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  • Writer's pictureSpencer Kent

Powering Your Yacht: AGM vs. Lithium Batteries - Pros, Cons, and Considerations

When it comes to powering your yacht, the choice of batteries is a critical decision. Today, we'll dive into a topic that's at the heart of yacht electrical systems: AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) vs. Lithium batteries. Each type has its own set of advantages and drawbacks, and the choice you make can significantly impact your yachting experience.


Background

AGM Batteries: AGM batteries have been a staple in marine applications for years. They use a fiberglass mat to absorb the battery's acid electrolyte, providing a maintenance-free and spill-proof solution. AGM batteries are known for their reliability and longevity, making them a popular choice among yacht owners.


Lithium Batteries: Lithium batteries have gained popularity in recent years, not only for their energy density but also for their lightweight and fast-charging capabilities. They are commonly found in high-performance applications and are making their way into the marine industry due to their superior power-to-weight ratio.


Pros and Cons

​Battery Type

Pros

Cons

AGM Batteries

  • Reliability

  • Low Maintenance

  • Cost-Effective

  • Heavy Weight

  • Limited Depth of Discharge (DOD)

  • Longer Charging Time

​Lithium Batteries

  • High Energy Density

  • Deep Discharge Capability

  • Fast Charging

  • Higher Initial Cost

  • Requires a Battery Management System (BMS)

  • Safety Concerns (if not properly managed)



Installation and Maintenance

AGM Batteries

Installing AGM batteries is relatively straightforward. They can be placed in various positions, including on their sides, making them versatile for different yacht designs. Routine maintenance involves checking terminal connections and ensuring the charging system is working correctly.


Lithium Batteries

Lithium battery installation requires more attention to detail, as they are sensitive to overcharging and discharging. A properly configured BMS is essential for safety. Lithium batteries should be stored upright and in a well-ventilated area. Routine checks of the BMS and terminal connections are crucial.


Costs Over Time

While AGM batteries are initially cheaper, their lifespan is typically shorter than that of lithium batteries. Lithium batteries can last significantly longer if properly maintained, potentially making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.



So... Whats Better?

The choice between AGM and lithium batteries for your yacht ultimately depends on your specific needs and budget. AGM batteries offer reliability and affordability, while lithium batteries provide superior performance and energy efficiency. When making your decision, consider factors such as weight, depth of discharge, charging time, initial cost, and safety precautions.


At Calm Seas Yachting, our experienced team can help you navigate the questions and concerns you may have while searching to purchase your dream yacht. Whether you opt for the tried-and-true AGM or the cutting-edge lithium, we're here to assist you in making the right choice for your yachting adventures. Safe and smooth sailing!


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