Buyers Guide & Information

Best Dual Purpose Marine Battery Reviewed

We have reviewed the best dual-purpose marine battery models on the market. These brands offer flexibility in charging options and value for money.

As you start looking for the best dual purpose marine batteries, you will find that there are different battery types. From the starting battery to the deep-cycle battery, you need to know which one will provide the power you require.

That’s why we put together these dual purpose marine battery reviews. You will find options for your boat engine or trolling motors.


Preview

Product

Battery Size

CCA/MCA

Check Price

Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop...

Optima Batteries

8014-045 D34/78

BCI: 34/ 10 x 6.9 x 7.8 inches

750 CCA

Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST-M TROLLING Thunder...

Odyssey

31M-PC2150ST-M

31/16.8 x 11.1 x 11.9 inches

1150 CCA

NorthStar NSB-AGM31M AGM Group 31 Marine...

NorthStar

NSB-AGM31M

31/ 14 x 11 x 10 inches

1150 CCA

Optima OPT8016-103 Batteries D34M BlueTop...

Optima Batteries

8016-103 D34M

34/ 10 x 6.9 x 7.8 inches

750 CCA

Optima Batteries 8050-160 D31T YellowTop Dual...

Optima Batteries

8050-160 D31T

YellowTop

31/ 12.8 x 6.5 x 9.4 inches

900 CCA

Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M BlueTop...

Optima Batteries

8052-161 D31M

31/ 12.8 x 6.5 x 9.4 inches

900 CCA

Dual Purpose Marine Batteries Explained

The dual purpose marine battery contains a unique construction consisting of thick plates. This design gives them more antimony than typical starting batteries. With this construction, the battery can tolerate deeper discharges and can be used for more extended periods. In addition, these batteries are usable in a variety of situations.

You can use them in your boat to start the motor, run accessories, or place it in your pickup truck when in need. Deep-cycle batteries are meant solely for accessories and trolling motors and shouldn't be used to start in an engine. Ideally, a boat would have deep-cycle batteries and starting batteries. However, if your vessel is small, you might prefer the dual purpose marine battery for both applications. 


Choosing a High-Quality Dual Purpose Marine Battery

Usage

The dual purpose marine battery is made to provide many uses. You can utilize the power to start your boat engine or run the accessories. It's helpful if you know what your plan is, as this information will allow you to pick the battery suiting your needs. If you only need a starting battery or one to run the accessories, you might do better with a different setup.

Marine Battery Group Size

The physical size of the battery matters. Start by checking the battery group size to determine if it will fit in your compartment or tray. You must also consider the weight of the battery. If you are installing and replacing the battery on your own, you might not want that eighty-pound model.

Engine Compatibility/Battery Chemistry

The majority of dual purpose marine batteries are AGM. AGM stands for Absorbed Glass Mat. With this battery type, you get a construction that features plates inside the box. These plates saturate the battery acid, making the battery nearly immune to vibrations. In addition, these batteries are sealed, allowing for a maintenance-free application.

Cold Cranking Amps

You need a particular amount of amperage to turn over the engine. If you choose a battery with low CCA, it will struggle to perform. However, some batteries are rated with MCA or Marine Cranking Amps instead. The CCA measures the amperage at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, while the MCA is measured at 32 degrees Fahrenheit instead.

Reserve Capacity

The longer the reserve capacity is, the more time the battery will work. The reserve capacity is measured by the number of minutes a battery can run without charging and without falling below its minimum voltage. You also want to evaluate the battery's voltage and amp-hours to determine the amount of power it will provide.

Life Span

A battery that sits on a store shelf for a year is not as fresh as the newly manufactured ones. For this reason, you must check the date of manufacture to ensure your battery will provide as much life as possible. Typically, you don't want to purchase any battery that has a date of manufacture of more than six months ago.

Resistance

If you purchase an AGM dual purpose battery, you won’t have to worry much about the resistance. These batteries are naturally vibration- and shock-resistant. In addition, the sealed unit ensures that you won’t have leaks or spills to worry about. The maintenance-free design is also corrosion-resistant. Not all battery types provide this kind of durability.

Handles

You will need to move your dual purpose marine battery at some point. When the time comes to replace your battery, you want a convenient handle. Otherwise, you might have to muscle the battery out of its compartment to swap it with a new one. You will have to pay slightly more to get this type of versatility.

Price & Warranty

While you might be tempted to purchase a cheap dual purpose battery, it’s not wise to skimp on quality. Instead, evaluate the top brands to ensure you get a decent value. The longer a battery lasts, the more money you save in the long run. Plus, you want to buy from a provider that offers a lengthy warranty.


6 Best Dual Purpose Marine Batteries Reviewed

1. Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78

Our Top Pick

Battery Group

34/ 10 x 6.9 x 7.8 inches

Reserve

120 mins

C20 Capacity

55 Ah

CCA/MCA

750 CCA

Weight

43.5 Lbs.

Warranty

3-year

Optima is a leader in the battery industry because the company has produced more than 100 million units since the 1990s. This particular model features 750 cold cranking amps, which is enough to start the motor when needed. In addition, it isn’t a heavy battery at just 43.5 pounds. To ensure maximum performance, this battery provides a 120-minute reserve capacity.

