How to charge trolling motor battery while on the water?

Don’t let your battery die while on the water – here’s how to charge it. You don’t want your fishing trip cut short because of a dead battery, do you? With this guide, you’ll be able to keep your trolling motor going all day long. We all know that feeling of relief when we finally get our trolling motor back in the water after charging it for what feels like hours. Now you can avoid that altogether with this easy guide.

Follow our simple steps to learn how to charge your trolling motor battery while on the water.

Do you know that not every marine boat charger can charge your battery? So, before we dive right into our main topic, it would help if you first understood which one is best for the task.

Different types of Boat Battery Chargers Used on the Water :

There are three types of boat battery chargers that you can choose to charge your boat battery: the portable charger, the onboard battery charger, and the solar charger for boats. Each charger has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs:

Portable Boat Battery Chargers :

As the name implies, the portable boat battery chargers are highly portable, and you can comfortably use these in the water. Moreover, these chargers are less expensive than the others and quite popular among boaters.

However, these chargers charge the battery slowly, and you will have to transfer and attach the charger from battery to battery in your boat. These chargers come in handy when you don’t want to install a battery charger or have a too small boat. These chargers are also ideal for trolling motor-powered boats and wilderness setting boats.

Onboard Battery Chargers :

These chargers are usually attached to the battery system inside the boat, and they are simple to use. Installing these boat chargers is also simple, and you need to plug them into a 120-volt power outlet for smooth charging.

Furthermore, the advanced technology in these marine chargers also allows for multistage charging. Overall these are great and charge the battery at a rapid pace.

Solar Chargers for Boats :

What’s better than a battery that never needs charging? A solar panel to keep it maintained! The best part is that you can install this on your boat and use the power while out at sea.

The sun is always shining, and it’s a great way to keep your devices charged without the need for an expensive charger. Solar-powered chargers are not only cheaper than their battery counterparts, but they also help save our environment by using renewable energy resources.

Besides, these chargers utilize silicon crystals or uniquely designed thin films that use solar power to generate electricity for your trolling motor. Solar chargers keep your battery charging even when you are out in the water or running the boat.

How to charge trolling motor battery while on the water?

The whole process of charging trolling motor battery is not that difficult. Whether using a portable or onboard charger, the process remains identical. Here is how to charge the trolling motor battery:

1. First, you need to disconnect your motor from the power source. Then we recommend checking your battery for any damages. Moreover, ensure that the battery terminals are free of carbon and debris.

2. Next, you need to attach and connect the charger with the battery. While doing so, connect red wires to red wires and black to black. If you are using multiple batteries, we recommend using a battery bank.

3. Then, connect your battery charger with the power source and turn on the power switch.

4. Ensure to monitor the charging status. Some battery chargers will show you how much the battery is charged, but some will not show the progress.

Similarly, don’t overcharge or overheat the battery. Never leave the battery on the charge unattended for a long time.

Can You Solar Charge a Battery While Using It?

The answer to this question is as varied and complex-looking a topic. It all depends on how you plan on using your boat battery.

If you often use a solar panel to charge your boat’s battery, then it is possible to charge the boat’s battery while in the water. However, remember that it will not charge your boat’s battery when expending power.

Most boaters don’t use the appliances that draw a lot of power while on the boat. However, you can charge the boat’s battery through your solar panels when not using those appliances.

Similarly, use your trolling motor continually, or you prefer to use lights, GPS, and other electrical appliances. Your solar panels might not deliver the required power to your battery that is needed to recharge it.

Besides, solar panels can also help change or replace some of the power that leaves your battery; hence, it will not be possible to replace all the solar energy power while you are running your boat or it is in the water.

It is also seen that most boaters don’t have large boats with all these arrays. Hence it also depends on your boat and its size.

New solar options offer more power for your battery and may work better with certain types of batteries. However, these are pretty expensive, so check before installing one.

Solar panels are great for recharging your boat battery when you’re not on the water. You can store it in either a garage or trailer so that way, if something comes up and needs to be taken care of right away, then plug into one of these bad boys and get back out there.

The solar charger is an essential part of your outdoor gear. It’s vital to be sure it connects appropriately so you can protect the battery from over-charging and reduce the risk of fire or other damages, too.

How to Solar Charge a Trolling Motor Battery

The process is identical to those mentioned above one, but there are some differences when you need to charge your trolling battery via a solar charger.

1. First, you need to ensure that your solar panels are placed adequately in the proper light.

2. Next, you need to disconnect your battery from the motor and connect your charger. Connecting the charger is simple; ensure that red is connected to the red wires and black is connected with the black wires. In other words, Positive terminals should be connected with the positive terminal and negative with the negative terminal.

3. Now, switch on your solar charger and charging will start. Keep in mind that the charging will be much slower than the portable or onboard charger. Lastly, don’t leave charging unattended and monitor the charging frequently.

Should You Disconnect Boat Batteries When Charging?

People have various opinions about this straightforward question.

If you use your boat frequently, we will not advise you to disconnect the boat’s battery. Similarly, it would be best to charge off the motor, and it should stay connected to the charger.

On the other hand, if you use your boat occasionally but you leave your boat in the water, never disconnect your battery. If you want to remove the battery to recharge it, ensure you use a different battery.

As long as your battery is connected to the charger, your battery will remain safe and sound. However, if you don’t use your boat too often, disconnect your battery before charging it.

This comes in handy due to some valid reasons. First of all, this significantly saves the battery power and enhances its working time. Secondly, disconnecting your boat’s battery from the charge helps you avoid battery damage.

In addition, you can also quickly charge your boat’s battery without removing it. While doing so, ensure that your charger stops charging when the battery attains maximum charge.

Similarly, it would help if you remembered that marine chargers usually have up to 5 years of working life. However, some chargers are unreliable. Therefore, choose the best marine charger and enjoy the precise results.

According to our experts, try to use a multistage marine charger to charge your boat and stay safe.

Is it possible to Overcharge a Trolling Motor Battery?

Yes, it is possible that your trolling can get overcharged. There can be multiple reasons for that. However, you need to understand that some chargers can also do the same. Some marine chargers, especially cheap marine chargers, often overcharge the battery. This is because they assume that you will not ride your boat immediately after the charge.

However, overcharging your boat’s battery can be deadly, and it can cause various issues to the battery and your boat. Remember, overcharging your trolling battery can boil the battery’s acid, and in severe this can also crack your boat’s battery. As a result, your battery will not be functional, and eventually, you will have to change it to a newer one.

Is it possible to Undercharge a Trolling Motor Battery?

Like overcharging a trolling motor battery, it is also possible to undercharge a trolling motor battery. Often this happens due to a process known as sulfation. When this happens, sulfate crystals inside the battery create negatively charged plates, and this can cause various issues for your marine battery.

However, these crystals are not formed instantly, and it takes some for these crystals to form. Hence you will not see any difference in your battery’s performance right away. However, this process will affect the overall battery life, and it will be less than usual.

How To Attain the Complete and Right Charge for Trolling Motor Battery?

Your safest bet to ensure that your trolling motor battery gets charged ultimately and rightly is to use a marine charger that can automatically detect the battery’s type and its charging settings.

According to our experts, the best charger is the NOCO Genius Gen5X2. This is because this marine charger optimizes the whole charging process and ensures that your boat’s battery never remains over or undercharged.

Furthermore, the charger also optimizes the charging process as per outdoor temperature. Because of this feature, ensure that your boat’s battery does not get overcharged or undercharged.

According to the consumer reports, you can also use the ProMariner ProSport HD marine charger for this purpose. However, you should remember that it will only work for a single battery at a time. But all things considered, it is an excellent charging device that provides faster charging, and you won’t have to deal with over or undercharging issues.

Is it possible to Charge a Boat’s Battery without a Charger?

Yes, you can also charge trolling motor battery without a charger. However, this ideal does not work in all circumstances.

Similarly, you cannot charge your boat’s charger if your battery is dead or the battery’s charging is extremely low. However, this method includes jump-starting a dead battery, and it is simple. You will need a set of reliable jumper wires and a battery. You can also use a jump starter for this purpose, and things will become a lot easier.

Here is how to charge your boat’s battery without a charger:

Jumpstart your boat’s battery Using a backup battery

This will create a temporary power source. To do this, just connect the black jumper wires of the dead battery with the working battery’s negative points. Then, you need to repeat the process with the red wires.

If your spare battery is working adequately, it will start your boat’s dead battery. Remember, you will have to remove the jump wires as soon as the boat starts.

Use a Jump-starter

Jump-starters are a must when you need to jumpstart your boat or other vehicles. They work similarly to jumper wires but don’t require an additional second car to deliver power.

To connect these jump-starters with your boat’s battery, you will have to connect the jump starter’s black wires to your battery’s negative terminal and then repeat the same process with the other cables (red ones). As soon as your boat starts, you will have to remove both these wires.

In the End:

So there you have it – your complete guide to charging your trolling battery while it’s in the water. It’s definitely not as difficult as it may seem, and with a bit of practice, you should be able to do it like a pro. Have we missed anything? If so, let us know in the comments below, and we will be happy to help out. In the meantime, go forth and enjoy fully charged batteries on all your aquatic adventures.

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Kaitlyn Kris
Kaitlyn is a real powerhouse when it comes to content. She’s been working as our content editor since she joined the team – and ever since, we’ve seen a huge improvement in the quality of our blog. Kaitlyn brings an incredible wealth of knowledge to everything she does. From her sharp eye for detail that catches even the smallest errors, to her vast understanding of the industry and how to apply it through content creation. She’s always looking for ways to improve our blog and make sure the content is engaging, informative and accurate.

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