2021’s Best Marine Starter Battery – Reviewed & Tested

There are generally two types of batteries used in boats, and they include deep-cycle batteries and starting batteries. Starting batteries are also called cranking batteries, and they are used to start the boat because they send power to the engine every time the ignition switch is activated.

Some boats, however, need continuous power instead of just quick bursts of power in the beginning; for example, boats that are trolling. In these cases, a deep-cycle battery – also called a trolling battery – works best. Regardless of what you’re looking for, if you want to know which is the best marine cranking battery or deep-cycle battery for your needs, a little research is recommended.

Cranking batteries have many thin plates and a large surface area that help provide the power needed to start any type of marine vessel. Deep-cycle batteries, on the other hand, accommodate trolling needs because there are fewer plates that are also a lot thicker, which keep the boat humming along for long periods of time.

All types of marine batteries can be expensive, but they are built to last for many years and, therefore, you’ll always get your money’s worth when you buy one. Certain brands are more popular than others, so it’s up to you to do your due diligence and choose the battery that will best suit your needs. A few of the better marine batteries are listed below.

Compare Top Brands Of Marine Starting Battery

Detailed Marine Starter Battery Reviews

1. Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery

With the ability to start quickly even in inclement weather, the Optima Batteries marine battery is a 12V battery with 55 Ah C20 capacity. It has a unique SpiralCell design that gives it a strong, clean power source so that you, your family, and even the environment are much safer. It also has a polypropylene case for protection and a long shelf life thanks to higher reserve capacity.

Specifically made for boats or recreational vehicles that have large accessory loads, this battery even comes with a user guide that provides troubleshooting tips. This is a low-maintenance battery that is great for boats and RVs alike, so if you need a reliable battery that will start right up every time and give you great results year after year, this is it.

PROS

  • Great vibration resistance
  • Starts up immediately, regardless of the weather
  • Perfect for trolling motors and extensive electronic systems

CONS

  • Some complaints about the product being defective
  • Some complaints about it dying after a short period of time
  • Some complaints about it not being able to charge up completely

2. Optima 8006-006 Boat Starting Battery

This 12V battery comes with 800 cold cranking amps and weighs a mere 38.4 lbs. Its reserve capacity gives you 100 minutes for constant performance, and you can use it as either a boat battery or a battery for your RV. It is a very durable battery that offers 15 times more resistance to vibrations, and it gives you great starting power even in inclement weather.

The battery is roughly 10” x 7” x 7.5” and even has stainless steel stud posts to make it last longer. You can mount this battery in nearly any position, and it is even spill-proof for your convenience. This is a low-maintenance battery that you don’t have to worry about because it is high in quality and reliable. Optima Batteries makes three main types of batteries – blue top, yellow top, and red top, and they each offer their own advantages.

PROS

  • Up to three times more charges than other marine batteries
  • Dependable and long lasting
  • Compact and convenient design

CONS

  • Some complaints about it not lasting very long
  • Some complaints about the high price of the item
  • Some complaints about being sent old or used batteries

3. Optima 8052-161 D31M Marine Starter Battery

With 12 volts and 900 cold cranking amps, this battery provides you with great starting ability even if you are experiencing bad weather, and it is 15 times more resilient to vibrations and, therefore, very durable. The battery can be used for both RVs and boats and has a very long shelf life, making it a popular type of battery for many boat- and RV-owners.

If your boat or RV has features that quickly drain your battery, there’s no need to worry because the Optima starting and deep-cycle battery has you covered. It is a low-maintenance battery that you can mount in nearly any position, and it provides you with up to three times the charges of other types of marine batteries. With great vibration resistance and efficient power delivery, this is definitely one battery you will never regret purchasing.

PROS

  • Works great for trolling motor.
  • High performance due to Spiralcell technology
  • Longest reserve capacity
  • Highest cranking amps of all the marine batteries
  • Can be used and stored in hot weather without a problem

CONS

  • Heavy battery due to 59 pounds of weight
  • Could be damaged if overcharged
  • Drains fairly quickly in storage
  • Max capacity diminishes over time more than we’d like

4. Odyssey 31-PC2150S Heavy Duty Commercial Cranking Battery

If you want to save time, money, and stress with your commercial battery, the Odyssey heavy-duty marine battery is the one you want. It offers a recharge time of four to six hours, three to ten years of service life, and a limited full-replacement warranty lasting three to four years. A non-spillable design and the ability to withstand extreme temperatures make this battery a great choice every time, and it has a cold crank amp power of 1150.

The battery is 13” x 7” x 9” in size and weighs roughly 78 lbs., making it a well-built, sturdy battery meant to last for a very long time. Perfect for both RVs and boats of all types, it is also meant to go a long time without needing to be recharged. With this battery, you get high stable voltage for longer periods of time and a battery that will operate in temperatures that range from -40ᵒ Fahrenheit to 113ᵒ Fahrenheit, making it very versatile indeed.

PROS

  • Versatile battery that operates in extreme temperatures
  • Massive starting power every time
  • Non-spillable AGM design without shock and vibration

CONS

  • Some complaints about poor customer service
  • Some complaints about it testing poorly right from the start
  • Some say it is not worth the money they spent on it

5. Odyssey 31M-PC2150 Thunder Boat Cranking Battery

marine starting battery, boat starter battery

One of the biggest advantages of purchasing this battery is getting a battery that is able to operate even in extreme temperatures. The Odyssey dual-purpose battery works fine in temperatures ranging from -40ᵒ Fahrenheit to 176ᵒ Fahrenheit, making it perfect for a number of applications.

This is a high-quality battery that can be used for most RVs and boats, and it even keeps working for hours at a time so that you can enjoy your activities without stopping periodically for a recharge.

