Why Boaters are Choosing Lithium for their Marine Batteries

Posted September 08, 2022

As lithium battery pack prices have dropped 89 percent over the past decade, boaters are increasingly making the switch to lithium batteries, with affordable prices being just one of many reasons why. From enhanced efficiency to significantly reduced weight to longer-lasting power to safety, lithium batteries offer many benefits for any boater who wants to spend more time on the water with less worries. Here are some of the top reasons why boaters are opting for lithium batteries over lead-acid for their adventures on the water.

  • LiFePO4 Batteries Are Smaller and Lighter Than Lead-Acid
  • Lithium Marine Batteries Last Longer
  • Lithium Batteries Have More Power And Operate at Full Capacity
  • Lithium Deep Cycle Batteries Charge Fast
  • Easy Drop-In Installation For Your Boat

LiFePO4 Batteries Are Smaller and Lighter

Whether you use your boat for fishing, racing or sailing, the last thing you want with you on a boat trip is extra weight, both in terms of maximizing speed as well as space. It’s therefore important to keep in mind that lithium batteries weigh significantly less than traditional lead-acid batteries. In fact, lithium batteries are on average about one-third to one-half the weight of same capacity lead-acid batteries. For example, the VMAX 12V 200Ah AGM battery weighs 82 pounds more, or about three times more, than the RELiON RB100 12V 100Ah battery, which only weighs 26.4 pounds. The reason we compared a 200Ah VMAX AGM battery to a 100Ah A RELiON lithium battery is because AGM batteries can only be discharged down to about 50 percent, unlike lithium batteries, as a 200Ah rated AGM battery is actually equivalent to a lithium battery with half the rated capacity (100Ah). As you can see, lithium batteries therefore are significantly more compact and lighter while also offering greater energy density, or more energy in relation to the battery’s size.

Sailing With Lightweight Lithium Batteries

Lithium Marine Batteries Last Longer

Not only are marine lithium batteries smaller and lighter, but they also last longer than all other battery options, which translates to much lower replacement costs and fewer headaches. The average lead-acid battery is supposed to last about 1,000-1,500 cycles in its lifespan, but less than half of lead-acid batteries actually reach near this lifespan.

A lithium battery, on the other hand, has an average life of 3,000-5,000 cycles, depending on the depth of discharge. Batteries like RELiON's Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries are designed to provide 3,500 cycles at 80 percent depth of discharge and even greater cycles at lower depths of discharge. Notably, this higher life cycle does not even require the high levels of maintenance that most lead-acid batteries require for their shorter life spans. With a lithium battery, you can expect a battery life that is as high as 5x longer than a lead-acid battery.

This long battery life means you get more out of your battery and save money over the long run since you will not need a replacement as soon as with a lead-acid battery. Additionally, if you do have any concerns with your lithium battery, you can count on RELiON’s 10-year guaranteed warranty. Lithium batteries’ longer lifespan is particularly important for professional fishermen or sailors who are out at sea for long periods of time.

Lithium Batteries Have More Power And Operate at Full Capacity

When buying a battery for your boat, you would expect that, at a minimum, it would be able to be fully discharged up to the rated or marketed capacity (i.e., 1,200 Wh, 2,400 Wh). Unfortunately, lead-acid batteries can become damaged when more than 50 percent of their capacity is used. This is not the case for lithium batteries, which can be discharged as high as 80 to 100 percent without incurring any damage. Lithium batteries’ much greater discharge capacity means you receive more energy throughout every charge / discharge cycle every day, allowing you to truly maximize your time on the water.

Batteries like the RELiON RB100-HP battery also have a maximum continuous discharge current of 100A and a peak discharge current of 800A, which is far more robust than similar capacity lead-acid batteries, which have an operational capability that is only a fraction of this.

Power All Your Graphs And Accessories With Lithium

Installing LiFePO4 on your boat gives you ample power to run all of your GPS systems, graphs, live fishing wells, radios, and anything else you may need for a full day out on the water.

Fast Charging Lithium Marine Batteries

Lithium batteries are not only capable of operating at full capacity and lasting longer, but also charge faster as well. A lithium battery can charge in little as 4 hours as opposed to lead-acid batteries, which can take upwards of 10 hours to fully charge. Additionally, a lithium battery can be recharged multiple times a day, but it is usually recommended that a lead-acid battery only be charged once in a 24-hour period so as to not further reduce the battery’s lifespan. With a lithium battery, you get to enjoy a faster charge time and a charge that lasts much longer than a lead-acid battery, allowing you to make the most of your time on the water.

Easy Drop-In Battery Installation For Your Boat

At first, it may seem that installing a lithium battery is a complicated and lengthy process, but fortunately, this is not the case. For example, RELiON’s batteries are known for being simple and streamlined to install due to the way they were designed. Their batteries come in standard Battery Council International (BCI) sizes for easy, drop-in replacement, which comes in handy when you’re trying to efficiently upgrade a lead acid battery bank.

Easy Drop In Replacement Lithium Marine Batteries

Particularly with the guidance of RELiON’s experienced and responsive support team, you have the benefit of getting all of your questions answered by knowledgeable experts, making the switch to a lithium battery as smooth as possible. One of the company’s recent boating customers shared:

“I was so worried about changing to a lithium battery because it felt intimidating and I was overwhelmed. This all changed the minute I got support from the RELiON customer service team who helped walk me through every step of the process.”

Is A Lithium Battery Right For Your Boat?

RELiON has a large number of lithium batteries that are ideal for marine use. You can get more power and a faster charge all while saving space on your boat. To learn more about how to calculate your energy needs and find the optimal battery for your application and usage, visit our Lithium Battery Selector Tool. If you have additional questions about how a lithium battery can help fuel your next boating adventure, or if you have questions about a specific battery, contact a RELiON professional today.