Can You Use Marine Batteries on a Golf Cart? 

Whether you’re playing golf on a golf course or cruising around your neighborhood, golf carts are fun and handy vehicles. An important part of having a reliable golf cart is making sure that it possesses a trustworthy battery. The last thing you want is for your golf cart’s lead acid battery to be dying all the time and getting you stranded away from home. 

Marine batteries make a great substitution for a typical golf cart battery if you need less range and want to save some money. While marine batteries aren’t exactly identical to golf cart ones, they’re similar enough to interchange as long as you properly install the marine battery in your golf cart.

The main thing to remember with marine batteries is that they aren’t specifically meant for golf carts. As such, they might not last as long as a typical golf cart battery and you might have to replace it more often, but the price difference between a deep cycle battery and a marine agm battery may be worth it. If you just run the golf cart around your property or around the neighborhood, it may be worth the cost savings to go with cheaper marine batteries.

In this article, we’ll look at the main differences between marine and electric golf cart batteries and if it’s a good idea to put a marine battery in a golf cart. 

What are Marine Batteries Typically Used for? 

As the name indicates, marine batteries are usually used in marine equipment such as boats or jetskis. As such, they have certain features such as heavy plates and extra water resistance that other batteries don’t have. While a marine battery will definitely work in a golf cart, there’s a chance that it might not work as well as a standard golf car battery. 

Marine batteries are designed to deliver high amounts of power for short bursts. Golf cart batteries, on the other hand, aren’t as powerful as marine batteries but are more efficient and long-lasting and typically have more amp hours. Boats and jetskis are meant to be fast and explosive vehicles, whereas golf carts are designed for leisure and a slower pace. 

Are Marine Batteries Different Than Golf Cart Batteries? 

While marine and golf cart batteries share some similarities, there are also a few major differences. 

  • Marine batteries have heavier plates for storing up energy than golf cart batteries do. 
  • Golf cart batteries can handle higher temperatures than marine batteries.  
  • Golf cart batteries also have a much higher discharge rate than marine batteries do. 
  • Marine batteries are more heavy-duty than golf cart batteries are. Golf carts don’t typically endure rough and tumble conditions, but boats and jet skis are specifically designed to endure rough and bumpy waters. 

In short, yes, marine batteries are quite different than golf cart batteries. However, they’re similar enough in their physical stature to be used interchangeably. 

Pros and Cons of Using a Marine Battery in Your Golf Cart 

If you’re still not sure if you want to swap out your golf cart battery for a marine battery, here are some pros and cons that might make the decision easier. 

Pros of Using a Marine Battery in Your Golf Cart

  • Overall power 

There are different types of marine batteries that have different amounts of power. However, in general, marine batteries are more powerful than golf cart batteries as they are meant to crank an engine, not run a long motor.

  • More durable 

Because marine batteries are forced to endure rougher conditions and a bumpier ride than golf cart batteries, they’re more durable. 

  • Marine batteries are cheaper

As previously mentioned, there are many different types of marine and golf cart batteries. Depending on the type of battery you purchase, one might be more expensive than the other. Overall, however, marine batteries cost less on average than golf cart batteries. 

Cons of Using a Marine Battery in Your Golf Cart

  • Not as long-lasting 

Because of their chemical composition, marine batteries typically have less battery life as golf cart batteries. Marine batteries are designed for vehicles that don’t get used as often as golf carts or for as long of time. Therefore, using a marine battery in a golf cart will result in the battery giving out prematurely earlier than a golf cart battery. 

  • Could cause other mechanical errors

Marine batteries have different features and capabilities than golf cart batteries. As a result, mechanical problems can result from installing one in your golf cart. Things like the lights, starter, and other mechanical features can experience problems with a marine battery. 

  • Don’t charge as fast 

Not only do marine batteries give out faster as they typically have fewer amp hours than golf cart batteries, but they also take longer to charge when necessary. 

  • Don’t work well at high temperatures

While there isn’t a big difference between operating temperatures of either type of battery, marine batteries don’t operate as well at high temperatures as golf cart batteries. 

How to Install a Marine Battery in a Golf Cart? 

If you have your heart set on installing a marine battery in your golf cart, then you might want to save some money and do the installation yourself. Here’s a step-by-step process of how to install a marine battery in your golf cart. But before you start, here’s a list of tools and items that you’ll need. 

  • A ½ inch and 9/16 inch socket set or wrench 
  • Scrub brush with rough bristles 
  • Running water and a hose 
  • Cleaning rags in case of a mess
  1. Before disconnecting the existing battery in your golf cart, take some pictures of the wiring so you remember how everything goes together. 
  2. Disconnect the positive and negative cables from their respective terminals on your golf cart batteries.  It helps to do one at a time.
  3. Remove the existing battery from the golf cart. 
  4. Use your brush to clean the cables on your golf cart and the terminals on your marine battery. 
  5. Make sure the hold where your battery gets installed is clean and clear. 
  6. Place the marine battery where it belongs in your golf cart and reconnect the cables to the terminals. Do this one by one until they are all replaced.
  7. After reconnecting the cables, conduct a practice run to make sure your cart starts, the lights work, and everything is functioning as normal. 

There you have it, how to install a marine battery in place of your golf cart battery. While this isn’t always recommended, it is possible and you can complete the task yourself.