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#12290468 - 06/12/17 04:02 PM Trolling motor battery life?
RudiTexas Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 04/09/17
Posts: 203
Loc: DFW
I recently purchased a 1998, 17ft Ranger R71 Sport and it came with a minn Kota 40 lb thrust trolling motor. After the first day on the lake our battery didn't last long and died in 30-40 minutes. We figured it was an old battery so we went to Walmart and got a new Marine Deep Cycle battery. Today being on the lake it only lasted around an hour and a half until it died or at least got too low to use. I was wondering what y'alls suggestion would be to do? My first boat and while I'm still figuring out how to properly use the boat and all it's quirks I just wanna fish for longer than 3 hours. Thank you for the help!
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#12290951 - 06/12/17 08:59 PM Re: Trolling motor battery life? [Re: RudiTexas]
Topwater2 Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 864
What series is the battery 24, 27?? I use a 31 and my problem went away.
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#12290982 - 06/12/17 09:10 PM Re: Trolling motor battery life? [Re: RudiTexas]
tmd11111 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/30/17
Posts: 899
Loc: San Angelo
Two problems here.
1. Its 18 years old. Check all the wiring for corrosion. Not just the wiring from the batter but inside the trolling motor as well. Corrosion makes for increased resistance and will draw a battery down faster.
2. a 40lb thrust 12v trolling motor on a 17' fiberglass boat is just too small. Unless the air is dead calm it probably takes full thrust to move the boat at all.

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#12291027 - 06/12/17 09:33 PM Re: Trolling motor battery life? [Re: RudiTexas]
Bobby Milam Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 07/13/14
Posts: 3553
Loc: Arlington
Either battery is too small or you are running on high too much. Newer trolling motors are much more efficient in using power. A 24v system will be even more efficient. Find one that has a digital maximizer and get the largest battery that you can find. You should get a full day and more out of it but don't try to speed everywhere you go with it.

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#12291074 - 06/12/17 09:58 PM Re: Trolling motor battery life? [Re: RudiTexas]
Flippin-Out Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/25/15
Posts: 2167
Loc: Magnolia, TX
"we went to Walmart and got a new Marine Deep Cycle battery..."

Did you properly fill this battery with distilled water and charge it with a good charger for at least 12 hours before you used it the first time? They come with minimal (but somewhat concentrated) electrolyte in them to reduce spillage in transit, and they are NOT properly charged when you take one off the shelf. Use it like that, and it's almost sure to be damaged on the first discharge cycle.

Poor wiring between a battery and TM will affect TM performance that can result in a higher amp drain by the TM, but that alone shouldn't discharge a battery in 90 minutes.

If you ran it until it got too low to use, you have already damaged that battery in that it's useful life will be less than what it would have otherwise been. This is because flooded cell batteries suffer damage when discharged beyond a 50% charge level, which is typically spec'ed at 12.2-12.5V (varies by battery, try to get specs for the one you are using). If your normal use would discharge a battery below this, you need a larger capacity battery (group 27 instead of 24, or group 31 instead of group 27). The absolute best way to check battery condition is with a hydrometer. One can often be purchased for under $10.

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#12291465 - 06/13/17 08:06 AM Re: Trolling motor battery life? [Re: Bobby Milam]
Muzzlebrake Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 12/26/14
Posts: 1664
Loc: Euless
Originally Posted By: Bobby Milam
Either battery is too small or you are running on high too much. Newer trolling motors are much more efficient in using power. A 24v system will be even more efficient. Find one that has a digital maximizer and get the largest battery that you can find. You should get a full day and more out of it but don't try to speed everywhere you go with it.


Yep. running on high all the time will knock a battery down in a hurry on old weak trolling motors.
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#12291931 - 06/13/17 12:38 PM Re: Trolling motor battery life? [Re: tmd11111]
RudiTexas Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 04/09/17
Posts: 203
Loc: DFW
Originally Posted By: tmd11111
Two problems here.
1. Its 18 years old. Check all the wiring for corrosion. Not just the wiring from the batter but inside the trolling motor as well. Corrosion makes for increased resistance and will draw a battery down faster.
2. a 40lb thrust 12v trolling motor on a 17' fiberglass boat is just too small. Unless the air is dead calm it probably takes full thrust to move the boat at all.
so just get a new trolling motor? Thanks for the help!!
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#12292352 - 06/13/17 04:23 PM Re: Trolling motor battery life? [Re: RudiTexas]
El Skeeter Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Kissimmee,FL
Could also be the charger.

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#12292712 - 06/13/17 08:03 PM Re: Trolling motor battery life? [Re: RudiTexas]
Bobby Milam Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 07/13/14
Posts: 3553
Loc: Arlington
There have been quite a few trolling motors in the classifieds lately. Everyone is upgrading to the Ultrex. You should be able to get a good deal on a good used one. If you have room get a 24v and add a battery and new cable and you'll never run it dead.

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#12292815 - 06/13/17 08:41 PM Re: Trolling motor battery life? [Re: RudiTexas]
tmd11111 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/30/17
Posts: 899
Loc: San Angelo
Originally Posted By: RudiTexas
Originally Posted By: tmd11111
Two problems here.
1. Its 18 years old. Check all the wiring for corrosion. Not just the wiring from the batter but inside the trolling motor as well. Corrosion makes for increased resistance and will draw a battery down faster.
2. a 40lb thrust 12v trolling motor on a 17' fiberglass boat is just too small. Unless the air is dead calm it probably takes full thrust to move the boat at all.
so just get a new trolling motor? Thanks for the help!!


My post wasn't meant to be sarcastic but it should be taken with consideration. Internally, trolling motors wear and corrode over time. Tie that in with the fact that what you have is too small for the boat your using it on.

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#12293269 - 06/14/17 08:27 AM Re: Trolling motor battery life? [Re: RudiTexas]
T-racer Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 08/24/16
Posts: 793
Loc: Melissa, Tx
All I know is when I upgraded to a 36v system and a digital trolling motor, I can still be at almost full charge after 8 hour tournaments. Upgrade to 24v for your boat if you can afford it, find a good used one, and make sure to have 2 group 31s if they can fit. You'll be gold with that setup on a 17 foot boat.
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#12296009 - 06/15/17 03:05 PM Re: Trolling motor battery life? [Re: T-racer]
RudiTexas Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 04/09/17
Posts: 203
Loc: DFW
Originally Posted By: T-racer
All I know is when I upgraded to a 36v system and a digital trolling motor, I can still be at almost full charge after 8 hour tournaments. Upgrade to 24v for your boat if you can afford it, find a good used one, and make sure to have 2 group 31s if they can fit. You'll be gold with that setup on a 17 foot boat.
Thank you!! I'm definitely looking to get a good used 24v trolling motor.
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#12296715 - 06/16/17 04:11 AM Re: Trolling motor battery life? [Re: RudiTexas]
hopalong Offline
Pumpkin Head

Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 78895
Loc: drake river ranch telephone T...
Originally Posted By: RudiTexas
Originally Posted By: T-racer
All I know is when I upgraded to a 36v system and a digital trolling motor, I can still be at almost full charge after 8 hour tournaments. Upgrade to 24v for your boat if you can afford it, find a good used one, and make sure to have 2 group 31s if they can fit. You'll be gold with that setup on a 17 foot boat.
Thank you!! I'm definitely looking to get a good used 24v trolling motor.



wait for a fortrex 80#, I replaced a 75# motor guide on my champion 184. great trolling motor and I run 2 grp 29 wally world batteries and can go 2 full days with no charging.
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