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A Simple Guide to Marine Batteries


To understand marine batteries better, you need to know the meaning of various terms. Most of the questions you have about choosing or buying marine batteries will be answered in the tips below.

Starting/Cranking Battery

This is a battery that serves the purpose of starting an engine, meaning that it releases a high amount of energy (a jolt) that is strong enough to start an engine. Such batteries are found in cars. After the engine starts, it powers the other systems in the car and also recharges the battery.   It is important to clarify at this point that a car/starting/cranking battery cannot be used on a boat. You will understand why after reading the dual-purpose battery section below.

Dual-Purpose Battery ("Undedicated Deep Purpose Battery")

This battery works as both a starting/cranking battery and a source of power for the devices or appliances on your boat. What does this mean? A cranking battery's work ends when it starts the engine because the engine takes over the work of powering the devices in your car.

A dual-purpose battery's work does not end after starting the engine, it continues to power other systems/appliances/devices on your boat by releasing small amounts of power. This cannot be achieved by a cranking battery and, therefore, a boat's engine can be started by a car battery, but it cannot sustain the power needed for the boat to operate.

Why is the dual-purpose battery being referred to as an undedicated deep purpose battery? Find this out after reading the deep cycle battery section below.

Deep Cycle Battery ("Dedicated Deep Purpose Battery")

This battery works as a dual-purpose battery; however, it discharges more power (it is superior to the dual-purpose battery in that it is particularly made to discharge more power). This is why it is referred to as a dedicated deep purpose battery, while the dual-purpose battery is referred to as an undedicated deep purpose battery.

You should know that some boats may require more than one battery, which depends on its energy/power requirements.

Ampere Hour (AMP hr)

Of course, different boats vary in size and the amount of power they need. Marine batteries are usually marked with an AMP hr number to show how much power the battery produces in an hour. Check how much power your boat needs and you will know what battery AMP hr reading to get.

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)

This number indicates the maximum amount of power that can be discharged by a marine battery. The higher the number, the more powerful the battery is and the bigger the engine it can start.


28 December 2019