Power Boats

Sunrise on boats at Geordie Bay, Rottnest Island, near Perth in Western Australia.

Trawlers, power yachts, cabin cruisers, and multi-hull power boats are all very distinct boats on the water.

These boats have been designed specifically for long-distance cruising and comfortable living on-board for extended periods of time. 

The trawler has its roots as a fishing boat, but many modern trawlers and yachts have all the comforts of home below deck. With all the comforts of home (like a galley, head, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC), prioritizing a reliable power system is a must. 

Battle Born Batteries is here to make that a possibility! Our batteries are a fraction of the weight of lead-acid batteries, which improve the performance and cut the weight of your boat. They also supply two to three times more power.

A typical lead-acid battery cannot be drained below 50% of its capacity without significant damage being inflicted on it. But our deep cycle LiFePO4 batteries utilize a special chemistry that allows you to use 100% of your battery’s capacity without damaging them. 

You can also charge your Battle Born Batteries up to five times faster than a standard lead-acid battery. So, you can spend less time waiting on your batteries to charge and spend more time doing what you love and enjoying your next adventure! 

Contact us, browse our shop, or keep reading to learn how to upgrade your power boat’s batteries to Battle Born Lithium.

How to Use Lithium Batteries in Power Boats and Trawlers

When you think of getting out on the water in a powerboat or trawler, your boat’s batteries may not be the first thing you think of. But they play an essential role in keeping you comfortable and safe out on the water. Unfortunately, all batteries are not created equal. In many ways, lithium batteries are a superior choice to the more common lead-acid variety. Let’s take a closer look at why and how to get your own boat equipped with this helpful technology. 

The Power Needs of Power Boats and Trawlers

As should be evident to anyone who’s driven, ridden in, or even seen a powerboat and a trawler, they’re quite different. Power boats focus on speed and fun, with a sleeker profile aimed at helping them slice quickly through the water. On the other hand, trawlers are slow-speed vessels designed for comfortable cruising. They often include more indoor cabin space for extended trips. 

The differences between these types of vessels also extend to their power needs. Trawlers will generally need a more substantial “house battery,” the battery designed to power lights and other essential systems. This is separate from the starting battery that helps start the engine. Power boats generally won’t need as much capacity for this battery, as they’ll typically return to shore (and shore power) nightly. 

8d battery in power boat cabin

The Benefits of Using Lithium Batteries in Power Boats and Trawlers

So why should you consider swapping out your traditional battery for a lithium one? Here are some of the biggest advantages this valuable technology provides.

Increased Power Capacity

Lithium batteries offer better capacity than their lead-acid counterparts in two ways. First, they simply can store more energy overall. But they can also be discharged more deeply than lead-acid batteries. This means you’ll be able to use more of the battery’s energy per charge. This can result in significantly more usable energy for boaters. 

Lightweight

Lithium batteries are significantly lighter than traditional batteries with comparable amounts of storage. This is another result of the different technology used in lithium batteries. This lighter weight allows boat owners to reduce the overall weight of their vessel, a valuable feature when every pound matters. Alternatively, you can add additional battery capacity while maintaining the same weight as before. 

man lifting battle born battery on dock with boat in background

Can Run Heavy Loads

Due to the chemical makeup of lithium batteries, they have less electrical resistance than traditional, old-school batteries. This means they can supply a higher current at any given time. This crucial feature allows you to run multiple power-hungry appliances or other systems on your power boat simultaneously without overloading your electrical system. 

Fast Charging

No one enjoys spending time at the marina charging up your batteries. That’s why lithium batteries can be extremely helpful to those looking to spend as little time charging as possible. Traditional batteries can take half a day or more to fully charge, while their lithium counterparts can often reach full charge in four hours or fewer. Think about all that extra time enjoying your boat instead of charging up its batteries!

Easy Maintenance

Traditional lead-acid batteries need regular maintenance. Every few weeks, you’ll need to carefully add distilled water to ensure the proper chemical balance. Not so with lithium batteries. A properly installed lithium battery system is essentially “set it and forget it.” As a result, power boat and trawler owners can mostly ignore these batteries until the end of their lifespan (other than charging, of course).

Long Lifespan

Speaking of battery lifespan, lithium batteries offer another advantage here. While most lead-acid batteries last in the two- to six-year range, many of their lithium competitors can last eight to 10 years or more! This means you’ll have to buy fewer batteries over the long term and spend less on labor. You’ll also spend less time out of service while a professional installs replacement parts.

battle born lithium batteries on power boat

How Long Does a Lithium Battery Last in a Power Boat?

