If you love fishing, you probably love using a trolling motor, and they need trolling motor batteries. Fishing boats such as bass boats, bay boats and flat boats all use trolling motors. They’re also popular with anglers and the perfect gear for when you want to move and position your boat to land your perfect catch out on the water. Trolling motors are self-contained motors usually used on smaller boats as they don’t require much power. They have their own system of motor, propeller and controls and can be used to keep a boat in one spot despite current or wind instead of using an anchor.
Trolling motor batteries are batteries with the design technology best suited to a marine environment, so they differ from car batteries, RV batteries, or golf cart batteries. Marine batteries overall will be tougher and more able to resist vibrations created by waves and the boat’s movement.
How to choose the right trolling motor batteries?
When choosing trolling motor batteries, the first thing to remember is that you need a quality battery with the performance you need. For a trolling motor, this means the capacity to sustain a steady current of energy for a long period of time to keep your trolling motor running. Marine starter batteries will not be useful as they require cranking amps and are suited for applications such as firing up your engine to head out fishing.
What you want to install in your boat is a 12v deep cycle marine battery that will give you the sustained power needed due to its design and construction. A deep cycle battery will have thicker plates than marine starter batteries to withstand this kind of low current activity. Furthermore, its design allows it to be deeply discharged and charged repeatedly without harming the battery’s capacity or performance.
There are a number of choices for trolling motor batteries in the range of deep cycle batteries. There are the lead acid batteries: absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries, gel batteries and flooded cell batteries, and there are lithium-ion batteries.
If cost is not an issue, lithium marine trolling batteries will give excellent performance and be smaller than lead acid batteries. The smaller size gives you more speed and ease of manoeuvre for your boat. The lifespan of a lithium battery will be much longer, not only its lifespan but also its run time capacity, which means more time to be spent fishing. A lithium battery should also retain full voltage even when its capacity is running down as well. No need to go home or weigh your boat down with spare trolling motor batteries.
However, if you want a cheaper alternative, then a flooded cell battery will be the most economical choice. It does bring its own issues, being the most high maintenance of the choices for trolling motor batteries. The electrolyte is not sealed like it is in the AGM batteries and gel batteries, so it will be more prone to spills or leaks, which may cause corrosion on the terminals or other areas. They also need topping up to prevent the battery from drying out. AGM and gel batteries are more expensive, but they are less hassle.
How to charge a trolling motor battery?
The easiest solution to handle charging trolling motor batteries is to connect to a smart charger. When you charge them, each of these deep cycle batteries has its own particular issues that will benefit from the “smart” of a smart charger. Gel batteries, in particular, are very sensitive to overcharging, and you can destroy the battery if you leave it on the charger after it has finished charging. Sealed lead-acid batteries (gel and AGM) go through three stages: constant current, constant voltage and a float charge. A three-stage smart charger will manage these three stages safely and easily and will not overcharge your battery.
It is important to ensure the battery charger must be compatible with the battery as well. While it is not absolutely necessary, it will prolong your battery life. Lithium batteries charged with a sealed lead-acid (SLA) charger may eventually damage, undercharge and reduce the capacity of the lithium battery. However, if charged correctly, lithium batteries charge much faster than other batteries.
Safety is also always a consideration when dealing with batteries. Some batteries and especially a flooded cell battery, will give off harmful gases such as hydrogen and oxygen when they are charging, so they need to be charged in a well-ventilated area. This is to avoid being exposed to fumes and the chance of explosion or fire.
If you are keen to power up your batteries in an environmentally friendly way or you are off-grid, then a solar panel set up will charge your solar batteries ready to use again in your trolling motor.
Outbax has fast automated shipping across Australia to quickly send you your trolling motor batteries and other marine batteries quickly. That means you can get out fishing sooner!