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#11572580 - 04/29/16 02:37 AM what size wire?
keener205 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 13
I want to relocate the batteries for my trolling motor to under the seat what size wire should I use. Also does any one have a wiring diagram of what all need to be used or some where I can look to find the information. Its a 24 volt system .

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#11572681 - 04/29/16 07:26 AM Re: what size wire? [Re: keener205]
Flippin-Out Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/25/15
Posts: 1564
Loc: Magnolia, TX
I can help with this. I need to know the following:

How long will the wire run be? (Use rope or extension cord to get an idea of this. Doesn't have to be exact.)

Are the two batteries currently joined together with a short jumper between two terminals of the two batteries, or do you have 4 long wires leaving the two batteries? If there is a short jumper, can you tell what wire size this is? (Look for an imprint on the insulation stating the AWG number.)

Do you know the max amps for your trolling motor? If not, provide brand and model. Do you have a breaker for the TM at this time? If so, do you know the amp rating?

BTW, the most common answer ends up being #6 AWG. You really should get marine grade wire. I can provide a link for a source I use with about the best price I've found. I am not associated with them, I just buy their wire.

Is there any chance you may upgrade the TM in the future to one with more pounds thrust? If so, which one?

What kind of connection do you have for connecting the TM to the boat? Can I get a photo? This question is because some connection types won't accept some larger wire sizes.



Edited by Flippin-Out (04/29/16 07:28 AM)

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#11572839 - 04/29/16 08:49 AM Re: what size wire? [Re: keener205]
Bob Landry Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 2020
Loc: Austin, Tx
Trolling Motor Wiring Made Simple

Think of the two batteries as Battery 1 & Battery 2. Connect the positive terminal of battery 1 to the negative terminal of battery 2 with a jumper cable. The neg terminal of bat 1 and the positive term of bat 2 will give you 24V and that is what goes to the trolling motor. Use #6 AWG wire. That is the wire used by just about all of the small boat builders for trolling motor wiring and use the same size cable for the jumper as it will be handling the same current as the long wires. The charts may say you can use #8 or maybe smaller, but use #6. No one ever got in trouble using larger wire and it makes future upgrades easier. Use AWG tinned marine wire, not SAE. SAE is 12-18% smaller and will conduct less than AWG.

If the #6 will attach directly to the TM plug, you are good but it will most likely be a smaller size. You will be tempted to go a cheaper, simpler way of joining the wires. Don't do it. This 20 years of marine wiring experience talking. Use a dual power post from Blue Sea, shown in the link below.

https://dh778tpvmt77t.cloudfront.net/images/product_family_icons/Dual-PowerPost.png

Use the appropriate crimp-on ring terminals to attach both wires to the power post. If you try to solder the wires together, it will come back to bite you in the butt. If you don't have crimpers that will handle the size wire you are working with, take it to a battery shop and get them to do it. Again, experience talking. My cable crimpers cost me $125 wholesale so you don't want to buy a set to do one job.

Just remember, cheap and reliable do not work well together.

All of the materials you will need are available through West Marine or any good marine store.

Edit.

You can probably get crimp on butt connectors that will join different size cables, but using the dual post connect will make changing out the plug in the future easier should you ever need to do it.


Edited by Bob Landry (04/29/16 08:52 AM)
_________________________
2015 Seaark 1872 MV CC Etec-90
Helix 12 CHIRP SI, HB 1199, MinnKota Riptide ST80/i-pilot Link, Bob's Hydraulic

Bitter Gun Owner
Bitter Clinger
Armed Infidel

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#11572879 - 04/29/16 09:03 AM Re: what size wire? [Re: keener205]
Bob Landry Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 2020
Loc: Austin, Tx
One suggestion I just thought of. Take the 12VDC for lights, electronics, etc. from the terminals on battery one. When I wired my Seaark, I made everything run on the two batteries and left the motor batter dedicated for starting. That way, the TM or electronics will not run down your starting battery. Since you are moving batteries anyway, this is a good time to do that. Use #8 wire to feed the switch/breaker panel and for the ground.
You will need to use a 40A circuit breaker at the 12V battery for the console feed. Blue sea also makes those. The trolling motor also needs a C/B if there is not one already in place. Check your TM manual for size and if your boat does not already have the correct size breaker, replace it. Boat builders do not know what size TM you are going to use and will usually supply a 40A breaker.The circuit breakers need to be as close to the power source as possible.

