If fishing or boating are your hobbies, you have obviously used or heard about a trolling motor that is affixed to boats. These motors are mainly used to provide additional propulsion in water.
Alongside the main engine unit of small boats meant for such activities, trolling motors increase speed and maneuverability. Using a trolling motor, you can speed up your boat or guide it through tricky corners easily. Trolling motors are mainly of two types:
- Hand operated – which are used to allow greater maneuverability
- Foot operated – which are used to increase speed as and when required.
Logically speaking, all motors need to have a power supply from which it harnesses operating power. For trolling motors, this power source is a trolling motor battery. These batteries are specifically designed for medium power output, enough to power an auxiliary motor. The best trolling motor battery provides you just enough juice to keep your boat running in case of main engine failure as well. You can always switch on a trolling motor battery in case you want to save engine fuel, which is quite a cost effective option.
Table of Contents
- Trolling Motor Battery Reviews
- Types of Trolling Motor Batteries
- Buying Guide – Trolling Motor Battery
- Care and Maintenance Guide
Trolling Motor Battery Reviews
1. Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M
The Optima 8016-103 D34M combines extreme robustness with long operating life together. It incorporates the BlueTop and Spiral Cell™ technologies. This battery has the capacity to provide almost three times better performance compared to competing products. It is built to last your trolling motor way longer, having high cranking and deep cycling capacities. It is also low on maintenance. Recharging once or twice a year is enough to keep it going!
- 12-Volt, 750 Amps power and potential capacities for a powerful cranking.
- 55 Ah C20 capacity provides maximum start-up
- Dimensions: 10 inches x 6 7/8 inches x 7 13/16 inches. Lightweight at just 43.5 pounds.
- Twin SAE and Stainless Steel posts for a concrete inner structure.
- Can be mounted at any point and in any position on your boat.
- Fifteen times the vibration-resistance of other batteries, for long-lasting service.
- Reserve operating time of 2 hours for unbroken performance, so you do not get stranded.
2. Universal UB121000-45978
The Universal UB121000-45978 deep cycle battery that provides high power at ratings of 12-48 Volts and 100 Ah. It can be easily used to power a standard trolling motor of a medium sized boat. The floating voltage is almost 14 Volts while the charging voltage is about 15 Volts. You can easily charge it from a standard output point in no time! The leak proof inner packaging minimizes any danger from acid leakage at all. It is also vibration as well as damage resistant.
- Exceptional deep-cycle performance ratings. Floating voltage is 13.6 to 13.8 V.
- Very low standing self-discharge at only 3% per month. Charging voltage: 14.5 to 14.9 V.
- A maintenance-free battery that lasts long.
- Regulated with valves for Float & Cycle Usage. Leak/Spill Proof outer body for safety.
- AGM design provides greater reliability during extreme usage and even bad weather.
- Dimensions: 12.17 in x 6.61 in x 8.30 in. Weight is 63.93 lbs.
- Comes with a one year warranty that protects against accidental damage as well
- Can be easily installed in series to provide greater output.
- Discharge during heavy usage is very quick. You would need to charge frequently.
- Not quite lightweight. It can and will probably weigh down your boat.
3. Mighty Max Battery ML35-12
The Mighty Max ML35-12 is a trolling motor battery that lives up to its name! It provides a high potential rating of 12 V and Ampere rating of 35 Ah. This battery is meant for lightweight boats and provides excellent floating as well as cycling performance. The unit is maintenance free, so you do not need to worry about incurring extra charges. Also, an AGM valve regulated encasing ensures safe as well as easy usage and storage.
- 12V, 35AH Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) rechargeable unit battery with high power output.
- Dimensions: 7.68 in x 5.16 in x 7.13 in.
- SLA & AGM spill-proof unit battery – safe and easy to use or store.
- Has a characteristic high discharge rate as well as deep discharge recovery.
- The range of operating temperatures is large. Nonetheless, service life is long.
- AGM technology effectively prevents shock or vibration damage.
- You can mount the battery at any position on your boat.
- SLA and AGM technologies ensure safety while in active usage.
- High power output remains the same even during bad weather.
- Quick discharge also implies that you will have to recharge sooner than you might like.
- Deep cycle output is almost nil, so it wouldn’t suit the needs of regular deep water trips.