Quite a while! This is one of lithium’s most significant advantages over old-school batteries. Often, a well-treated lithium power boat or trawler battery can last a decade. At two to five times longer life, you’ll deal with far fewer replacements than with other types of batteries.

Lithium batteries also last longer on each charge, primarily due to their higher capacity and ability to discharge more fully without risking damage.

How Expensive Are Lithium Batteries?

While prices will vary by capacity and producer, most lithium batteries used in power boats or trawlers will cost $600 to $800 per 100Ah battery. With bigger form-factor batteries, such as our 270Ah GC3 and 8D batteries you can get an even better cost/amp-hour ratio.

270ah gc3 battery
270Ah 12V LiFePO4 GC3 Battery
8d battle born battery on dock
270Ah 12V LiFePO4 8D Battery

You will pay more upfront for lithium than traditional lead-acid batteries. However, lithium batteries will save users money over the long term due to their much longer lifespan. Essentially, if you can afford the upfront cost, they’ll be a much better value over time.

Deciding Which Lithium Batteries to Install in Your Power Boat or Trawler

If you’ve decided to make the upgrade to lithium, the process can feel a bit overwhelming, But first thing’s first, you’ll need to determine which batteries to install. 

Consider how much power you have access to with your current batteries, as well as how much you use. Are you routinely running out of juice, or do you frequently find yourself returning to the marina with a significant amount of battery power left? 

You’ll also need to ensure your lithium battery will fit your boat -— something that’s usually not a problem due to their smaller size, lower weight, and better flexibility in mounting. Some boaters may also need to remember their budget if they don’t have much to spend. With all these needs in mind, it should be relatively straightforward to find the perfect lithium battery for you.

How to Make the Switch to Lithium Batteries

Switching over to lithium batteries in your power boat or trawler isn’t quite as easy as just swapping out one battery for another. If the lithium batteries don’t have an internal battery management system (BMS) like ours do, you’ll need to install a battery management system, which regulates your batteries to ensure they don’t get overcharged or too deeply discharged. This additional system protects your valuable batteries from damage. 

Depending on the type and nature of your inverter, alternator, and other electrical system components, you may need to make upgrades or changes here as well. These can prove somewhat complicated processes, especially if you’re not very familiar with electrical systems. In many cases, you might want to let a professional make the switch for you if for no reason other than ensuring correct installation.

If you’re feeling confident, our Nevada-based tech support team is standing by to help answer any questions!

gc2 battery on dock with power boat in background
100Ah 12V LiFePO4 GC2 Battle Born Battery

Lithium Batteries Are Changing Mobile Electricity

Lithium batteries are shaking up the world of mobile electricity — and power boats and trawlers are certainly no exceptions. This game-changing technology can help you reduce your boat’s weight, extend your power availability, and run heavier loads. You’ll also spend less time charging and maintaining your batteries and more time enjoying your boat. 

Making the switch will cost a bit up front. However, this switch may prove worth it in the long run. Before you know it, your new lithium battery-powered vessel will be back out on the water, enjoying everything trawler and power boat life has to offer.

Last 10 Times Longer than Lead Acid

Even after 3000 – 5000 life cycles Battle Born Batteries retain 75 – 80% of their original capacity. For most users, it will take 10 to 15 years to reach this amount of life cycles.

2 to 3 times more power

Our batteries will supply you with two to three times the power in the same physical space of a lead acid battery.

Charge 5 Times Faster

With a high charge rate of half of your total bank and short absorption times, your batteries will charge in a fraction of the time of a lead acid. This faster charge rate allows you to use your generator less which means less fuel consumption, less noise, and less pollution.

High Discharging Capabilities

Our 100 Ah batteries provide a continuous 100 amps of power, surge of up to 200 amps for 30 seconds and even higher loads for a ½ second.

Efficient and High Performance

Our batteries have virtually no internal resistance and will not heat up or swell when charging or discharging. We also have a real power rating so whether you’re using 1 amp for 100 hours or 100 amps for one hour, you will receive the full amount of power your batteries are rated for. With a very flat discharge curve, power remains much more consistent with Battle Born Batteries even at a low state of charge.

Environmentally Safe and Non-Toxic

One lead acid battery can contaminate acres of municipal waste, but Battle Born Batteries are not toxic and are made with the safest lithium chemistry on the market. This allows you to place them anywhere in your rig whether it’s under a bed, a dinette, or even a small enclosed area without the fear of our batteries “off gassing” like lead acid.

Lighter

Our batteries are ½ to ⅔ the weight of a standard lead acid battery with more deliverable power.