While this AGM battery does provide the same features as others, vibration-resistant, spill-proof, and corrosion-resistant, there's so much more. In fact, the company claims that these batteries are fifteen times more resistant to vibration than other options. Also, the batteries are constructed with a unique SprialCell design for maximum longevity. These spiral-wound cells are made from pure lead plates coated with lead oxide.

The majority of reviews can’t say enough about this lineup of Optima batteries. However, a few customers feel that the quality of the batteries has gone downhill slightly over the past couple of years. This is something to keep in mind. However, Optima does provide a three-year warranty, which should provide enough time to weed out any premature failure.

Overall, we have to rank this option at the top of our charts because of the overall reliability, value, and durability.

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • Spiral Cell technology
  • 120-minute reserve capacity

Cons

  • Recent customer complaints

2. Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST-M

Runner Up

Battery Group

31/16.8 x 11.1 x 11.9 inches

Reserve

188 mins

C20 Capacity

100 Ah

CCA/MCA

1150 CCA

Weight

77.8 Lbs.

Warranty

3-year

If you require a dual purpose marine battery from Group 31, this option from Odyssey is a top choice. However, this technology comes at a price. This Group 31 dual purpose marine battery is priced higher than most but provides plenty of power. In fact, it is rated at 1150 CCA, so you won’t have trouble running anything that requires power. Plus, this battery has a seventy percentage longer cycle life than other deep cycle batteries. Furthermore, it charges faster than most, at less than six hours.

The durable battery is also extremely resistant to vibrations and shocks. It can even tolerate extreme temperatures down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit. With this versatility, you can boat in any weather condition with ease. Plus, the battery won’t spill or leak, so you can mount it in any position.

As with the previous option, the customer reviews are off the chart, proving that this is a top choice. In addition, Odyssey provides a three-year warranty that is slightly different than other manufacturers. Instead of providing pro-rated warranties, this company offers a complete replacement. That makes this battery option a better choice if you are willing to spend a little more.

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • Top of the line
  • Long reserve capacity

Cons

  • Expensive

3. NorthStar NSB-AGM31M

Best AGM Dual Purpose Marine Battery

Battery Group

31/ 14 x 11 x 10 inches

Reserve

220 mins

C20 Capacity

103 Ah

CCA/MCA

1150 CCA

Weight

74.5 Lbs.

Warranty

3-year

Another high-end battery to choose from in Group 31 comes from NorthStar. This AGM battery provides 1150 cold cranking amps and an exceptional 220-minute reserve capacity. With this performance, you are sure to get the power you need in any situation. In addition, this battery provides quick-starting ability, plus it cycles more than 900 times, even at a fifty percent depth of discharge.

When compared to traditional batteries, you will find that this model charges much faster. Plus, the AGM construction assures that there are no spills or leaks. With this design, you can mount your battery in any position for maximum versatility. The AGM battery is geared to handle vibrations and shocks with ease, allowing you to boat anywhere without worry. As with the last model, this battery is heavier, but it needs to be to handle the power output it provides.

A quick look at the reviews shows that customers are fond of this setup. However, there aren't as many people talking about this battery as some of our other choices. On the plus side, the company does offer a three-year warranty, which is long enough to justify the cost of the battery itself.

If you want a reliable battery with plenty of starting power, you can't go wrong with NorthStar.

Pros

  • Reputable brand
  • Plenty of power
  • Long reserve capacity

Cons

  • Expensive

4. Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M

Best Rated Model

Battery Group

34/ 10 x 6.9 x 7.8 inches

Reserve

120 mins

C20 Capacity

55 Ah

CCA/MCA

750 CCA

Weight

43.5 Lbs.

Warranty

2-year

In the Optima lineup, we also have the BlueTop series, which makes a perfect choice as a dual purpose battery. This battery is a Group 34 type that provides 750 cold cranking amps for ideal starting power. Unlike the previous two, this battery is lightweight at only 43.5 pounds. You won’t need help swapping out your marine battery at this weight.

The AGM battery provides the option to mount in any position. You can put this in your boat or your RV for maximum accessory power. Overall, Optima claims the batteries have fifteen times more vibration-resistance than other traditional options. It also provides 120 minutes of reserve capacity, so you don’t need to worry about running out of power.

The reviews for this battery are exceptional. Overall, many customers rely on Optima to provide consistent marine power. However, there are more recent complaints regarding premature failure than there once was.

Thankfully, most people discussing this problem are also covered by the battery’s two-year warranty, so they were able to get a replacement. For the cost and amount of power that’s offered, it’s difficult to complain.

We recommend this model if you want something that comes highly recommended by other boaters.

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • Good mix of performance and value
  • Lightweight
  • Spiral Cell technology

Cons

  • Occasional premature failure

5. Optima Batteries 8050-160 D31T YellowTop

Most Durable Option

Battery Group

31/ 12.8 x 6.5 x 9.4 inches

Reserve

155 mins

C20 Capacity

75 Ah

CCA/MCA

900 CCA

Weight

59.8 Lbs.

Warranty

2-year

This Group 31 marine battery provides 900 cold cranking amps for a reasonable price. This added power does add to the weight, at nearly 60 pounds. However, it does provide 155 minutes of reserve capacity for superior protection. You can count on this battery to operate properly, even in bad weather. In addition, all Optima batteries promise fifteen times more vibration resistance, so you can boat anywhere.

