The Best Trolling Motor Batteries and Chargers Reviewed
It is just me or are the number of electronics on our boats increasing? I’m thinking of fish finders, cameras, lighting, pumps, trolling motors, phone chargers, the list goes on… I think you’ll agree that having a battery to power some (perhaps all) of these is pretty important. Choosing a battery can be challenging in knowing exactly what type of battery you need and navigating the technical jargon.
The purpose of this article is provide quick and easy breakdown of a trolling motor battery and what to consider based on the boat/motor setup you’ve got. I also included some tried-tested trolling batteries along with the highest rating charger and holder.
Top 3 Trolling Batteries
- VMAX MR127 12 Volt 100Ah AGM Deep Cycle Maintenance Free Battery
- Banshee Deep Cycle Marine Battery
- Mighty Max 12V Electric Trolling Motor Deep Cycle Battery
Top Trolling Battery Charger & Holder
What Battery Type Do I need? Deep-Cycle & Dual-Purpose
Many types of batteries will fit your holder and connect to your electrical system. But using the wrong kind, like a car battery, can damage both the battery and the motor it’s hooked up to.
You need either a deep-cycle or dual-purpose battery.
Deep-cycle batteries are designed to slowly release their charge over an extended period of time, like when powering a trolling motor for hours.
Compare that to a starter battery, like you find in a car, which is designed to deliver short, powerful bursts of energy.
Dual-purpose batteries can handle both scenarios. Some boats use one dual-purpose battery, or several wired together in a series, to power their trolling motor and supply power to their main motor’s starter.
If your boat takes a dual-purpose battery, see the section on them below so you’ll know how to pick the best one. If your trolling motor has its own dedicated battery or batteries, continue reading to see whether you need a lead-acid wet cell or AGM battery.
Lead-Acid Wet Cell
These are great for anyone on a tight budget. There’s many available for $100 or less. But there’s a trade off. They usually last for only three or maybe four years, if you’re lucky. They also require regular maintenance. You have to keep an eye on the water level and add water as necessary.
Absorben Glass Mat (AGM)
Absorbent glass mat batteries are more expensive than lead-acid wet cells, but they offer some advantages. First, they last longer. A good AGM battery may last for eight years or more. They don’t need any maintenance either.
These batteries are generally the most expensive type. But if that’s what your boat is designed for, that’s what you need to get. Don’t get involved in a big rewiring project that will likely fry your electrical system.
Check the specification section below for advice on how to choose what you need.
What are the Battery Specifications
You have to know what all those specifications on a battery actually mean before you can choose the best one for your boat.
This rating has to match your trolling motor. If you have a 24-volt motor, you need a 24-volt electrical feed. It depends how your electrical system is set up. Some 24-volt systems require one 24-volt battery, while others are designed for two 12-volt batteries.
Look at the voltage rating of the battery you’re replacing, and get one that matches. Oh, and always replace both batteries at the same time if you have a two-battery system. Never mix old and new batteries, because both can be damaged.
This is sometimes written as “Ah.” “150Ah” means 150 amp-hours.
It’s a measure of how much electrical power a battery can store.
An amp-hour is one amp delivered over a period of one hour. A battery with a rating of, say, 150 Ah can run a motor that pulls 5 amps for a period of 30 hours. Do the math. A 5-amp draw times 30 hours equals 150Ah.
Check the amperage drawn by your trolling motor. Multiply that by the number of hours you would expect to be operating it between charges. That’s the minimum Ah rating for your needs. Simple!
Cold Cranking Amps
CCA is basically the amount of amperage a battery can supply to a starter motor. This is only important if you’re looking for a dual-purpose battery.
Make sure the CCA rating of the battery matches your main motor’s specifications. But, you should also be careful that it delivers the Ah that you need for your trolling motor.
This refers to the dimensions of the battery. It’s crucial that your new battery is the same size as the old one so it fits in the holder.
If you have to get a larger or smaller battery, you should change the holder. Don’t just try to wedge it in place. Some batteries can spill dangerous chemicals if they are knocked over. All batteries can leak hazardous liquids if they are cracked or damaged. Be safe and make sure your batteries are secure!
Top 3 Trolling Motor Batteries
VMAX MR127 12 Volt AGM Battery
As a deep-cycle battery, it is designed for repeated drains and charges. The 100Ah rating means that it won’t have to be charged in the middle of a day on the lake. It’s a group-size 27, which is the most common, so it will fit most small to medium boats.
Best of all, it’s an AGM. Sure, it’s a bit more expensive than bargain batteries, but the higher initial cost is offset by the longer life span.
VMAX has a great reputation for safety and durability. Their batteries are well-made with tough casings to prevent cracks and spillage.
The glass fibers incorporated into the design hold nearly all of the electrolytes. That means that, even if there is some damage to the battery, you are unlikely to have a mess of toxic chemicals to clean up. In fact, this battery is classified as “spill-resistant and non-hazardous.”
