When choosing a marine battery for your boat, you’re looking for something that will be efficient and something that will give you value for your money.
There are specific types of batteries that you need to pay attention to and in this case, you need to choose the right one for your trolling motor.
The updated trolling motor system runs on an electrical supply of power which has significantly improved fishing for many. They are preferred because they can operate quietly and they allow you to have more control over your fishing vessel as you maneuver through the waters.
This new system requires a powerful battery so you need to select one carefully.
What type of marine battery should you use to power your trolling motor?
The quality of the battery you choose will determine the efficiency of your vessel.
An electrical trolling motor battery should be able to supply enough power for different functions like steering, fish locating as well as other accessories on the boat.
This calls for a steady supply of power that can keep you going without running out.
Some of the basic types of batteries include the starting battery and the deep cycle batteries. The difference is that the deep cycle batteries provide power for a longer period as compared to the starting battery which supplies you with energy rapidly for a very short time.
Therefore, for a trolling motor, the suitable type of battery would be the deep cycle battery. These types of batteries have been designed with thick plates to allow the slow discharge of power. This can last for hours, which is exactly what you need. In addition to that, the thick plates can withstand the amount of heat that is produced so your battery won’t be destroyed easily as in the case of starting batteries.
The basic types of deep cycle batteries to choose from are the Wet Cell flooded batteries, the gel batteries, an AGM is also known as the Absorbed Glass Mat.
The main focus should be getting the 12Volt batteries, which is the standard requirement, with at least 100Amp-Hours. You can always upgrade on the group size and Amp-Hour depending on your budget and your specific needs.
The most recommended types for your trolling motor are the Lead Acid Wet-Cell batteries and the Sealed AGM batteries.
Lead Acid Wet-Cell batteries
This is probably the most common type to be used. They are pocket friendly meaning you can purchase an effective battery without sending too much. Some of the problems with these, however, is that they require regular maintenance to prevent them from wearing out. And, they are more prone to self-discharging as well as spillage.
The AGM battery is one of the top choices for those who are looking for a powerful battery that lasts. They might cost more than the lead-acid wet cell batteries but they are worth it. The good thing about these is that they don’t leak through and they don’t have a high self-discharging rate like the previous option.
The other options that people select are the Gel Cell and the Lithium-ion batteries.
They both cost more than AGM and wet cell batteries but they’re significantly more powerful. The gel cell options aren’t prone to leakage and they can withstand a lot of vibration as well as temperature fluctuations.
On the other hand, we have the Lithium-Ion batteries which are the most expensive ones among these options. It doesn’t add a lot of weight to your vessel and is very powerful. However, they come with some drawbacks like overheating which can cause damage. Also, some motors haven’t been designed to handle lithium batteries. Either way, they are the most powerful option.
For a more versatile choice, the most recommended ones are the AGM batteries. This will give you a decent amount of power at pocket-friendly prices.
You should, however, go a step further and find out the indicated type of battery on the manual that will be suitable for your vessel. And you shouldn’t take shortcuts and buy a car battery, assuming it can replace a marine battery. They serve completely different purposes.
How long will a marine battery run a trolling motor?
A huge determinant of how long your battery will last lies in many factors including the type of battery you’re using, capacity as well as weather conditions on a particular day. One basic formula you can use to estimate how long your battery will run for is dividing your battery Amperage Hours by Amperage draw of the motor.
Still, one way of getting the most out of your battery is being keen on maintenance.
Don’t leave the battery discharged
Keep your batteries fully charged when storing/immediately after every use. This ensures that their performance is optimized throughout. A good way of maintaining your battery is getting a trickle charger.
Store in a cool environment
Exposing your battery to extreme temperatures, whether extremely hot or cold, could decrease the shelf life in the long run. It would be best to store in a cool, dark environment.
Check for any signs of corrosion
Always make sure you’ve cleaned your batteries often especially if you’re storing them long term. You can clean off any corrosion with a paste made of baking soda and water.
Maintain your wet cell batteries
These types of batteries are sensitive and that’s why you should check the water levels often. They need a top-up of distilled water to prevent any damage.
Extra Tips To Know
- It’s good to have a backup battery that can give you optimum power supply especially if you have added accessories.
- You should never mix old and new batteries or those that are different makes. Replace all your batteries at once at all times.
- Always inspect your battery after long periods of storage for any signs of damage like cracks, for example, to make sure it’s safe for use again.
My final thought is that it's always better to choose high-quality batteries and chargers for your trolling motor. The cheaper ones might be effective for only a short while, which will eventually cost you more in the long run.
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