Maintenance Free

Battle Born Batteries have a built-in management system to help protect you and your investment in the batteries in any strenuous situations such as high/low temperatures, high/low voltages, current surges, and short circuits. They also can be placed in your system with zero maintenance, so you no longer have to worry about adding water to your batteries or cleaning corroded terminals. Our batteries also have a very slow self-discharge rate so they can be left in storage for over a year without requiring you to hook them up to a trickle charger.

Customer Service 

We employ a team of USA-based experts at Battle Born Batteries to help with your customer service, sales and technical needs. Our industry-leading team utilizes clear communication via phone and email, along with product knowledge and problem-solving skills to assist with any questions you may have along the way. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your batteries, a complete power system or anything in between our team can provide the expertise needed to guide you through a lithium conversion. Feel free to contact our team at (855) 292-2831 or [email protected]. 

10-Year Warranty

We believe in our batteries and we want you to believe in them too. That’s why we ship every battery out with a 10-year warranty. If you have a problem, we want to fix it as quickly as possible so you can go on your next adventure!

Excellent Solar Systems

Battle Born Batteries allow you to take full advantage of solar by creating fast charging and fully sustainable power systems with a variety of applications.

Battle Born Batteries are sealed and can handle being in a moist environment. Our batteries, just like any electric device, should not be submerged in water.

Upon request and as an upgrade to our standard battery, we will add a waterproof seal, giving added protection from moisture and more extreme marine environments.

Our battery is designed as a deep cycle storage battery and doesn’t offer the cold cranking amps most applications require for starting.

Multiple batteries connected in parallel can be used in an emergency situation, but prolonged use in starting applications can result in diminished capacity or damage to the battery’s management system. 

The continuous discharge rate of our batteries is 100 amps, 200 amps for 30 seconds and higher loads for ½ second. Cold cranking applications typically exceed 200 amps which will cause our batteries to shut off.

Battle Born Batteries are 1/5th the weight of a traditional lead acid battery when matching the same usable capacity. This can result in a significant reduction in gross vehicle weight, not to mention being easier to load, install or move if necessary.

BB10012 and BBGC2 (12 volt 100 Ah) – 31 pounds

BB5012 (12 volt 50 Ah) – 17 pounds

BB5024 (24 volt 50 Ah) – 31 pounds

How long your batteries last depends on the size of your thrust. Take the max amp hours of your battery bank and divide them by the max amp draw.

max amp hours / max amp draw = total hours

Each application is different, but here is a guide to help you determine how long our batteries will last on the water at max draw.

As an update to this video, our batteries come with a 10-year warranty (8-year full replacement manufacturer’s defect warranty and 2 years prorated).

They are designed to last 3000 – 5000 cycles, at which point the battery will still hold 75 to 80% of its energy capacity.

Sizing a battery bank for an off-grid or mobile power system can get complicated if you don’t have all the information you need to make the right calculations. You will need some basic information to get started.  

You will need the maximum and continuous draw – in amps or watts – of the devices you want to power. These are usually found somewhere on the device on a sticker or plate that shows the amps and volts of that device or the power in watts. 

As an example, let’s just say that our system needs to run 10 amps at 120 volts for 3.5 hours.  

10 amps x 120 volts = 1200 watts of power.  

1200 watts x 3.5 hours = 4200 watt-hours of energy.  

Next you need to convert 4200 watts-hours to direct current (DC) amp-hours. For our example, we will use a 12 volt battery bank.  

4200 watts-hours / 12 volts = 350 DC amp-hours of battery energy needed for our sample application.  

Also, the battery needs to be able to deliver 1200 watts/ 12 volts = 100 amps of power.  

We will use the 100 amp-hour Battle Born battery to build this system.  

350 amp-hours / 100 amp-hours = 3.5  

We would need to use four 100 amp-hour LiFePO4 Battle Born Batteries to power this system. 

Very often the alternator will charge lithium batteries at the proper voltage (14.2 to 14.6 V), but we recommend not to exceed a 50% charge rate, this means a max of 50 amps for each 100 Ah battery.

An example would be a high 220 amp alternator putting out its full charge to the electrical system. An alternator charging the starter battery, running the electronics in the vehicle, and if wired with thick enough cables, might have around 150 amps leftover to charge your Battle Born Batteries. In this instance, three of our batteries would be a good match for the alternator’s charge. 

Some things to consider when connecting a starter (lead acid) battery to a lithium battery bank:

  • 2 lithium batteries or less, you will probably want to use a battery to battery charger such as the Sterling product on our website:
  • Higher amp units charge the batteries faster. These devices will not only regulate the charging current but also replace your existing isolator.
  • For 3 or more lithium batteries connected to a starter battery we recommend our Li-BIM.

