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Trolling Motor Battery recommendations


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I currently have a MinnKota Terrova 80lb with iPilot trolling motor.  It is 24v and I use two Interstate marine batteries.  I use it a lot for vertical jigging and I only get around 6hrs of fishing on a set of batteries before they no longer can keep me in place.  Basically they don't have enough juice to keep me in one spot. They will still move me around a bit if I have the motor running full bore but only probably 40% power.  I have buddies that will use batteries for 3 days and never drain them.  When I get home and put them on the charger they say they have between 65-75% charge left but they barely work.  Is this normal? I am thinking about upgrading batteries this year in hopes to get more battery life.  What are your thoughts\recommendations? Sorry i will post the model battery I have later I don't have it available now.

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I bought an interstate battery this year and it won't even run my livewell for more then an hour and it's at like 10volts imo they are junk your better off buying the cheap walmart brand. Very very unimpressed with interstate I will not ever buy another one.

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I have a 24V setup with MinnKota Ipilot 80.   I had a pair of interstate size 27 deep cycles for 6 seasons used with the same TM on 2 different boats....starweld 18 for 4 seasons and a fishmaster 196 for 2.  Never an issue and worked fine.   A couple of points though.  I've never asked a battery that takes a big load to go multiple days.  Use - recharge.  My use is as a bow thruster so its on at 30-50% for 4-6 hours.  Also, I've learned in the past that if you leave a battery hooked up and the circuit it is on has a drain you can kill the charge and literally kill the battery in short order, not just the charge but kill it dead or hurt its capacity.  I have a battery switch for the ones that are on my house and Aux systems that have that potential.  My TM batteries have not had that issue.  I know this because of the charging system I'm using which gives an indication.  Key is to keep them charged and not run them down and store charged and without a drain.  

 

You didn't say how old your batteries were.  I just replaced mine after 6 seasons.  They were fine as last used for my service but thats about the limit I've found for batteries so I proactively changed.  They were taking longer to charge.    I do use a Minn Kota dedicated charging system.  it has been worth it IMO.

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I agree with everything Fat Trout said. You have to keep the batteries charged at all times if you want them to last. There is no benefit to running them down repeatedly and then leaving them partially charged.

When i bought my boat i bought two group size 30 agms for my 24v system. The second year i noticed that they would only last a couple hours before i had problems with them steering the boat. I use my bow mount for steering and a kicker for thrust. I checked the voltage after charging and they both seemed fine. I checked them after fishing one day and found that one of them was drained down and the other was fine. I later learned that when you have a good battery and bad battery connected together in a 24v system the bad battery will start draining the good battery while under load which is exactly what happened to me.

I replaced the 30 series agm's with two 30 series from walmart for a third of the price and am happy with them. They have served me well for 3 years with no issues whatsoever. I charge them immediately when i get home. Also make sure you at buying fresh batteries off the rack. One of the agms i was shipped was 2 years old when i got it and i didnt realize it until after the fact.

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The deep cycle batteries are usually not maintenance free. They are very thirsty and require water frequently. If you are not very vigilant and let the plates get exposed, they will be damaged. Some look like they do not have access to refill with DISTILLED water but if you look and pry carefully the covers with caps are there.
I have been using the Duracell type from Sam's Club. They are made by Deca batteries in Pennsylvania and have been good for the price. Of course keeping them fully charged as much as possible is the other factor.

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17 hours ago, njg0621 said:

I currently have a MinnKota Terrova 80lb with iPilot trolling motor.  It is 24v and I use two Interstate marine batteries.  I use it a lot for vertical jigging and I only get around 6hrs of fishing on a set of batteries before they no longer can keep me in place.  Basically they don't have enough juice to keep me in one spot. They will still move me around a bit if I have the motor running full bore but only probably 40% power.  I have buddies that will use batteries for 3 days and never drain them.  When I get home and put them on the charger they say they have between 65-75% charge left but they barely work.  Is this normal? I am thinking about upgrading batteries this year in hopes to get more battery life.  What are your thoughts\recommendations? Sorry i will post the model battery I have later I don't have it available now.

 

What size interstates?

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It is 24v and I use two Interstate marine batteries.

 

 Were the battery's returned to the point of sale or to an Interstate dealer to determined if it is a battery issue or not. Possibly one bad of the pair causing the problem?  If they were bought new there is a one year free replacement on them.

 

18 hours ago, njg0621 said:

When I get home and put them on the charger they say they have between 65-75% charge left but they barely work. 

 

Unfortunately what the meter on the charger says & what the actual condition of each battery is, are two different things. Proper testing & condition is normally done with a load tester and/or a newer style digital tester to determined each battery's condition. As stated above one defective battery in a series bank can have an effect on the total output  especially with a 24v system using only two battery's . 

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Me process has always been to take the boat out and use the batteries. Trickle charge them overnight when I get home for next use and repeat. I believe I have been "taking care" of them. I do notice that one is always significantly lower than the other when I return from fishing. I'm thinking maybe I have had a bad battery in series and that's why I've had issues. I think I am just going to replace both with the cheap walmart everstarts this spring and see where I'm at. Everyone that I talk to has had luck with them. Thanks for all the advise guys!

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I’ve also got interstate group 27’s on my bow mount 70lb thrust.  I get maybe 6 hours before they start to dog.  I have them on essentially all the time during that 6 hours running 30-50%.  Not super happy with that performance.  Looking hard at lithium deep cycles as the price is coming down really fast on them.  Still will be much more expensive than lead but you’ll get supposedly 2x the runtime because they draw down completely as opposed to 50%.  Anyone make this switch to lithium yet?  Heard they charge much faster as well.

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If you guys can fit 31 series interstates in the boat I'd start there. I have had the same 3 in my Lund for 4yrs now. When I'm not fishing they are plugged into an on board charger that maintains their charge. With my 36v TM I can troll 8-9hrs on 30-40%. I can spot lock in a current on 70-100% for 4hrs.

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