A Guide to Buy Lithium Ion Batteries for Boats

The tide is turning the marine industry from old lead-acid batteries to lithium ion batteries for boats. A reliable power source is a compulsory requirement to perform different electrical tasks like engine cranking, powering navigation systems, operating radars, and many other electrical instruments. Several types of lithium-ion batteries offer lightweight and high-energy-density power sources to enhance your boating experience.

So in this article will discuss all lithium ion batteries for boats, including types, features, and top-performing brands.

best lithium ion batteries for boats 

Part 1. What are the uses of lithium-ion batteries for boats

Lithium ion batteries for boats are compulsory parts offering a wide range of usability. Working as a lithium carking battery for boats and auxiliary power source batteries has become integral. Here are some of the key uses of lithium batteries for boats.

1. Lithium Cranking Battery For Boat

The primary purpose of the boat is to crank the engine. A high-power density lithium battery is designed to provide instant power to the engine crank. So you will not have to worry about the boat engine starting or cold weather because lithium cranking battery for boat is an ideal choice.

2. House Power

Usually, boats require power for many onboard amenities like air conditioning, cooking, and charging electronic devices. Lithium-ion batteries for boats are the stable and long-lasting solution to fulfill your boat’s needs, making you at home in deep waters.

3. Auxiliary Power

Lithium ion batteries for boats provide power to auxiliary systems such as navigation systems, communication, refrigeration, lighting, and entertainment systems. These can provide power for many hours to ensure uninterrupted operation.

Part 2. Types of lithium-ion batteries for boats

There are many types of lithium ion batteries. But here we are going to highlight the two main types of batteries ideal for being lithium ion batteries for boats. The first is lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), and the second is lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC).

1.Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) boats battery

LiFePO4 boats battery is the most advanced battery, with features of a long lifespan of over 2000 charge cycles. It provides stable voltage and deep charge and discharge ability without significant capacity loss.

2. Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) boats battery

The highlighted feature of this NMC battery is its high power density. This means that lithium is lighter in weight compared to LiFePO4 and traditional lead-acid batteries. Moreover, the battery can also be charged quickly, making your boat ready to use.

Part 3.  LiFePO boats battery VS. NMC boats battery

Features LiFePO4 Batteries NMC Batteries
Safety Excellent safety profile, low risk of thermal runaway and overheating Generally safe, but may have a slightly higher risk compared to LiFePO4 batteries
Lifespan Estimated 2,000 to 3,000 cycles Estimated 500 to 1,000 cycles
Deep-Cycle Capabilities Excellent for deep-cycle applications Suitable for moderate deep-cycle use
Energy Density Estimated 100-140 Wh/kg Estimated 150-200 Wh/kg
Voltage Stability Maintains stable voltage throughout the discharge cycle Voltage drops more as the battery discharges
Power Output Estimated 0.2-1.5 C (C-rate) Estimated 1-3 C (C-rate)
Charging Speed Estimated 0.2-0.5 C (C-rate) Estimated 1-2 C (C-rate)
Weight Estimated 20-30% heavier than NMC batteries Estimated 20-30% lighter than LiFePO4 batteries
Cost Generally more expensive upfront investment Relatively more cost-effective option

Part 4. Benefits of lithium ion batteries for boats

The new lithium technology comes with several benefits. Suppose your boat needs a new battery or want to enhance the capacity of your old lead acid battery. Lithium ion batteries in boats can be a positive change in every aspect.

● Faster charging times

Lithium ion batteries for boats are designed to charge at a faster rate. The range of charging lithium batteries is from 0.5C to 2C. For example, if the battery is 100 Ah (amp-hour), it will need 1 hour to charge full at 1C rate.

● Lighter weight and smaller footprint

Batteries are becoming smarter and lighter as the technology advances. Lithium batteries are 60% lighter than lead acid batteries, whereas lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) batteries are about 70% lighter. Due to its small size, it fits in small places and reduces footprint issues.