- Can handle high-thrust motors
- Long life
- Strong casing
- 30-day money back, 1-year exchange warranty on manufacturing defects
- Moderate-to-Higher price point
Banshee Dual-purpose Marine Battery
This battery is designed for maximum plate surface area. That’s part of what gives it so much cranking power, but it also provides another benefit: longevity.
It can last through 400 charge/discharge cycles. And that’s assuming an 80 percent discharge rate between each charge. That’s great because you’ll really drain this battery if you’re going to be using it as a starter and deep-cycle battery.
Of course, you can use it as a starter or trolling motor battery, if your boat has a dedicated wiring system for each. But the benefits of any dual-purpose battery really shine through when it is used to its full potential. The size is group 27, so it’ll fit most fishing boats with no modifications necessary.
- Dual purpose
- Tons of cranking power
- Built-in battery charge indicator (hydrometer)
- Good price for this type of battery
- 2-year warranty
- Relatively low Ah rating
Mighty Max Deep Cycle Trolling Motor Battery
Of course, there is a trade off for such a nice price. It’s rated at 55Ah, which is kinda low compared to other popular AGM cells. But use what you learned in the section above to determine if it’ll fit your needs. If you have a relatively low-draw trolling motor, you can save a bundle and still have a great battery.
The size is a bit odd. It’s a small battery and is close to a group 21, but it’s an inch taller than others of that group size. The dimensions are 9″x5.5″x9″. But the good thing is that, due to its design, it can be installed on its side or even upside down. That makes it ideal for many custom installations. You may need an adjustable holder, though.
The terminals are flat, so you may need to change out your cable connectors if you go with this one. Two nuts, bolts and washers are included for installation.
- Small size
- Can be mounted multiple ways – even upside down
- Not enough power to run big trolling motors for long periods
- May require purchase of adjustable holder
Top Trolling Motor Battery Charger & Case
NOCO Genius GENM3 12 Amp 3-Bank On-Board Battery Charger
First, it’ll charge four batteries at once. Each bank runs at four amps for quick charging.
There are several safety features built in. Its smart technology alerts you to reversed polarities, overcharging, overheating, open circuits and any other condition that can be hazardous or cause damage to the battery or charger.
It operates on standard 120-volt household current. You can charge pretty much any trolling motor battery with it, from wet cells and gel cells to AGMs.
The time it will take to charge your battery depends on many variables, including your battery’s charge, age, Ah rating and other factors. But this charger automatically shuts off and alerts you with a bright green light when charging is complete.
- Four charging banks
- Auto shut-off
- 5-year limited warranty
- There have been many complaints regarding NOCO customer service’s responsiveness
MinnKota Trolling Motor Power Center
You won’t even have to open the waterproof box to connect your trolling motor or charger leads. That makes it not only quick, but very safe. One 15-amp circuit breaker keeps your accessories safe, and a 60-amp breaker protects your trolling motor.
The built-in battery meter is an awesome feature. You can tell the state of your battery’s charge at a glance.
- No need to open the box to connect motor or charger
- Two accessory plugs
- Separate circuit breaker protection for accessories and motor
- Integrated battery meter
- Only fits group size 21 and 27 batteries
5 Quick Tips for Maintaining your Trolling Motor Battery Life
Here are some quick tips to extend your batteries life cycle and get the most consistent charge for each use.
- House your battery in a neutral temperature. Meaning don’t leave it outside exposed to extreme cold or heat as these weather conditions will impact electrolyte loss and battery will slowly drain.
- Use the correct battery charger! Make sure to follow the battery charging guidelines with the correct voltage to avoid damaging the battery.
- Avoid a buildup of lead sulfate crystals which can cause your battery to fail early in its life cycle. To avoid build up be sure to correctly charge and ramps up the voltage at least once per year.
- Recharge after you use the battery so it doesn’t sit for an extended period of time drained. Keeping the battery fully charged will help maintain the charge levels over a longer period of time.
- Keep the battery clean of any corrosion or build-ups. Quick and easy to do, but be sure to wipe down the battery (I generally use a damp wet cloth) especially with any saltwater exposure. If there is corrosive buildup you can use a base solution of water & baking soda to clean off.
How to Wire in Parallel Trolling Motors Batteries
Here’s a really helpful video to help you better understand how trolling motor batteries work and how they can be wired in parallel with other batteries.
Trolling batteries are challenging to choose based on the motor/setup you’re looking to power. I hope this article helped to provide some direction on what to look for in battery chargers and how they work. For me I recommend spending a little more to get a higher end battery that saves time when charging and lasts longer so for that recommend the VMAX MR127 Deep Cycle Battery. It’s a dependable battery that you will give you those continual lengths of battery length for each usage. If you’re looking to upgrade or buying your first trolling motor battery definitely check the VMAX out.
Thanks for the taking the time to check out my website and this comparison review. I hope it was helpful for you.