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traveler

New trolling motor ; 24 or 36 volt?

Question

traveler

Moving up with the big boys...what criteria should I consider to decide which I need? 20' 2500lb fiberglass bay boat. Right now I just have one starting battery, if I go with a 36 volt troller am I looking at 4 batteries total? Obviously the 36 volt will produce more thrust 101 lb vs 80. Never having run a boat like this much, it's kind of hard to tell if how much power I need. My gut (and common motor wisdom) says you can never have too much power, but how much is enough, or too much? Not much difference in price, and one more battery doesn't seem to be that big a deal, but the weight of all those batteries concerns me too. What do you all think? Also, when looking at onboard chargers, do 2 or 3 "banks" correspond to the # of batteries they are charging, or ?? Thanks guys.

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caseymcq

Go with your gut. You are pushing a good sized boat. You may not notice it when you are out on calm days but when the wind kicks up you will be glad you have the extra umph. One more battery won't make a significant difference in you boat either. I am assuming you have a pretty good sized motor. 60 - 70 lbs won't be noticable to it. If you have a kicker it might not be much of an impact for you to go with a 24v.

I think you will actually get more run time on your batteries with a 36v too. Your trolling motor won't be working as hard as a 24v would be to push the boat at the same rate.

If I was in your shoes, I would go with a 36v.

I have a 17' boat with a 12v trolling motor and I am looking at switching to a 24v.

You are also correct about the # of banks on an on-board charger. 3 banks = 3 batteries. I have a three bank charger in my boat (two trolling and one starting) that I bought from Cabela's for (I think) $160. I think it is a great charger especially for the price I paid for it.

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traveler

thanks Casey. I was leaning toward the 24, as a couple guys have told me that was what they had in similar sized boats, but I assmue thats all they have experience with, so they might be better off with 36 and not even know it. I'm hoping someone running a 36 system will chime in here. Also still wondering if I have to have 3 batteries for the troller and a 4th dedicated starting battery...By the time I buy the motor I want, the charger, 3 or 4 new batteries...I'm gonna have 2 grand tied up in this! Whew...

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B@ssDoctor

I have a 36 volt MinnKota 101 lb and I love it. I have a 21' bass boat and had a 54 lb/24/12 volt Motor guide (junk) installed at first. I could not be out in big waves and could also not plan on being out all day if I had it maxed out. Another nice thing about having a 36 volt system is the batteries do not get beaten up/cycled as often as a 12 or 24. I put in betwee 20-40 hours a week on the water and I have had my batteries for 5 years (this March). I run a Power Quest 3 bank charger on the batteries and have had no problems with it. The charger will charge the (dead) batteries in about 10 hours or so. I can run in rough water for multiple days before needing think about charging them.

As always, it is your decision. My opinion, a 12 volt system is not enough to rely on. A 24 volt is getting better, but still not enough to rely on for a big weekend on the water, a 36 volt will handle what ever you put in front of it. (with a 101 anyway)

Good Luck!

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traveler

Thanks bassdoctor, sounds like 36 volt is in my future. So do you have 3 or 4 batteries total, or does the 3 battery system also handle the starting/accesories duty?

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MuskieJunkie

Get the biggest one you can afford, you can always turn the power down. OK so I stole that from James Linder.

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Stratosman

36 if you can. I had 36 on my last boat with a 107# Motorguide and I could fish all day long as long as I wasn't running it full tilt. I have a 24 now but with a smaller boat. Like above said, get the biggest you can afford. You won't be sorry.

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B@ssDoctor

I have 5 batteries installed now. 3 strictly for the troling motor, 1 for the starter, radio, gps, finders, etc. and 1 for a backup. I would recommend running 3 dedicated batteries for the motor, and 1 for the starter. Tip: Make a small set of jumpers (about 3 feet with butterfly clips) so if you starting battery decides to poop, you can jump it off 1 of the other 3. I have used it a million times...

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