These are generalities, but if you give us the amperage of your alternator, the model of your isolator, and how many lithium batteries you are planning to use, we can give you a better suggestion as to what you may need. Call us at (855) 292-2831 or contact us at [email protected]. 

Battle Born Batteries protect themselves from charging in cold temperatures and won’t accept a charge once the internal cell temperature drops to 24°F. At this point they will continue to discharge even down to -4°F. At this temperature we recommend no longer pulling power to avoid damaging the batteries.

Insulated battery boxes, heating blankets, and placing your battery bank inside your RV will help keep the temperature stable. On the high end of temperature range, the batteries will shut down once 135°F is reached.

Lead acid battery manufacturers will state: “do not mix old and new batteries. Doing so will reduce overall performance and may cause battery leakage or rupture.” They also recommend replacing all batteries within a bank at the same time.

A partially used lead acid battery will drain energy from a new one, reducing the total amount of battery power available.

This is not the case with Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries. You can add new batteries to your original Battle Born bank up to two years down the road without damaging, reducing lifespan, or harming them in any way. 

The best way to store our batteries for an extended period is to fully charge them and then disconnect them from everything. Removing the negative lead from the battery bank is also recommended. 

The batteries do not need a trickle charge or maintenance while stored. They will only lose around 2 – 3% of their charge per month. If possible, we recommend storing them in a temperature above freezing.  

Storing batteries in subzero weather (-15°F or lower) has the potential to crack the ABS plastic and could lead to a greater loss in charge. In some cases they can lose much more than the expected 3% monthly loss.  

If you are storing your entire system, we recommend the use of a  battery guardian, which will help protect your batteries by disconnecting them from parasitic loads once they reach a voltage of 11.5 V. 

Although Battle Born batteries can be used to assist your starter battery in emergency situations, we do not recommend using our batteries in cold cranking applications.

The continuous discharge rate of our batteries is 100 amps, 200 amps for 30 seconds and higher loads for ½ second. Cold cranking applications typically exceed 200 amps which will cause our batteries to shut off.

 

Our batteries allow a charge rate of 50 amps for each 100 Ah battery. For more than one battery, you can simply take the entire Ah of the bank and cut the number in half.

For example, three 100 Ah Battle Born Batteries total 300 Ah. Cut this number in half and you have your maximum recommended charge rate of 150 amps. 

Our batteries are drop-in replacements for typical lead acid batteries. This means that our batteries are designed to fit like a normal Group 27, 31 and GC2 battery in your bank.

This, however, does not mean our batteries are plug and play. Our batteries still may require specific components and programming to run your application.

To figure out if your components will work with our batteries, give us a call at (855) 292-2831 or send us an email at [email protected].

Our batteries are assembled and constructed with the highest quality components available. They are designed to withstand vibration and keep working for thousands of cycles.

You will need to check your connections from time to time (as with any kind of battery) to make sure they maintain good contact from cable to battery. 

If your battery registers between 0 to 5 volts, its in low voltage disconnect mode. This happens if the battery has been drained of capacity and is protecting itself from further discharge.

At this point you will need to apply a direct 12 V source. This includes the alternator via the starter battery or by connecting it to your starter battery with jumper cables until you see the voltage reaches 10-10.5 V.

Some inverter chargers such as the Victron will also bring the batteries out of low voltage disconnect. 

To determine whether your devices are compatible with Battle Born batteries, take a look at the manual for each component and look at the specifications. If the charging specs in the manual match up with the charging voltage: 14.2-14.6 V and the float voltage: 13.6 V or lower, then they are compatible with our batteries. 

If you can adjust settings (such as a custom profile) on your devices to various charging and float voltages, then just change the settings to match ours. 

You are also more than welcome to give us a call at (855) 292-2831 or contact us at [email protected]! 

When considering cable sizing there are a few factors to consider.

First, what is the size of the load you are powering with the battery bank?

Second, how far away from the battery is the load? You can do voltage drop calculations to see if you need to step up your cable size.  

Here is an easy reference chart: 
Wire Cable Guide
As a rule of thumb, you can use these numbers as a guideline.

-4 AWG wire approximate max rating is 157 amps DC
-1/0 AWT wire approximate max rating is 291 amps DC
-4/0 AWT wire approximate max rating is 456 amps DC

When current is flowing and abruptly stopped or interrupted, there is a potential for a high frequency voltage spike or pulse. Normally this voltage spike is an unwanted feature, as it tends to damage MOSFETs or other solid state switches and relay contacts.

