One of the main reasons people use battery boxes is due to the requirement by ABYC Standards in many cases. A battery box keeps battery acid from potentially spilling out. This serves as a protection mechanism not only for the battery, but those on board. If you have a deep cycle marine battery on board, it may give off a gas while running and charging. This is true even if a battery maintains a high charge. A battery box forms a seal around the battery and directs potential gases away.
If you have a battery near your fuel tank, that could also pose a problem if you do not have your battery covered. This is one of the main reasons they are gaining popularity on boats that have trolling motors.
Battery Box Comparison Chart
Compatible Battery Size
Impact Resistance to -40
Resists 350lbs of Force
Groups UP to A-27
LED Status Indicator
Beyond diverting potential gases, they contain possible electrolyte leaks or spills that may come from a damaged battery case. It contains the battery so that terminals cannot come into contact with other metal objects. Most all battery boxes contain the battery so that it is not able to shift position by more than one inch in all directions, which prevents it from becoming damaged, even if tipped over.
What Type of Battery Needs Boxes?
Lead acid batteries should be used with a box to prevent acid from spilling out into your boat if the battery becomes damaged. Lead is a very toxic metal that can be absorbed by your body and the environment. There is also sulfuric acid in these batteries which can be very corrosive. Yet still people question whether they really need one if they plan to use a sealed battery. The answer is; you may not need to, but it is always good boating practice to use one. The box will have many features that protect the battery and your boat, not to mention the fact that they provide a safe vent to divert the gases that may be produced by your battery during recharges. The only time that you really may not need to have a battery box is if you have a double-walled battery on your boat. The extra wall will protect the battery from damage and prevent gases from becoming a concern.
Do Batteries Really Produce Gas?
Hydrogen is the gas that batteries put off and all deep cycle or batteries on a high charge will emit it. Most often, the gas is formed when you overcharge a battery. Lead acid batteries are the most susceptible, so if you do not have a battery box when you are charging a lead acid battery, you should be very careful. Overcharging can result in hydrogen gas being emitted and if the concentration of it becomes 4%, it could become very explosive. It may also emit hydrogen sulfide, which is very poisonous if inhaled and highly flammable. It smells a lot like rotten eggs, so you will know that it is present, but you should strive to avoid spending time near it. The gas is lighter than air so it will rise if there is a vent. This will ensure you do not have any type of fumes building up in the cabin of your boat or in your garage at home while you are charging your batteries.
A sealed battery may sound like it is completely leak proof and in some cases; it may be true. However, a lot of sealed batteries still have a vent on them to let gases out so that it does not become a hazard. With that being said; sealed batteries are still usable indoors and you do not have to worry as much about flooding the area with toxic, flammable gases. You still may want to consider a box for them though as a double layer of protection.
Should You Use a Marine Battery Box?
Battery boxes are a good choice for any boat. In fact some areas may even require them. As a general rule of thumb, if you have a commercial boat, a battery that sits near electronics, batteries located in a small cabin, OR any type of boat that may have multiple batteries you will likely need an approved battery box or marine battery tray.
If you do not want marine battery boxes on your boat, you may be able to get away with a double walled battery. You should check with the state and/or your boat’s manufacturer to find out if a double wall will suffice.
Some may feel that they are not very attractive on a boat. For those who are questioning this aspect, below, you will find some of the highest rated boxes for your boat. Many will be surprised there there are now even smart battery boxes. These boxes each have qualities that will set them apart from one another and they are all worthy of consideration.
Our List Of The Best Marine Battery Boxes
This marine battery box has a power socket for 12 volt utility. It includes everything you need to mount it securely, even a battery strap. It is made with durable, hard plastic and allows you to test your battery’s remaining power with the touch of a button. The box’s lid slightly overlaps the box so that you run less risk of rain dripping on your battery and it has a circuit breaker inside of the box as well.
This battery box tells you the battery status with an LED indicator. It has 2 external 12 VDC auxiliary plugs. The case is made with polypropylene and it comes with straps to hold it securely in the boat. The box is waterproof, but there are no circuit breakers in it.
MinnKota Trolling Motor Power Center – Most Popular
This is the ideal box for anyone with a small boat that does not have a built in battery compartment. It has easy access battery terminals so that connecting leads is easy. There is a built in battery meter to tell you how much charge is on the battery and it works on batteries that fit into group 24 and 27. Inside the box you will find a pair of 12 volt accessory plugs and manual reset circuit breakers.
This is a larger box than most. It works for batteries that are no more than 10 1/2 inches high. It holds the battery in place well enough to meet specifications set by the coast guard and the ABYC. The tie down straps on this polypropylene box can resist up to 350 pounds of force. It has been tested in extreme weather conditions to see if it can hold up and with each test it has surpassed expectations. You get everything you need to mount it within your boat and it can resist even acid spills inside of it without sustaining damage. This is one of the most popular marine battery boxes.
This battery box works for boats, cars, trucks, and RVs. It is a heavy-duty box that is designed for single group 24-31 batteries. It is impact resistant even with temperatures down to -20, features vent caps to prevent water entry, and can effectively collect battery acid while allowing ventilation. It has been thoroughly tested and meets all USCG Code of Federal Regulations as well as the American Boat and Yacht Council specifications.
This lightweight box has a lift off lid and durable woven hold down straps, foot clamps, and even stainless steel screws. The box itself is made of polypropylene to resist corrosion. It is designed for batteries that are group 24 and provides 2” for the battery terminals on top. It does meet the USCG and ABYC specifications.
This is a commercial grade battery box that works in most vehicle types. It has a four-corner fastening system and can hold even large cables. It also has a large battery acid reservoir for accidental spills. This durable box is able to handle temperatures that are below -40 and still remain impact resistant. It meets all safety regulations and specifications to ensure it is going to be completely safe for you and the environment.
The Moroso Box is a sealed type that vents only to where you want it to, outside. It is designed to hold group 24 batteries and comes with everything you need to set it up in most positions. It is a sturdy, heavy duty box that works best with topside battery terminals. This box can be a little difficult for some people to wire, but the vast majority should be able to easily install the Moroso.
More Marine Battery Box Choices: