marine battery for trolling motor

The 5 Best Trolling Motor Batteries Reviewed For 2017

I can still remember when we got our first electric trolling motor. As a kid we always just used a small gas outboard at idle speed to troll. Then electric motors became popular and affordable.

I thought it was the coolest thing to add to the boat! Today’s fishing boats all have made trolling motors, almost mandatory. Electric trolling motors have become ubiquitous in the fishing boat world!

Of course electric trolling motors are only as good as their batteries last. For that reason some consider the trolling motor battery even more important than the motor itself.

Choosing the best trolling motor battery is worth taking your time and understanding what’s really the right battery for your needs.

I’m going to help you understand the differences in high capacity trolling motor batteries for fishing. Then we’ll review a few trolling motor batteries, plus we’ll cover two good choices for power centers to manage the battery.

For more of my top gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Trolling Motors, Recreational Kayaks, Kayak Carts.

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Trolling Motor Batteries

  1. ExpertPower 33ah Deep Cycle Trolling Motor Battery
  2. Mighty Max Trolling Battery 12V 35AH SLA Battery
  3. VMAXTANKS 12V 35ah Boat Battery Kit
  4. MinnKota Trolling Motor Battery Power Center
  5. Newport Vessels Trolling Motor Smart Battery Box

By the end of the article you’ll know which trolling motor battery is your top pick! Need a trickle charger? Here is the one we recommend; Battery Tender Junior.

Best Battery for a Trolling Motor

 ExpertPower 33ah Deep Cycle Trolling Motor BatteryMighty Max Trolling Battery 12V 35AH SLA BatteryVMAXTANKS 12V 35ah Boat Battery Kit
editors choice
Power:12v 33AH12V 35AH12V 35AH
Features:Deep cycle sealed lead acid battery, maintenance free and valve regulated batteryHigh discharge rate, wide operating temperatures, long service lifeWaterproof manual reset circuit breaker w/ gold plated terminals
Size:7.72(L) 5.16(W) 6.34(H) inches7.68(L) 5.16(W) 7.13 (H) inches7.7(L) 5(W) 6.1 (H) inches

Trolling Motor Battery Reviews

#1 ExpertPower 33ah Deep Cycle Trolling Motor Battery

This time we’ve got just the battery for you. Nothing but sheer sealed AGM power to the tune of 33Ah.

Again it depends on how much draw your trolling motor puts out as to exactly how long this battery may last in your system but even a 5 amp motor will last about 6 hours of use with this battery.

I like that there’s an included handle in case you’re anal about battery maintenance like me and insist on carrying the battery inside every night to hook it up to the charger. It just makes getting these heavy little buggers in and out of the boat that much easier.

One small factor that I adore about this battery is the screw terminals. I think you’ll like that the battery terminals are easy to use screws with threaded receivers.

Instead of the old school lead post terminals, these easily attach and detach by just screwing the bolt into the battery itself. No need to get all the wires through the bolt, attached to the terminal, and then somehow hold the nut while securing everything.

Users love this battery and it’s going to arrive at your door in two days with Amazon Prime shipping at a price that’s hard to argue with.  I give it the nod for the best deep cycle battery for a trolling motor.

Be sure to compare your current battery with the dimensions of this battery. As long as this battery will fit into any existing space requirements you may have, you should be able to replace your current battery without a problem.

Best For: Those wanting the best battery for a trolling motor at a bargain price by avoiding the major name brands!

#2 Mighty Max Trolling Battery 12V 35AH SLA Battery

Another battery for your trolling motor needs. Again, a standard 12V battery but this time just a bit more capacity with 35Ah of output compared to the 33 Ah of the Expert Power.

How much difference does it really make? The two amp hours of difference really doesn’t add up to much. If it were 5-10+ amp hours of difference then we’d see a major difference.

Again a sealed lead acid battery so we don’t have to deal with the drawbacks of the wet cell batteries of yesteryear. This battery comes with the more traditional lead terminal posts with screws.

As I mentioned above I think integrated screw terminals are more convenient and I prefer them usually. However, not all wiring will work with all batteries and you may have a situation where one type of terminal makes more sense for your needs.

Just like the Expert Power battery above, there’s a built in carry handle. These are nice if you move the battery a lot, but they tend to just get in the way if you’re going to put the battery in place and leave it there for the majority of its life.

Of course, you can always just cut the handle off if it does get in the way of clearance, one of my top picks for the best marine battery for a trolling motor.

Best For: MinnKota Endura C2 users – guaranteed to fit.

