How to Wire a Trolling Motor with Battery | In-depth guide

Wiring a trolling motor may seem intimidating if you have never done it before, but as long as you have the right tools and instructions, it can be accomplished with ease. This guide includes all the instructions for wiring a trolling motor with the battery so that it will operate correctly and safely. 

Safety is an important consideration before you get started. If you have a trolling motor, make sure you use the right battery or batteries. Use a battery whose voltage doesn’t exceed the motors. Using more than one battery can make it even more important to use a circuit breaker. This will cut the power if something goes wrong with your trolling motor.

Things you Must have to Wire your Trolling Motor

Listed below are the parts you will need to complete the installation. There are some you’ll get with your motor, and there are others you’ll need to purchase separately.

Marine Deep Cycle Batteries: Your trolling motor’s voltage determines the number of batteries you need. If you have a 12V motor, then you need one 12 V battery. But if you have a 24V trolling motor, then you need two 12 V batteries, and for a 36V motor, you need three 12 V batteries.

Terminal Ends: With a screw, you can attach your motor’s power cable to your battery. Your motor’s power cable will have terminal end connections, so you can connect them with ease. In the event the battery terminal is different from the one in your vehicle, you might have to replace them.

Circuit Breaker: Circuit breakers should be installed between the battery and the motor in order to protect it.

Trolling Motor Plug & Receptacle: If you need to disconnect your battery for charging, a plug and receptacle make things easier for you. The battery can be connected and disconnected quickly using this.

How To Wire 12-Volt Trolling Motors

Attach Your Connector Kit To Your Battery: There should be two sets of red and black wires in your connector kit, each with a connector plug so they can plug into each other. Connect your battery to one set and your motor to the other set. Using your ring terminal connectors, connect the wires in your connector kit to the terminals on your battery. Sealing and protecting terminals and wires with liquid electrical tape is an option. A positive red cable and a black negative cable should be connected to the positive and negative terminals of the battery, respectively. Secure them tightly. A wrench can be useful here.

Attach Your Motor Cables To Your Connector Cables: The cables connected to the motor must be grabbed. Connectors might already be present. The connectors on the other end of your connector kit must be removed before installation. You will need to cut both red and black wires with your wire strippers to remove the standard connectors. Once this procedure is complete, the motor’s cables can be connected to the connector kit. Ensure that the positive motor cable is connected to the corresponding positive cable on the connector kit. For Example, Connect the red cable to the red cable and the black cable to the black cable.

Depending on the length of the cable, you may have to strip it back enough to expose the connector kit cable. Before connecting the exposed wires to the connector cables, you may need to twist them. Tighten the clamp gently. It may be necessary to carefully heat-seal the connection with a hairdryer or heat gun. Using the connector plug and socket on your connector kit, you should now be able to connect your motor to your battery.

How To Wire 24-Volt Trolling Motors

You can use the Single 24 Volt Battery with a 24 Volt Trolling Motor. But if you have two 12 Volt batteries available when wiring a 24-volt trolling motor. Then the two batteries must be connected in series to power the trolling motor. Moreover, If you have more than one battery, then using a circuit breaker is also a good idea. If, for example, your motor gets stuck underwater, this can protect it. Your trolling motor should be connected directly to the circuit breaker, with the positive (red) lead connected to the positive terminal.

You should then connect the circuit breaker from the negative terminal of your first battery to the positive terminal of the battery. Your second battery should then be connected to the first battery. Your first battery’s negative terminal, which is connected to your circuit breaker, should be connected to the positive terminal of your second battery. Using the negative lead (black) on your motor, connect the negative terminal on the second battery directly to the trolling motor.

How To Wire 36-Volt Trolling Motors

To operate a 36-volt trolling motor, three separate 12-volt batteries are required. By connecting three batteries in series, the voltage is increased from 18 volts to 36 volts. Make sure all your batteries are properly charged before you hit the water if you have a quality alternator charger. Your boat’s solar panels can provide power to a solar charger, while the battery of your boat’s starter will provide power to an alternator charger. Here are the steps for wiring a 36-volt trolling motor.

  1. The motor must be turned off.
  2. Battery 1’s positive (+) terminal should be connected to the motor’s positive connector cable
  3. The negative (-) terminal of battery #1 should be connected to the positive (+) terminal of battery #2 with a short jumper cable.
  4. The negative (-) terminal of battery #2 is connected to the positive (+) terminal of battery #3 with yet another short jumper cable.
  5. A negative (-) black lead (wire) from the motor should be connected to the negative (-) terminal of battery #3.

Ensure your circuit has an integrated circuit breaker. Buy a wiring kit instead of assembling jumper cables if you don’t already have them or the supplies to do so. 


Question 1: Can we wire the trolling motor directly to the battery?

Answer: Connect the positive (red) lead of the motor directly to the positive terminal of the circuit breaker, thus linking the trolling motor directly to the circuit breaker. After that, connect the negative terminal on the circuit breaker to the positive terminal on the first battery.

Question 2: Do we really need a circuit breaker for trolling motors?

Answer: Using a trolling motor requires a circuit breaker, although the battery can power the motor without one.

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Michael has been an avid boater and a battery expert for over 10 years now. He is passionate about sharing the knowledge he has acquired so that everyone can benefit from it. His posts are dedicated to helping all kinds of boat owners, from recreational fishermen to hardcore sailors, get the most out of their batteries and motors. Through his articles, reviews, and tips on battery care, Michael has been providing valuable insights to boaters all over the world.

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