of time, namely since 1888. One of the main purposes of the company is to help their customers achieve great results by using innovative batteries. Also, the brand is well-known around the world, being the first choice for many people. Furthermore, they offer great customer support for all those who want any additional information.

  • Optima

    Optima is a brand that has been around for a little over 40 years, during this period of time bringing impressive innovations. Among the most notable achievements of this brand stands the fact that it was the first to introduce maintenance-free lead acid batteries. Also, in the past decade, the brand has managed to impress people by producing the first digital battery charger and maintainer.

What’s Behind our Ratings


In order to enjoy nothing but the best quality batteries, we have looked for certain elements when ranking the batteries that we chose as being top tier. For you to have a better idea on how our ranking process works and why we make certain choices, we have written this section where we explain what’s behind our ratings.

  • 20Hr Nominal Capacity

    The 20-hour nominal capacity of a marine battery shows the number of amps it can deliver over a period of 20 hours. In order to establish what batteries on the market deserve our attention and to figure out how exactly to rank them, we took this aspect into consideration. This is the reason why our top picks are the Odyssey 31-PC2150S, VMAXTANKS, VMAXSLR125 and Exide XMC-31 MegaCycle AGM 200, these models providing at least 100Ah when it comes to their 20-hour nominal capacity.

  • Cold Cranking Amps

    The cold cranking amps represent how much amperage it provides for 30 seconds in order to maintain a minimum voltage of 7.2V at 0°F. Knowing that a bigger amperage shows a better quality, we couldn’t overlook the Odyssey 31-PC2150S and the VMAXTANKS VMAXSLR125 when choosing the best models on the market. The battery produced by Odyssey boasts an impressive CCA of 1150, while the battery that Exide manufactures, provides 1130 when it comes to CCA.

  • Pulse Hot Cranking Amps

    The pulse hot cranking amps show how much amperage it can provide over a short duration high rate discharge. To figure out the PHCA of certain batteries, we have multiplied the CCA they offer by 1.66. This is the formula that you can use to find out the PHCA of any battery out there that doesn’t specify it.

  • Marine Cranking Amps

    The marine cranking amps show how much amperage the marine battery produces for 30 seconds to maintain a voltage of at least 7.2V at 32°F. Just like in the case of cold cranking amps and pulse hot cranking amps, the bigger this amount is, the better. Of course, our top picks, the Odyssey 31-PC2150S and the VMAXTANKS VMAXSLR125 both have an impressive MCA rating, reason why we had to rank them higher than other models.

  • Reserve Capacity

    When rating the batteries we consider as being the best out there, we have taken a close look at their reserve capacity as well. The reason why reserve capacity is of a great importance is because it shows how many minutes it takes for the battery to discharge up to 10.5V by 25 amperage discharge at a temperature of 80°F.

  • Recharge Time and Options

    Time is of the essence these days, this being the reason why we had to rate the marine batteries according to their recharge time and options. All of the batteries in our top can be recharged using an alternator and other charging options. Also, the recharge time influenced our ranking, this being the reason why the Odyssey 31-PC2150 is our top choice, completely recharging in a maximum of 6 hours.

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