Whether you fish or you just like to get out on the water, to power equipment on your boat including a trolling motor and boat accessories, you’ll need a deep cycle or dual-purpose battery. To protect your battery from the elements, random sprays of water, the sun or damp conditions, it’ll need its own marine battery box with holes to pass the power cables through.
Mounting the battery inside a box in a set position is also useful. It keeps the battery from sliding around the deck in rough seas. It could become disconnected when toppling over and even cause injury to someone’s foot or ankle. In a worst-case scenario, rough seas may lift the battery right off the deck causing it to fly into important equipment or over the edge of the boat making it unsalvageable.
Using a marine battery box avoids damage to a battery that powers important equipment on your boat. It won’t get wet from sea water landing inside the boat or short out from a sudden swell either. The waterproofing with these types of products helps ensure that your battery will work when you most need it to, as a dead battery out at sea isn’t a repairable problem.
Top Selling Marine Battery Boxes Comparison Chart
- MinnKota Trolling Motor Power Center
- Battery Size:group 24-27
- Inside Dimensions: 13"L X 7"W X 9"H
- Outside Dimensions: 14.9"L x 8.7"W x 15"H
- Weight: 2.5 Pounds
- Two 12-volt Plugs & 2 Manual Reset Circuit Breakers
- Star Rating- 4.5
- NOCO HM318BKS Group 24-31 Snap-Top Battery Box
- Battery Size: Group 24-31
- Inside Dimensions: 13.37” (L) x 7.75” (W) x 10.75” (H)
- Outside Dimensions: 16.88 (L) x 9.00” (W) x 11.38” (H)
- Weight: 2.6 Pounds
- Heavy-Duty Handles & Rugged Design
- Star Rating- 4.5
- UPG 40790 Black Marine Smart Box
- Battery Size:group 24-27
- Inside Dimensions: 12-1/2"L x 7-1/4"W x 8"H
- Outside Dimensions: 16"L x 9-1/2"W x 10"H
- Weight: 2.5 Pounds
- LED indicator & Heavy-duty polypropylene case
- Star Rating- 3.9
- Attwood Standard Battery Box
- Battery Size:Group 24
- Inside Dimensions: 11-1/8"W x 7-3/4"L x 10-1/8"H
- Outside Dimensions: 14"L x 9-5/8"Wx 10-5/8"H
- Weight: 2 Pounds
- Temp Ranging- -20DegreeF to +120DegreeF
- Star Rating- 4.0
- NOCO HM485 Dual 8D Commercial Grade Battery Box
- Battery Size:Two Group 8D
- Inside Dimensions:23.05”L x 21.05”W x 10.56”H
- Outside Dimensions: 26.01”L x 24.02”W x 12.5 "H
- Weight: 16.4 Pounds
- 4-Corner Fastening System & Full Flow Ventilation
- Star Rating- 4.2
MinnKota Trolling Motor Power Center
The MinnKota Trolling Motor Power Center is a great solution for owners of smaller boats, ideally using a transom mount for a trolling motor. One of its better features is that it makes light work of hooking up a trolling motor that’s running on 12-volt power. The terminals are easy to access for connecting and later disconnecting.
A charging level display at the top of the box is easily readable from a short distance. It can indicate what the current battery level is and whether it should be charged up perhaps using a solar charger.
The best batteries that fit this type of protective box are either a 27 or 24 Group battery size. This fits closely on all sizes to avoid the battery rattling around inside the box. There’s less vibration possible with these two sizes for this MinnKota power center which saves your battery from damage. Any larger might cause issues in this regard. Any smaller and it just won’t fit at all.
Where the product perhaps is most useful is with owners of trolling motors where their model didn’t come with a protective casing for the battery. There’re some useful ports for accessories to plug in a camera or a fish finder for avid fishermen or other tools of the sea.
Along with the expected 12-volt plugs, they’re also not one, but two circuit breakers built in. Should a circuit get thrown, a manual resetting process is provided to handle that situation and get the battery working once again. The box supplies the accessory plugs with a total of 15-amps which should be ample for many small boat electronics, and a full 60-amps to the trolling motor which should get you through the water back home quite easily.
The black and red patterned strap provides an excellent way to secure the box to the boat to avoid it moving around. There’s also a generously sized carry handle that has ribbed interior hand grips for easy handling.