4. VMAXTANKS Vmax857
VMAX batteries are known for exceptional strength, surge suppression and stability – all of which make them the safest battery units. A VMAX battery undergoes multiple levels of special chemical treatments to make the plates better and more functional. Built with AGM technology between respective plates, the VMax 857 is a sealed and safe-to-use battery. It also has the industry-best inner protection against shocks or leaks. It has been designated as a “non-hazardous and non-spillable” battery in reviews. Lightweight and easily portable, it allows charging in your garage or outside, whichever is comfortable enough for you.
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- Heavy duty tin alloy grids: these heavy-duty tin alloy battery leads provide extra-effective performance and longer service life in both floating and deep cycle applications.
- Maintenance free battery: There is no requirement of checking the technical aspects of the electrolyte fluid or adding water to VMAX tank batteries. During floating or even deep cycle use, it regulates on its own.
- Dimensions: 7.7 in by 5 in by 6.1 in. Weight is between 18-35 lbs.
5. Vmaxtanks Vmaxslr125
Another one from the stables of VMAX batteries, the VMAX Slr125 has greater Ampere-hour ratings for more power. This is basically a cranking motor battery that can be used to start your main engine quickly or provide greater power. It comes with high power rating of 125 Ah and 12 Volts potential for maximized performance. The build quality is exceptional, with specially made military grade power plates for maximum output. It has a massive service life of 10 years (maximum), longer than any other product.
- 12 Volt and 125Ah potential and Amp readings for greater performance.
- Group 31 AGM material for spill-proofing and impact absorption.
- Heavy duty deep cycle application battery for multiple purposes.
- Military grade customized charge plates for quicker, more effective power transfer.
- Floating service life 10 years at its maximum capability.
- 99% recombination of gases take place within the battery. No dangerous gaseous discharges.
- Dimensions: 6.8 x 12.9 x 8.7 inches. Weight is 75 lbs.
6. MinnKota Trolling Motor Power Center
MinnKota is one of the leading trolling motor battery manufacturers providing products for all kinds of boats with trolling motors. The MinnKota Trolling Motor Power Center is ideally suitable for smaller boats which do not have a separate battery storage compartment. It can be easily connected via prominent external connector leads. These leads work both as motor connectors and charging connectors as and when required. The battery provides an output of 12 Volts and 100 Ah, standard for any small boat requirements. It has 2 mini circuit breakers reading at 15 Ampere use in emergencies.
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- On-board charging meter that provides live charging status reading.
- 2 manual circuit breakers to turn the connection off in case of emergency.
- External connectors both for charging and operating the battery.
- Dimensions are 14.9 x 8.7 x 15 inches. Quite portable and lightweight.
- Designed to accommodate batteries of group 24 and 27 size leads.
- Suitable for small boats which people use on solo trips. Good for use during day outings.
- Manual reset circuit breakers that allow for quick disconnection in case of a mishap.
- Cannot be used for medium sized boats or fishing boats.
- Only battery holder in package, batteries have to be bought separately.
7. Exide XMC-31 MEGACYCLE AGM-200
Exide is one of the internationally acclaimed manufacturers of all kinds of batteries, so the quality of their products is unquestionable. The Exide XMC-31 MEGACYCLE AGM-200 trolling motor battery is a standard battery meant for trolling motors of medium to large sized boats. It provides enough power to effectively propel a boat of medium size. The dual terminal design allows for easy lead to connector alignment and connection, making it easy to use. Engineered with AGM technology gel separators, this battery allows for efficient discharge and power-up. It also provides good shock absorption to protect against spilling or leakage on impact.
- Reserve operation capacity of over 200 minutes. Can run for more than 8 hours at a stretch.
- Dual-terminal design for easy connection to charging lead as well as motor output.
- AGM separator is designed to assure stability and efficiency.
- Optimal recombination facility to avoid cells from drying out and to provide greater elemental compression. It assures stability even under extreme weather conditions, vibrational impact ordeep cycling.
- 2-year Free Replacement guarantee from manufacturers in case of defect or accidental damage.
- Dimensions: 15.7 x 13.9 x 9.8 inches. Weight is 76 lbs.
Types of Trolling Motor Batteries
A trolling motor battery basically works as a secondary power option that you use when you need extra power. It also extends the active life of your main engine by providing it with rest and decreasing fuel usage. All this goes on to help you save money on maintaining as well as operating your boat.
