20 Aug 2012

Deep Cycle vs. Dual Purpose Batteries

Finding the right information is key when purchasing a battery for your electric boat.  Take a look at the following explanations of deep cycle vs. dual purpose to see which is best for the application you are using it for.   For the Encore Electric and Pedal/Electric models, there isn’t a need for a starting type battery at all as the motor is run by battery alone and doesn’t start any sort of gas powered motor.

Deep-Cycle Batteries

Trolling motors and other accessories sip power at a slower rate for extended periods. Batteries that power them usually aren’t recharged until the end of the day. These deep discharges are hard on battery plates, so deep-cycle batteries have fewer yet thicker lead plates than cranking batteries and are built to withstand deep cycling.

A deep-cycle battery’s reserve capacity (RC) rating indicates how long it can carry a specific load before falling into the dead zone. The higher the RC number, the longer the battery will power your accessories. Remember this when choosing a battery. Typically, a deep-cycle battery will have two or three times the RC of a cranking battery. A deep-cycle battery also can withstand several hundred discharge/recharge cycles, while a cranking battery is not designed to be totally discharged.

Dual-Purpose Batteries

It’s usually best to install separate cranking and deep-cycle batteries. If your boat is small, however, and there’s only room for one battery due to space or weight restrictions, consider buying a dual-purpose marine battery specially that handles starting and cycling. Bear in mind, however, most dual-purpose batteries won’t start an engine quite as well as a true cranking battery and won’t endure as many deep discharge/recharge cycles as a dedicated deep-cycle model.


  • By Tim Conroy -


    I have a 4 year old Interstate dual purpose battery that I only use for my camper. My charger shows 75% charged. It is only used during set up and takedown at beginning and end of camping as always camp at state parks with full hookups. When should it be replaced?

    • By Mary Davis -


      Hello! We manufacture and sell Pedal/Electric Boats. We are not experts when it comes to batteries. I would suggest you contact a Batteries Plus outlet or dealer specializing in batteries. Best of wishes to you!

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