If you’ve got a smaller craft without a built-in battery tray, then adding a marine battery box is one of the smartest things you can do to extend the lifespan of your battery. Marine battery boxes or power centers allow you to secure and protect your battery while making it easy to transport when necessary.
Protecting your marine batteries from corrosion, shorting out, and water damage is critical for any boat. It’s especially important for smaller boats as they often don’t have built-in battery storage – so your battery is left exposed to the wind and waves.
Modern battery boxes offer plenty of extra functionality beyond just protection – they’re much more than a simple waterproof shell. Many are packed with features like LED battery meters, USB ports, and integrated battery health monitors.
Let’s take a look at some of the best marine battery boxes on the market, and how to pick the right one for your needs.
Quick Answer: 5 Best Marine Battery Boxes
- Best Overall: Newport Vessels Trolling Motor Smart Battery Box
- Runner Up: MinnKota Trolling Motor Power Center
- Best For Kayaks: Yak-Power Power Pack Battery Box
- Also Consider: Universal Power Group Marine Smart Box
- Budget Pick: Attwood Standard Battery Box
Why do you need a marine battery box
Marine battery boxes (and power centers) offer an incredible amount of functionality for your boat’s electrical setup. They’ll work with both deep cycle and starting batteries, and are easy to mount in most watercraft.
While some models are essentially plastic shells with built-in handles, newer models work more like smart appliances than protective shells. These boxes allow you to easily monitor your battery power, health, as well as circuit breakers to protect your trolling motor, fish finder, and other boat electronics.
Some features to be on the lookout for:
- Battery Meter: Easy to read battery meters allow you to check how much juice you have left on the fly. This can be a lifesaver when you’re out fishing all day and will prevent you from getting stranded in the middle of the lake with a dead battery.
- USB Ports: USB ports give you the ability to charge your phone, tablet, or other electronics on the go without needing to open up the battery box.
- Multiple Outputs: Many battery boxes feature multiple 12V accessory plugs in addition to the externally accessible battery terminals. This allows you to run all your boat electronics in addition to a trolling motor.
- Integrated Circuit Breaker: Integrated circuit breakers for both accessory ports and the main terminals protect your boat’s electronics from electrical damage.
Best Overall: Newport Vessels Smart Battery Box
If you’re looking for a well-made, do-it-all battery box to run your boat’s electronics, then you’ll have a hard time beating this one. It’s jam-packed with useful features, completely watertight, and fits a variety of battery sizes.
Ideal for smaller craft like kayaks, canoes, and Jon boats, the battery box completely encases your marine battery while providing access to the terminals for hooking up trolling motor and other electronics. The outer shell features an easy to read LED battery meter, allowing you to get a quick reading on your remaining battery capacity.
An external USB and 12V DC power outlet allow you to connect your electronics directly to the battery without opening the box, while circuit breakers and test buttons ensure you don’t damage your equipment. Built-in rubberized foot inserts ensure your battery won’t slide around on the deck.
The Battery box will fit batteries with group sizes 24, 27, and many group 29 and 31 sizes.
- Dimensions: 17” x 12” x 10”
- 1 x USB port and 1 x 12V accessory port
- Dual integrated circuit breakers
- Non-slip rubberized feet keep the box in place
- 2-year manufacturer warranty
Runner Up: MinnKota Trolling Motor Power Center
MinnKota’s excellent trolling motor power center is one of the best choices when it comes to marine battery housing. Its ideal for small boat transom-mounted trolling motors, it packs plenty of features to make your experience on the water that much easier.
Dual external accessory ports allow for convenient connection of 12V accessories, while the external battery terminals allow you to hook up your trolling motor without opening the box. Integrated circuit breakers with manual resets for both trolling motor (60 Amp) and accessories (10 Amp) ensure your prized fishing electronics won’t get damaged.
A red-yellow-green LED battery indicator gives you an accurate reading of your remaining battery life, and an integrated carry handle makes transporting a 40-pound battery a breeze. The box is designed to fit group size 24 and 27 batteries, and will fit some larger batteries as well.
- Inside Dimensions: 13 7/8″ x 7 3/4″ x 8 7/8″
- Ideal for small boat transom-mounted motors
- Dual 12V (10 Amp) accessory ports
- Integrated circuit breakers
- Red-yellow-green LED battery indicator
Best for Kayaks: Yak-Power Power Pack Battery Box
Ideal for kayaks and other smaller craft this well-made battery box will hold up to 3 x 7 Ah batteries, or 2 x 12 Ah batteries. It comes with two integrated 5 volt (4.2 Amp) USB charging ports, so you can easily charge your phone, GoPro, and other electronics.