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Trolling motor batteries can be of many kinds and made with different technologies. There are two distinctly demarcated types of 12-volt (typically) batteries which can be used with trolling motors: AGM (Sealed Lead Acid) and Lead Acid Wet-Cell batteries. The explanations of these types of trolling motor batteries are as follows:
Lead Acid Wet-Cell
These batteries arefrequently found in trolling motors. These are also the most affordable options for budget buyers. These can effectively handle the regular draining or re-charging associated with the usage of trolling motors. Usually, these units will last you between one to two and a half years, at best. These batteriesare usually priced at less than $100 and are of quite good quality. There is a downside to this kind of batteries. It is that they occasionally require maintenance measures like topping off accumulated water. These are also quite prone to damage from vibration and acid spillage. This uncertainty makes them a secondary choice for buyers.
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Batteries
The second kind is AGM Batteries, where AGM stands for Absorbed Glass Mat. AGM refers to a sealing technology that is incorporated for security and safe usage. These units are completely sealed while manufacturing, making them leak proof. These batteries generally have afar better backup and longer active life than wet-cellbatteries. While a customarywet-cell battery lastsaround two years, an AGM deep-cycle battery will typically last a user approximately four years. AGM batteries are the best trolling motor batteryfor improved performance and durability. They also come withthe added benefit of being completely maintenance free for their lifetime.
Buying Guide – Trolling Motor Battery
While buying a trolling motor battery, it is necessary that you decide beforehand the purpose of the motor you will be owning. Are you going to use it just for starting up your engine quickly? Will it be used to add more power while driving? Will you use it to maneuver your boat through waterways with sharp bends?
These questions and their definitive answers are necessary. There are different batteries meant for specific purposes and designed in a specific manner. Also, not all trolling motor battery manufacturers make batteries of all kinds for all purposes. This is why you need to check the manufacturer’s description of the item that you are going to buy.
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Whenever you are buying this particular product, you need to check all the features very carefully. Sometimes, it is difficult to understand each function of different parts of this product. You need to analyze the features minutely before buying it. There are different other brands for this product available in the market and you can easily choose from other brands. Also you can compare the features of this product with other brands.
It is necessary to know the minute details of other features. Otherwise, your purchase of this product can go in vain. Before buying the product you need to check the availability of the services of this product and also you need to take into account the warranty period of the product which is being offered by the company.
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There are practically two options for buying trolling motor batteries for your boat. Firstly, you can go to any hardware or hobby store that deals in boating equipment and buy a unit personally. Secondly, you can visit online hobby equipment sales portals or multipurpose e-commerce sites and order one according to your requirements. Both options are open for all buyers.
However, one advantage of online buying over buying from hardware or equipment stores is the number of choices available for you. On online sites, you can browse through virtually endless numbers of products. Before you order one for the trolling motor on your boat, you can read reviews and opinions of other buyers as well. This makes it easy for you to make a choice.
Therefore, if you want to buy the best trolling motor battery, you need to keep in mind the following criteria:
- Purpose of buying – Decide what you need the motor for. This helps you narrow down the options.
- Performance of battery – Do take care to read through the specifications of the product. Decide whether they suit your requirements.
- Value for money – Last but not the least, make sure you keep the expenses within your fund limits. You will surely find one amongst the numerous choices for all kinds of budgets.
Care and Maintenance Guide
Since trolling motor batteries are used regularly, they will need maintenance from time to time. Trolling motors might face all kinds of rough weather because you can never be sure it will be all clear skies when you are out on water.
Also, trolling motor batteries face a lot of direct exposure to water, which has electrical risks associated with it. It is important that you check and take proper care of the battery at regular intervals. Some of the basic standing instructions for trolling motor battery usage and care are as follows:
- Do not mix battery types in a single circuit, or old ones with new ones. You will be risking a short circuit if you do.
- Charge and discharge your batteries at regular intervals, even when they are not being used. Batteries that remain unused lose their potential through trickle discharges. This consequently reduces longevity of the battery unit.
- In case of wet cell batteries, do check the fluid levels and refill as and when required. This helps the battery work at its maximum potential for a long time.
- Check the battery terminals and clean the connector points regularly. If needed, use a solution of 1:2 baking soda in water to clean corroded metal.
It is very important that you charge wet cell batteries in a place that is well ventilated place. This should be done so that no gas accumulates in its vicinity when it is being charged. Also, you should take care not to introduce any kind of fire or electrical sparks near a battery. That means no smoking or lighting up flares near an active battery in a confined space. Also, wet cell batteries should be kept out of reach of children or toddlers. If disturbed or toppled, a battery might leak fluid and gases which can be deadly when inhaled or brought in physical contact.