Marine Battery vs Deep Cycle

Marine battery vs deep cycle

The argument over marine battery vs deep cycle has been on for a long time. Many people wonder which of the batteries works better for them.

Every battery comes with some electrical storage device.  The device stores electricity rather than electricity.

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When the chemicals in your battery change, electrical energy is released or stored.  The main application for your battery is to start and run your engine.

We have a marine battery and a deep cycle battery that you can consider. The deep cycle batteries include RV, traction, solar electric (PV), and backup power batteries.

In addition, the marine batteries fall between a deep cycle or starting battery.  Often deep cycle and marines are used together.

Marine battery vs deep cycle. Deep Cycle Batteries

Deep cycle batteries come with thick plates.  The plates can be discharged down to 80%, which is the deep cycled time.

Anything less than this could affect the battery.  However, starter batteries produce short, high-current bursts to crank an engine.

The batteries frequently discharge a small portion of their strength or capacity.

Meanwhile, the difference between deep cycle batteries and other batteries is that the former offer  solid lead plates, and not sponge.

The deep cycle batteries can be used in industrial applications for in solar power plants and as backups.

Uses of a Deep Cycle Battery

Deep cycle batteries deliver sustained energy. This makes the battery suitable for applications like:

  • Materials handling, including forklifts
  • Marine applications
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Golf carts
  • Off-grid renewable energy

Types of Deep Cycle Batteries

We have different types of deep cycle batteries on the market.

The common type of this battery includes the flooded deep cycle batteries and or “maintenance-free” deep cycle batteries or sealed batteries.

Flooded Deep Cycle Batteries

The flooded deep cycle batteries need regular monitoring. If the electrolyte level comes low, you have to refill the battery.

Maintenance-Free Batteries

The“maintenance-free” batteries come sealed and do not need refilling. However, regular inspection is recommended.

Marine Batteries

Marine batteries can be the dual-purpose batteries, starting batteries, or deep cycle batteries.

The batteries are normally a hybrid of deep cycle and starting batteries, with lead sponge plates.

They are heavier and coarser than starting battery plates. However, they are not as thick as the true deep cycle battery plates.

A starting battery is suitable for inboard or outboard marine engine. However, a deep cycle battery works well if you want to power a trolling motor.

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Types of Marine Batteries

The following are the basic types of marine batteries:

Marine Deep Cycle Batteries

The batteries are created to discharge gradually over a period. It can withstand several hundred charging and discharging cycles.

Meanwhile, a deep cycle battery is suitable for powering an electric trolling motor. It can also power depth finders, fish locators,  audio systems, a windlass, and appliances.

The deep cycle batteries are not an alternative for starting batteries.

Marine Starting Batteries

The marine starting battery offers fast, but powerful spurts of energy over short periods.

The battery is for starting the engine and being quickly recharged by the engine alternator.

A starting battery must not be used for powering appliances or trolling motors.

Marine Dual-Purpose Batteries

The battery combines the performance of the deep cycle and starting cycle. It comes as a great choice for smaller batteries if there’s no room for two batteries.

Marine battery vs deep cycle
deep cycle

Tips for Avoiding Battery Problems

You should secure the marine battery with a good battery tray. This should have a base bolted or screwed to the boat.

You should frequently check the battery terminal connections. This is to make sure they are snug and free of corrosion.

You have to replace the wing nuts on marine batteries with nylon locking nuts.

People who use the boat infrequently should consider using a maintenance-type battery charger. The effect is to keep the battery fully charged between outings.

Before off-season storage charges the batteries completely then disconnect the terminals to ensure that nothing draws the battery down.

If you notice there’s power available at the storage site, ensure that  you keep the batteries on a battery maintainer/charger through the off-season.

This is to continually maintain your batteries.

You have to install a cover or “boot” over the top of the positive battery terminal. The boot prevents sparks and arcing and possible.

Marine battery VS RV battery

What is a marine RV battery?

The RV marine battery comes as a hybrid of a deep cycle battery and starting battery. However, some people recommend them as deep cycle batteries.

The battery is less expensive than a dedicated deep cycle battery. However, do note expect them to be of  good quality.

Most RV batteries bathe the lead in an acid/water solution. This ensures that you need fill up often.  With every charge the battery loses a little of the solution.

To fix this problem, manufacturers sealed the batteries and left a small vent on the side. You can use marine and RV batteries interchangeable.

You should ensure that the marine battery comes with a huge reserve capacity and discharge slowly.

You should check if the marine battery has enough reserve to start your RV.

Three types of marine/RV batteries

We have three different types of RV marine battery. They include the AGM batteries,  flooded batteries, and gel batteries.

  • The flooded batteries use lead plates and sulfuric acid.
  • The gel batteries are sensitive to overcharging.
  • AGM batteries are maintenance-free and use glass mat separators. They are not affected by vibrations or shock.

What to look for in an RV marine battery


The battery’s capacity will be measured in ampere hours or AH. Ampere-hours measure the amount of current the battery can produce with a period.

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A higher AH means that the  battery has the ability to store more power and work longer.  However, this can  affect the size and weight of a battery.

Depth of discharge

The depth of discharge is a percentage that displays the specific amount of power discharged by the battery.

