If you're relatively new to the world of boating, you may have been surprised by your latest battery failure, especially as this is not the first time it's happened. However, you may not be aware of how important this component is and why it's crucial to choose the right type of battery in the first place. Why should you pause for thought before you buy your replacement so that it more adequately meets your needs?
You may have chosen a conventional, wet cell battery during your most recent acquisition, as it seems to be the choice of most people in your situation. After all, it's quite easy to handle, predictable and cost-effective and due to its nature should be expected to last a long time. Furthermore, these batteries were supposed to be "bulletproof" as it was very difficult to overcharge them to their detriment.
Nevertheless, you must make sure that you maintain them properly and keep them topped off with distilled water. Also, they do need to be correctly installed so there is no chance that they will move when the boat is in transit.
If you find that vibration is a potential issue on your boat, you may want to choose something that can deal with this more effectively, such as an absorbed glass mat battery. These are even tougher due to their improved design, with an internal mat that is saturated through electrolytes. While this is a sealed battery and has a low discharge rate, you do need to be especially careful when you are charging it up. It won't respond particularly well if you inadvertently leave it plugged in.
If you don't pay as much attention to maintenance and technical issues as you should, perhaps your best choice would be the gel battery that is largely maintenance free and much more resistant to any inadvertent overcharge. Inside this battery is a liquid electrolyte and silicate gel, which provides a very long life and the lowest of all self-discharge rate. It's particularly resistant to impact or vibration and won't require a lot of attention when you are on the open water. Certainly, this is more expensive than the basic versions, and you will need a special charger to look after it, but it may help you to avoid regular failures in the future.
Making Your Choice
Chat with your marine batteries supplier to make sure that you pick the right battery for your boating pleasure.