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Where install 24v troll motor; require different wiring?

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My 1997 Bass Tracker 17' with 40hp Tracker outboard (Mercury) has a 12v 37-lb thrust troll motor. It pushes it ok except in wind, and it's also sloppy and clanky and noisy. I might buy a larger Minn Kota, probably would have to go to 24v motor to get appreciably more thrust. Say, a 65 lb thrust Maxxum. That should push my boat pretty good if I want to motor between trees to cast to.

 

Currently, the battery cables are at the back of the boat where the gas tank is. First question is... does a 24v motor require different wiring? Troll motor is bow mount, foot pedal controlled.

 

Second question... If I go to a 24v motor, that requires two batteries. It will be tight but it appears to me that I can fit them both in the back. So, it will be one cranking battery and two troll batteries next to the gas tank. And I think I can fit a 3-bank onboard charger in there. Do you think having 3 batteries instead of 2 will raise the bow noticeably, is this a concern?

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Not sure if it'll "raise the bow", but the weight and its placement are a consideration for a lot of things.

 

My three trolling motor batteries sit relatively forward, just ahead of the consoles, below center rod locker, dead center, in a row along the keel of the boat. 

 

There are two more batteries (starting/misc and electronics) at the back, along with a 4 bank and single bank chargers.

 

That last battery made a difference in how the boat trims and runs...not a lot, but it was noticeable.

 

One thought: If you can possibly squeeze out the cash...don't go 65#, 24 volt.  Go 80#.  You'll be happier all the way around.

 

 

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If your boat is wired correctly with 6 gage wire and has circuit breakers for each battery you shouldn't have any issues.

Tom

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Can you tell me where the circuit breakers should be?

 

Also, how do I tell if it's 6 gauge?

 

Would you think a 1997 Bass Tracker would have 6 gauge wire?

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Most wire has maring every foot or so.  Some is painted on and some stamped.  There is a number and awg next to it.  That will be the guage.  Technically you can run smaller wire for the same load with higher voltage.  I would not rerun smaller, and wire is expensive so most people cheap out and use to small.

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I'm pretty sure tracker used 8 gauge wiring until the last few years where they moved up to 6 gauge.  My 2008 175 TWX has 8 gauge and I installed a 65lb thrust Minn Kota Maxxum on it and it's worked fine.  Minn Kota has a wiring chart on their webpage:

 

https://www.minnkotamotors.com/support/compatibility/battery-selection-and-rigging

 

T-H marine make a battery tray that barely fits two 27 series batteries longitudinally in front of the starting battery, at least on my boat, not sure about the older Trackers. But they fit.  I have noticed the boat takes a while to get on plane with the 3 batteries, a full gas tank and a full live well and me and my buddy in the boat. but I rarely have the livewell full and I typically only fill the gas tank about half full so I don't see much loss of performance unless I have a full boat.

 

Here's the battery tray:

https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/t-h-marine-dual-battery-holder-tray

 

The only other thing besides a new trolling motor and another battery would be a short section of wire for a jumper between the two batteries to wire them in series to make it a 24v system.

 

And as for 65lb vs 80lb thrust, the 65 moves my boat just fine.  It trolls at about 4 1/2mph when it's on full speed.  If you do move up to 80lb you'll probably want to run new 6ga wire to the back.

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My Lowe 180W has a 55lb 12v Minn Kota Maxxum on it and does graet. It's on 2 batteries, at the end of an all day fishing trip they never drop below 70%.  I would think it would be all you would need on 17' Tracker.

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