The Best Trolling Motor Batteries for Boats, Pontoons, and Kayaks
If you are looking for the best battery for trolling motor, it is important to know what kind of trolling motor you are going to use, how long you intend to use it and how large reserve you need, just in case.
Depending on their thrust, electric trolling motors feature maximum currents in the 30-50 Amps range, while using 12V, 24V and 36V volts:
- 12 V are used for a thrust up to a 60-65 pounds,
- 24 V are used for a thrust up to a 100 pounds,
- 36 V are used for motors that provide more than 100 pounds of thrust.
The following chart shows some of the most popular electric trolling motors, their maximum thrust, nominal operating voltage, maximum current and other relevant data:
Note: Amazon affiliate links in the chart open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices.
Also, for more about electric trolling motors, please check our Electric Trolling Motors for Small Boats, Pontoons, Kayaks and Canoes article.
The best trolling motor batteries are marine/automotive/industrial deep cycle batteries, although many people successfully use dual purpose batteries as well.
But, if you can, avoid using starting/cranking batteries in deep discharge and cycle applications - they will not last long, and that can be quite costly.
One of the best and quickest ways to determine if the battery is good or not for trolling or any other similar deep cycle applications is to check its Reserve Capacity (time in minutes that the battery can supply 25 Amps, at 77°F (~25°C) and maintain the voltage above 10.5 volts) value and how many deep discharges battery can withstand prior loosing 20% of its nominal capacity.
Or, just check its Reserve Capacity and if the battery is designed for deep discharge cycling applications (it must NOT be labeled as starting only battery!).
Most popular trolling motor batteries are the mid-size batteries belonging to the BCI Groups 24, 27,31 and 34, and larger batteries belonging to the BCI Groups 4D and 8D. The following chart lists their physical dimensions, typical capacity and other relevant data:
|BCI Battery Group Size||L x W x H (inches/mm)||Typical Capacity (Ah)||Typical CCA (Amps)||Typical RC (min)|
|Group 4D Batteries||20.75 x 8.75 x 9.875
527 x 222 x 250
|170 - 200||1200 - 1500||350 - 470|
|Group 8D Batteries||20.75 x 11.125 x 9.875
527 x 283 x 250
|200 - 350||1450 - 2700||460 - 780|
|Group 24 Batteries||10.25 x 6.8125 x 8.875
260 x 173 x 225
|75 - 85||500 - 840||140 - 180|
|Group 27 Batteries||12.0625 x 6.8125 x 8.875
306 x 173 x 225
|66 - 110||640 - 870||140 - 220|
|Group 31 Batteries||13 x 6.8125 x 9.4375
330 x 173 x 240
|75 - 125||600 - 1150||155 - 240|
|Group 34 Batteries||10.25 x 6.8125 x 7.875
260 x 173 x 200
|50 - 75||750 - 880||100 - 145|
Wet/flooded, AGM and gel-cell lead-acid batteries may be easily connected in parallel and in series in order to create battery packs of required capacity and voltage, just be sure to connected them properly and to use the same batteries of the same manufacturer, preferably from the same batch!
Lithium-ion batteries offer large capacity and large number of charging and discharging cycles at just a fraction of weight of the lead-acid batteries. Also, lithium-ion batteries may cost much more than lead-acid batteries, but in the long run, depending on the application, they may even save the money.
In many situations, deep cycle batteries in the 80-120 Ah range are the best choice as dedicated electric trolling motor batteries - they feature large enough capacity to be able to power most electric trolling motors for ~2 hours at full throttle, preventing large capacity loss due to being quickly discharged. Also, they are relatively compact and they don't weigh too much to be too difficult to be carried around - of course, lithium ion batteries are like feathers when compared with AGMs, for example.
The following chart lists some of the most popular ~100Ah batteries with their most important features and specifications.
