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Best trolling motor batteries based on performance/prices?

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by cheddarthief, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. I find that I'll probably have to replace the three trolling motors in my '05 Ranger 621 this winter. I've hard that Cabela's runs a winter special of 50% off their stock of AGM batteries during that time. Considering that they're over $200 a piece, I would hope so!! But I see that serious guys swear by them. What' makes them so good?

    I just bought a new main battery for my boat (had to buy at the dock cuz my main died on my last trip) and it was an Interstate Deep Cycle Marine. Big monster thing with 750 CCA. I'm sure it could be used as a trolling motor battery but I think it's more of a house battery. Only cost $120 which I'm sure is more than if I bought it at Sam's Club or someplace not on the water.

    My point/question is, what's a good battery for trolling that won't bankrupt me and still do the job? Or could (3) more Interstate's be just as good as AGM's?
  2. Crowns ! Under 150$ and same specs as the old sears platinums . 3 year warranty.
    I have yet to run them dead with my 112 pound terrova . Put on a 3 or 4 set I get 2 days outta them before I put on charge .
    fishforfun likes this.

  3. Let's start with your new purchase. I have always been a fan of Interstate batteries but after a bad few here lately I will stay away from them. Hopefully you just misstated the battery you just bought. A deep cycle marine battery does not make a good marine cranking battery. Depending on your motor you may not even make the minimum requirements for a cranking battery for your motor. An Optimax requires a minimum of 1000 marine cranking amp and 800 cold cranking amps. That is just to start the motor. That leaves no room for running electronics,live wells,marine radio and accessories. A good group 31 AGM battery would be a much better choice for a cranking battery. Yes, they are expensive. My best luck recently has come from a X2 battery from batteries plus. Since I have been running that battery I have not had to switch to my reserve battery once. Cannot claim that with the interstate batteries I had.
    On to your question. There are good choices for trolling motor batteries. This is where you'll want a deep cycle battery. As mentioned above, Crown makes a good battery. I think the key on finding a good price is shop around. There are some good sales that pop up. In the case of my trolling motor, I'm fine with a regular flooded cell battery. I have never had my trolling batteries die on the water although most of the time my kicker is the bulk of my speed with the trolling motor only used to maintain my speed and steering. The last few weeks I've been perching with the spot lock and batteries have still been half charged when I get home. Heck, my son gets two or three years out of a Walmart deep cycle battery.
  4. Eyehunter and Ranger6, thanks for a thorough posts. Helps a lot. Being my first time replacing the batteries in my boat, I'm new to the concept and value good feedback.

    To Ranger6's point on the Interstate: I was limited to what they had at the boat shop. It was that or drive back home the 1.5 hrs busted and beaten. I'm not for quitting so I ate the cost. That said, the battery I had in my boat was 630CCA and was starting my Evinrude 225 without issue for the past 4 years. It was a deep cycling battery as well. Going up to 750CCA seemed like a no brainer. And from what I've read, a lot of marine batteries are dual purpose in that they could either be used as a starter battery or long deeper cycles. Since my boat has not only the motor but some of the electronics attached to the house battery, it seemed like a good idea to have the dual purpose battery. A. I'll have the CCA to get started and B. I'll have a longer life to run fish finders, radio, VHF, dash electronics, etc. Are you saying that I'm flawed in this thinking? Please explain. Would I be better off to buy two more like this one for my trolling motors then buy a much stronger CCA battery like a 31M as the house battery? Note that my older Ranger has on the starboard side, the house and the first trolling motor battery and the other two trolling motor batteries are on the port side. I don't have room for (2) starter batteries and I only have a 4 bank charger. I do have a Perko switch on the main and the first battery of the trolling motors as a backup.

