Marine travel can be tricky and so having the best parts in your boat is a must. But choosing the right parts can be really tricky sometimes, right? Well, worry no more. This guide will help you find the best battery for trolling motor no matter what your priority is.
Are you looking for a heavy and powerful east or are you just looking for a simple affordable option? In this guide we’ve listed all the best trolling motor batteries in every possible price and performance range. But before that, we gotta understand what we’re actually looking for, right?
What is a trolling motor?
Now you may be wondering, what a trolling motor battery is? Why can’t you use your car battery for your boat?
The fundamental difference between a car battery and a trolling motor battery is that car batteries are generally designed to jump-start the engine. Car batteries do not have a high reserve capacity or RC.
A trolling battery on the other hand provides a steady current for a longer period of time. Technically speaking, cars generally use cranking batteries or dual-purpose batteries. Marine batteries are more of a deep-cycle nature.
What is the difference between a deep cycle battery and a dual purpose battery?
Deep cycle batteries generally offer a higher RC and a lower CCA.They are designed to last longer than cranking batteries or dual-purpose batteries, providing a lower current but for a sustainable amount of time.
A car battery will die out after it drops below a threshold voltage, which is generally quite high. For example, 12V batteries are useless after they drop below 10V or so. On the other hand, a trolling motor battery(deep cycle) will discharge upto 80% or more before dying out. In simple words, the battery will still work even when it is almost discharged. The voltage will drop but it’ll still work.
Cars generally need higher CCA hence deep cycle batteries are not the optimal option. The car battery keeps on recharging while the car is running. The same is not true for a trolling motor battery. They usually have to be charged manually. The best battery option for trolling motors is probably a deep cycle battery if you’re looking for a battery that does not need frequent recharging.
Obviously the battery life after a single charge will depend on usage but a deep cycle battery will last longer than a dual purpose battery after being fully charged.
Road vehicles also have a ton of accessories such as speakers and audio systems which requires some deep cycle functionalities. Marine vehicles do not have such demanding accessories anyway. Radios and other communication devices or maybe some lights are all they use.
Hence, most manufacturers these days market their product as “dual-purpose” meaning that the battery has a decent balance of both reserve capacity(RC) and cold cranking amps.(CCA).
In short, if you need a battery that lasts longer without charging, go for a deep cycle battery. If you need more power but can work with faster discharging, go for cranking batteries. If you need the best of both worlds, you’re looking for a dual purpose battery.
Here is a sneak peek of best trolling motor batteries
6 best trolling motor batteries you can consider buying
Optima is a brand known for the quality of the products it delivers. According to us, the Optima BlueTop has the best overall features for you to consider.
It is a dual-purpose battery with a rating of 55Ah, a fairly decent rating for a battery of its size. It also exhibits a feature of 750 CCA with a reserve capacity of 120 minutes.
If you’re looking for something that’s tiny, powerful and will last long, the Optima BlueTop is the best trolling motor battery for you.
2. 12V 35AH Replacement Battery for Light Trolling Motor Sevylor Minn Kota (Best budget trolling motor battery)
If you’re on a budget and are looking for a quick replacement, this is the best budget option for you. Priced at less than a hundred dollars, this battery excels in delivering performance and power when you need it the most.
The robust AGM design requires almost no maintenance and guarantees a longer battery life. If you have minimal requirements or if you need a battery for a small boat, this is the best option for you.
The Vmax has almost the same features as the last battery with a 35Ah rating and AGM technology but it wins the competition when it comes to price. It is probably the best cheap battery in the market. It claims to have a faster charging speed although nothing can be said for sure.
Maybe not as good as the other options in terms of performance, the Vmax 35Ah battery is a good option when you’re looking for cheap replacements or a secondary battery for a small boat.
4. Interstate Batteries 12V 35AH Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) AGM Deep Cycle Battery (Best small trolling motor battery)
If space is an issue for you, this is the perfect option for you. While performing equally as good as its competitors, this particular battery is the best in the marketplace when it comes to size and mobility.
The small size allows it to be installed easily on small boats and to be used as a backup battery whenever necessary. The 35Ah rating is decent for trolling motor batteries.
Although not the best option out there, you can surely have a look at it if you want something small and robust.
Another variant of the BlueTop 34M from Optima, it guarantees the quality the brand is known for. This variant provides slightly better CCA ratings with a compromise for the reserve capacity.
Not the best option for deep cycling, as the 100 minutes of reserve capacity would suggest but definitely the best 12V option out there in terms of power and quality.
If you have a bigger boat and need a battery for short trips, this is the best option for you as it can handle heavy loads quite easily. This battery should be enough for smaller boats with lesser requirements.