MightyMax also makes the: 12V 55Ah Trolling Motor Deep Cycle Battery if you need more run time.

#3 VMAXTANKS 12V 35ah Boat Battery Kit

If you’re looking for a full kit with practically everything you’ll need to get started with your new electric trolling motor battery, this might be it!

Included is a sealed AGM battery, a battery trickle charger, a 60A fuse, the battery box, and some wiring to get started. Not a bad set up for putting it all together without running to the hardware store a dozen times!

The AGM battery is made to fit in the included battery box and puts out 35Ah of output. That’s not a ton for a hungry trolling motor so be sure to compare that capacity to the ampere rating of your motor to get a ballpark of how long it will power your motor.

I like the included 60A fuse but I wonder if it’s not a bit too high of capacity. I doubt most trolling motors are drawing 60A and I’d prefer to have a breaker that’s a bit closer to the rating of my motor so the breaker gets thrown a little sooner in case of a problem.

If your motor draws 10 A and your breaker blows at 60 A, that leaves 50 A of wiggle room you may not want. The kit comes with heavy duty 4 gauge link cables that will be beefy enough for any application.

Best For: Those looking to get a deep cycle trolling motor battery with a full kit at a very reasonable price.

Vmaxtanks also makes the: MR13712V 120AH Trolling Motor Battery for more run time.

Trolling Motor Battery Boxes

Now well look at a few trolling motor power centers. Don’t underestimate their importance, they power output of the battery. Some of the new ones are feature rich and include circuit breakers, USB charging plugs and accessory ports.

#4 MinnKota Trolling Motor Battery Power Center

MinnKota is one of the biggest names in electric boat motors and accessories. You’ll see their name on a ton of gear and many things on this list. Why? Because they’re reputed for their quality, durability, and ease of use.

When it’s time to put your battery in the boat, chances are good that you won’t want it just sitting out on the floor. That’s why the MinnKota trolling motor power center is an ideal choice.

It can be mounted or strapped down and then filled with a replaceable 24 or 27 size battery. The lid is then securely closed and the 12-volt battery terminals are automatically protected by circuit breakers when correctly installed.

This handy power center helps to ensure the correct protection and fuse in your battery circuit so you don’t have to be an expert electrician.

It also protects and secures the battery while still providing a battery meter to show remaining charge. There’s even 12 volt accessory plugs like you might find in your car. These can be used to charge gadgets!

Best For: Use with a MinnKota battery and MinKota motors to make the whole process smooth.

#5 Newport Vessels Trolling Motor Smart Battery Box

Like the MinnKota trolling motor battery box, Newport gives us an excellent central hub for our battery management. These boxes protect the battery, keep the wiring neat and organized, and keep water out.

I would definitely include this on my setup for any trolling motor especially at such reasonable prices.

I love that Newport put in an integrated 12V accessory plug (cigarette lighter style) as well as a USB port. Both are protected by water resistant rubber caps. In 2017 any electrical gadgets that aren’t made to work with USB are simply outdated.

Good job, Newport.

I like that there’s a handle on the battery box itself so it’s easier to install and manage. Afterall, the whole purpose is to manage the battery and connected devices.

Both terminals are equipped with easy to use wingnuts and the integrated circuit breakers should provide plenty of protection.

There’s a 10A breaker for the USB and 12V chargers as well as a 60A breaker for the trolling motor. These are resettable breakers so no blown fuses.

Like modern electrical panels you don’t have to replace anything. Just be sure to solve the problem before resetting the circuit.

Be sure that your battery choice is 24 or 27 group style or at least just measure the internal size of the box and ensure that your battery will fit the internal size of the box.

Best For: Battery management with built in USB ports and circuit protection.

How to Choose the Best Battery for a Trolling Motor

Electricity can seem like magic to many people as the terminology is confusing and the details get lost in translation. Let’s talk a bit about those details that really matter so you can understand what you’re buying when you purchase your next trolling motor battery!

Not everyone needs the top of the line battery, but some will demand only the best performance.

Best Trolling Motor Battery

Battery Types

Just like motorcycles, ATVs, and even cars today batteries are changing fast. Ten or twenty years ago there was only one type of battery known as the lead-acid wet cell battery. Now sealed and efficient AGM batteries are taking over the world of portable power.

Lead Acid – batteries are made up of plates of heavy lead insulated in separate chambers. They’re floated in a liquid acid which, together with the lead, creates the unique environment for storing and releasing electrical energy.

