What if your trolling motor gets depleted when you’re in the middle of nowhere? Knowing how to charge a trolling motor battery will save you from drifting under the brutal sun and your trip as well.
Besides, you will likely damage your battery and reduce its lifespan if you do not know how to charge trolling motor batteries while on the lake properly. Our guide will help you get the job done as a pro.
Different Types Of Deep Cycle Batteries For Trolling Motor
Although the trolling motor batteries below all contain lead-acid inside, their internal design makes them different.
1. AGM (Absorbed Glass Matte)
This battery is the latest and most favorite lead-acid battery. The absorbed glass matte is spill-proof, containing the liquid inside, so there’s no acid leak.
This type of battery is incredibly resistant to impact and vibration, a common issue when you’re out and about on the water. Due to its construction, there’s no maintenance needed.
In terms of performance, this battery outcompetes the other two competitors. It is a breeze charging, which all you have to do is plug in and walk away.
It has a short charging time and flexibly accepts many types of batteries. But how long does it take to charge a trolling motor battery using this charger? The answer is five hours.
You should note that overcharging will cut down their lifespan. Therefore, keep an eye on them when they’re reaching full charging capacity.
2. Gel Cell Batteries
This battery type is easy to use and recharge. However, it would help if you avoided high amperage from these batteries as it can leave a permanent scar on these batteries.
Be careful not to overcharge or undercharge, or you’ll risk killing the battery cells inside.
3. Flooded or Wet Cell
The flooded battery is the most widely-used type, which is also applicable in a wide range of situations. The reasonable price tag makes it stand out from other types of batteries.
Flooded cell batteries require a considerable amount of maintenance, as the lead plates will degrade when they come in contact with the atmosphere. Since they are unsealed batteries, the acid spill can damage your skin.
Therefore, be aware while using and recharging this type of battery.
Different Types Of Trolling Motor Battery Chargers
Different chargers affect how long to charge trolling motor battery. They also come at different prices according to their selling points.
On-board chargers come in three types: precision chargers, digital chargers, and DC alternators. Precision chargers are more favorable as they are more compact and lightweight; they also charge faster and fit a wide variety of batteries.
On-board chargers always attach to your batteries. Recharging is straightforward as you only need to connect it to a power source; they are the fastest charging type.
Portable chargers are easy to carry everywhere as they are cheaper than other onboard counterparts and can charge at a narrow pace. If your vessel has little space, this is a great choice.
Renewable Solar Chargers
This option offers high mobility for an on-board charger. More specifically, you can only use this type of charger at certain times of the day as it completely relies on solar energy. The charger does work on cloudy days but generates considerably less power than on bright sunny days.
In terms of performance, it takes much longer for your batteries to charge fully. Initial setup cost is another trade-off for a long-term clean energy supply.
Bonus: Outboard motor
The outboard motor is not a type of charger, but it can provide energy to your battery if you know how to charge trolling motor batteries with an outboard.
Using an outboard motor is an approach if you’re figuring out how to charge trolling motor battery without shore power. We’ll provide you insights into how to charge a trolling motor battery from the outboard motor.
Guideline: How To Charge A Trolling Motor Battery?
Depending on the type of battery, the procedure and additional accessories might be different.
You will need a solar panel to absorb solar energy or connector cables to connect the battery for more voltages. However, take a look at the main steps to know how to keep trolling motor battery charged properly.
Charge A Trolling Motor Battery
Check The Current Level Of Your Battery
It is necessary to keep track of the battery’s current level and reserve capacity. While doing this, wipe off the dirt from the battery to keep it clean. A clean battery ensures your safety and the battery’s lifespan as well.
You should know the number of the battery banks, which shows how many chargers can recharge. If you have a 12-volt battery, a single bank will suffice.
Meanwhile, a 24-volt motor will need a double bank charger. Keep on reading to know how to charge a 24v trolling motor system.
Place The Battery In A Safe Location
Unplug the battery from the trolling motor, then take the battery to a dry and safe place. For your safety, you need to make sure the battery is not connecting to any electronic devices.