Best of all, even if your boat or RV has features that usually drain the battery, you’re in luck because this particular battery can handle it. It works flawlessly and without vibrations so that it gives you efficient and quiet service, and it is worth every dime you spend on it. It is great quality and also looks great on your boat or RV, and it comes all ready to go as soon as you get it out of the box.

PROS

  • Well worth the price you pay for it
  • Starts up reliably regardless of the temperature
  • Sturdy, high-quality, and low maintenance

CONS

  • Some concerns about the price
  • Some concerns about the change of the design made by the company

If you’re going to shop around for the best marine cranking battery, you’ll need a few guidelines to make sure you make the right decision in the end. When researching these batteries, make sure you look at the following aspects:

The Battery Capacity

This includes the Ah rating, which is the amount of amperage it takes to drain the battery down to zero. Batteries are tested by draining them down to zero over a specified period of time, and that time is what constitutes the Ah rating. For deep-cycle batteries the standard rating is usually 20 hours. For starting batteries, the Ah rating is normally in the 10-hour range, and this number tends to be a little more realistic than Ah ratings for deep-cycle or trolling batteries. If a battery receives a rating of 100Ah at the 20-hour rate, it means they discharged the battery over 20 hours with a 5-amp load.

The Battery Group And Weight

This is the physical size of the battery, which is more important than you think. Let’s face it, you’re going to have to remove and install the battery many times over the course of a lifetime, so you might as well know in advance how large and how heavy the battery is.

If there is any doubt, you’ll have to measure the boat area so that when you’re shopping for the best marine cranking battery, you’ll at least end up with one that you know is going to fit right. Marine batteries are typically 12-volt batteries and can weigh anywhere from 20 lbs. to roughly 70 lbs., so you’ll need to take these things into consideration before making your purchase.

The Output Of The Battery

Okay, this is an important consideration when you’re shopping for the perfect marine battery. Output includes the reserve capacity rating, the marine cranking amp rating, and the cold cranking amp rating. When you research these types of batteries, all of this information should be included in the description, and it can help you determine which battery is right for you.

The reserve capacity rating, or RC, is important because it represents the number of minutes that a fully charged battery – at 80ᵒ Fahrenheit – will discharge 25 amps until it drops below 10.5 volts. The marine cranking amp rating, or MCA, is measured at 32ᵒ Fahrenheit. Cold cranking amps, or CCA, refers to the number of amps a battery delivers for 30 seconds at 0ᵒ Fahrenheit without dropping below 7.2 volts. When you are searching for the best marine cranking battery, therefore, you definitely want one with a high CCA number, although it is less important when choosing a deep-cycle battery.

The Technology Involved In The Battery

When you’re looking for the technology involved in your marine battery, you need to look at the differences between gel, flooded, AGM, and lithium-ion batteries. Flooded, or wet, cell batteries come in two types: maintenance-free and serviceable. Absorbed glass mate, or AGM, batteries and gel cell batteries are actually specialty batteries that are more expensive than other types, but store well and tend not to become as degraded over time as the wet cell batteries.

In most applications today, gel cell batteries are being replaced by AGM batteries. AGM batteries can also be called dry cell, non-spillable, sealed regulated valve, and valve-regulated cell acid batteries. More often than not, AGM batteries offer many advantages over wet cell batteries, including providing a better cycle life and a longer overall lifespan.

Larger AGM batteries work best when they’re recharged before they drop below the 50% mark. They are efficient in the areas of recharging and discharging, and they typically hold their static charge even when you don’t use them for long periods of time.

The Warranty Offered By The Manufacturer

Marine batteries are made to last upwards of 20 years, so a good warranty is important. Some will last up to five years only, so when you’re researching marine batteries it is good to know that number. If you’re unsure what the warranty is for the battery you’re considering, get in touch with the manufacturer.

There are also full-replacement and limited lifetime warranties, and again, you need to know this information. Keep your receipt and register your battery online whenever possible, because this allows you to have a record of when the battery was purchased so that you can take advantage of the warranty whenever you need to.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What Is The Best Marine Cranking Battery?

Ans: 31M-PC2150ST Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST The best total is the Marine Double Purpose Battery. Odyssey’s Marine Combined Purpose Battery serves the dual responsibilities of a cranking and deep cycle battery with incredible efficiency.

Q2. When It Comes To Marine Cranking Batteries, How Long Do They Last?

Ans: Based on how well you care for your marine batteries, they can last anywhere from 2 to 5 years. The majority of batteries have a one-year warranty, although more costly batteries may have a three-year warranty.

Q3. How Do I Know If My Marine Battery Is Bad?

Ans: By merely looking at your battery, you can identify if it is defective. A broken terminal, a bulge or hump in the situation, a fracture or rupture in the situation, excessive leaking, and discoloration are all things to look for. Short circuits can be deadly if terminals are damaged or loose.

Q4. What Is The Marine Cranking Rating (MCA)?

Ans: A 12V battery with a 600 CCA MCA rating will supply 600 amperes for 30 seconds at 32°F when the voltage drops to 7.20V. It’s worth noting that the MCA is also known as the cranking amperes or CA.

Q5. What Is The PCA Rating (Pulse Cranking Amp Rating)?

Ans: A 30 second discharging is impractical for a genuine engine start. With that in mind, the PCA is a high-rate discharge with a small period (usually around 3 seconds). Because the discharge is so brief, it is more akin to a pulse.

Conclusion

Finding the right marine battery is not complex, as long as you know what you’re looking for when you start your research. Online research allows you to quickly and easily compare different batteries so that you feel more confident about the one you end up choosing. Once you start your research, certain brands of batteries will pop up more often than others, and this is a good indication that those brands are the ones you want to stick with when finding the perfect starting or deep-cycle marine battery for your needs.