Sorry about rambling with these two posts, but I do this for a living and I regularly see owner installed wiring that ranges from non-functional to out right hazardous. You only have to see one boat burn to the waterline because of an electrical fire to get your attention.

If you have any questions let me know and I'll try to post a wiring diagram for what you want to do.
_________________________
2015 Seaark 1872 MV CC Etec-90
Helix 12 CHIRP SI, HB 1199, MinnKota Riptide ST80/i-pilot Link, Bob's Hydraulic

Bitter Gun Owner
Bitter Clinger
Armed Infidel

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#11573714 - 04/29/16 02:38 PM Re: what size wire? [Re: keener205]
BigDad Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 10/16/03
Posts: 2286
Loc: Flower Mound, TX, USA


Edited by BigDad (04/29/16 03:46 PM)
_________________________
Joe

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#11574268 - 04/29/16 07:37 PM Re: what size wire? [Re: keener205]
HItec Redneck Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 251
Loc: Houston, Tx
Don't forget the circuit breaker and I would solder the ends and not crimp them.

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#11575327 - 04/30/16 01:15 PM Re: what size wire? [Re: keener205]
Bob Landry Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 2020
Loc: Austin, Tx
The boat is not likely to ever be surveyed, but that said, ABYC does not allow for soldering if it is the only means of making a mechanical connection. Also, few people have the soldering skills to solder connectors on large wire without melting the jacket, ending up with a cold solder connection, an just generally making a mess of it. Even commercially made battery cables are not soldered. Lugs crimped on with a quality crimper and then covering the connection with adhesive lined heat shrink will provide a permanent, moisture proof connection. I've been doing these for years like that and have never had a failure.
_________________________
2015 Seaark 1872 MV CC Etec-90
Helix 12 CHIRP SI, HB 1199, MinnKota Riptide ST80/i-pilot Link, Bob's Hydraulic

Bitter Gun Owner
Bitter Clinger
Armed Infidel

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#11575356 - 04/30/16 02:00 PM Re: what size wire? [Re: keener205]
Flippin-Out Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/25/15
Posts: 1564
Loc: Magnolia, TX
Bob is totally correct, but he already knew that. I would never attempt to solder #6 wire; it typically turns into a mess. Soldered connections become hard, so the wire immediately adjacent to the solder joint will be subjected to flex that can fracture wire strands (if there is any movement of the wire from a rough ride). This is why ABYC doesn't approve them without some type of retention hardware.

As stated, crimped connections done properly are fine. (They are even the standard in aviation.) One thing I'm not sure has been mentioned - be sure to use marine grade wire. It is NOT a good idea to use generic wire, such as automotive wire. What's the difference you ask? The most important feature is that each strand of copper inside marine grade wire has been coated with tin before assembly to better resist corrosion. Automotive wire uses untreated copper strands. Ever notice wires with a chalky green/white residue build-up? That's the corrosion you want to avoid. Marine grade wire often has more strands. This makes it more flexible so that strands are less likely to fracture inside the insulation. More strands have more surface area to carry current, so the efficiency can be better and the wire temperature rises less.

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#11580381 - 05/03/16 10:40 AM Re: what size wire? [Re: keener205]
Jones Trolling Motor Offline
Angler

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 428
Loc: NE Texas/SW Arkansas
One other thing, when buying the ends, use a quality tin coated copper ends/lugs -- not solid copper. Copper is too soft to crimp and hold, must be soldered.
Some good advice above. I would discount MinnKota's chart (and I'm an ASC for them) regarding wire size and go with the 6ga. As said above, you don't get in trouble by using too large a wire.
John
_________________________

www.jonestrollingmotor.com
texarkana, Ark/Tx

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#11584295 - 05/05/16 05:44 AM Re: what size wire? [Re: keener205]
keener205 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 13
Thanks for all the information im working on getting some contact information and will be using the 6 ga wire and all the other stuff that is needed.

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