People using a lead-acid battery should know that the life cycle and depth of discharge are related.

Hence, deeper individual cycles mean the battery offers fewer cycles.


Voltage is the potential electrical difference. Most times, starter and deep cycle batteries have 12v DC (direct current).

Some RV owners can combine 6v batteries in a series to build their own 12v batteries to use.


You should know how your battery can be charged. Also, will you use a  shore, solar, generator or an inverter for your charging.

Temperature changes

Do have an idea of how will your battery do in low and high temperatures?  You should know about the temperature differences and resistance.

Ability to withstand vibration

Check the ability of the battery to withstand shock or vibration. A good RV battery will withstand shocks and vibrations. This ensures that it’s not damaged in transit.

Marine battery vs deep cycle
deep cycle

Marine battery vs golf cart battery

Can You Use a Marine Battery in a Golf Cart?

You may have a beautiful time cruising around with your gold cart until you have a battery problem.

Pushing a golf cart back to the clubhouse can be a herculean task. Can you use a marine battery in your golf cart.

Before answering this question, you should learn more about the pros and cons of the two batteries.

Meanwhile, you can technically use a marine battery in a golf cart. The golf cart battery and marine battery make use of gel lead-acid batteries.

If you use a marine battery in your golf cart, you can notice the following:

  • Possible damage to sensitive components
  • Shorter run times
  • Faster replacement periods

What You Need to Know First

Before you buy a golf cart battery, you should know this:

Golf carts use a series of batteries that deliver the required voltage and amperage. The power requirements and size  are key features for a replacement.

Golf carts do not use a single battery. However, they can use multiples of 6V, 8V, or 12V batteries.

You should ensure any replacement batteries use the same combination.

You must not upgrade your batteries if a manufacturer warns against it. Such an act could destroy the cart.

Ensure that you match the brand standard to the standard on your replacement battery packs.

If you use the wrong battery, you will end up wasting money. Not only that, you can experience hazardous situations.

Car batteries and golf cart batteries have different maintenance needs, requirements, and standards.

You should know that using a car battery in a golf cart can be dangerous.

Two power features to look for in golf cart batteries:

  • The voltage (Volts or V) that translates to how much power.
  • The current (amps or A) translates to how fast the power goes.

The amperage is the time and distance left on the charge. What this means is that the higher the amperage, the further the drive per charge.

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Long rides need high voltage, while short but highly responsive rides need amperage.

The voltage for the cart and charger should match.

  • Overpowered chargers build corrosion on the positive plate.
  • An underpowered charger builds sulfation on the negative plate.

The two situations can reduce the durability of the batteries or charger..

Maintenance for batteries battery life spans over 5-6 years.

  • You have to clean with a bristle brush and mild cleaner that has anti-corrosive properties.
  • You should avoid oxidation and acid contact with the terminals. You achieve this by putting silicone paste on the terminal ends.
  • Consider the wiring and replace frayed cables.
  • Check out disconnected installations and reconnect.
  • You should charge a cart between 8 to 10 hours.
  • The charge must be kept above 20%.
  • Instead of deep charging, just keep it regularly topped off.

You should not jump-start a deep cycle lead-acid golf cart batteries off a car.

Types of golf cart batteries:

Most golf carts have Flooded Lead Acid batteries. However, retrofitting with Lithium-Ion batteries is straightforward.

You should know that Lithium Golf Cart Batteries are more expensive more than Lead-Acid batteries. However, they offer huge benefits like:

  • They last longer than lead-acid batteries
  • They do not require maintenance (cleaning or watering)
  • They do not lose power as their voltage dips
  • The batteries can recharge speeds are much faster.

Weigh less

You should know that the battery life span depends on the quality of maintenance and number of recharges.

Temperature Concerns

Many marine batteries are being charged at lower temperatures than 12 volt golf cart batteries. Marine batteries are rarely charged above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, golf carts may be in hotter temperatures than this value. The temperature is essential because charging rates are considered.

Charging rates vary in batteries. If you use a marine battery in a golf cart, the battery won’t be within the proper temperature range.

This would negatively affect the charge.  Hence, the cart might last through nine holes instead of a full, 18-hole course.

You should use golf-cart batteries because they’re designed for this application.

Quality Internal Parts

Golf-cart batteries are manufactured with slightly better internal components than marine types.

This means that the golf-cart batteries don’t have a higher quality than a car battery. Electric golf cart batteries should stay at a low price point to be viable in consumers’ minds.

Marine batteries are not as well-built to suit your golf cart power need.

The Plate Factor

The storage capabilities of batteries are based on the plate size. The plates store the energy from the battery.

With a 6 volt deep cycle golf cart battery, it has large plates to hold that power over long periods of time.

You should know that a marine battery has a different plate size than a golf cart battery. Marine batteries are smaller than golf cart battery plates.

Discharge Rates

If you replace 12 volt golf cart batteries with marine batteries, you might encounter a big problem in their discharge.

The golf cart batteries can be discharged down to 80-percent of their entire capacity and charged back up without a problem.

However,  marine batteries stay best at a maximum of a 50-percent discharge. This means that swapping the batteries out can lead to rapid decline in the power.