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Battery Guideline: How to Charge a Trolling Motor Battery Properly

It is an amazing thing to own a deep cycle battery, especially a trolling motor battery. Apart from the fact that it is faster to charge, it also lasts longer than other regular batteries.

If you want your battery to be durable then you have do proper maintenance. The sole maintenance involves charging the batteries in a proper way.

Charging a trolling motor battery is quite easy. You can charge your trolling motor battery in little or no time if it is done the proper way. Here, we will clearly explain to you how to charge your trolling motor battery properly.

The Best Way to Charge Trolling Motor Batteries

​Some ages back, trolling motor batteries were usually charged by simply turning battery acid into the battery container. Though it's an effective way, but it always takes longer and is more mechanical and involves much man power.

Thanks to technology, though, there are now easier and better ways to charge trolling motor batteries. It can be quite tricky to pick the very best method of charging trolling motor batteries.

This is because there are different types of trolling motor batteries. There are different methods for different types of trolling motor batteries. Even there are differences between chargers and charging methods.​

BUT NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT


​​Despite these various types of batteries, there are still some charging methods that are highly recommended and regarded as one of the best ways of charging trolling motor batteries.

There are various battery chemistries. They may be flooded cell, absorbed glass mat and Sealed Gel. Trolling motor batteries should be charged based on the type and nature of batteries. Let us consider the three basic trolling motor battery chemistries.

​AGM: Absorbed Glass Mat Battery

​These batteries can be charged very easily, either on-board, outboard or the use of the solar panel. AGM batteries charge very quickly.

BE CAREFUL!


Overcharging AGM batteries can damage the lifespan of the battery. Whenever you are charging this battery, monitor the cycle very carefully.

​Sealed Gel Batteries

Gel batteries use regular acids. These kinds of batteries are quite easy to charge. They have thickening agents. These agents prevent the acid in the gel batteries from leaking.

REMEMBER!


When the cells of these batteries die, they are always difficult to refill; thereby it is very important not to overcharge or undercharge.​

​Flooded Cell Battery

This is the most popular and easiest to charge. It simply involves pouring the acid directly to the battery box. To do this, put a negative plate on the battery. It creates an electrical reaction in the cells of the battery.

WARNING!


This kind of battery is quite dangerous, and you have to be cautious when charging this kind of battery. If the acid spills on you, it has the potential to cause lots of burns.

​Charging Trolling Motor Battery with Solar

Trolling motor batteries can also be charged using solar energy. It's achievable using a solar panel and is quite easy to setup.

Just, mount the solar panel on the boat. Use a high panel to ensure faster and more lasting battery system. You can also use boost converters to convert smaller volts to a tolerable one. If you have more than one battery, use relay circuit to alternate between the two.​

Charging with solar panel might not be effective for a long term purpose. Apart from the fact that it is not as fast as other charging methods, it is considered as a way to maintain the battery. Sometimes, the solar panel might not be able to pull the watts required to charge the battery.

The solar panel must the placed where it can easily have access to the sun. Make sure you place the panel where it cannot be easily stolen, though.

Charging Trolling Motor Battery Using a Portable Charger​

Charging A Trolling Motor Battery Using Portable ChargerYou can also charge your trolling motor batteries using portable chargers. These are mobile and very easy to carry.

For each charge, they are connected to the trolling motor battery and are subsequently removed. The portable motor battery charger has quite a lasting impact, and some of them are durable.

Before you buy a portable trolling motor battery charger, ask yourself the following questions;​

What is my battery type?

Consider your battery chemistry, whether it is AGM, flooded or gel. You can successfully use the same charge for all these types except for gel battery.

What is my battery’s amp?​

What is my battery’s amp? : This is very important because battery size varies. For instance, if your battery is 60 amps hour, you can decide to get a charger of 10 amps. It will affect the rate at which it charges and goes a long way in determining how long the battery will last.​

​Charging Trolling Motor Battery on the Water

Trolling motor batteries respond differently to charging. When the boat is on water, the trolling motor battery can be charged using conventional chargers.

These chargers are designed to control the rate at which the batteries charge, hence making it very comfortable to charge while on the water.​

The problem with AGM motor chargers is that they charge very fast on water. It has a tendency to destroy the cells, which in turns damage the plates and separators. Because of this, low ampere chargers are recommended for situations like this.

How Long does a Trolling Motor Battery Last?

It depends on which type of battery do you use and how well you are taking care of it. I have written a detailed article on Trolling Motor Battery Run Time.

