I used to think that trolling motors use fuel only to propel the engine and do not need batteries. There are people currently who might be thinking the same thing. But trolling motors use batteries the same way as cars. But for those who are not new in this field, it is good to know the type of batteries that the trolling motors require.
As you know, there are different types of batteries available in the market. The batteries are made of different materials, chemicals and have different capacities. For motors, you do not just need a battery, but you need a quality battery. When sailing on your boat, you need to be in peace, knowing that your battery has a high-quality battery.
Apart from mechanical problems, battery failure is one of the most common problems in trolling motors. The batteries you are using should function effectively and for a long time. If your motor fails when in the middle of a river, lake, or ocean, you will have to travel back to the shores. Batteries function differently depending on their type, design, and battery type with its maintenance and operational requirements.
Therefore, in this article, we will feature the various types of trolling motor batteries, their prices, and maintenance.
Trolling boats that are 14 to 16 feet long should have a 12 volts motor. Longer boats than this require 24 volts motor or 36 volts motor. Any of these motors will run on deep cycle12 volts batter. Unlike the starter batteries, deep cycle batteries are designed to discharge a small current for a long time.
The deep cycle batteries require frequent recharging but are producing slow, steady power required by your trolling motor. Deep cycle batteries are available in two types: lead-acid wet cell batteries and absorbed glass mat (AGM batteries), but there is another option, that is, lithium-ion batteries.
Lead-acid wet cell batteries
Lead-acid cell batteries are the most famous and cheap batteries for trolling motors. They can withstand being drained and recharged very well. But this type requires a lot of maintenance that includes; checking the water levels in the cells, keeping the terminals clean and dry to avoid corrosion.
The only disadvantage with this type of battery is that it can spill or leak. This will then lead to damage to the battery housing, terminals, or even the boat itself. Always ensure that they are fitted tightly to the boat and check them more often.
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM batteries).
AGM batteries are unique because they have no liquid inside them; thus, they are immune to freeze and expand. The AGM batteries have a "starved electrolyte," that is, the mat that is 95 percent saturated. They can withstand shock and any vibrations, thus making it the best fit for trolling motors.
Leaving the battery in a half-full charged condition is what kills this type of battery. AGMs survive off-season or in between trips much longer without charging than standard batteries. Sulfated plates give batteries the appearance of being fully charged, but they may go dead quickly under load in real sense.
They are separately sealed hence minimizing the risk of spillage. They can last for about four years, unlike the lead-acid batteries used for about 2 years. AGM batteries are almost twice as expensive as their counterparts.
Lithium-ion batteries are the most favored type. It is because they are reliable, effective, efficient, fully sealed, and lightweight. However, they are much expensive and also they can be quite dangerous. This is because lithium-ion batteries are hard to extinguish, and if the boat catches fire, dousing it into the water won't work. For this reason, most boater steers avoid the use of lithium-ion batteries unless they are considering reducing boat weight.
How much does a trolling motor battery cost
The cost of a trolling battery varies depending on the brand. But the prices range from $64 to $120. This range will help you buy the best sufficient trolling motor battery that does not affect your budget. Choose the deep cycle batteries to save money and get the best quality batteries.
It would be excellent if you took action to ensure that your battery lasts for a more extended period and functions in the right way. The actions also help you avoid accidents that could be caused by carelessness. These include;
Fully recharge your trolling motor battery immediately after use. Leaving the batteries to sit with less than 12.4 volts can lead to the formation of lead sulfate inside the cells, impacting their performance and lifespan.
It is crucial to use a trickle charger during the offseason to ensure that it moves through the battery. Allowing the battery to stay for a long time will reduce lifespan and performance.
Drain your battery fully before recharging the battery fully. Repeated partial discharge and recharge creates a condition called stratification, in which the chemicals in the cells are out of balance.
Ensure that your battery cools off after recharging. This because recharging produces some heat inside the cells; hence putting a hot battery to use can damage the cells.
Invest in high-quality chargers because cheap charging units do not give excellent results. It may never charge the battery fully.
If you are using a lead-acid wet cell battery, make routine voltage and gravity tests on the electrolyte solution to identify problems.
Before using battery retrieved from storage, make the necessary assessments for signs of damage. Cracks, frayed cables, and corrosion impacts the performance and could pose a health and safety hazard.
Check the water levels in the lead-acid batteries regularly. If the levels are low, top them off with distilled water.
Before storing your battery, clean the battery and its terminals. Store the battery in a dry environment. The battery should not be left in extreme temperatures because it will damage the cells.
Keep the battery cells in balance by equalizing the charge after every recharge. Most battery chargers have an equalizing cycle.
Your safety and that of the other people depend on how you carry out maintenance on your battery. Please choose the best battery and frequently check it to ensure that it is in good condition. Your safety comes first.
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