Not only is this a durable AGM battery, but it also features Spiral Cell technology, which ensures longevity. Mount it in any position without concern over spills or leaks. The sealed battery designs also guarantee that you won't be dealing with maintenance tasks regularly. You can install the battery, set it up with your smart charger, and forget about it.

Look at the customer reviews, and you will see what other users think about this battery. It continues to excel among the competition and outlast other batteries. As with the other Optima batteries, there seem to be recent complaints about premature failure, but the manufacturer's two-year warranty should cover any trouble you face.

We recommend this battery if you want a durable, long-lasting option with sufficient power and plenty of reserve capacity.

Pros

  • Good customer reviews
  • Durable design
  • Lengthy reserve capacity
  • Spiral Cell technology

Cons

  • Occasional premature failure

6. Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M

High Reserve Capacity

Battery Group

31/ 12.8 x 6.5 x 9.4 inches

Reserve

155 mins

C20 Capacity

75 Ah

CCA/MCA

900 CCA

Weight

59.8 Lbs.

Warranty

2-year

As a BlueTop battery option, you can’t go wrong with this top-selling Optima model. This Group 31 marine battery provides 900 cold cranking amps and a reserve capacity of 155 minutes. It’s also reasonably lightweight at just 60 pounds. As with many Optima batteries, you can count on the optimal power even in bad weather. Use this to start the engine or run your accessories for maximum versatility.

Customers agree that the Spiral Cell technology increases the durability. Mount this in any position without the concern of leaks or spills. Plus, the case is made to be resistant to vibrations and shocks, no matter what the water conditions are. Instead, you can spend more time enjoying your time in the sunshine.

Again, we see a high amount of five-star reviews from loyal Optima battery customers. It does appear that something has shifted in the manufacturing lately that is causing slightly more premature failures, but it is still a reliable company to depend on. In addition, there is a two-year warranty that protects you from these manufacturer defects if they should occur.

Choose this marine battery if you need a model that features a high reserve capacity and plenty of performance.

Pros

  • Good customer reviews
  • Vibration-resistant
  • Lengthy reserve capacity
  • Spiral Cell technology

Cons

  • Recent manufacturing concerns

Why Invest in Dual Purpose Marine Batteries?

You can purchase a separate starting and deep-cycle battery, but you may not need to. If you have a smaller vessel, it might make more sense to invest in dual purpose marine batteries.

With this type, you can alternate the use between starting the motor and running your electronic equipment for maximum value.


Marine Battery Usage Tips & Safety Precautions

Anytime you work with a battery, you want to take special precautions. Here are a few marine battery safety tips to follow.

  • Wear gloves when working with the battery.
  • Keep batteries away from children and pets.
  • Replace the battery if you notice any cracks or damage to the case.
  • Clean any corrosion with baking soda and water.
  • Store batteries in a cool and dry location.
  • Check the battery charge often and keep the levels maintained.

Charging a Dual Purpose Marine Battery

Charging the marine battery isn’t much different than the typical type. Here are some tips to follow.

  • Inspect the battery to ensure there is no damage.
  • Connect the battery charger to the positive terminal first, then the negative. Don’t allow the two connectors to touch.
  • If you are using a smart charger, you can enable it to work as intended without supervision. Otherwise, you must monitor the charger and remove it when the battery is full.
  • Turn off the charger and remove it, starting with the negative terminal.

Depending on the type of battery you purchase, you may be able to bring a dead battery back to life. Consider the steps of battery reconditioning if your batteries aren’t working the way you hoped.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What are common reasons why these batteries fail?

Batteries will fail for a number of reasons. First, the battery might have been exposed to excessive temperatures, either hot or cold. Secondly, it could be that the battery itself wasn’t properly charged. It’s also possible that the batteries might not have been stored or used properly.

What are some tips on taking care of these batteries?

The most important aspect of maintaining your batteries is to keep them fully charged. You can do this with the help of a marine battery charger. In addition, you want to store the batteries in a cold, dry place.

How many batteries do I need for my boat?

Ideally, you would use separate starting and deep-cycle batteries. However, smaller vessels benefit from using a dual purpose battery to keep the cost down and save room.

What are the differences between Optima’s Blue, Yellow and Red Top batteries?

Optima sells a RedTop battery that’s ideal for starting vehicles. This series provides maximum cranking power. The YellowTop battery is a deep-cycle type that powers the accessories, fans, pumps, winches, and more. Finally, the BlueTop battery is a marine battery that is also ideal for RV use.

Where is the best place to buy these dual purpose marine batteries?

You can find a variety of batteries at Amazon. Plus, you will be able to shop from home and have it shipped to your front door.


Conclusion

What is the best dual purpose marine battery? In most situations, we recommend the Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78. Not only will this battery provide 750 cold cranking amps, but it also provides the power needed to run accessories and electronics.

Top