By longest lasting, I mean both in keeping a large charge capacity and durability/life span.
Other than Spoonbilling, 80% of the time my boat sees the water it is dark or close to it, so we need 2 large deep cycle batteries for all our lights and electronics. We currently have 2 of the large AC Delco deep cycles (plus our cranking battery), which we have been very happy with. But the 2 are entering their 5th year of service and are needing replaced. Is 5 years about normal for the life of a deep cycle?
I have been very pleased with the performance of the AC Delco, but was wondering what everyone else thought or what they were using. Since we spend out so much time at night, we don't mind getting the top of the line as the life of the batteries can make or break a trip.
I've run a lot of different batteries on my bass boat (1984 Model), fish lakes and the Ark. River. I usually fish once or twice a week, pretty much year round and when I go, most of the time its all day or night (in the summer). So I work the batteries pretty hard. That said I usually get 2 good years out of a set of batteries (24 volt trolling motor) and some times get a third year of OK performance out of some. The set I have on now though I bought in March of 2001, and they were still good up until the last month or so, I think I can get by a little while longer, but they are starting to not top off or last as good now, but no grips, this is the longest use I've ever got out of a set. I bought them at Auto-Zone and I think they are called Duralast Marine, they were about the same price as the same size battery at Wal-Mart, so not a high priced deal. Soon as I get around to it another set just like'em is going in the old Champion. This is the only set of them I've had and I hope it wasn't a fluke, but I'm going to try'em again.
There is only a few battery makers. All the batteries are made by them and company labels put on them. I buy my from a place called Batteries Plus and got them from Bass Pro, auto parts stores and Cabela's and they all last about the same roughly 3-5 years.
I've ran lots of different brands over the years in my boats and RVs/campers. I couldn't really say what the best brand would be because it depends so much on the number of times you charge them it's really hard to compare.I think getting the right type is more important than the brand.Alot of batteries say marine or deep cycle but they aren't always a true deepcycle.The heavier the battery the better for deep cycle is what I figure because you want the thickest plates available for a true deep cycle.I figure you already know that but in case anyone here isn't real sure about the different types and uses here is a pretty good link that explains it. Boat battery basics
In the RV about the best you can buy for deep cycle is the AGM sealed type but they are pretty expensive.I wouldn't want to spend that much for my boat because they would be too easy for someone to steal but in my motorhome that is the best way to go.
Gels are killer boat batteries. Vibration doesn't effect them anywhere close to that of a wet cell.
You can mount them on their side or upside down without leaks.
That may sound a little strange but if you've owned enough boats you know battery space can be at a premium.