Batteries have the same function, which is to store power. But most people come to think about batteries when they fail to deliver what they were intended to do. Batteries are usually divided into two parts what they are utilized for and how they are constructed. The main uses of batteries are for marine, deep cycle, and automotive. A great battery on your car may not be ideal for your trolling motor. As a result, picking the right battery for the job is very vital if you want the perfect power to run your devices, vehicles, or even marine vessels.
Today, we’re going to compare and contrast marine batteries VS deep cycle batteries. These two batteries share many features, but they also vary to some extent.
Comparison Table: Marine Battery vs Deep Cycle Battery
|Deep Cycle Battery
|Starting engines and powering onboard electronics
|Long-term energy supply for trolling motors, solar setups, RVs, etc.
|High amperage for short durations
|Steady, low amperage for longer durations
|Thicker plates with more surface area
|Thicker plates with less surface area
|Generally more expensive
|Low maintenance (mostly AGM and Gel types)
|Low maintenance (mostly AGM and Gel types)
|Peukert’s Exponent (Capacity):
|Higher (more significant capacity drop at high loads)
|Lower (less significant capacity drop at high loads)
|Shorter due to shallow discharges
|Longer due to deep discharges
|Boats, yachts, and marine vessels
|Trolling motors, solar setups, RVs, and off-grid systems
What is a marine battery?
Some of the best marine batteries for the money are Exide, Odyssey, or Mighty Max. Marine batteries are normally made up of a hybrid of starting and deep cycle batteries. They usually feature lead sponge plates that are heavier than starting battery plates but not thicker than true deep cycle plates. In most cases, you may not know what the marine battery is made of unless you cut it open, which is of no use. Some people still refer to deep cycle batteries as marine batteries, and it can be confusing. A starting battery is great for igniting the engine, but if you want the power to run a trolling motor, then you should go for a deep cycle battery.
Where to use a marine battery
- Small fishing boats
- Trolling motors
- General onboard electrical needs
Types of marine batteries
Starting – this is also referred to as a cranking battery, and they turn on the boat’s engine. Also, they deliver a high-energy burst of 75 to 400 amps that lasts for around 5 to 15 seconds. These batteries normally have thin plates to push the high-energy burst needed.
Deep cycle – unlike starting batteries, a deep cycle marine battery delivers short bursts of high energy, which lasts longer. They provide the continuous power required by the boat to run the appliances. The batteries are built to discharge energy over a long period frequently, and they recover later. They have thicker plates and use 50% to 80% of their power capacity.
Dual-purpose – these share the functions of staring and deep cycle batteries. They may not be the most powerful for starting or deep cycling, but they still deliver excellent results. Most small and medium-sized marine vessels use these batteries.
What is a deep cycle battery?
Deep cycle batteries feature tick plates and can be discharged down to 80% of the time without causing any harm or shortening the battery’s lifespan. Unlike other types of batteries that have sponge plates in their composition, true deep cycle batteries have thick lead plates. That’s why they are usually utilized in heavy or industrial applications such as solar power systems, golf carts, and powering onboard accessories. Deep cycle batteries deliver continuous, reliable power for trolling after the starter battery has ignited the engine with short but powerful bursts of energy.
Even though deep cycle batteries can be discharged up to 80%, a good number of manufacturers recommend not to discharge lower than 50% in order to extend the life of the battery.
Where to use a deep cycle battery
- Recreational vehicles
- Marine applications
- Golf carts
- Solar energy systems
Types of deep cycle batteries
Flooded deep cycle batteries – these are the most common batteries on the market. Also referred to as wet cell batteries – they feature lead plates, a sulfuric acid electrolyte, and plate separators. These batteries are not sealed, making them challenging to maintain. However, they are the best for backup power applications, grid energy storage, and utility.
Sealed or valve-regulated lead-acid batteries – are also referred to as gel cell batteries. These are rechargeable batteries that comprise sulfuric acid electrolytes coagulated. They don’t spill or leak, but they are also very costly.
Are there any differences between deep cycle and marine batteries?
Deep cycle batteries are more long-lasting and have better electrical energy reserve capacity than marine batteries if properly maintained and used. For instance, a gelled deep cycle battery can last somewhere between 10 to 20 years, while a marine battery normally lasts between 1 and 6 years. A marine battery can be a deep cycle, starting, or dual-purpose battery, while a deep cycle battery is only for deep cycling.
Deep Cycle VS Marine Battery- Our Final Thought
Picking the best battery for your activities is very important if you get optimal power. A battery that is meant for marine use may not work perfectly for a golf cart. Therefore, do your research well and select the new battery for the right purpose. Most marine batteries are dual-purpose batteries offering starting and deep cycle functions. These are perfect for small marine vessels. But if you want optimal power to run the boat and its appliances, then you need a sturdy and powerful deep cycle battery. I hope this guide has helped you to differentiate between marine and deep cycle batteries.