About the Boat Battery

The boat battery is the heart of most every boat afloat.  Whether you own a fishing boat, a cruising yacht or a house boat or are upgrading a trailerboat or a powerboat battery the subject of the right battery or marine batteries is going to confront you.  There are several leading boat battery brands and all offer good quality products, whether it be a Rolls, Surrette, Optima, Deka or Exide and many others. Change for boats in particular yachts had other motivators. Besides the hard technical performance figures, one important recommendation emerged from the coronial enquiry into the disastrous Australian Sydney to Hobart yacht race back in 1998, and that was that all future yachts in the race should have closed or sealed or gel batteries, and such recommendations will ensure that such batteries are installed in greater numbers. Many yachts rolled, and became inverted as they capsized or those knocked on their beam ends and had issues with leaking battery acid, with some crew experiencing issues with vapors being given off. In addition, as radio communications and engines rely on batteries and if the acid drains out it is not very effective. It is now yacht race rule for this classic race. More about yacht batteries installation.  A lot of cruising people still sail with standard flooded cell batteries mostly based on their cheapness.  More about boat starting batteries. The first step in selecting boat batteries is to calculate boat house battery power consumption. Also revisit some basic battery theory and about deep cycle boat batteries.

Boat Battery Types

It’s always been a choice between the deep cycle boat battery, gel batteries for boats, AGM boat batteries or a traditional lead acid flooded cell marine batteries and now the Boat Lithium battery is here and offering some alternatives. The demands that are placed on the average boat electrical system have generally outgrown the long and reliable traditional wet cell battery technology with the equally rapid advances in electrical and electronics systems. More information about boat batteries.

The new power thirsty gear list is topped by the AC inverter, which extracts a heavy price in electrical power for the comforts it delivers. Next are the bow thrusters and the hydraulic power packs for the deck winches and auxiliaries which some larger yachts have. More people are installing electric deck winches and that entails a review of battery power. Electric propulsion is now emerging as a viable alternative propulsion system and these systems use battery power. The AGM boat battery is a battery of choice for many for good reasons. Check out one of the best Optima Boat Batteries for your boat.

Sailboat Boat Battery

Boat battery technology is expanding rapidly mostly in response to solar energy developments and hopefully we get some trickle down.  The rapid adoption of Lithium Ion batteries is proof of that, and lots of other technologies under development.  Even the Brunswick, the parent of Mercury outboards has recently bought a major Lithium battery manufacturer called RELiON, one of the worlds major developers and manufacturers.     Over in Australia they are about to start trial manufacturing of another battery technology and they call it the Gelion battery. This technology utilizes a special zinc-bromide gel system, specifically designed to overcome the inherent limitations of lead acid batteries as well as Lithium Ion batteries.  The inventor is a Professor Thomas Maschmeyer.  He said that the battery is specifically about addressing supply, capacity and safety constraints of current battery technologies.  Evidently the zinc-bromide battery chemistry is radically different to existing technologies as it allows 100 percent charging and also 100 percent discharge over a long duration. They are also able to operate at high temperatures up to 50 degrees C without requiring cooling and will not catch fire in extra high temperature situations. Sounds ideal for boats and cruising yachts, so watch this space and hopefully they get economic manufacturing sorted.

Boat Battery Voltages

LED boat lighting has really improved cruising yacht power consumption numbers which helps.  I have always thought that we would move away from standard 12-volt systems and see a wider implementation of 24 and 42-volt power systems as a way to improve available power given some automotive advances but this hasn’t really transpired. Batteries will still be central to the primary DC power system whatever the voltage used for some time to go, even with the advent of fuel cell technology which hasn’t as yet made an impact. The basic power balance assessment and capacity calculations have taken on a new importance. 

About the Boat Battery

The relatively lower electrical power consumption equipment such as GPS, instrumentation and traditional high demand equipment such as autopilots and radar have now also been eclipsed. They use a lot less power but nevertheless they have an impact.  The bottom line on power calculations has risen significantly, and consequentially so has the battery power required to support it. The search for a bullet proof and fault tolerant battery bank is as real as ever but things are changing.

The flooded cell lead acid battery has always filled the role for years despite its limitations and it's position is under siege from technology newcomers, such as Lithium Ion batteries.  Comparison testing is being performed under various controlled test conditions between all the battery technology types and I will add this when it comes to hand. The performance claims and counterclaims are often confusing as are the various numbers are worked out, and each successive innovation claims greater cycle abilities and life expectancy than previous. Choose your boat battery with care.