Charger Recommendations

Using right type of charger for your trolling motor battery is most important thing. Here are some chargers that you may use.​

​On-Board Chargers

​This kind of charger is highly dependable and fast. It has three sub types.

  • The precision on board chargers
  • Digital on-board chargers
  • The DC alternator on-board charger.

​The precision on board charger makes it usable for all battery chemistries. It has a button to choose which of the battery chemistries you use. If you want a fast, dependable and efficient charger, we strongly recommend this.

Portable Chargers​

​This kind of charger is mobile, you can carry it from one lake to the other. It encourages automatic multi-stage charging. It is very easy to connect but not as efficient as Onboard chargers, though.

For emergency and mobility, it is advisable to have a portable charger.

​Solar Chargers

This is considered as a “battery maintainer” more than it is considered a charger. It is more effective in locations of high solar power.

If you want to leave your boat for a while, this charger is recommended to keep the battery alive.​

Charging Etiquette​

Depending on the charging style and environment, here are some do’s and don’ts while charging the trolling motor battery.

DO'S

  • Whenever you get to the shore, always recharge your battery.
  • Always make sure battery tops are clean and dry and that there are no corrosion's in the terminals of the battery.
  • Consider solar power drip charger with a smart controller. This makes the battery lasts longer.

DON'TS

  • DO NOT mix battery chemistries. Choose one, either flooded, AGM or Gel and never combine any of them.
  • DO NOT overcharge your trolling motor battery for no reason.

Conclusion

If you want to have the best battery experience, then it is essential to take care of your trolling motor battery. They are seemingly easy to use if you follow the guide. To get them working in the most effect manner you have to use them properly.

Charging the battery in a proper way is the core part of maintaining the state of a good battery. There are various methods to charge trolling motor batteries, ranging from the solar method, using the outboard engine and charging the batteries on the lake.

Most importantly, choosing the right kind of charger for your trolling motor battery goes a long way in maintaining your battery health.

It is advisable to use recommended method based on the situation and to follow the proper procedures in charging the batteries.

2

Battery Run Time: How Long Does A Trolling Motor Battery Last?

The fish may be biting in the middle of the lake, but a dead battery can keep you from the action. It can also strand you far from shore.Dead batteries can turn a great time into a bad experience quickly. There's never a right time for this to happen, but it is preventable.

Learn about trolling motor battery run time and how to get the most out of your power source and avoid frustrating setbacks. Our ultimate battery guide will show you how.

​How long does a trolling motor battery last?

It depends on the quality, age and how well the battery has cared. You can estimate how long the battery will run the motor on a single charge.

Steps for calculating trolling motor battery run time:

  • Find the amperage hour rating of the battery.
  • Locate the amperage draw of the motor you're using.
  • Calculate using this easy method.​

You can find this information from the manufacturers of each. If you don't have the user manuals, most companies offer the information online.

If your battery is rated at 200 amperage hours and the draw of the motor is 25 amps, you may have 8 hours of consistent use.You simply divide the total amperage hours by the draw of the motor. It's a good idea to use the maximum draw (used for higher speeds).

Here is a graph to about trolling motor battery run time.​

Trolling Motor Battery Run Time

Also here is a video explanation for you.

Other Things That May Affect Battery Life​

Calculation of the battery run time is always approximate. Weather and water conditions can also affect how much time you'll get out of it.

There's always that chance that the motor could have a higher amperage draw when running at higher speeds or against the wind.​

​Trolling Motor Battery Types

The two basic types of boat batteries include cranking and deep cycle batteries. The cranking variety is built to deliver a burst of intense power. They are generally used for starting the main engine. The alternator replenishes the power while the motor is running.

Deep Cycle batteries are the recommended choice for trolling motors. They feature a reserve capacity that depends on periodic charging for replenishment. By design, they are superior for withstanding deep cycling.

Cranking batteries are not built to hold up to the rigors of powering a trolling motor. Unless a cranking type is designated as a dual purpose battery, use with a trolling motor would result in overheating and failure.

It's important to understand the different uses and limitations for each of these boat battery types.​

Sub-types​

Both cranking and deep cycle batteries come in three different sub-types. These are

  • Wet-cell battery
  • Standard flooded battery
  • Absorptive glass mat battery (AGM)

Wet cell batteries feature six cells which are open and constructed with standard lead plates along with an electrolyte. You can service this type yourself.