Before connecting the charger’s leads to the terminals, make sure both terminals are free of dirt or other debris. Corrosions or dirt can increase the charging time and cause electricity loss.
Next, identify the two terminals. The positive terminal traditionally comes with a (+) mark while the other terminal with a (-) mark.
Connect The Battery To The Charger
The next step is to connect the terminals to the battery. Attach the battery’s positive terminal to the charger’s positive terminal, similarly with the negative terminals. Once these terminals are in place, you can turn on the power source to commence the charging.
We highly recommend you to charge your battery with chargers capable of multi-stage charging. The ordinary charger works just fine in the short run. However, it’s not cut out for repeated charging rounds as it may shorten your battery lifespan.
Wait For The Charging Process To Complete
Next, all you have to do is wait for the battery to charge fully. During this time, try to avoid creating impact and vibration to the battery and the charge.
Most chargers have an indicator to give you feedback on the progress, so you can take a look at what’s happening. Some advanced charges feature automatic multi-stage charging, automatically transferring from bulk charging to absorption charging, and finally to float charging.
Disconnect The Charger
Once the battery is full, you need to unplug the battery from the charger. Avoid procrastination because overcharging can damage your battery’s lifespan.
You’d better off disconnect everything in the reverse sequence of connecting. Turn off the power first, then remove the charger’s terminals from the battery. Finally, return the battery to its place of the trolling motor.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Question 1: How to charge a 24-volt system trolling motor batteries?
Many anglers share the same question when it comes to charging their trolling motor. Charging a 24 volt trolling motor system is not a challenge, but it is trickier than charging a 12-volt battery.
You will need two 12-volt deep cycle batteries for a 24-volt motor battery. Firstly, turn off the motor or set the speed selector to “0”. Join a connector cable to the positive terminal of battery one and the negative terminal of battery 2. This cable acts as a bridge between the two batteries.
Then, all you have to do is plug the terminal leads from your trolling motor to the corresponding terminal of the two batteries: positive lead for the positive terminal on battery two and negative lead for the negative terminal on battery 1.
Many people are confused about how to charge 24v trolling motor batteries. Once you get the basics of charging, you won’t need to search “how to charge 24 volt trolling motor batteries” on Google anymore.
Question 2: How to charge 36-volt trolling motor batteries?
You will need three 12-volt deep cycle batteries. Similarly, with a 24-volt system, make sure you turn the motor off and switch the speed setting to “0”.
You will need two connector cables. Use one to join the positive terminal of battery 1 with the negative of battery 2 to create 24 volts and use the other connect cable to connect battery two and battery 3 to create 36 volts.
Finally, plug the positive lead from the motor into the positive terminal on battery three and the negative one into the negative terminal on battery 1.
Question 3: How to charge Minn Kota battery?
You can use different chargers for your battery, and it will go through 3 different stages with an on-board Minn Kota charger.
The first stage is bulk charging, which usually ends once the battery reaches 80% of its capacity. Following this stage is the absorption stage which your battery continues charging to around 95%. The float stage ends when your battery is full.
Tips To Extend The Battery Lifespan
Here are some tips you can apply to boost your batteries’ service :
Tip 1: Avoid leaving your battery 100% depleted and recharge it soon after use.
Tip 2: Try to keep the batteries in good condition. If it’s wet, use a rag to wipe it off. Water can destroy the terminals, making them reject the charge.
Tip 3: If you use a solar charger, use an intelligent regulator when charging the battery. It will help to increase your battery’s lifespan.
Tip 4: Although undercharging doesn’t do any harm most of the time, overcharging will reduce your battery’s life indeed. Keep an eye on the battery and disconnect the charger once the battery is full.
Knowing how to charge a trolling motor battery correctly is extremely vital to avoid disruption while you’re on the trip. No matter which way you choose to do it, don’t forget to give your battery enough energy before you set out and enjoy the fun of fishing.