Technically, all batteries are electro-chemical devices storing electrical energy in the form of chemical energy. Therefore, all batteries must function the same and can be interchanged; right? Wrong! All batteries are designed to perform a specific task and using it for its unintended use can be hazardous for the instrument as well as your own safety.
Same logic applies to the battery of your speedboat and you should always use a standard marine battery of proper rating. In this article we try to list the difference between a regular car battery and a marine battery and give you 5 reasons why you should not use a regular car battery on your speedboat. Read on to know:
1. Start-Up Voltage
The main function of a regular car battery is to start the car. As soon as your car is up and running, it hardly draws any current from the battery. The engine of the car powers the electrical system of the car and recharges the car’s battery to make up for the power used to start the car. A car battery may go through its entire life without ever being discharged by more than 20 percentages of its total capacity. However, a speedboat needs a different approach. Marine batteries are designed to both start the engine as well as to provide power to the electronic and electrical devices onboard.
2. Internal Design
As the car battery is required to provide power only while starting the car, they are made of thin internal electro-plates. The thinner plates increase the surface area to handle the large amount of current during starting or cranking. The marine battery on the other hand is required to provide constant power. It provides power to the engine during startup and for saltwater trolling motors and other on board systems. This requires robust construction by using thick plates. Also, the marine battery is required to provide proper insulation and support vibration.
3. Recharging the Battery
The battery for your speedboat continuously draws power and therefore requires to be recharged frequently after a few miles. On the other hand, the car battery is recharged automatically by the engine as the car runs. As a result, it is not required to recharge the car battery frequently. Think of your speedboat as an electrical car with a limited range!
4. Life Cycle
The battery of a car is designed to operate at a specific voltage range and can be dead if the voltage drops by a couple of volts. This is in contrast with a marine battery which can provide power to your boat even at relatively low voltages. The marine battery is designed to run the motor for a longer duration without much loss in output power. The car battery on the other hand can easily die out after cranking your car a few times.
5. Life Span
The life span of any battery depends on how it is used, maintained and charged. It also depends on external factors such as temperature. While these variables make it almost impossible to provide a definite life span, the average life span of a car battery is still different from that of a marine battery. A typical car battery needs replacement in every 3 to 5 years while an industry grade marine battery can last for 10 to 20 years.
A few last words
You might be enticed to use a cheap and easily available car battery on your speedboat. However, as you might have understood by now, the regular car battery is not designed to be operated with a speedboat. Your speed boat requires heavier, stronger and more reliable battery which is too much to ask from a normal car battery. We hope that the article has managed to highlight the difference between car and marine batteries.