    Feedback is welcomed.
  5. You can really get into a ford, chevy argument on batteries and I find that most guys get set in there ways with what works, I guess I could be guilty of that too. After some Etec research this is what I found. Your motor takes a battery capable of 675cca(845mca) above 32 degrees and 750cca(940mca) below 32 degrees. That is just to start the motor, no accessories. If you got 4 years of service out of your old battery, I think your new one is sufficient. Being a fan of redundancy I like the fact that you can jump off your trolling battery. I was very disappointed last fall at Huron when my 2 month Interstates would not crank my motor over. After setting the switch to both batteries it turned over but it still struggled, it was below 32 degrees. Went out the next day and bought 2- X2 AGM batteries and they worked great the rest of the fall and all of this year so far. Never had to flip the switch for the second battery. Didn't mean to throw a wrench in your trolling motor battery question, sorry about that. Keep an eye out for some battery sales and pick 3 good deep cycle batteries for your trolling motor and you'll be fine. Not sure what group size your running now 27 or 31 but a group 31 will fit on your rig. It will be tight but they will fit. If your running group 27's now and want to change to 31's you may need to swap out your battery hold down depending on what you have.
  6. Ranger6,
    Truth be told, I'm VERY green about boats and the equipment within. I had a 16' v-bottom john boat years ago when I first got married. Twenty years later and I was in the market for a real rig. So I went all out with the Ranger 621. But, because I don't run with a boating crowd here in Youngstown, I don't have the knowledge of such things. Sadly, that's left me vulnerable to less than honest boat shops. I've had to jump around but feel that D&B Marine in Madison is where I'll stay. Small stuff, like tuning up a kicker or changing out batteries, are things I can and would like to do. I just don't always have the knowledge. For example, a group 27 or's like you're talking a whole new language. Same for the Interstate dual battery with "X" amount of CCA. I never would have thought I'd need more since the old batter was less. Looks like I need to do some serious Google research. But this is why I come here to get tips from seasoned and knowledgeable people such as yourself. Thanks for the help and any more tips I'd love to hear.
  7. I've 2 new Interstate 29's for my trolling motor and they have treated me well and seem to last at least 5 seasons of lots of fishing. I've been sticking with them but always interested in change if need be. I've been thinking about another battery paralleled in the rear for cranking and electronics, radios, etc. The big motor aught to keep them peaked and the bank charger afterwards.
  8. I'm running Group 29 Interstates for my trolling motor also. My last set were WalMart Everstarts & they lasted 4 years. I also installed a conventional Group 27 Interstate for my primary battery to replace the 4 year old Napa battery that started to get weak. Put a new pair in the motorhome & replacements in the vehicles that we drive every day. No issues for me with any of my personal equipment. I started selling Interstates at my shop 2 years ago & haven't had the first failure or returned battery yet. Probably sold a dozen or so to my customers this season. Not trying to sound like a commercial here but I'm well satisfied with the quality so far. Mike
  9. Cheddarthief, I'm using flooded/wet cell batteries in all my equipment. The only vehicle that's got an AGM (Oddssey) is the Jeep Wrangler that sees some occasional off-road action.
  10. I too have always used flooded wet cell batteries for both starting and trolling motor batteries. As mentioned earlier, as long as the battery has the required amp output, you'll have no problems. And as you speculated, a true deep cell battery will give you better staying power for your accessories than a strictly starting battery will. Is an AGM a better choice as a starting battery? I would say yes simply because they're a dual purpose starting and deep cycle battery. I mean lets face it .... unless you are running serious heavy amp drawing accessories like dual power poles or an electrically actuated jack plate, most accessories don't draw that many amps.

    I run two depth finders, and my live well (tournament days everything runs all day) off of my starting battery and it's a group 24 and I've never had a problem starting my 120 hp motor. One thing though ..... some of the bigger and newer electronics can be touchy about voltage drop. If you run into that problem you may have to go up in size. But I doubt it.

    One thing about marine batteries is CCA is more of an automotive rating. MCA is the marine rating because MCA (marine cranking amps) are rated at 32 degrees versus the 0 degrees that CCA (cold cranking amps) are rated at. That's what Ranger6 was talking about earlier. MCA is about 1/3 more than CCA. In other words, if you have a battery that only shows a CCA rating just take that rating and multiply it by 1.3, and that will be its MCA rating.

