Marine battery industry to grow, Leoch wins supply deal

The global yacht battery market has been forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.54% between 2017 and 2021, according to a report by Research and Markets on May 26.

The report, Global Yacht Battery Market 2017-2021, says the growing trend is for standard lead-acid batteries to be replaced by AGM batteries, which are lighter, spill proof, faster charging, have a better cycle life, can endure colder temperatures and are more robust.

The news came just before an announcement by UK boatmaker Aqualine that it had agreed a deal with DBS Energy (Direct Battery Solutions) to supply it with specialist marine batteries made by lead battery maker Leoch, which is based in China.

Leoch will supply three types of 12V lead-acid marine batteries to Aqualine, specifically sealed maintenance-free leisure batteries, AGM leisure batteries and gel tubular plate monobloc batteries.

“We’re experiencing an increase in after-market battery sales over the same period as last year,” DBS managing director Henry James told BESB.

“Some of our key customers are from the boating sector and through our strong relationships with UK boat suppliers and builders, we’re hearing that demand for both new and second-hand boats is very healthy. And they all need high-quality batteries.

“We’ve seen a transition from standard flooded batteries to AGM and now gel tubular as boat owners consider issues of longevity of charge, cost effectiveness and robustness.

“Boat owners have become more conscious of using quality batteries and more modern technology, such as the Leoch range, to provide more battery power, using inverters for 240 volt systems.”

James said that as boats become more user friendly, demand is coming from families for recreation as well as retired people.

Figures released at the London Boat Show in January by British Marine, a membership organization for the leisure, super yacht and small commercial marine industry, showed that the industry in the UK had grown for the fifth consecutive year in 2016, to more than £3 billion ($4 billion) signalling fresh demand for batteries.