The box is completely watertight, and measuring just 11″ x 9″ x 6″, it’s small enough to stash inside smaller kayak hatches. A master power switch gives you total control over your boat’s power, allowing you to flip a switch and toggle power on and off.
A trickle charger comes included, which allows you to maintain your batteries and ensure you have a full charge whenever you hit the water.
Keep in mind this battery box is built for running 2 or 3 smaller batteries simultaneously – which is what you need for running fish finders, navigation lights, bilge pumps, and other smaller electronics. If you’re looking to run a trolling motor, you’ll generally want a larger box with a single deep cycle battery.
- Dimensions: 11″ x 9″ x 6″
- Fits 3 x 7 Ah batteries, or 2 x 12 Ah batteries
- Ideal for running fish finders, nav lights, bilge pumps, and LED lighting
- 2 integrated USB charging ports
- 12 Volt accessory power port outlet
- Compact design will fit inside kayak hatches
Also Consider: Universal Power Group Marine Smart Box
If you’re looking for a basic no-frills battery box to protect your marine battery, then this durable plastic box will fit the bill nicely. It features an easy to read battery life meter along with two 12V external auxiliary accessory ports.
The case is made from heavy-duty polypropylene and comes with a sturdy tie-down strap to secure the battery inside the box. Unlike other boxes, it doesn’t come with a built-in carry handle – so if you plan on transporting the battery often, you’ll probably want to go with a different model.
The case is water-resistant, and will protect your battery from rain and the occasional rogue wave. No circuit breakers come built-in, but you can purchase these separately if you need them.
The box is designed to hold a group 24- to 27- size battery, which is exactly what you need for running a trolling motor.
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- Dimensions: 16″ x 9 1/2″ x 10″
- No frills battery box for marine batteries
- 3 LED battery life meter
- Heavy-duty polypropylene case
- Designed for group size 24 through 27 batteries
Budget Pick: Attwood Standard Battery Box
If you’re looking for a barebones battery box and don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, then this basic box from Attwood is the one for you. It’s little more than a tough polypropylene shell and hold-down strap, but it gets the job done when you need it to.
Four cable openings allow you to connect with your boats trolling motor and other electronics, and the design provides good options for mounting, carrying, and strapping in. Vent holes come built into the box top, but if you want a more watertight option, a little electrical tape applied to the inside can solve this issue.
No carry handle comes built into the top, but molded side handles allow you to carry the box comfortably. Several different case sizes are available to accommodate a variety of different batteries: 24 series, 29/31 series, and U1 series.
- Barebones battery box gets the job done for cheap
- Built in side carry handles
- Tough drop-tested polypropylene construction
- Four cable openings for wiring to your boat’s electronics
How to pick the right marine battery box
Picking the right marine battery for your boat and battery can seem like a confusing task. Let’s take a look at some of the key factors to consider when picking out the right battery box for you.
You’ll want to make sure any battery box you’re interested in will fit your marine battery. Most manufacturers state the group size batteries it will fit, typically group sizes 24 through 27. Many will also fit larger 29 and 31 battery group sizes.
Portability can be an important feature depending on how you plan to use your marine battery. If you need to frequently swap the battery between different craft, or remove the battery when not in use, then look for a battery box with a good carry handle.
Marine batteries can easily top 50 pounds, so constantly transporting them can become a major pain in the rear. Look for a battery box with a molded top handle and a secure closure.
You’ll generally want a box with good waterproofing or water resistance. While you’re not likely to submerge the battery completely in water, sudden downpours and rouge waves can and do happen to all of us.
Good waterproofing protects your battery from corrosion – which can damage its functionality and shorten its lifespan.
Mounting the battery box to your craft should be simple and straightforward. Many marine battery boxes come with mounting hardware included, so you can set everything up easily without needing any extra gear.
Most come with non-slip pads built-into the bottom, so your battery won’t slip and slide around your craft in windy conditions.
Terminals & Ports
Easily accessible external terminal access is a must for any good battery box. This allows you to connect/disconnect the battery to your trolling motor – as well as your battery charger – without needing to crack open the box.
Other external ports, like 12V accessory ports and USB ports, allow you to power and charge your other electronics without opening the box. This can be extremely useful – and turns your small craft into a fully powered boat.