    Anyhow ...... these guys are taking fine care of you with their advice.

    I'll just add that if you want what is IMO they beast of dedicated trolling motor batteries then take a look at the Trojan SC225 (the Crown one mentioned earlier has impressive numbers) The Trojan's are not inexpensive. But I use my trolling motor extensively some days holding the boat or continuously working into 15 - 20 mph winds, and they have never ever ran out of power.

    Great batteries ...... pricey for sure .... but if you've ever ran out of trolling motor battery power half way through the day, you won't think the Trojans are over priced. You'll be happy you spent the money.
  11. triton175

    triton175 STX 206 Viper

    Here is a very good site that gives a tutorial on the different types of deep cycle batteries
    I got 3 Energizer group 31, AGMs from Sams club. That was on recommendation from a friend, another guy was also buying 3 when I was at Sams.
    It's mostly a personal preference thing. Become as informed as you can and buy what you can afford and you'll be fine.
  12. Lots to digest. Maybe someone can help me with two simple questions (which inevitably lead to more of course).
    1. What is a "group size"? Does this indicate he physical shape of the battery?
    2. Or does the group size indicate the Ah (Amps per hour...correct?).

    I tend to think it's #2 because being restricted to a physical size would limit the advancement of the technology.

    Thanks in advance.
  13. Yes, the smaller number indicates a smaller battery case size. In flooded lead acid batteries weight is directly proportional to performance also.The other thing to consider when looking at AGM's that I learned is that some manufacturers recommend a different charge rate for their batteries - specifically talking about the Oddssey when I say that.
  14. Firemanmike made a great point about AGM batteries charging profile. Most of the newer on board chargers will most likely be fine with AGMs, but older ones (10+ years) or a portable automotive battery charger, may not. I would check your chargers comparability to AGMs before making your purchase. Most likely an internet search or a simple phone call to your chargers manufacturer will get that info for you.

    One thing you want to watch for when comparing batteries RC numbers is to make sure the numbers are given at equal amp draws. Most but not all batteries give RC numbers using a 25 amp draw. If you see a deep cycle battery with an RC rating over 225 chances are its basing those numbers off a 23 amp or lower number.

    The link provided by Triton175 has some good information, but I'm not so sure about some of the battery recommendations given in it. I and many others would not choose an Optima battery for trolling motor batteries. Their design just doesn't allow enough material to have a high reserve capacity. Great starting batteries and a so so dual purpose, but not (at least IMO) even an adequate choice as a dedicated trolling motor battery.

    As firemanmike mentioned, weight is a directly proportional to deep cycle performance, and not just in flooded wet cell batteries, but in AGM batteries as well.

    I understand the effort in trying to save money and still get a good battery. My personal opinion is that your batteries are the life blood of your boat. Without them you are at the mercy of the elements, and your expensive trolling motor and depth finders don't work. I will gladly spend the money on the best batteries I can get. It's not only a piece of mind thing, it's an enjoyment on the water thing as well. And you actually save money in the long run.

    At least that's been my experience over the years
    cheddarthief likes this.
  15. Legend killer

    Legend killer Looking for big girls

    Buy the biggest that will fit.
  16. I ended up buying (2) Sears Diehard 27 Marine Deep Cycle batteries after reading some good reviews online about them but I think they are garbage. I only get about 2 hours running my terrova 80 lb thrust at 8-10 speed. The first pair I bought gave me problems and they ended up giving me new ones after finding out that they had dead cells off the shelf.
  17. I here that Cabela's runs a fall battery sale that's like 50% off. Anyone know when that usually happens?
    man164 likes this.
  18. Legend killer

    Legend killer Looking for big girls

    Sam's club Duracell 31 agms for 180 are awesome
  19. last Christmas Sams had these on sale foe $150. I bought two and I am running my 24 volt motor on them. No complaints so far.
    Legend killer likes this.