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Lithium Batteries?

9/13/21 @ 9:16 PM

Looking ahead, I'm going to need to replace some of the trolling motor batteries I have before next spring...but I am wondering if its time to consider the dive on Lithiums.

I have 24 volt Minnkotas on my boat, and the potential weight savings seems like reason enough to take the plunge...but deep cycle batteries are cheap if you don't mind replacing them every couple of years. I'm not guiding anymore, but being a professor with summers out of the classroom, I still fish quite often.

If you have lithiums...what have you seen while using them? Any thoughts on brands? Pros..cons...anything you can/will share will be appreciated.


9/25/21 @ 6:28 PM

Another thing to watch for is the BMS maximum voltage.  If you put 12v lithiums in series to create 24v or 36v strings, the BMS must be rated for the total maximum voltage, or it could fail.

Which might be a good reason to look into 24v and 36v lithiums, to avoid that issue.

My boat batteries are due for replacement in a year or so, I will get serious about investigating them then... will need a charger as well, probably will get lithium-specific charger (1 [email protected]).

9/24/21 @ 7:20 PM
USER SINCE 11/29/01

Mendota , that was the first thing I thought of. They do catch on fire and my battery is right nest to my gas can. I would not like to have a fire on Green Bay and have every thing burn up out there. Perhaps I should move it to the front of the boat. An

9/24/21 @ 4:04 PM

I work in the lift truck market, I can tell you everybody and their brother thinks they can engineer a lithium battery and BMS.

Check warranty, and oh by the way, maybe UL Listing?  It would be nice to know it won't likely start a fire in your boat or garage.

Those are the 2 distinguishing features to watch for.

9/24/21 @ 10:49 AM

Early this year, for my terrova, I switched to Lithium battery.  I will never buy another agm/wet cell ever again.  Lighter, more capacity, faster charging.  Only downside, if I want to charge and it is below 32 ( I have a detached garage),  I will have to take out/or use a heating pad.  Weighs lot less, easier to take out.  I just ordered some different posts (m8 thread)  versus  cheap ones I picked up at auto parts store, just for that reason.  TP04 M8-+A01 from fallriver battery, US if any of you were in same position of needing a different post.  Remy battery in Milwaukee will eventually carry them.  For battery I went with a cheaper brand on ebay;  was like 469 included shipping, had 2 yr warranty I think, not as long as dakota/or battleborn.  You would most likely need a different charger--I purchased a 10amp specifically for LIFEpo4 batteries.  In a pinch, I can use my on board charger that came with the boat.

9/24/21 @ 9:02 AM

I run a 24v Minnkota Terrova and switched to Battleborne lithium last year. After 18 months of running, I have absolutly 0 regrets. I have run at 50-60% for more than 10 hours continuous trolling without degradation in performance, and the recharge rate is approximately 3 hours, which is a blessing for trips where I fish twice a day for 8 hours at a time. I'm so pleased with the vastly improved run and recharge durations that I now consider the extra cost a bargain! As for the weight reduction, I didn't notice any change in boat performance as I made up for it by carrying more tackle:) 

9/23/21 @ 8:50 AM

You are correct, if you were to run the Lithium all the way down, the Lithium's BMS literally disconnects the battery and your Ulterra would be stuck.

The solution to this is to carry a DC-DC converter that will convert your 12V starter battery power to 24 or 36V to trickle charge your trolling battery.  You can pull 10A from a cigarette lighter outlet, plenty to get your Lithium back to operational in a few minutes.

Minnkota's concern with Lithiums is that the discharge voltage of Lithiums is a full volt higher than lead acid batteries, so if you were to run your troll motor at 100% power for extended periods, you will over-heat the motor.

As an FYI, DC motor speed is proportional to the applied average voltage, so at 13V vs. 12V, the motor runs 8% faster.  However, for a propeller, power required goes at the cube of speed, so the power goes up 27%.

Hence their request that their motors not be operated above 85% speed for extended periods when using Lithiums.  Not an issue for most of us if you are aware.

9/22/21 @ 11:45 AM
USER SINCE 1/10/12
This interests me, switching to Lithium batteries for my trolling motor.  MinnKota has a blurb on their web site saying it is not reccomended, but I know a lot of guys are doing that.  One thing that concerns me and I have not been able to get a decent answer on is this.  I have an Ulterra, when the battery voltage drops to a certain voltage, the motor stores itself and shuts down.  With Lithium batteries, they are full voltage till they die.  WIll the motor be able to pull itself up and store itself.

9/20/21 @ 6:44 PM
USER SINCE 6/14/05

do your own research and make up your mind...keep in mind recycle and the cost to do so...have no dog in this fight......

9/20/21 @ 9:04 AM

The RV folks are big into converting over to Lithium, you might want to investigate batteries for that market.

2 issues I am aware of that should be considered :

Ruggedness, because batteries on a boat have to withstand pretty good impacts.  I think the pouch cells used in nearly all LiFePO4 are generally pretty rugged, but it is a concern, and lithium's all have BMS circuitry that needs to be rugged as well.  I would definitely compare warranties....

Charging voltage:  The LiFePO4 batteries generally like a higher charging voltage than lead acid, and often will not reach full charge capacity on a standard lead-acid battery charger.  Check the charge recommendations for the battery you are targeting and verify your charger can either be adjusted to comply or plan on replacement.

These batteries can also be comfortable charged at much higher rates than lead-acid, so 20A-30A+ charge rates are possible if you need/want it.

Have fun, there is a lot of competition, and costs are coming down.

9/20/21 @ 7:41 AM

i had to buy a 24v lifepo battery when i upgraded my bowmount to an ulterra,  (ebay for $800) the battery box was not big enough to put in 2 12v deepcycle to get the 24v

i have a 16 1/2 princecraft and when river fishing, i can run on spot lock for most of the day and only use at most 20% of the charge.  the other thing about these batteries is that the output voltage basically doesn't change like it does on a lead acid so you have more power available to you as you use the charge up

i've been using it for 2 years now with no issues

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