|Model||Battery Type||Goup Size||Cell Type||Ah||CCA||MCA||RC||Weight (lbs/kg)|
|AIMS 12V 100Ah AGM||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||100||-||-||180+||70.5 lbs; 31.9 kg|
|AIMS 12V 100Ah LiFePO4||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||30.2 lbs; 13.7 kg|
|Battle Born 100Ah 12V LiFePO4 Battery||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||29 lbs; 13.2 kg|
|Bioenno Power BLF-12100WS||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||28.1 lbs; 12.8 kg|
|Exide XMC-31||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||100||925||1110||200||68 lbs; 31 kg|
|ExpertPower EP12100||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||29.7 lbs; 13.5 kg|
|ExpertPower EXP100||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||100||-||-||-||63.94 lbs; 30 kg|
|GreenLiFE GL100||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||240||28 lbs; 12.7 kg|
|Lifeline GPL-31T||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||105||600||750||195||69 lbs; 31.5 kg|
|Lifeline GPL-31XT||Deep Cyle||31||AGM||125||650||800||230||74 lbs; 33.5 kg|
|Miady LFP100AH||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||28.9 lbs; 13.1 kg|
|Mighty Max ML100-12 AGM||Deep Cycle||27||AGM||100||-||-||-||63.9 lbs; 29 kg|
|Mighty Max ML100-12Li||Deep Cycle||30H||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||29.5 lbs; 13.4 kg|
|Mighty Max ML110-12 AGM||Deep Cycle||30H||AGM||110||-||-||-||63.9 lbs; 29 kg|
|NorthStar ELT-AGM31||Dual Purpose||31||AGM||100||925||1050||190||65.7 lbs; 29.8 kg|
|NorthStar NSB-AGM31M||Dual Purpose||31||AGM||103||1150||1370||220||75 lbs; 34 kg|
|Odyssey 31M-PC2150||Dual Purpose||31||AGM||100||1150||1370||205||77.8 lbs; 35.3 kg|
|Powermall LFP12100||Deep Cycle||27||AGM||100||-||-||-||58 lbs; 26.3 kg|
|POWERSTAR Group 27 12V 100Ah||Deep Cycle||27||AGM||104||-||-||180+||66.1 lbs; 30.0 kg|
|Renogy RBT100LFP12S-G1||Deep Cycle||27||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||26 lbs; 11.8 kg|
|Renogy RNG-BATT-AGM12-100||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||104||-||-||180+||66.1 lbs; 30 kg|
|Renogy RNG-BATT-GEL12-100||Deep Cycle||31||Gel||100||-||-||~180||63.9 lbs; 29 kg|
|RUIXU RX-LFP-4S-100B||Deep Cycle||-||LiFePO4||100||-||-||~240||33.1 lbs; 15 kg|
|Trojan SCS150||Deep Cycle||24||Flooded Cell||100||530||650||150||50 lbs; 22.6 kg|
|Trojan T31||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||100||600||720||177||69 lbs; 31.5 kg|
|UPG UB121000||Deep Cycle||27||AGM||100||-||-||-||64 lbs; 29 kg|
|UPG UB121100||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||110||-||-||-||65.7 lbs; 29.8 kg|
|VMAXTANKS SLR125||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||125||-||-||260||75 lbs; 34 kg|
|VMAXTANKS MR127-100||Deep Cycle||27||AGM||100||-||800||200||68 lbs; 30.8 kg|
|VMAXTANKS MR137-120||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||120||-||900||230||75 lbs; 34 kg|
|VMAXTANKS XTR27-110||Deep Cycle||27||AGM||110||660||880||220||68 lbs; 30.8 kg|
|Weize LFP12100 AGM||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||100||-||-||-||60 lbs; 27.2 kg|
|Weize LFP12100 Gel||Deep Cycle||31||Gel||100||-||-||-||67 lbs; 30.4 kg|
|WindyNation BAT-NSAP12-100||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||106||-||-||~180||67 lbs; 30.4 kg|
|XS Power XP3000||Deep Cycle||31||AGM||120||-||-||240||73 lbs; 33.1 kg|
Note: Amazon affiliate links in the chart open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices.
Many 100Ah batteries, even if designed as deep cycle batteries are able to provide strong currents and may be even be used as starting/cranking batteries for small(er) gas and diesel engines - just be sure to check CCA/MCA values of your battery and required starting Amps of your engine.
Note: CCA/MCA values are given for the new, fully charged battery - older, almost discharged battery can't provide the same levels of power like the new, fully charged one. So, if you have single battery electric system on your boat and you need your battery for starting your engine as well, don't discharge it below 50-60% DoD (battery and engine dependent, of course) and be sure to carry around a fully loaded lithium jump starter - they are lightweight, compact, cheap, reliable units and can be of huge help!
24V and 36V Deep Cycle Trolling Motor Battery - An Example
If you have a 24 volts trolling motor with the maximum current of 50 Amps and 60 Amps circuit breaker, and you need a battery or battery pack that is independent from boat's electric system, the best choice is to get two exactly the same batteries and connect them in series to get 24 volts battery system. Similarly, if you have 36 volts electric trolling motor, that would require three batteries connected in series.
Another requirement is at least 2 hours of trolling at half throttle (25 Amps) with occasional full throttle (50 Amps) use when and if required, and that the battery is rugged, reliable and tough as much as possible.
First of all, you need two 12 V batteries connected in series - when connecting the batteries, be sure to use thick cables and to use the same batteries (AGM, Gel, flooded, lithium ion etc) of the same manufacturer of the same model, preferably of the same age and batch.
This way one can be pretty sure that the batteries feature more or less same performances (capacity being the most important one here).
In this case, you need two batteries with RC value of at least 120 minutes, and with some power reserve, this means RC of at least 150 minutes, preferably 170 or more minutes.
If money is not of an issue, then IMHO the best choice is a pair of Odyssey 31M-PC2150 Marine Dual Purpose Batteries - BCI Group 31, AGM SLA 12 volts battery featuring nominal capacity of 100 Ah, 205(!) minutes RC, 1370(!) MCA and 2150 Amps 5s pulse.
It can withstand 400 cycles down to 20% of its capacity and is extremely rugged and can operate even at very low temperatures. But, it comes with very nice price tag, especially if you need a pair of them :)
Slightly cheaper choice are a pair of Optima D31M BlueTop batteries, featuring 75 Ah nominal capacity and 155 minutes RC.
