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Posted: Mar 30, 2020

Is There a Difference Between Deep Cycle & Marine Battery?

If you're asking the question about the difference between deep-cycle batteries and marine batteries, there's a good chance you're thinking not about the 100+ pound, 6-volt deep-cycle batteries, but the more widely-available 12-volt automotive-style batteries that indicate they are designed for deep-cycle use. These automotive-style "deep-cycle" batteries may not be considered true deep-cycle batteries by electrical engineers and internet know-it-alls, but they are generally designed for applications, where they will be discharged more deeply than what might happen by using it primarily to start an engine.

We can't tell you what the differences might be between these types of deep-cycle batteries and marine batteries for other brands or manufacturers, but for OPTIMA Batteries, these batteries are commonly referred to as YELLOWTOPs (dual purpose, deep-cycle and starting batteries) and BLUETOPs (dual purpose, deep-cycle and starting batteries) and we can tell you the difference between our YELLOWTOPs and BLUETOPs.

Internally, YELLOWTOP and BLUETOP batteries are identical, SO THERE REALLY ISN'T A DIFFERENCE, except for the 34M BLUETOP battery, which is the marine version of our Group 34 REDTOP starting battery. That means both our YELLOWTOP and BLUETOP batteries are designed to provide cranking power to start engines, but can also power accessories like winches and trolling motors, that might deeply-discharge batteries.

Externally, our BLUETOP batteries do have both the standard SAE terminals and threaded marine and RV terminals, while our YELLOWTOPs generally only come with standard SAE terminals, unless you order a specific YELLOWTOP battery that comes with threaded terminals, like the D31T YELLOWTOP. Our BLUETOP marine/RV batteries tend to be slightly more expensive than their YELLOWTOP counterparts and come with two-year free replacement warranties in consumer applications, where some of the smaller YELLOWTOPs (not the Group 31 batteries) tend to offer three-year free replacement warranties in consumer applications.

The slightly higher pricetag on the BLUETOPs can be chalked up to the additional expense involved in manufacturing a dual terminal battery, but why is the warranty shorter for BLUETOPs and marine batteries in general? The simple answer is because people tend to not take care of their batteries and that combined with infrequent use in marine applications, can lead to significantly shorter lifespans. However, it doesn't have to be that way. If you keep your battery properly-maintained, you will maximize performance and lifespan. For our BLUETOP marine batteries, that means a voltage level of about 13.0-13.2 volts (~12.6-12.8V for the 34M).

We're so confident that maintaining proper voltage will maximize battery performance and lifespan, that we'll add a year of warranty coverage to your OPTIMA battery, if you buy it and an OPTIMA Digital 1200 battery charger from us at the same time. That offer is good for any OPTIMA battery you purchase, whether it is a YELLOWTOP, BLUETOP or even our REDTOP batteries.

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