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getting the most out of your trolling motor??? (extended care)

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getting the most out of your trolling motor??? (extended care)

Old 05-28-2011, 01:46 PM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default getting the most out of your trolling motor??? (extended care)

Greetings all.

It seems like I have to buy a new trolling motor about every three years.....and I only use it about 5 times a year. After a while it just won't hold a charge for any length of time and goes ka-put while on the water (usually this happens a couple times before I replace it). I know to buy deep cycle and I don't usually charge it until the night before I need it....perhaps I'm not always charging it correctly or am overcharging it (if possible).

Do you guys have any tips for preserving the life/effectiveness of your trolling moter.....or am I getting about the best I can expect?????................15 times over three years, lets say.

Thanks
hb

Last edited by hillbillyhunter1; 05-28-2011 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 05-28-2011, 03:53 PM
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Deep cycle batteries should be put on the charger as soon after you get home from fishing as possible. If you leave them in a discharged state for more than a few hours, they will start to sulphate which will lead to the shortened life span you are experiencing. You also need to make sure the water level is covering the plates and is up to the bottom mark in the cell. It also helps, if you use distilled water when adding water to them. You can buy this at your local drug store - it's cheap and will help to add life to your battery. If you have an off season for the winter when you don't fish - store the battery with a full charge on it and put the battery on the charger about once a month during the winter because it will always self discharge a little bit. My batteries usually last 5 or 6 years - sometimes longer, and I use them more like 50 times a year. It also helps to use one of the automatic - multi stage chargers so you don't overcharge it.
Also - keep the battery terminals clean and free of corrosion and always make sure that the battery cable ends- where they connect to the battery are polished up bright with no green stuff on them. I also like to at least disconnect the battery from the cables if I'm not using it for a while - I have also heard, that it is never good to store a battery on a concrete floor. I'm not sure if this is true or not - but I always store mine on a piece of board.
Hope this helps.
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:08 PM
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thanks for the reply Warren. I think where I'm messin' up was not ever charging until the night before...thanks for that info, I had never heard that before....I know I should add water too, but since I use it so infrequently, I never get around to it.

thanks again
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:49 PM
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the plates in a battery can sulfate over in a day or so of not charging. sulfated plates prevent charging and theres really no way to fix it once its bad. Buy yourself an onboard charger (bank numbers depend on the amount of batteries you have). 5 amps per bank is plenty, and leave it plugged in all the time. it will turn off when the voltage gets high enough. I'm on my 5th season on my set of batteries, and they are still strong. A fully charged battery will read approx 12.82 vdc. anything less, and it needs put on the charger.

you can put a battery anywhere, since they have a plastic case now, they dont discharge through the ground. Also, if you keep the onboard charger plugged in all the time, you wont need to remove them from the boat in the winter, because the charger will keep them warm enough to prevent freezing.
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Old 05-29-2011, 02:25 AM
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+1 on what the other posters said..I would like to add if you let the batteries set for long periods of time ,Go to your local parts store or even cheaper Harbour freight pick up one of those battery tenders.It's just a little 'bout 2 amp battery maintainer.tha way you are always getting a little bit of juice going to you battery.If you plan on fishing give her a quick overnight jolt with your regular charger .I have always found that if you charge on lower amps (takes longer) they hold the charge better than a quick hot(10 amp) charge.What I usually do is chage on 2 amp untill complete then a couple of hours before I go I will give it a "hot" shot on 10 amps for a little while untill time to go......JMHO
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by hillbillyhunter1 View Post
thanks for the reply Warren. I think where I'm messin' up was not ever charging until the night before...thanks for that info, I had never heard that before....I know I should add water too, but since I use it so infrequently, I never get around to it.

thanks again
Yeah - the longer you wait to charge them the worse the sulphating gets. It really pays major dividends, if you just take a little bit of time at the end of each trip. I don't know how your boat is set up - but on some of the boats I have had, the battery compartment is so miserable to get into - it almost makes you dread to get in there to do battery maint. I never did have an automatic onboard charger, but I am about to have one installed in the boat I have now. I'm getting too old for this nonsense.
By the way - I've never had a battery let me down on the water. Your electrical system - is the heart of your boat, and it always pays to keep it in tip top shape. Every year - I take part of a day to check over all the electrical connections to make sure they are tight and there is no corrosion anywhere - and I spray all the contacts with a corrosion blocking agent. If you take care of your boat - it will take care of you when you need it most.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:17 PM
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most chargers made today that are automatic are multistage. They detect the voltage level, and adjust the amps accordingly. They may charge for 2 hours at 10 amps, then back off to 2 amps when its 75% charged to allow cool down and absorption charging until fully charged. Then they trickle charge as needed to stay topped off. Really worth the $75 investment for a single bank automatic onboard charger. Just mount in out of the way in the boat, and plug it into an extension cord when your done fishing.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:32 AM
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Thanks for all this info guys, as this is something i have had a prob with also. Like Nek said, The battery compartment in my boat is a pain in the shorts to get into and i'm in the market for an onboard charger. I have 2 batts on my boat, 1 just runs the trolling motor and the other runs everything else and the big motor charges the one one while running. So, if i get an onbaord charger do i really need one that will charge both batteries? or just one for the troller? Also what size and where is a good place to get one and how much do they run? I asked about one at the boat dealer and he told me it would cost between 3 and 400 bucks which seems ridiculous to me!! Any thoughts on this would be appriciated.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:30 PM
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i would definitly get one that charges both. 5 amps per bank will work, 10 will charge in 4 hours or less. You can find a 5 amp 2 bank charger for around $110 (minn kota has last years models on clearance for good prices.)
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:20 PM
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A couple of places to look on line are - Cabela's and BOE Marine. They both will have good chargers that will be fine for your use for a lot less than 400.00. I'll bet you can find one that will do you, for less than 200.00.good luck.
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