Here at DBS Leoch, we’re gearing up for the annual Crick Boat Show this month, the UK’s biggest inland waterways festival.
From 24-27 May (including a Trade and Preview Day on Friday 24 May), we’ll be displaying our range of marine batteries, from introductory Sealed-For-Life models through to top end RELiON lithium batteries (come and see us on Stand Q44 and say hello if you’re planning on going).
This led us to reflect on a comment we hear regularly from boat owners and boat builders alike – ‘why should we buy a better battery?’.
It doesn’t seem that long ago now that there wasn’t much of a choice and a lot of so-called ‘leisure batteries’ were just glorified car batteries. Now, there’s a much better choice that cater for the requirements of all users, but cost is more of a factor when it comes to choosing which battery to buy.
For leisure batteries, there is a perception that there are different capabilities of batteries for different types of leisure uses. The demand for battery power required for occasional weekend users is massively different to that of off-grid, touring users.
However, like anything in life, you generally get what you pay for. If you buy a better battery, you can charge and discharge more often. Therefore, the better quality of battery, the more the battery is designed to flatten and recharge, and the more efficiently energy is produced to power your boat and appliances.
We’re committed to the belief that a battery is a long-term investment and that you can increase the return the investment on your battery. We’ve even done the number-crunching to prove it for you!
Roughly speaking, it’s based on Lifetime Energy Units and reducing the cost per Kw of energy. For example, if you pay twice as much for your battery and it lasts five times as long, you’ll be 2.5 times better off for each Kw.
Whereas the average Lifetime Energy Cost of a cheap leisure battery is around £2.20/Kw, it drops to just under 40p for AGM and around 16p for Lithium. So, you can really save money over time by investing in a high quality battery that will give back over its lifetime.
A further consideration is the cost of fitting replacement batteries, as well as the cost in downtime. A cheaper battery will need to be replaced at least every 2-3 years whilst an AGM will last at least 6-8 years, Pure Lead Carbon 12-14 years and Lithium up to 20 years. So every time you have to change a battery, there is a cost involved. And there’s the cost of any potential breakdowns, which at the wrong time and wrong place can be very expensive!