The MinnKota Trolling Motor Power Center is an excellent option for small boat owners who need to protect their trolling motor batteries.
Universal Power Group UPG 40790 Black Marine Smart Box
The UPG 40790 is a black-clad Marine Smart Box is built to last. It’s made from strong polypropylene that is robust and good enough to tough out the high seas.
The marine battery box is designed to fit the battery and then not need to be opened again all that often. While it weighs 3.8-pounds, it is held together with a wide black strap to ensure the box doesn’t pop open unexpectedly.
The box will fit either 27 or 24 Group BCI battery sizes. This is fairly standard with the type of battery box intended for use on a small boat. There’s a LED indicator at the top of the case which provides information about the battery status.
There are two 12-VDC auxiliary plugs provided to hook up to a boat appliance or trolling motor. These are protected when not in use to avoid seawater contamination. The case also avoids acid leaks from a bad battery which could potentially eat through wood or metal if it were to escape.
The fit for a battery is snug enough to provide support to minimize vibrations. This should protect valuable batteries once they’re fitted and you head out on the water.
There are occasional issues with the rubber caps over connectors coming off. So, care much be taken with these to not knock them off. The LED battery indicator usually works well, but the occasional unit suffers from a malfunction in this area. It’s a good idea to check if it’s functioning properly with a fully-charged battery to verify this before installing the box permanently in your boat’s interior.
The box doesn’t have a carry handle, so with a battery installed it will be awkward to lift and carry into position. Some owners may resort to sliding it along and into the desired spot. Given the durability of the polypropylene that the battery box is made from, this isn’t likely to cause damage to the box and hopefully not to boat’s deck either.
NOCO HM318BKS Group 24-31 Snap-Top Battery Box for Automotive, Marine, and RV Batteries
The first thing to know about the Noco HM318BKS model is that it’s a no-nonsense battery box that has a solid reputation from buyers. It’s not as flashy or pricey as the bigger name brands, but it has a lot to recommend it.
Firstly, it comes in one of five different sizes to fit many types of batteries. The model reviewed here is the Group 24-31 version, but there’s also a Group 24, 27, 6V and U1 box to suit different battery size requirements, along with RV and automotive needs. Noco has tried to cater to everyone here.
The engineering of this black-clad thermoplastic box is impressive. The thermoplastic is modified during manufacture to include UV stabilizers to protect it from damage from sunrays when it’s positioned on deck in full view of the sun during the day. This prevents the plastic developing cracks or losing its black coloring over time too.
Not only is the case resistant to damage from impacts, it can also handle temperatures down to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, a cold storm front doesn’t necessarily mean ‘game over’ for your boat’s battery. It is also rugged enough to handle various contaminants, random gas emissions, oil, or acid that might escape from an old battery inside the box. It also uses a patented locking design that works well, and a box strap is provided too. You cannot ask for more.
The marine battery box covers box sizes from 24 to 31 in this single product. It has multiple valid certifications from the U.S. Coast Guard Regulations body and is deemed safe to use. It’s also made in the USA.
There’s a molded plastic carry handle on either long side of the box. An insert inside the box can be moved into different positions depending on whatever battery size you wish to install and ensures a snug fit to reduce possible vibrations. There’re also some convenient vents, along with the all-important 4 ports for cables to poke through the box without needing to open it.
It’s also a light 1.85-pounds and with the carry handles is easy to lift and carry around the boat.
Newport Vessels Trolling Motor Smart Battery Box Power Center Black
The Trolling Motor Smart Battery Box Power Center is a fancy product from Newport Vessels. It’s an all-singing, all-dancing version of a protective battery box for discerning buyers who want the best of everything and didn’t take a liking to the MinnKota Trolling Motor Power Center product reviewed earlier.
As a power center, the box comes with a robust appearance and rubber feet to help keep it in position. Once the battery is fitted inside snuggly, there’s Newport Vessels-branded straps that run all around the center of the box right under the top handle. The carry handle is curved in an arching manner and makes it much easier to lift the box into the correct position before setting it down again.
There’s a smart LED system on the left-top side of the top lid. This has four LEDs to indicate the current battery level. There’re also two breakers (waterproof), one for 15-volts and the other for 60-volts, and which both have a protective cover on them.
