Best Dual Purpose Marine Batteries of 2020 – Complete Review

When it comes to off-shore angling, a great marine battery is a major must-have.

There are many different battery styles, but when it comes to watercraft, dual-purpose is the best option.

These models function both as a starting and a deep cycle battery, the combination needed to get your watercraft going and power all the additional accessories. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Dual-Purpose Marine Batteries

PRODUCT
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Odyssey 34M-PC1500ST

  • Super long-lasting charge
  • High-quality, thoughtful design
  • Our favorite overall dual purpose marine battery
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Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M

  • Versatile
  • Very quick to recharge
  • Customizable and user-friendly
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Optima Batteries 8012-021 D34

  • Great cranking power
  • Durable, low-maintenance
  • Best dual purpose battery for the price
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Odyssey 31M-PC2150ST-M

  • Easy to install
  • Sustainable power
  • Incredible value for the price
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Optima Batteries 8027-127 D27M

  • Charge lasts forever
  • Customizable elements
  • Convenient size and shape
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What is a Dual-Purpose Marine Battery and What is it Used For?

A dual-purpose marine battery is a form of battery that utilizes both starting power and a deep cycle function to power a boat’s engine. The batteries you probably come in contact with the most are are used in cars, and they focus on providing a strong jolt of power to start the vehicle and don’t provide much assistance after that. 

Marine batteries, however, require a continuous source of energy to power the different accessories that come along with a watercraft— this is where a deep cycle battery comes in handy. A deep cycle battery provides a low-voltage, consistent energy source that can be utilized for long periods of time, a necessary component when it comes to boats.

A dual-purpose battery has both the qualities of a starting battery and a deep cycle battery, which makes it the perfect pick for a watercraft. Like any battery, they must be maintained well and you should avoid letting their charge become completely empty to prevent quality issues over time. 

What Makes These The Best of The Year?

As you can see, this is a list of our favorite dual-purpose marine batteries. To come up with this compilation of batteries, we kept a couple of things in mind. All great dual-purpose marine batteries should have some qualities in common, and we chose our faves with careful consideration of what makes a battery great. 

Battery Chemistry  

There are many different battery styles on the market with varying chemical makeups. The majority of dual-purpose batteries will be AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat). AGM batteries are super useful and effective. They utilize thin sheets of fiberglass to keep the electrolyte contained within the battery, which eliminates the risk of leaking or spilling. They also require little to no maintenance, as you don’t need to add water.

Odyssey 34M-PC1500ST

Sufficient Amperage  

A great dual-purpose marine battery should have enough juice to do its job easily and effectively. All of the batteries on our list provide exceptional amperage levels, providing the power to function effectively for long days out on the water.

Size & Shape  

A great dual-purpose battery shouldn’t be overly heavy or bulky, and should always be able to fit in its designated location. We tried to include batteries that would fit the most standard-sized angling watercraft.

Quick Take | Best Dual-Purpose Marine Batteries

Just looking for the top three best dual-purpose marine batteries? Here they are:

  1. Odyssey 34M-PC1500ST
  2. Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M
  3. Optima Batteries 8012-021 D34

Review of the Best Dual-Purpose Marine Batteries

Finding the perfect dual-purpose marine battery for your needs isn’t always easy. To help you, we’ve put together a list of our favorite batteries that can work well for any angler. Check it out! 

Odyssey 34M-PC1500ST TROLLING Thunder Marine Dual Purpose Battery

PROS

  • Charge is long-lasting
  • Recovers consistently well
  • Thoughtful, user-friendly design
  • Tolerant to extreme heat and cold
  • Durable, vibration-resistant internal design

CONS

  • Pretty spendy
  • Bulky, heavy design
  • Only comes in a 12-volt option

What Recent Buyers Report

The Odyssey Thunder Marine Dual-Purpose Battery is quite the hit among watercraft users, earning the top spot in many favorites lists. Users enjoyed the amount of power discharged from the battery and appreciated the long-lasting charge. Some wished the price was a little lower and the battery itself was a little less heavy.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This battery from Odyssey earned its spot on our list for several different reasons. It has a great design that contributes to exceptional functionality. We appreciate the durable build created with the help of high-quality building materials. This battery also recovers very well, eliminating some of the fear that may be associated with a battery that continuously dies.

Who Will Use This Most

This battery would make a great addition to many anglers’ gear. It has many great qualities that would be of value to a watercraft user. While this isn’t the cheapest dual-purpose battery one can buy, it is a great investment for those who choose to do so.

Bottom Line

When it comes to dual-purpose marine batteries, the Thunder Marine battery from Odyssey really can’t be beaten in terms of construction and performance. This is an exceptional choice and a rightful pick for our top spot of favorites.

Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery

PROS

  • Quick to recharge
  • Leak-proof design
  • Holds up well to varying temperatures
  • Size and shape is great for smaller boats
  • Provides a solid charge for extended amounts of time

CONS

  • Voltage could be higher
  • Isn’t compatible with all battery chargers
  • Overcharging can lessen the battery life over time

What Recent Buyers Report

The blue top, dual-purpose battery from Optima is a favorite among the users. Anglers who went for this model gave positive feedback about the operating time and quick recharging time. The overall voltage is pretty standard, but some wished it had a higher power capacity.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This battery from Optima is an excellent all-around purchase with everything an angler needs to feel safe and secure on the water. It provides a long-lasting charge that is quick to bounce back to original levels and it’s also leak-proof, nearly maintenance-free, and can withstand extreme temperatures.