They have a greater charge storage capacity than the absorptive glass mat type. The disadvantage is the danger of increased corrosion due to acid spills.

Maintenance free, also known as a sealed battery can't be serviced by the owner. There is no way to access the cells. The absorptive glass mat is included in this category. The amp rating is lower for AGMs than for wet cells.

While these are not owner serviceable, there is less chance of corrosion or accidental acid spills and they are less susceptible to vibration. Another advantage is that they discharge at a slower rate and recharge faster.​

Battery Life Durability​

Charge durability refers to the number of hours that you'll have before the battery is depleted of energy. Knowledge of the proper handling and maintenance practices can delay the inevitable results of the aging process.

Applying this knowledge can leave you with a more dependable power source. We have some tips to increase charge durability of your trolling motor battery. Here are things that can improve your battery charge durability.​

Use The Correct Battery​

Deep cycle batteries are more expensive than the cranking type. Avoid going with the cranking type because it will ultimately fail. It cannot hold up against the demands of a trolling motor.

Deep cycle batteries are designed specifically for the trolling motors and other types of accessories. They feature a sturdier construction with heavier plates. Cranking batteries can't be used as substitutes for deep cycles.​

Here is a detailed article how to charge a deep cycle battery properly so you can have long battery life.​

How To Take Care Of A Trolling Motor Battery

How to take care of a trolling motor battery

Regularly maintenance batteries have a longer life and greater charge durability. Take the following steps to keep your battery in the best possible condition.

​Keep your battery charged

Don't allow your battery to become fully depleted because this weakens it and shortens the life span. Sulfation levels drop lowering the longevity when they are allowed to sit uncharged.

Batteries produce electricity through a chemical reaction that includes sulfuric acid and lead plates. These create the direct current for power.

The sulfate ends up on the plates, and the capacity for producing current is decreased. Recharging directs sulfate into the solution so it can continue to generate the chemical reaction.​

Clean Your Battery​

Buildups of sulfates on the plates happen over time. You have to do maintenance your wet cell batteries with a cleansing agent or battery equalizer. It removes the buildup of sulfates and gives the battery extended capacity and life.

Clean Corrosion

Corrosion happens from electrolyte leakage and is more frequent when the battery is overcharged or hot. It can also happen during the charging process.

Clean the corrosion from the terminals by using this process. It includes the formula for the cleaning solution that you make at home.​

Needed supplies​:

  • Hot water
  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush
  • Heavy duty rubber gloves
  • Cool water
  • Petroleum jelly (lubricant)
  • A clean cloth.

1. Wear protective rubber gloves to avoid getting corrosion on your skin.

2. Combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 cup of hot water.

3. Dip the brush into a hot cleaning solution. Scour battery cables, clamps, and terminals until corrosion is cleared.

4. Rinse cables, terminals and other surfaces of the battery with cool water. Remove all corrosion and baking soda solution.

5. Dry battery cables, clamps, and terminals with clean cloths.

6. Apply lubrication to battery terminals, clamps, and posts.

Maintain Wet-cell And Flooded Type Batteries​

Check the fluid levels regularly. Keep them filled to the proper levels without overfilling. Here is how to proceed.

1. Pop the caps up.

2. Inspect the electrolyte fluid levels. Add distilled water slowly until the plates are covered with one eight of an inch of fluid.

3. Keep fluid levels one-quarter of an inch under the splash ring located at the mouth of the cell. It is needed to allow the hot electrolyte solution to expand.​

Choose The Right Charger​

Multistage chargers are the most reliable types. They provide power in stages which helps to extend the life of the battery without overcharging. Choose a type that shuts off when the battery is at full charge for optimal results.

Charging Stored Batteries​

During the off-season, check the charge on stored batteries. Keep them charged with bi-monthly charges and avoid allowing them to sit uncharged. This increases the lifespan and maintains battery capacity for longer.

Recharge battery to full when it reaches 75% of its capacity. Use a hydrometer or voltmeter to check the status of the charge. Extended storage temperatures are ideal at 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.​

Conclusion​

In this article, you have learned about trolling motor battery run time.

Getting the most out of your trolling motor battery starts with having useful information and understanding how to use it. First, choose the right type. Next, know the steps for maintaining and cleaning your battery to extend the life.

This will also increase the charge duration for extra hours of use. Distilled water, baking soda, and petroleum jelly are the main ingredients needed to keep your battery in the best possible condition. Follow the steps in this guide to reaping the benefits.​

You may take a look here to choice various types of kitchen cookware.