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.
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.
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
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.
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.
- Hot water
- Baking soda
- 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.
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.
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