● Longer lifespan

Now batteries are the longtime companion for the boats. Lithium ion batteries for boats guarantee 5 to 7 years of lifespan if we use them carefully. It helps in reducing frequent replacement costs.

● Lower maintenance requirements

Like traditional lead acid batteries, lithium batteries for boats do not need frequent fluid top-ups. So, once you have installed the battery properly, you will not have to worry about any maintenance.

Part 5. Considerations for using lithium-Ion batteries in boats

When you have decided to install a new lithium-cranking battery for a boat, you should first consider some important facts because it is more challenging than buying a cup of tea. There are some key considerations to choose the battery accordingly.

  1. Keep in mind that lithium ion batteries for boats are not cheap but are 3 to 4 times higher than lead acid batteries.
  2. Lithium ion battery needs proper ventilation to avoid heat and thermal runaway.
  3. Choose a battery with Battery management systems (BMS). Because it will provide added safety for the battery.
  4. Ensure that the battery should be compatible with the charging system and according to the requirements of the boat.
  5. Get professionals’ help when installing the battery to avoid any inconvenience or issue.

Part 6. 5 Best lithium ion batteries for boats

Here are the top five brands offering lithium ion batteries for boats. Choose any of the top five brands battery for your boat according to your marine needs.

1. Battle Born Batteries

battle born batteries    

Battle Born Batteries is a renowned brand for lithium marine batteries. It has a long range of battery models that suit every boat. LiFePO4 deep cycle battery is one of the 12-volt batteries with 100 Ah capacity and 32 lbs weight. Battle Born Batteries offer a long lifespan of up to 15 years, and they are equipped with BMS and a 10-year warranty. Therefore, as a time investment, you will not have to worry about frequent replacements and further expenses.

2. Relion Lithium

relion lithium

Suppose you are looking for lithium ion batteries for boats at Relion Lithium. In that case, RB 100-12 A is Relion’s battery model and is a suitable choice for boats. The battery has all the necessary features like Bluetooth BMS, the lightest weight, and high power delivery. However, the battery price is a bit expensive. You must spend $899 to get this battery for your boat. 

3. Ufine Battery

ufine battery

Ufine Battery is the battery brand that ranks third, providing every power solution for your marine needs. It offers a 12-volt LiFePO4 Ah battery for your boat. The battery is much lighter, only 18 lbs, while it has all features like BMS and safety overcharge protection. So, choosing the Ufine Battery brand is ideal for boats.

4. Dakota Lithium

dakota lithium

Dakota can be a reasonable choice for boats with lithium ion batteries in budget. This 12-volt lithium battery is re-engineered with LiFePO4 technology. The company claims 8 times longer lifespan than a sealed lead acid battery. It provides 100 Amp hours of capacity with an 11-year warranty, making it ideal for lithium cranking batteries for boat and marine needs.

5. ZPRO Lithium

zpro lithium

You can buy this battery if you need a small battery backup for trolling motors, fishing finders, and powering your devices at ZPRO Lithium.  This battery is not ideal for a lithium-cranking battery for the boat. But an additional power support for your small needs on the boat.

Comparison table of 5 Best Lithium Ion Batteries for Boats

Brand Battery Model Voltage (V) Capacity (Ah) Price (USD) Weight (lbs) Features
Battle Born Batteries LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery 12-volt 100 $925 31 High usable capacity, long lifespan, lightweight, BMS
Relion Lithium RB100-12A 12-volt 100 $899 26.4 Ideal for high-powered electronics, lightweight, Bluetooth BMS
Ufine Battery 185215340 12-volt 100 $18 N/A Ideal for high-powered electronics, lightweight, BMS
Dakota Lithium Battery 12V 100Ah 12-volt 100 $699 30 Excellent discharge performance, faster charging, rugged, BMS
ZPRO Lithium Lithium 12V 50Ah 12-volt 50 $399 12 Perfect for smaller boats, lightweight, BMS, affordable
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Gerald

Electronic Engineering Writer

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