Who Will Use This Most

The blue top Optima battery is one of our favorite choices for trolling motors. The dual-purpose design is a great fit for the functionality of a trolling motor, providing a jolt of power to start the engine but giving enough low-energy voltage to power various devices on the boat for extended amounts of time.

Bottom Line

Because this battery has a plethora of awesome features including a customizable mounting system, a quick recharge, and durable build, we’d recommend it to almost anyone. While it may not have the voltage power of a large battery, this little blue top is a great choice for trolling motors and small boats.

Best for the Money:
Optima Batteries 8012-021 D34

Optima Batteries 8012-021 D34 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery

PROS

  • Easy to maintain
  • Leak-proof design
  • Great value for the price
  • Super vibration-resistant
  • Provides serious cranking power

CONS

  • Doesn’t fit well in all boats
  • Has a tough time in cold temperatures
  • Will overheat if overcharged for an extended amount of time

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who purchased the yellow top battery from Optima had positive things to say about the product’s ability to provide a high-voltage jolt of cranking power along with a durable, low-maintenance design. Buyers appreciated the value but wished it was much more temperature-resistant.

Why it Stands Out to Us

As you can see from this list, we’re pretty big fans of Optima batteries. The yellow top battery is a great product from their line of products— it provides a great amount of voltage power and keeps the engine running for longer. We also appreciate the vibration-resistant, low-maintenance design, and the exceptional value for the overall product.

Who Will Use This Most

The yellow top battery is actually recommended for vehicles, so make sure it will fit adequately in your boat before using it. This Optima model is a good fit for higher-than-average electrical loads, so particularly a boat that takes quite a bit of energy to start. The deep cycle stage will keep all of your boat’s applications running for the duration of your trip.

Bottom Line

Overall, for all of the exceptional qualities that the Optima yellow top battery offers, it presents an awesome value. While it could use some temperature resistance improvements, it does provide many of the high-quality features of other top-of-the-line marine batteries.

PROS

  • Great value
  • Easy installation
  • High-quality construction
  • Charge lasts for extended amounts of time
  • Enough power to run several extra applications

CONS

  • Heavy and bulky
  • Hard to fit in some boats
  • Has some special charging requirements

What Recent Buyers Report

Anglers who went for this Odyssey battery were, overall, very happy with their choice. The main praise of this particular model is the long-lasting battery life, which some users say is much longer than any other battery they’ve tried. Several buyers said they wished this Odyssey battery was smaller and lighter so it could better fit into small boats.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Odyssey is an exceptional company that consistently produces high-quality products, and this battery is no exception. We included this battery in our list because we love the high-quality construction that allows for a super-long-lasting charge. Although it is a little spendy, it’s also a great overall value.

Who Will Use This Most

This Odyssey battery would make a great addition to a slightly larger boat that needs a good amount of power to not only start the engine, but to provide juice for fish finders, GPS, radios, etc. throughout a day of fishing.

Bottom Line

This battery is a bit of an investment, but most buyers pledge that it is worth it in the end. For boats needing long-lasting power for all their additional accessories, this is battery great overall choice.

Optima Batteries 8027-127 D27M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery

PROS

  • Convenient size
  • Long-lasting charge
  • Leak and spill-proof design
  • Mounting can be customized
  • Very long shelf-life when maintained well

CONS

  • Heavy
  • No carrying handle or strap
  • Very pricey for some budgets

What Recent Buyers Report

Users of this Optima battery were pleased with many aspects of the product including the long-lasting charge, convenient size and shape for their watercraft, and the customizable mount. Several buyers were annoyed by the lack of carrying handle, especially because this model is quite heavy.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This particular battery from Optima was very well reviewed by users and we think it stands up valiantly to the hype. The combination of cranking and deep cycle capabilities is exceptional for a boat’s motor. This battery uses spiral-wound cell technology to ensure durability and longevity in the long run, which is a plus to the overall value.

Who Will Use This Most

We’d recommend this Optima battery to anglers with a trolling motor. The dual-purpose combination works very well to both start the engine without a hitch and keeps all of the secondary applications running smoothly. This isn’t the best pick for an angler on a budget, but it’s a great investment if you choose to purchase it.

Bottom Line

While this battery is a little bulky and doesn’t have the greatest convenience features, we’d still give it a very high rating. It’s an easy recommendation for anglers with a trolling motor due to its long-lasting charge and durable build.

Perks of Getting a Dual-Purpose Marine Battery

When you’re in the market for a new dual-purpose marine battery, it might be tough to get yourself to make the purchase. Dual-purpose batteries, especially AGM-style are not cheap. But a new battery is a great investment, and before you go for a second-hand or cheap knock-off, take a look at some of the reasons why a new battery is the better choice:

Durability  

It’s no secret that most batteries lose some effectiveness over time, no matter what kind of design they are. For this reason, you’re much better off getting a new battery than one that has previously been used. Also, when you buy a battery new, you’re able to be in full charge of the maintenance, a huge aspect of making a battery last for years. 

Easy to Take Care of 

A huge plus of getting a dual-purpose marine battery is that they usually require very little maintenance throughout the years. While you do want to make sure they don’t discharge completely, there’s really no other work you have to do on your part. 

The Perfect Model for Watercraft 

It’s pretty much agreed upon that dual-purpose batteries are the style you want to use for boats. With the multi-functional activity, you really can’t go wrong with buying a dual-purpose battery for your boat. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, we hope this article gave you some insight into dual-purpose marine batteries and an inclination of which model would work best for you. There are many battery choices on the market but with the knowledge of how a great dual-purpose battery should operate, you should be one step closer to finding the perfect fit for you.