Canal Boat Batteries
Canal Boats have various uses on the British Waterways. Some folk still use them for commercial transport of goods as they have been used for many years, but the vast majority of canal boats these days are used for either holidays or as a permanent residence.
At first glance you'd expect a Canal Boat to use the same batteries no matter what the usage pattern, but these differing types of usage require very different battery types. For example, commercial usage will generally require many engine starts through the day, leading to a battery bank designed primarily for engine starting. Domestic usage also may have differing battery types; a boat used for occasional weekend trips will require a different battery bank to one used as a permanent residence.
Canal Boat Batteries (or Watercraft Batteries) are generally divided into two distinct groups; Domestic / Auxiliary Power batteries and Starting Batteries.
Domestic / Auxiliary Power Batteries
Domestic Power (often called auxiliary power) refers to the power usage that is not related to the engine. This may be in the form of lighting, heating, TV and powering of refrigerators and freezers.
Domestic power is in the form of a long, slow drain on the battery. The battery needs to be designed to push out a long, slow and steady stream of power to the appliances that require it.
Engine Starting Batteries
Batteries for starting of engines are different internally to auxiliary batteries. All lead-acid batteries consist of lead paste covered plates submerged in sulphuric acid. Starter batteries have thinner plates (as opposed to the thicker plates of auxiliary power batteries) which assist in producing large amp outputs for a short period of time.
When you turn the key (or press the starter button) to start an engine, you require a large output of power for a very short period in order to turn the engine over. The internal design consisting of the thinner plates makes this possible.
Canal Boat Battery Brands
Enduroline are a great UK battery brand pushing the boundaries of the Cost/Performance balance.
Their batteries are at the top end of what the far east can produce, so price-wise their products are superb, and can really knock on the door or the high end USA manufactured brands. Enduroline canal boat batteries can be taken from the high end Leisure battery range.
The Enduroline Canal Boat Battery range is a dual purpose range that tries to offer the best of both worlds - a leisure battery that can produce a decent starting power too. Clearly, two separate bank of batteries; one for starting and one for domestic power is the ideal, but where this is not possible the Enduroline range really shines.
Trojan Canal Boat Batteries
Trojan are perhaps the world's best known manufacturer of industrial batteries. They're simply the best of the best in deep cycle batteries; often known as the 'Rolls Royce of Batteries'. All Trojan batteries are proudly made in the USA so the highest quality is guaranteed.
Trojans are used in all types of heavy industrial application such as Cherry Pickers, Scissor Lifts and Floor Sweepers. Their heavyweight design makes them absolutely ideal for canal boat use.
Trojan Batteries are the only batteries that we recommend for Canal Boat usage where the boat is to be used for permanent residence. Where all other brands of batteries are designed for occasional leisure use, with a limited cycle life, Trojans are built to perform and will cycle many, many times before requiring replacement.