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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Using right type of charger for your trolling motor battery is most important thing. Here are some chargers that you may use.
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.
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.
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.
Depending on the charging style and environment, here are some do’s and don’ts while charging the trolling motor battery.
- 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.
- 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.
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.