Here's the Scoop on Lithium Marine Batteries
Are They Worth It?
I had been considering buying lithium batteries for some time. But I wondered if it was the worth the cost. I decided to go for it when I discovered two of my four lead-acid batteries needing replacing.
A year ago, I had removed and reinstalled the batteries in order of purchase dates so the oldest battery would be the easiest one to remove. Oops — the newest battery in the hardest-to-reach spot is the one that died first. Go figure. The other battery needing replacement was the cranking battery. So, since I had to take them all out, I decided to go all in on lithium.
So I began researching. Most of the dealers I contacted didn't have a "deep cycle" version, but I found the Ionic battery and they have a 125AH battery that works as a cranking battery. It starts my 250 hp Yamaha with no problems. I bought three 12Volt, 100AH and one 12Volt, 125AH batteries.
So, it's too early to tell about life span. But this is what I have discovered:
- Be prepared for a change in the way your boat handles. (Definitely peppier)
- Depending on what size batteries you get, the space savings might not be as much as you hope. Because I bought the 100AH series, I used the old battery trays I already had.
- You can fish several days without charging. (Not recommended for tournament days.)
- The battery charger should have the lithium profile. (I had to buy a new charger too.)
- The batteries weigh less, so it makes it easier to lift and install them. (Especially handy for me.)
- I can get on plane much easier even with a full tournament load and full livewells. (Now, my non-boater doesn't have to crawl toward the front deck to drop the nose. A huge safety concern I had.)
- A full tournament day does not drain the 125AH cranking battery with livewells running, three electronic units, HydroWave, and Garmin Panoptix (not Livescope). (That was not the case with my old starting battery.)
- Some anglers choose a single 36-volt battery. I considered getting two 36V batteries, but the cost was getting up there. I opted for the 12 volt batteries because if I have an issue with one, it is less money to replace just one.
- My batteries arrived with a 60- to 70% charge. (The charge did not drop from the time they arrived to the time I installed and finally plugged them in to charge the first time.)
- The batteries have built in Bluetooth so you can monitor them via an app. (How cool is that!)