Dual Purpose Marine Batteries

battery tender lithium 1Dual purpose marine batteries are 'strong enough to provide more than enough' current to start internal combustion engines and are designed to tolerate frequent deep discharges without negative influence on their capacity or time of operation.

These batteries combine the best of two opposite worlds - cranking batteries and deep cycle batteries.

Best Dual Purpose Marine Batteries List Table

Following table contains most popular dual purpose and deep cycle marine batteries used on boats, golf carts, UPS devices and similar. Deep cycle batteries are added for the comparison - after all, if they can provide required starting/cranking current, feel free to use them as dual purpose batteries, if required.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check links in the table (links open in the new windows - Amazon links).

Model Battery Type Goup Size Cell Type Ah MCA RC Weight (lbs/kg)
Battery Tender BTL35A480C Dual Purpose - LiFePO4 8 480 - 3.75 lbs; ~1.7 kg
Exide Edge FP-AGM24DP Dual Purpose 24 AGM 75 930 145 50 lbs; 22.7 kg
Exide XMC-31 Deep Cycle 31 AGM 100 1110 200 68 lbs; 31 kg
Lifeline GPL-31T Deep Cycle 31 AGM 105 750 195 69 lbs;  31.5 kg
Mighty Max ML35-12 Deep Cycle U1 AGM 35Ah - - 23 lbs; 9.6 kg
Odyssey 31M-PC2150 Dual Purpose 31 AGM 100 1370 205 77.8 lbs; 35.3 kg 
Odyssey 34M-PC1500 Dual Purpose 34 AGM 68 1050 135 49.5 lbs; 22.4 kg
Optima 8027-127 D27M Dual Purpose 27 AGM 66 1000 140 54 lbs; 24.5 kg
Optima 8052-161 D31M Dual Purpose 31 AGM 75 1125 155 61 lbs; 27.6 kg
Optima 8016-103 D34M Dual Purpose 34 AGM 55 870 120 46 lbs; 21 kg
Trojan SCS150 Deep Cycle 24 Flooded Cell 100 650 150 50 lbs; 22.6 kg
Trojan T31 Deep Cycle 31 Gel 102 620 200 69 lbs; 31.5 kg
UPG UB121000 Deep Cycle 27 AGM 100 - - 64 lbs; 29 kg
VMAXTANKS V30-800 Deep Cycle - AGM 30 350 55 22 lbs; 10 kg
VMAXTANKS V35-857 Deep Cycle U1 AGM 35 390 75 25 lbs; 11.3 kg
VMAXTANKS MR96-60 Deep Cycle 22NF AGM 60 600 120 43 lbs; 19.5 kg
VMAXTANKS MR107-85 Deep Cycle 24 AGM 85 700 160 55 lbs; 24.9 kg
VMAXTANKS SLR125 Deep Cycle 31 AGM 125 - 260 75 lbs; 34 kg
VMAXTANKS MR127-100 Deep Cycle 27 AGM 100 800 200 68 lbs; 30.8 kg
VMAXTANKS MR137-120 Deep Cycle 31 AGM 120 900 230 75 lbs; 34 kg
VMAXTANKS SLR155 Deep Cycle - AGM 155 - 350 90 lbs; 40.8 kg
VMAXTANKS MR197-200 Deep Cycle 4D AGM 200 1400 560 112 lbs; 50.7 kg

dual purpose exide battery 1

Dual purpose batteries are often used not only as main boat batteries, but also as batteries for golf carts, Recreational Vehicles (RV) batteries, All Terrain Vehicles (ATV) batteries, Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) batteries etc.

Dual purpose batteries are usually Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries - either gel cell batteries or Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries. They don't require to be positioned vertically like flooded lead acid batteries, they are almost maintenance free, and very tolerant to vibrations and shocks - they will tolerate electric and physical abuse, just don't push them to hard (don't hit them with the hammer, anchor, chain, rock etc.).

Dual purpose marine batteries don't have to be lead acid batteries. With the improvement of technology, lithium batteries are present more and more on boats, yachts and ships, not only for powering small electronic devices, but also as main boat battery/battery pack.

smart battery sb50 1Lithium batteries have many advantages:

- they are 70-80% lighter for the same amount of stored energy,

- they have 5-10x longer lifespan regarding number of charging/discharging cycles (discharge up to 80% of declared capacity),

- they come in common group sizes or have foam, rubber or plastic spacers,

- they are designed and built as direct VRLA SLA battery replacement - just replace 'old' lead acid battery with the new lithium battery.

- zero maintenance.

To help people transition from lead acid to lithium batteries, most lithium marine batteries come with onboard electronics featuring:

- discharging over-current protection,

- charging over-current protection,

- thermal protection,

- overcharge protection,

- over-discharge protection,

- standard heavy-duty terminals.

Such electronics enables connecting lithium batteries in parallel (which SHOULD NOT be done with lithium batteries without electronic protection) for obtaining higher capacities or in series for obtaining higher voltages. However, before even considering doing something like that, be sure to read thoroughly the manuals or consider contacting the manufacturer directly - batteries come with various electronic circuits and there are many similar models of 'almost' the same batteries. We emphasize 'almost', because just one different letter in the name of the battery is perhaps all that stands between 'job well done' and the 'fireworks' on your boat.

If unsure, hire a professional to do the job for you.

Long story short - if you need new dual purpose battery for your boat, go for tested and reliable sealed lead acid batteries. Such batteries are heavier, but are cheaper and weight difference means little on the boat. In fact, such batteries are positioned low in the boat and increase the stability of the boat.

If you need light and powerful battery and don't mind spending few extra dollars/euros, go for good lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) or similar lithium marine battery - such batteries can be used on small boats, kayaks, golf carts, RV and ATV and similar vehicles, where extra few pounds/kilograms means a lot.

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