This battery for VMax with a 100Ah rating is the ultimate option for bigger boats. Definitely the best maintenance free option out there, this battery is the best option for you if you want solid deep cycling capabilities.
Although the battery is quite bulky and expensive, it is totally worth the money if you need something for heavy applications. The vibration resistant design makes it one of the toughest batteries in the market in terms of durability, design and performance.
How to buy the best battery for trolling motor?
Proper research and understanding is needed before buying something. It is no different for a trolling motor battery. You would not want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery, would you? There are a variety of factors determining how you can find the best trolling battery for yourself. Here we have pointed out some parameters you should consider before deciding on a battery for your trolling motor.
The first thing to look for is the proper voltage requirement for your trolling motor. 12V batteries cannot power trolling motors requiring 24V. Often 12V motors can be paired up to solve this problem. While theoretically, it is possible to just connect two 12V batteries in series, this can have undesirable consequences when done improperly. So it is highly recommended that you understand the exact requirements for the power system for your boat.
Amp Hours (Ah)
While needs may vary and battery types vary too, having good Amperage-Hours is a good idea. It is a measure of the amount of electrical energy a battery can store. Amp-hours is a term that basically defines how long a deep-cycle battery will last. While most dual-purpose batteries do not use this rating, you can still assume that a deep cycle battery will last longer. In other words, it’ll discharge slower.
But having more amp hours comes with a cost. Batteries with high rating like 100Ah will be bulky and maybe not the best idea for small boats. Smaller batteries may have a rating of anywhere between 20-50Ah.
Most batteries these days are either Lead Acid Wet Cells/Flooded batteries or AGM batteries. While the former is a good option for those on a budget, if you are looking for performance and longevity and can throw in an extra few bucks, AGM batteries are always a good investment.
Maintenance is a great issue that can affect your battery life. Standard flooded batteries generally require more intensive care and maintenance. You need to check for spillage and top the water off from time to time. The AGM battery on the other hand require virtually no maintenance at all as they’re sealed and spill-proof.
Flooded batteries are very close to the traditional model off a battery where there is a wet electrolyte separating the electrodes. AGM technology has no such hassle. All the interiors are rigid and hence fundamentally vibration resistant. Vibration can cause a flooded battery to malfunction or perform poorly and hence they’re unsuitable for applications that require uneven and frequent movement.
is it possible to repair a trolling motor battery?
Not only trolling battery, but one can repair any battery with the help of battery reconditioning. The real reason is one doesn’t tries it because they don’t have proper knowledge about the same.
Apparently, there are people who guides and teaches a lot about battery reconditioning. One such person is Tom Ericson who have introduced EZ Battery Reconditioning which covers A-Z about “how to bring battery back to life”.
Best Battery For Trolling Motor F.A.Q’s
What is the best battery for a Minn Kota trolling motor?
Minn Kota motors work best with batteries with deep cycling capabilities and higher Amp-Hour ratings. Some of the best options are the Optima Bluetop and the Vmax 100Ah 12V variant.
What size battery do I need for my trolling motor?
There is no general answer for this query. The size of your battery will depend on a variety of factors, out of which the type of battery, size of boat and requirements are some of the factors.
AGM batteries are generally smaller than flooded batteries but more expensive. If you have a small motor, chances are you’ll be good with a small battery. But if you need better Amp-Hours, better invest in a bigger battery.
How long will a battery last with a trolling motor?
AGM motors generally last longer than wet cells. The lifetime can be anywhere between 2-3 years and 8-10 years, depending on factors like brand, price, quality etc. Deep cycling batteries are the best option for trolling motors.
Can I use a car battery for a trolling motor?
The short answer is, yes you can. Although it is not recommended. Car batteries are usually cranking batteries meant to deliver higher jolts of electricity for shorter periods whereas trolling motors need a lower current supply, preferably for longer durations. Ideally, deep cycle batteries are preferred for trolling motors.
Does a 24 volt trolling motor need 2 batteries?
Yes. A 24V motor will require two 12V batteries connected properly via a suitable power system.
How often should I charge my trolling motor battery?
There is no specific answer as the discharging of your battery will greatly depend on its type and how it is used. Generally, deep cycle batteries can discharge upto 80% before requiring recharging.
After comparing various trolling motor batteries, the best trolling motor battery for most cases is definitely the Optima 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery.
It has state of the art dual purpose capabilities and provides exceptional results for its price point. Other good options are the Optima Batteries 8006-006 34M BlueTop battery and the VMax MR127 12V 100Ah AGM battery.