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trolling motor batts/minn kota dc alternator

5/15/17 @ 3:15 PM
User since 3/21/05

So ive done a ton of research and didnt quite find what i was looking for so i am hoping to get some real life experiance from you guys. I know minn kota can help but i wanna hear whats worked or not.

I have a 19 ft. monark with a 80 lb 24v ipilot. i moved 2 lead group 27 batterys to the back of the boat to help with shock but im still only getting 2-3 hours out of them. I did not use marine grade wire when i did that. so thats one problem i need to correct. its the right gauge but stiff as a board and like 5-10 strains of copper wire. ill switch that to marine grade. i HAVE to move the trolling motor batterys back to the front, theres way too much weight in the back as i found out on lake michigan this past sunday. I also use the batterys nonstop for trolling, sometimes with the help of the kicker, sometimes not. but here are my questions

1. do you guys get better life with gel/agm batterys as far as shock goes?

2. im going from group 27's to group 31's. any brand preferance?

3. i wanna add this minn kota dc alternator to charge them on the fly however im wondering 2 things. first, can i install this on my 4 stroke kicker and charge my batts while im using my trolling motor? or is that too much for the batts? secondly, im getting conflicting reports. im reading that its best to slowly re-charge your batts to increase the life of them, i do have a on-board charger for them but how good is it for the batts to get charged quickly with the main motor or kicker? i read one guys post saying he can buzz around the lake once or twice and have them charged again...recharging in 10-15 minutes on the lake cant be as good for them as letting them trickle charge all right right?

4. my trolling motor is hard wired to the batts with a 60 amp breaking but im reading i should have a master on/off switch on it so i dont fry the circit board on the trolling motor, ill add one but do i need one on my ground wire too?

thank you much in advance!!

7/9/17 @ 7:39 PM
User since 9/8/11

Run 19 smokercraft with a 24 volt ipilot. I replaced 27 standard dc batteries with 31s and installed Minn kota alternator off of big motor. I run 10 hours pulling cranks at 2 mph on bago. When salmon fishing run ipilot and kicker all day with no problem. I think the alternator makes a huge difference but have had issues after prefishing for 4 days in a row.  Short nights with the onboard charger not topping off batteries have had batteries run down. 

5/19/17 @ 11:15 AM
User since 4/12/03

Do not run minnkotas D.C. Charger connected to a kicker motor.  Only main motor. Kicker motors do not output enough for the D.C. Charger to work right. They have a wire to connect to the main motor wiring. Wiring that Only has power when the main motor is running. regular trolling batterys I like trojen  scs225 size 31s. They are not cheap. I use Deka Agm size 31s from remey batterys. The agms are nice if the trolling batterys are hard to get to for service. The Trojans have allot of reserve capacity. Great if you are running minnkota allot. They are very shock proof also. I use at least 8 gauge wiring for your minnkota. Batterys Over 15 feet away from your minnkota recommend 6 gauge.

5/16/17 @ 1:50 PM
User since 3/21/05

Thank you guys for alll the advice so far. batterys are barely a year old and ill be checking them. i hear the dc alternator is more for not letting my battarys run completly empty which i have now learned is bad for them. which is also what i do everytime im out haha. i will report my findings later tonight.

5/16/17 @ 12:10 PM
MEMBER since 1/21/13

The DC charger will not do you much good. The kicker has limited charging capacity and would take a very long time to charge your 24v system. The DC charger only takes what is put in and divides it between the  batteries. To a max of 20 amps.

You said your wiring will be replaced. Be sure to use the correct gauge and make sure all your connections and terminals have good contact. My experience is most short battery life (with decent batteries) comes from undersized wire and poor connections. 

Charging should be done at a reasonable rate. Usually 10-15 amps max. Fast charging causes heat which is enemy #1 to batteries. Be sure to charge as soon as possible after use. Storing a battery at low charge is detrimental to longevity.

5/16/17 @ 10:51 AM
Fish Hound
User since 1/29/02

First I would suggest you replace your batteries. I use EverStart Maxx 29DC Marine/RV Deep Cycle Battery, I have three of them in the boat, two for the trolling motor (24 volt) and one for the house battery. It's called a deep cycle but still cranks over a Yamaha F225 easily and lasts all day with pumps and radios on. For about $100 they can't be beat, I had one set last 5 or 6 years and I just replaced them "because" and they are still getting used in my duck boat.

Once you have the new batteries I would move them back to where the manufacturer designed them to be.

Next you mention having a kicker, use your kicker for thrust and your bow mount for autopilot or steering. I always start my T8, turn on my Terrova (80# thrust) to 4 or 4-1/2 setting and then turn my kicker up. That setting on the Terrova seems to control the bow well and hold a course/heading. I've used my Terrova for more then 10 hours a day like this and not ran out of battery power on a 21' fiberglass boat.

To answer your last question...... Yes, definitely install a plug on your motor and do not leave it plugged in when not in use or charging.

5/16/17 @ 10:31 AM
Tim Zwieg
User since 1/10/12

I am really surprised you are only getting 3 hours out of a pair of batteries?  Are they old? Are they the same size type age etc?  I would leave my charging to the on board charger, however I would also look into why you are only getting 3 hours too.  I know I did not necessarly answer all of your questions, just added my 2 cents.

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