How Many Batteries do I Need on my Boat?

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How many batteries do I need on my boat for fishing? What if I’m just into waterskiing? The answer will vary a little bit, depending on what you like to do out on the water. While there may be some variance, there are only a few possible answers. In this article, we’ll take a look at how many batteries you need on your boat, regardless of what you are using your watercraft for. Here’s the scoop on this question.

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None Needed

You may not actually need any of them. If you don’t use an electronic trolling motor and you either row or use a manual start outboard, you probably don’t need any. One thing you will want to consider though is using lights at night. If you are out after sundown, you need lighting.

Just One

There are several cases when looking at how many batteries you need on your boat where you will only need one. First off, if you only run a trolling motor or just an electric start outboard motor, you may be able to get by with just one. If you run minor electronics and a trolling motor, you may still be able to get by with one, since you will be using a deep cycle and not a marine starting battery. You will need to use caution though, since you will be draining it with multiple electronics.


How many do you need on your boat? If you are running trolling motors, electric start outboard motor, and some minor electronics, you can get by with two. For the trolling motor, you will need to use a deep cycle marine battery. For the outboard, you will use a starting one. If you only wire in minor electronics or use them infrequently, you can wire then to the same one as your trolling motor.


If you are looking at how many you need on your boat, the answer could be three. You may need one for starting the outboard, one for running the trolling motor, and one either for electronics or as a spare. There is nothing wrong with keeping a spare marine deep cycle battery onboard. It could come in very handy in a pinch.


There are two basic types. There are marine grade starting batteries and deep cycle. Deep cycles are used for anything that requires longer periods of electrical power, like trolling motors or electronics. Starting ones are good for short bursts of energy, like for starting an outboard motor. While you could get by with a deep cycle for starting in a pinch (or vice versa), it’s not a good idea to routinely use them for the wrong purpose. They are made for different things, and should be used accordingly.

Now you know the answer the question, how many batteries do I need on my boat?

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How Many Batteries do I Need on my Boat?, Seekyt
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.