Marine battery life expectancy?

rebars1

Senior Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Feb 23, 2004
Messages
744
What is the average life expectancy for a marine battery (dual purpose)? I usually buy Sears Marine heavy duty batteries, but after about 2-3 years they don't hold a charge. The warranty is for about 1 year, prorated. Also, they don't get used very often.
I guess the real question is should I just plan on getting new batteries every two years or so, or is there a way to extend the life expectancy?
 

saumon

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Aug 2, 2004
Messages
1,452
Re: Marine battery life expectancy?

Some will probably say their batteries last 5 years or more but, on average, at 3 years they become "tired" when used in normal conditions (normal for me meaning the average northern climate usage i.e. 10-15 outings in 6 months then 6 month stored, used for starting AND accessories).
 

nimmor

Petty Officer 1st Class
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May 15, 2003
Messages
313
Re: Marine battery life expectancy?

A trolling motor battery for me averages 3-4 years. The one for lights and fish finder I have had last longer.
 

tashasdaddy

Honorary Moderator Emeritus
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Nov 11, 2005
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51,019
Re: Marine battery life expectancy?

you must keep the batteries charged, allowing the to go weak, destroys them. they will last much longer if maintained. i have found that Barracuda brand batteries best.
 

5150abf

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Aug 12, 2007
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5,808
Re: Marine battery life expectancy?

I would say it is your charger or the way you charge them, I get Wal Mart batteries and get 3 years from them.

Get a good charger adn charge them as soon as you are done with the boat, sitting discharged is hard on them.

Your charger might be overcharging too which is also really bad.
 

wellsc1

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Apr 7, 2009
Messages
328
Re: Marine battery life expectancy?

Batt. maint. is key to batt. life in my opinion. Keep it charged, fully charged. Anytime a month goes by without using one of my two boats, motorcycle, or riding mower, I get out the maint. chgr. and top it off. I go on to each batt. that I think needs some TLC.

Batt. in flatbottom going strong after 3 to 5 years now. However, doing the math shows it's cheap insurance to replace your boat batt. before it leaves you stranded. Aside from avoiding a tow boat charge and messing up a good fishing trip, any life left in the battery may be about $20 worth of savings to be frugal for one more year or so. It ain't worth it. IMHO
 

Home Cookin'

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Re: Marine battery life expectancy?

heat takes a toll on batteries, too, so it depends on your climate and how you keep them. ours are moored outside so the summer can be hard on them.
 

clockwatcher

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Nov 8, 2009
Messages
289
Re: Marine battery life expectancy?

I keep my boat and motorcycle batteries on Accumate maintainer/chargers and they last a very long time (I'm at 6 years on my last Wallyworld marine battery). The charger has 3 stanges: 2 amp, 1 amp, 400 milliamp. The charge level self adjusts as needed.
 

Brewman61

Ensign
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Jun 10, 2010
Messages
996
Re: Marine battery life expectancy?

My marine cranking battery is from 2003, and so far so good. At the end of the season, I store the battery indoors ( basement) on a floating point battery charger. I like the Battery Tender brand, but there are others.
Those types of chargers keep the battery "topped off" automatically, and I think that goes a long way toward their longevity.
My motorcycle battery from 2005 is getting the same treatment, and I've never had one of those tiny batteries go this long on a standard trickle charger- lucky to have gotten 3 years.
So I truly believe how you treat the battery matters.
 

lkbum

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
445
Re: Marine battery life expectancy?

Home Cookin is correct.. use temperature makes a big difference in average battery life.
 

rebars1

Senior Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Feb 23, 2004
Messages
744
Re: Marine battery life expectancy?

Thnaks for the input. I'll try to keep them charged up instead of letting them drain way down. ( Another good excuse to use th boat, too!)
 

bruceb58

Supreme Mariner
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Mar 5, 2006
Messages
29,258
Re: Marine battery life expectancy?

Mine last 5 years but I keep them fully charged at all times.
 

Home Cookin'

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9,715
Re: Marine battery life expectancy?

Some advice says don't charge a boat battery when hooked up to the boat as the current running "upstream" can affect the regulator, etc.* Don't ask me to explain; I don't understand. But to be safe, at least flip your battery switch to OFF when charging.

The old advice was to set a battery on a block of wood, not a cement floor, for storage. Some say it's not necessary for new batteries. I say it's easier to put it on a block of wood than to read the reasons not to.

*same with jumping although I've jumped boat batteries all my life.
 

bruceb58

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
29,258
Re: Marine battery life expectancy?

Some advice says don't charge a boat battery when hooked up to the boat as the current running "upstream" can affect the regulator, etc.*
Not True.

The old advice was to set a battery on a block of wood, not a cement floor, for storage. Some say it's not necessary for new batteries.
Hasn't been necessary for years!
 
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