The box itself is designed to fit Group 24 and 27 batteries inside. It has a useful USB charging feature fitted to the right side of the box that allows you to plug in a single smartphone or tablet for charging. A smartphone will easily fit into the recessed section to the right of the carry handle to avoid having to lay it on the boat’s deck while charging.
The circuit breakers are integrated and support both 15-volts for accessories and 60-volts for powering a trolling motor. There are external ports that provide either 15-volts or 60-volts to hook up your various boat accessories and a trolling motor when you need to. The single accessories port is designed for 12-volts DC for connecting to these types of appliances.
The box itself weighs 3 pounds which puts it at a nice level. It is good enough to use on an inflatable boat or small boat too. The box is waterproof for water spills, rain and more. It is not submergible though, so it will not survive a full boat flooding situation. Surprisingly, the battery meter seems a little temperamental with some batches of this product.
Attwood Standard Battery Box, Vented, 24 series
The Attwood Standard Battery Box is the economy model of the group. It is a pretty basic product and yet it still meets the required standard for the U.S. Coast Guard and ABYC too. You cannot argue with that.
The box itself has vents for gas escaping and holds together, along with a fitted strap, to deal with 350-pounds of force. As a result, your battery is unlikely to force its way out of this protective case.
The box size suits Group 24 and 27 battery types. The robust polypropylene box material handles varied temperatures from minus 20-degrees to 120-degrees Fahrenheit. It has ventilation holes present and comes with handles to carry it easier. It also has been tested and handles acid spills from a battery with ease too.
The colorful fabric strap is black with a yellow/gold trim. It is easier to fit in place and secures the battery box ready for storage or use on a boat. The strap does occasionally loosen up, so it’s a good idea to periodically re-check how tight it is as it tends to work loose over time.
We’re reviewing the 24 series here. Attwood also produces both a 27 and 31 Power Guard model too. Both these 24 series and the 27 series come with four cable holes to fit battery cables through. The 31 Power Guard model has 8 cable holes as it’ll fit more powerful batteries.
This is much more of a budget model as a battery box. As such, it doesn’t have an LED battery meter to check the status on the battery level. This is unfortunate, but a trade-off for boaters who don’t want to spend as much on their battery box.
The box has vents on the top which can potentially let in water. The choice is whether to cover them – but then there may be an issue with gasses – or to accept that this box needs to be placed under cover. Even in good weather conditions, using it with a trolling motor, you could get swells coming over into the boat and potentially get inside the box. So, you need to consider exactly how, where and under what conditions this battery box will be utilized.
This is an excellent battery box for buyers on a budget. It has fewer features and is far less waterproof, but that’s the trade-off for saving some dollars vs other more expensive brands like Newport Vessels and MinnKota.
NOCO HM485 Dual 8D Commercial Grade Battery Box for Automotive, Marine and RV Batteries
The NOCO HM485 is a heavy-duty battery box that is ideal for RV, boating or automotive uses. In fact, the same model comes in four other sizes too: 4D, 8D, Dual 6V and Dual L16. This model is intended to pair two 8D batteries together side-by-side in the same box.
In the interior, there is a reservoir to catch escaped battery acid while still letting each of the batteries to continue
to function. There are 8 enlarged holes for bigger gauge cabling to go into and out of the box. There are ventilation features too for gas venting naturally. On the exterior, four fasteners – one at each corner – secure the box.
The thermoplastic battery box is designed to handle temperatures ranging from minus 40 degrees to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The level of sub-zero temperature tolerance is higher than many other products in the same category. The box also handles oil, gas, and miscellaneous contaminants keeping them out. The material has also been treated to protect from UV rays, so it won’t peel, crack or fade over time either.
No battery level indicator is provided. Also, there were not carry handles with this product. This is a solid, commercial-grade battery box without the extras, but it protects batteries extremely well.
With a marine battery box, you should pick the one that suits your boat’s size. Choose the correct box based on the Group size for the battery that you’ll be using too.
Once these two decisions are made, then it depends on your budget whether you want a luxury “smart” battery box with a battery meter and possibly a USB charging port or a basic box without the bells and whistles. This is largely a function of the features you wish to pay for and how you wish to use the marine battery box – outside on the deck or in the interior of the boat away from the weather and other unpredictable elements.