Lead acid wet cell batteries are known for being highly susceptible to cold environments. They can also spill their contents – highly corrosive acid – if treated or stored improperly.

It’s also possible for lead acid wet cell batteries to off-gas dangerous gasses that can combust. Oh, and if you remember from back in the day, proper battery maintenance on these guys includes topping off the nasty acid on occasion. Not fun.

Sealed AGM – batteries have become more popular for most of the above reasons. They can’t spill, they don’t need maintenance, they can be stored in just about any orientation, and they won’t leak gasses (unless they’re cracked).

I think you can see what AGM batteries have become so popular. With advances in chemicals and materials, many AGM batteries are also quite powerful compared to their wet cell counterparts.

Run Time and Amp-Hours

Amp hours (Ah) are one of those magical technical terms that seems hard to understand but really isn’t. A battery’s amp hour rating is just a measure of the number of amps (output) the battery can produce for a certain number of hours.

For example, if a battery is rated 200 amp hours that battery can produce 1 amp of electrical output for 200 hours before it runs out. If your motor draws 5 amps then your battery will last about 40 hours of use (200Ah / 5A = 20h).

Of course this can be affected by battery efficiency, parasitic voltage drain, and other factors such as battery life. It does, however, give a scientific method of comparing battery capacity before purchasing!

Battery Maintenance

Properly maintained batteries will last much longer than those which are abused. I don’t mean beating your battery when it talks back. Battery abuse is mostly just neglect so let me help you understand how to love your new trolling motor battery.

When not in use, disconnect your battery and store it inside attached to a battery trickle charger such as the Battery Tender Jr. Keeping the battery topped off during storage will dramatically lengthen its life.

Between fishing trips, even if the battery still has capacity, attaching it to a charger on the dock will help that battery last longer.

Keep your batteries out of the cold! Leaving your battery in the boat all winter stored outside is a sure way to kill it quickly. Disconnecting the battery from the motor ensure that it won’t be parasitically drained. Drained batteries will have much shorter lives.

I usually just take my batteries out when not in use and store them in the basement attached to a trickle charger. This should make an AGM battery last 4+ years of consistent use.

marine battery for trolling motor

Deep cycle marine battery for a trolling motor

Cleaning your battery terminals will greatly improve battery life. Corrosion may appear over time on the battery terminals and will look like green or white discolored flakes or fluid on the terminals.

Clean this off with baking soda and water and then coat the terminals in petroleum jelly before reassembling. Corrosion can decrease conductivity and drain the battery.

Wiring and Safety

While I’m not an electrician myself, I do know enough to point you in the right direction. Batteries must be appropriately wired to be safe and efficient. That’s why you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right gauge wires and including a breaker or fuse.

Refer to the Minn Kota sizing table for instruction on selecting wire gauge and breakers. It’s important to use the right size wire for different motor amperages and wiring lengths.

Why? Wires that are too small for the load being drawn through them can heat up and become dangerous. They may melt through their insulation and short circuit causing fires or electrocution hazards.

Wire length can have a similar effect if not properly accounted for when building your electrical system.

Of course, many motors come with the correct size wires included and as long as you’re mounting the battery directly to these, it’s often not necessary to modify the circuit. If you’re not sure just consult an electrician to double check your work!

Wiring Batteries in Series

Sometimes one battery just doesn’t have the brute force we need. That’s why wiring batteries in series can increase the output of the overall system. Be careful when treading into this territory and take your boat to a reputable dealer if you’re uncertain of how to do this.

If you need more power and your motor is designed to handle higher voltages, wiring batteries in series can result in 24V, 36V or even 48V circuits. More information can be found here.

Conclusion

If you’re looking to build a new trolling motor battery setup, get yourself a battery box. Take care of cable management, circuit protection, and accessory charging in a single swing!

If you’re replacing a battery just make sure that the battery’s amp hour rating and dimensions will work for your needs. It’s really that simple! Everything else is a matter of preference and taste.

Remember to consult an electrician when modifying or if unsure of technical electrical circuits.

I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best trolling motor battery to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a battery I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.

Have fun and enjoy your time on the water!

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About Casey Fielder

I am an avid outdoorsman with experience in naturalist education, outside adventure education, ski instruction, and writing. In addition to my outdoor hobbies, I’m a huge fan of punk rock. I have launched several start-ups. (or business ventures) When exploring the backcountry, I usually carry less than 10 pounds of gear. Years of experience have taught me to pack light. I enjoy sharing my experiences of backcountry education teaching and guiding through writing.

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