A trolling motor, developing problems while in use, is one of the saddest things one can face. There is not much that can affect a trolling motor, and these faults are easy to fix without much electrical or mechanical know-how. The common trolling motor problem is the batteries and the wires, and these sound simple and straightforward to fix but would require a lot of patience. That being said let us briefly look at the two common problems of a trolling motor and the solutions.
The battery (or batteries) of a trolling motor are very much essential and should not be taken lightly. The reason why the batteries are among the problems of a trolling motor is that most trolling motor users do not consider it as significant to causing the motor problem.
Since the batteries are neglected and not treated properly, they begin to develop faults that affect the whole trolling motor.
Before we assess the problems identified with or caused by the battery, we should first understand the basics of using a battery for trolling. A large number of trolling motors that are battery powered use the deep cycle marine batteries as their power source.
The deep cycle marine batteries are constructed quite differently from the starting batteries. It is also important to note that the lead-acid batteries are internally composed of a series of plates.
In starting batteries, the plates are thinner and produce a higher amount of current required to start the engine.
The alternator of the engine picks up from here and also helps to recharge the battery. The disadvantage of the starting battery is that it is not designed for deep discharges and recharges, and this would destroy the battery sooner than later.
The difference between deep cycle batteries and starting batteries is that deep cycle batteries have thicker plates and are designed for a higher number of recharges and discharges.
They provide lower starting power than the starting batteries but would continue providing power until they are used up.
The similarity between the two batteries is that they both do not like being completely discharged. It is safer to ensure that the batteries do not go below 50% discharge before being recharged. Doing this would ensure the battery life isn’t shortened.
It is important to consider that every trolling motor has a power setting, so installing as many batteries as you can only help damage your motor. So you have to solve the motor problem.
Other problem is using bad chargers and charging the batteries poorly. Ensure you buy a proper three-stage marine battery charger, and check the battery electrolyte regularly.
Faulty wires pose a very great threat to the entire trolling motor problem, and would cause permanent circuit damages if not properly and quickly handled.
One would ascertain that the rise in the price of copper wires has its negative effects on the use of trolling motors, especially marine wires.
A piece of advice is to stick to the marine wire no matter the cost. Marine grade wires are made from a group of smaller wires stranded together.
Stranding makes the wire flexible yet strong, and this is required for the wire to function properly on the boat. Marine wires are preferred to solid wires because solid wires would weaken and break from the rigors of moving and impacts of being used onboard.
Marine grade wires are made from tin, that is; each strand is plated with tin. Tin plating the strands reduce the amount of corrosion of the wires.
Copper is very reactive to corrosion, and corroded copper wire as a result of no tin plating would result in an increase in the resistance of the wire at the point of connections.
High resistance in wires results in heat, wasted current and overheating. Overheating of the wires would most likely turn into a fire, which might damage the circuit beyond repair.
So you now know the ideal type of wire for the trolling motor. And it is important that you get the ones that are properly sized.
Properly sized wires and tinned marine connectors are perfect for trolling motor use. Note that marine wires are also properly insulated for use in a marine environment.
SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS
When you notice faults in your wires, batteries or both, you should ensure your purchase the replacements mentioned above to ensure that you don’t develop future problems.
For the wires, you should ensure that you purchase a wire with the proper length and size.
- Consider the length of the run of the wire. Its distance from the power source to the device that requires the power and back again.
- Two ways in the sense that there is a wire from the power source to the device being powered. And another from the powered device to the power source.
- The voltage drop is also to be considered. Thus, you should note that the smaller sized wires cause a higher voltage drop and more battery capacity is lost. Long runs of wire cause the issue of voltage drop, and AC systems aren’t available for trolling use.
For effective harness of the trolling motor parts and functions, it is advised that charts and calculators are used. Charts and calculators are available online on numerous sites, and it is advised to use one today.
They show you the details required in a system of wires and the current therein. The charts are known to show 3% and 10% voltage drops. It is clear that a wire size with a 10% voltage drop would be cheaper. It is also smaller than a wire with a 3% voltage drop.
You can only afford the smaller wire with the 10% voltage drop, then bear in mind that you are buying a wire. It is 7% less efficient than the 3% voltage drop wire in carrying power.
Now that we have properly outlined the problems. You should ensure that you only engage in the repairs if you have the technical know-how.