I wrote an article about kayak trolling motors sometime back. In that article, the benefits of kayak trolling motors were highlighted. To refresh your memory, trolling motors allow you to take a break from paddling, let you go hands-free and provide speeds you can’t attain by paddling. They can take your kayaking experience to the next level!
The thing with kayak trolling motors is that they don’t come with batteries. The type of battery you buy for your trolling motor is very important as it affects the performance of the trolling motor, and consequently your kayaking experience.
This article focuses on kayak trolling motor batteries. Below, you’ll find some information about these batteries, and the factors you should put into consideration when buying a trolling motor battery, to help you choose the best one for your trolling motor. Here we go.
What is a Deep Cycle Battery and Why is it Adapted to Kayaks?
Deep-cycle batteries are reusable chemical-energy storage devices that are designed to provide steady power (small amount of currents) for a long period of time. Also, these batteries can be fully recharged and discharged several times.
The above features are what make deep-cycle batteries compatible for use with kayaks. You can’t use regular car batteries with kayaks because they are designed to deliver a brief burst of power after which they return to charging. Therefore, car batteries can’t deliver the steady power that is needed to power trolling motors.
Deep-cycle batteries can be mounted in any position since they come sealed and also require little maintenance.
Types of Trolling Motor Batteries
There are three main types of trolling motor batteries and they will be discussed below.
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries, sometimes referred to as valve-regulated lead-acid batteries (VRLA) or sealed lead-acid batteries (SLA), are made from fiberglass matting and come in sealed units.
The main benefit of AGM batteries is their compact and lightweight design which makes them Ideal for use when you have limited space like in a cramped or small kayak. These batteries also charge quickly and have a fairly long run time.
Flooded Lead-Acid (FLA) batteries are another popular type of trolling motor battery. Their affordability is one of the main reasons behind their popularity.
FLA batteries feature the style used in older batteries since they contain liquid acid. And this is why FLA batteries are sometimes called wet cell or flooded cell batteries.
One of the benefits of FLA batteries is that they can withstand sustained charging and recharging. And those that are sealed require less maintenance and upkeep.
Lithium-ion batteries are one of the most expensive types of trolling motor batteries on the market. They also have superb performance, are lightweight, and charge very quickly.
The longevity of lithium-ion batteries is increasing their popularity and they also require less maintenance.
Amperage Hour Rating
All batteries come with an amperage hour rating which denotes the strength of the battery. Typically, you’ll see abbreviations like Ah on batteries and Ah means Amperage per hour and is directly related to the battery life.
The larger the Ah rating of your battery, the longer the battery will last. But there are other factors that affect battery life such as the type of motor. Some motors require more power than others and such motors will drain your battery faster.
The speed you are traveling also affects battery life. The faster your travel, the faster you drain your battery.
What Amperage Do I Need?
If you intend to get as much run time from a trolling motor as possible, especially if you are planning on a long trolling motor expedition, then you should go for batteries that are rated 100 Ah. Note that these batteries may be a bit heavy but that’s the small price you are paying for extended battery life.
Trolling motors rated between 50 – 100 Ah are ideal for intermediate trolling motor expeditions while those rated 35 Ah or lower are ideal for short trolling motor trips i.e if you don’t plan to use your trolling motor for long.
Storage and Maintenance
One of the best things about the batteries on this list is that they don’t require a lot of maintenance. So you have your work cut out for you as far as maintenance is concerned. However, you have to properly store your battery if you want it to last for a very long time. Your battery should always be in a cool dry place, away from extreme cold or heat.
You should also always endeavor to charge your battery after a kayak motor trolling trip. If you are the type that uses your trolling motor occasionally which means you don’t frequently charge your battery, then it is a good idea to charge your battery periodically. Failure to do this may lead to your battery not charging properly when you need it to.
All these are simple steps that will help improve the longevity of your battery and ensure it remains in top condition for as long as possible.
After buying a kayak trolling motor, the next thing is to buy a quality battery that will allow you to get the best out of your motor. Following the tips on this page, you can count on finding a battery that’s compatible with your motor. Get a battery today and go farther than you’ve ever thought of.