Since the day we bought our boat, lithium batteries have been the hottest topic on board. I’ve jokingly called it our “saga,” but I’m told that’s a bit dramatic.
To retell the story, I actually have to rewind back to our boat shopping days. My priorities in a boat were fairly straightforward: Did I like it? Would the space work for our family? Did it smell too much like a boat?
Thankfully Brent’s non-negotiable list was way more practical than mine! He spent the majority of his time and attention in the engine rooms of all the boats.
I distinctly remember the first conversation we had about batteries. Coincidently, we were discussing the boat we ended up purchasing.
Brent informed me that the boat would need new batteries soon. However, he counted that as a positive and went on to say that he’d been looking into lithium batteries.
Confused, I looked at him and said “You mean that boat runs on batteries?” Yes, the blonde is real. And even I’ll admit, I can look back and laugh at my own naivety.
For anyone who needs the same crash course I got when I asked that question (I’ll spare you the eye rolls that I received): All boats have batteries. They help them start and power some basic features. Traditionally, boats run on either diesel or gas. Electric powered boats are out there. However, not in the price range that we were shopping.
But I digress…
Fast forward to us purchasing boat with said need for new batteries. Within the first week, we were talking about lithium batteries. Brent researched and came up with a plan to have 6 Battle Born Lithium batteries installed in our boat. Additionally, he wanted an inverter, solar panels, and several other devices that would streamline the whole setup.
Just like that we were eagerly waiting on a major shipment from Battle Born Batteries.
In hindsight, we should have talked to an experienced installer before jumping into the project. In the early Spring of 2020, lithium batteries weren’t mainstream everywhere in the marine world. It’s also important to note: The scope of Brent’s proposed project had gone way beyond the desire for lithium batteries. He dreamed up a whole overhaul to our boat’s energy system.
We met with 3 different people who were “willing to give the project a shot.” Naturally, that didn’t inspire a huge amount of confidence. Time and money quickly became factors. We wanted to start the Loop, not spend all summer in a boatyard.
Looking back, there was a fairly simple solution. We could have taken it one step at a time. But Brent had an ‘all or nothing’ attitude. And I didn’t have enough understanding to even realize it could be done in phases. Alas, after hauling our project several hundred miles in search of a mastermind installer, we ended up returning everything to Battle Born.
For most people, this might have been the end of the story. They would replace the lead acid batteries and move on.
But Brent used it as motivation. He literally talked to everyone about lithium batteries. And inverters. And his ideas for how we could make the energy setup on our boat amazing. Persistence paid off (I’ll give him credit.)
But let’s be honest, it had a little bit to do with timing and location too.
When we arrived in Fort Myers, we met other boat owners with the same desire to upgrade their boat’s energy potential. We found a knowledgeable installer who understood the complexities, as well as the benefits, to converting a boat to lithium batteries.
Thankfully, since it wasn’t our first trip to the lithium battery rodeo, we were able to apply some things we learned the first go-round.
- Ask TONS of questions.
- Budget both time and money for the project to be completed.
- Research. Again.
- Decide to complete the project in phases (tabling solar panels for a future date.)
- Most importantly, we had an installer committed to our project.
With confidence, we re-ordered our Battle Born Lithium Batteries and the other equipment we’d need.
Then we watched with excitement as our boat finally underwent the upgrade that had been a year in the making!
As we shared our plans, everyone asked the million dollar question: Why did you go with lithium batteries?
1. They’re the newest and best option in marine batteries. As I mentioned, we bought our boat knowing our batteries needed to be replaced soonish. It didn’t seem wise to invest in an outdated product when there is something better on the market.
2. Lithium batteries are much lighter than their counterparts. On a boat, every pound matters. Especially for a family who tried to pack way too many LEGO sets, cases of White Claw, shoes, and books on board!
3. They charge much more quickly than lead acid batteries. Meaning, we don’t need to run our generator very long to have them back at 100%.
**It’s important to point out, these are the main three reasons WE wanted lithium batteries. There are actually a lot more advantages I’m not even going to pretend to understand. If you want to know more about the technical advantages, check out this great article from Panbo.
For those wondering, here are the exact products we added to our boat (just don’t ask me to tell you what any of them do!):
- 2 Battleborn 270Ah 12V LiFePO4 Deep Cycle 8D Battery
- Multiplus 12/3000/120-50 120v VE Bus
- Victron Lynx Distributor
- Sterling Power 12V Alternator Protection Device
- Victron Venus GX
- Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor
I’m excited to share more in the future about how this upgrade has changed our boating lifestyle. For now I will say that we’ve had a chance to test the setup a few times and we are VERY happy!
As always, thanks for keeping up with our crazy adventures. You might also enjoy reading:
**Mom With A Map is a brand partner for Battle Born Batteries. All of the information and opinions in this post are uniquely ours. The post contains affiliate links. By making a purchase after clicking through a link, Mom WIth A Map may receive compensation.