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Brian Needham

Trolling Motor Battery Choices

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BRAND MODEL GROUP SIZE AH (20hr) RC WEIGHT PRICE

ACDelco Voyager M29MF 29 105 210 58.8 $125

Crown 31DC130 Deep 31 130 200 66 $153

Deka DC31DT 31 105 185 59 $209

Exide NG31 31 115 205 62 $160

Interstate SRM-29 29 126 (est.) 210 59 $111

Trojan 27TMH 27 115 200 61 $207

Trojan SCS200 27 115 200 60 $225

Trojan SCS225 30H 130 225 66 $239

The above batteries are the ones that I have narrowed down as “the best” by spec, I would like to know from fellow board members what their on the water experiences are.

I am looking at maybe upgrading my trolling motor this winter to a 36v system, I have 24v now. I will also next year start fishing a HP limit lake and will have to be TM only, I will be traveling 2 miles to the best fishing spots on that lake, and will be running on high for about 30-45 minutes to get there.

I want to make sure I got enough battery to get there, fish all day, and get back.

Weight is a fairly big concern in the long run, as my boat is weight sensitive so I don’t want to pick up anymore weight than I have to….I have 170# of batteries now(2tm and 1 cranking) and when I go 36v I will be moving my cranking battery up front to a rod locker to help balance out the addition battery weight.

Also with these choices listed does group size matter? Or should you judge a battery by its specs?

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you neglected to add the everstart battery from Wal-Mart i have used them on my TM and have had less problems from them then others.

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jeff, I could not find a listed weight for the everstart , which is why I did not included it ....the other specs look great actually!

Everstart Maxx 29 Deep Cycle 29 Flooded Cell 675 125 205 NA $75

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3 boats later with no battery problems - Everstart is the only choice.

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Trojan SCS225 or Deka. I get Deka's whole sale so my first choise is always Deka, and they are excellent batteries. If it wasn't for the price I can get Deka's for, it would be the Trojan. Those are about the best two batteries made.

Granted now, everybody is going to have their own favorite. After all, that's why Baskin Robin's has 31 different flavors of ice cream.

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I have the interstate you have listed. 2 seasons on it and it has been great. especially for the 95 bucks I paid for it.

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Brian, all of the brands you have listed are quality brands and should serve you well. The life of a trolling motor battery is determined as much by the maintenance as by the brand. That is part of the reason for so many different recommendations. A Walmart battery last a year with one person and 5 years with another with about the same usage.

The onboard charger that came with my bassboat will fry batteries and I am lucky to get 2 years from a set of batteries, regardless of brand.(the boat is a 98 model Champion). I purchased a portable smart charger about 5 years ago and have not changed batteries since. There are good smart onboard chargers now that were not available at the time my boat was built.

IMHO, you get what you pay for with batteries as long as they are properly maintained...............Al

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does anyone think I could get by with a 24v system?

Just noticed that the terrova doesnt come in a 36v 45in shaft........

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I don't see any reason why you can't "get by" as you say with a 24v system. I am running one on a 20.5' boat and do a lot of fishing into the wind. I always have lots of power left at the end of a long day of windy fishing.

I have run most flooded cells that are out there and not found much difference in them. I have been using AGM batteries for the last two years and like them a lot because they are cleaner to use.

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I have a 24V 80 lb MK on a 21' stratos. I have two everstart max 29's and fish tournaments with no problem.

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For two years now I have been running Napa store brand DC's for the TM. Been more than happy with them. I did not have good luck with interstates. I think the Napa's are made by Exide or Deka. If I didn't get them with my farm discount, I would probably run Everstarts. My cranking battery is an Everstart and that too has lasted way longer than the Interstate that the boat came with. Let me say this about the Napa's, they are group 24's, I could not fit two 27's or 29's in my boat to run the 24v TM I converted over to from the old 12v motor the boat came with, and I am only pulling a 17' bass tracker with a 70lb variable speed Maxxum, so I have plenty of power, and after a full day of tournament fishing it never puts a dent in the batts., even in the wind/weeds, etc... so take that FWIW.

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Running on high with a big 24 volt tm for up to 45 minutes, just to get there, means you will be doing the same coming back. Then you are going to be running around after you get there for a while. Then you are gonna be praying the wind is not blowing that day. That is asking a hellava lot out of two batteries so you had better bite the bullet and get the Trojan SCS225's and you will be asking a lot out of the Trojan's. I think you are going to find most of those others are going to come up short. The Deka will give you just as good of a service life as the Trojan, but it's not going to give you the run time. Everybody here can preach about how good their $75 - $100 batteries are, but when you put one through what you are talking about, you are going to find out just how good they are not. I've dealt with them in commercial, material handling equipment for years, and the Trojans will deliver and will last a long time doing it if properly maintained. If all batteries were equal, they would all be about the same price. High quality batteries are high priced because they cost more to make, not because the dealer just sells them for more.

Also, I put the 60" shaft on mine so I could get the 36 volt system. The only time it's a bother is when fishing real shallow water and I have to raise the head up about three feet. It does get in the way on some cast, but you learn to work around it.

Also, you can install a third TM battery as a cranking battery and use it as part of the three bank, 36 volt system. Understand, all batteries should be the same type, size and age in a series system or you will have battery problems.

If your motor is a DFI motor, that's playing with a double edge sword though, they take a lot of cranking amps and a partially discharged deep cycle battery may not be able to deliver them. Hooking jumper cables to start the motor is not a very smart option either. That's a very good way to blow an ECM.

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I have a Minn Kota 101 on a Ranger Z-21. I run 4 Interstate Batteries 3 for the T/M & a cranking battery. They have been in the boat since November of 2008. I keep them watered with distilled water & plug the 4 bank on board charger in as soon as I get back. I leave it plug in until I go again which is about 4 times a week. So far so good.

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I was thinking much the same as BKeith. That long run, 45 minutes or so at maximum setting is going to do a tune on any battery. There is not necessarily a direct correlation between speed settings and battery drain. At wide open, the batteries may not last half as long as a half speed setting. It's not because the power draw is not proportional but because the boat speed is not proportional.

Let's say your rig will do 6 knots at full power. It may do 4 knots, not 3 knots at half power. It may do 3 knots at quarter power. While it will take you twice as long to reach your destination at quarter power, you are only drawing 1/4 of the amperage to get there. The faster you try to move the boat, the greater the water resistance. It's a matter of efficiency, and distance traveled per unit of power consumed.

The above are merely for illustration, and are quite likely not accurate, but it gives you some idea of why batteries can last a full day of fishing, but only a couple of hours when the tm is your primary source of propulsion. I've seen it with my canoe powered by a 12volt, 55 lb thrust Minnkota. I can fish the shoreline of one of my favorite ponds all day on one battery, but if I make a solo run of a mile and a half to the far end, the battery is spent by the time I get back in a half day of fishing. I can fish the shore for a full day and have plenty of zip in the battery when I'm done. It's trying to minimize the time it takes to get to the far end that really drains the battery.

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