Alternator Protection Device

An alternator protection device, also known as a snuffer, is meant to protect a vehicles alternator if a spike is created. This device gives the spike a route to safely discharge without risk of damaging the alternator.

Issues such as loose wires, blown fuses or a running engine switching off can be some common sources of a voltage spike. The alternator protection device is a costeffective way to protect a very expensive part of your vehicles charging system.  

Sterling Power makes a 12 and 24 volt alternator protection device that can be installed on all vessels utilizing an alternator as a primary charging source.

Selecting an inverter can be confusing due to the differing variations, styles and qualities available in stores and on the internet.

What is an inverter?

One of the primary functions of an inverter is to take direct current (DC) power and invert it into 120 volts, for using appliances. This can be through a wall receptacle or directly from the inverter.

Many all-in-one units allow a pass-through from shore power or genset, a high amperage DC charger and transfer switch.

What else should I know?

We recommend inverters that have a “pure” or “true” sine wave as the “modified” or “square” wave inverters are harder on components, cause more heat and can lead to damage to sensitive electronics over longer periods of time. Victron, Magnum, Xantrex, ProMariner and Mastervolt are some examples of high quality units that are used in many marine applications.

One of the most important things to consider is your maximum need in wattage at any given time. Take a look at the wattage specifications on your devices and consider which of these you will be using at the same time and add them together.

For example, If your power need is 1600 watts then round up to a 2000 watt inverter. When choosing an multi-function inverter, consider how much of a maximum charge you will require for your bank of batteries.

Upon request we will program your Victron inverter charger for the number of Battle Born Batteries in your bank at no charge.  

Many inverter manufacturers recommend that you have some space around inverter sides and the top or bottom for air flow. This will allow the internal fans to circulate air within a compartment and properly cool your inverter when necessary. 

Please check your specific manufacturers recommendations and user manuals for further details.  

Battery switches or “master disconnect” switches are a common item in RV or marine systems and used to cut all power from a battery bank and connected loads.

These devices are very versatile and can be used in any circuit when performing maintenance or an emergency shut down. Very often you will see placement of these switches between inverter(s) and a bank of batteries.

Below are some of the most common styles:

Single on/off

3 position – used to shut off or switch from one bank of batteries to a second

4 position – used to shut off, switch from one bank to a second or combine the two

Battery Isolation Manager

Battery isolation managers are typically used in motorized applications with 3 or more Battle Born Batteries. The reason being is lithium batteries tend to pull a lot of power off your alternator which over time could cause it to overheat.

The BIM works on a duty cycle, charging your house battery bank for 15 minutes, then taking 20 minutes to rest so your alternator can take a break and never has the opportunity to overheat. 

Battery to Battery Chargers

Battery to battery chargers are typically used in systems where you have 1 or 2 Battle Born Batteries. This is because our batteries have a recommended charge rate of 50 amps per 100 Ah battery.

If your alternator is applying a higher amperage to your batteries than the recommended charge rate, you will need to limit the amperage. The battery to battery charger will limit the amperage coming off your alternator and will apply a safe charge to your batteries. 

Both devices will properly isolate your lithium batteries from your starting battery. 

Answering this question can depend on the amount of space you have on your vehicle and how fast you want your bank to charge. 

As a general guideline we recommend 200 to 250 watts of solar per 100 amp-hours of battery. This will give you the ability to charge from nearly empty to full in a six to eight-hour time frame.

Many factors can change this calculation and you are invited to call at (855) 292-2831 or email us at [email protected] if you would like to discuss in greater detail.  

There are many specific models with different voltage and amperage ratings.  Which one is right for your application?   

Victron’s standard “Blue Solar” model is a set and forget controller without readouts or internal Bluetooth.  If you would like a Bluetooth version with all viewable information via the “Victron Connect” application from your mobile device, then the “Smart Solar” version is your best choice.   

Second, decide how many watts of panels you want in your solar array and take a look at our compatibility table to determine the product that best fits your system, here.  

Upon request we will program your Victron solar charge controller for the number of Battle Born Batteries in your bank at no charge.   

Check out our Customer’s Systems!

Battle Born Systems

Chris Dunphy and Cherie Ve Ard from Technomadia are early adopters of lithium technology. They have various applications where they have implemented LiFePO4 because it has helped their nomadic lifestyle.

The tech-driven couple partnered up with Battle Born Batteries to create the system that would be the perfect fit for their 1999 Bayliner 4788 motor yacht named “Y-not.” You can check out our blog about Technomadia here!