How To Choose And Charge A Trolling Motor Battery

Most trolling motor batteries or marine batteries are different from other types of non-marine batteries. They have a completely different design to help them withstand the elements of a marine environment. When choosing a battery for your trolling motor, you will need to take into consideration its planned use and how you will charge it.

The major difference with marine batteries is that they are made to withstand corrosion from the wet environment, and will be able to withstand more vibration than other batteries. When it comes to charging the battery, the charger will need to be able to distinguish between battery chemistry issues. It may be flooded, absorbed glass mat (AGM), or gel cell.

What To Consider When Purchasing A Marine Battery Charger:

Charger Environment

  1. Moisture – If you have a boat that is exposed to the water, you will need to buy a battery that has waterproof housing. You may want to look for one with an ingress protection rating of IP68. This will provide protection against prolonged exposure to the elements. These units are safe to keep stored on-board and can be left year-round in a damp environment.
  2. Vibration – If your battery will be subjected to prolonged or significant vibrations, you should buy a unit that is made to withstand it. Vibration may be handled through the use of a rugged case or by buying a unit that was constructed with materials meant to withstand a lot of vibration.
  3. Temperature – If the environment in which your boat is stored experiences frequent and major temperature changes, you might need to buy a battery charger that will be able to handle those changes. This is important to ensure that the battery will be charged correctly and maintained properly.

Charger Output

The charger output can be explained in two ways: amps and banks. The amps are the output of power, and can be determined by the battery’s applications. The three types of amps include low output (6 amps or below), medium output (9-15 amps), or the high output (15 amps or above).

The banks, or physical outputs, are what determines how many batteries are able to be charged at the same time on a charger. Single banks may be used for charging a single battery. Multiple banks can be used to charge and maintain 2 or more batteries at the same time.

Battery Chemistry

Generally, batteries that are used in marine conditions are either flooded, deep cycle, Gel Cell, or AGM. When selecting a unit it is important to choose one based on the chemistry of the battery so you’re sure that they support one another.

Power Supply And Starting

Certain battery chargers may provide power inversion so they may be used to power AC devices on the boat. Additionally, some chargers may also provide enough amperage to be used to start a boat in the event that the battery is dead or too weak to start the engine. If this is an important feature, be sure that the unit you choose has enough amperage for starting.