Optima D31M BlueTop are dual purpose AGM SLA batteries that are also very vibration resistant and can tolerate large number of deep discharge cycles.
If the user wishes some cheaper solution, using reliable batteries that feature 'just' 1-year warranty, then the best choice is probably a pair of UPG UB121000 Deep Cycle AGM Batteries, featuring 100 Ah capacity and RC value of ~170 minutes.
A pair of these batteries often costs like a single Optima D31M and less than a single Odyssey 31M-PC2150 battery.
Note: it is also possible to use a pair of lithium 'drop-in' replacement batteries - this can be very costly, but saved weight can be used for supplies and other fishing/camping/outdoors gear. However, connecting lithium trolling motor batteries in series or parallel should be done only if it is allowed by their manufacturer - lithium ion batteries feature Battery Management Systems (BMS) that protect the batteries from unwanted conditions and they may act erratically if connected in the manners not recommended by their manufacturers.
Lithium drop-in replacements without BMSs? Stay away from them ...
Note: 'power reserve' or 'energy reserve' - never underestimate Mother Nature and what she can throw at you (winds, currents, rain etc.). So, having some extra power (stronger electric trolling motor) with some reserve energy (larger battery or larger battery pack) is good to have - just in case ...
For electric system requiring even higher voltages, more batteries should be connected in series, just don't forget that the higher the voltage, the higher the danger from electric shock..
The Best Kayak Trolling Motor Battery
Kayak trolling motors are usually small electric trolling motors with rarely more than 30 pounds of thrust. Picking the right lightweight battery that will be used as a small trolling motor battery is mostly limited by the allowed weight of such battery.
For example, if your battery must be lighter than 10-15 kg, then possible models include batteries like:
- Battle Born 100 Ah 12 Volt LiFePO4, 13.2 kg, 100 Ah, RC unknown, but probably RC>180 min,
- Mighty Max ML35-12 Battery, ~9.6 kg, 35 Ah, ? RC,
- Odyssey PC680 Battery, 7 kg, 16 Ah, 24 minutes RC,
- VMAXTANKS V30-800 Battery, 10 kg, 30 Ah, 55 min RC,
- VMAXTANKS V35-857 Battery, 11.3 kg, 35 Ah, 75 min RC.
There are many other similar batteries on the market, so choose according to your needs and personal preferences.
Note: lithium batteries are expensive initially, but since they can be recharged almost 10x more than AGM SLA batteries, in the long run, they are actually cheaper than AGM SLA batteries. And they can save You a lot of weight ...
The following chart lists some of the most popular deep cycle lithium batteries, suitable for use as kayak trolling motor battery:
|Model||Battery Type||Group Size||Cell Type||Capacity (Ah)||CCA||MCA||RC||Weight (lbs/kg)|
|AIMS Power LFP12V100A||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||30.2 lbs; 13.7 kg|
|Battle Born 100Ah 12V LiFePO4 Battery||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||29 lbs; 13.2 kg|
|Bioenno Power BLF-12100WS||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||28.1 lbs; 12.8 kg|
|Eastup 1250750||Dual Purpose||-||LiFePO4||50||750||930||-||15.43 lbs; ~7.0 kg|
|ExpertPower EP12100||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||29.7 lbs; 13.5 kg|
|GreenLiFE GL50-50AH||Deep Cycle||21||LiFePO4||50||-||-||120 min||15 lbs; 6.8 kg|
|GreenLiFE GL80-80AH||Deep Cycle||27||LiFePO4||80||-||-||190 min||28 lbs; 12.8 kg|
|GreenLiFE GL100-100AH||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||240 min||31 lbs; 14 kg|
|GreenLiFE GL260-260AH||Deep Cycle||8D||LiFePO4||260||-||-||620 min||80 lbs; 36.24 kg|
|Miady LFP100AH||Deep Cycle||31||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||28.9 lbs; 13.1 kg|
|Mighty Max ML100-12Li||Deep Cycle||30H||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||29.54 lbs; 13.4 kg|
|Renogy RNG-BATT-LFP12-50||Deep Cycle||-||LiFePO4||50||-||-||-||14.77 lbs; 6.7 kg|
|Renogy RNG-BATT-LFP12-100||Deep Cycle||-||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||28.1 lbs; 12.73 kg|
|Renogy RBT100LFP12S-G1||Deep Cycle||-||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||26 lbs; 11.8 kg|
|Renogy RNG-BATT-LFP12-170||Deep Cycle||-||LiFePO4||170||-||-||-||46.3 lbs; 20.97 kg|
|RUIXU RX-LFP-4S-100B||Deep Cycle||-||LiFePO4||100||-||-||-||33.1 lbs; 15 kg|
Note: Amazon affiliate links open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date prices and offers.
On average, 100Ah lithium battery weighs ~30 pounds (~13.6 kg), and are able to provide, for example, 20 Amps for almost 5 hours. They can also be recharged faster than lead-acid batteries, but they can be also charged with lithium solar/wind chargers throughout the day and be used for powering not only of the kayak trolling motor, but also for powering other systems like navigation lights, GPS, fish finder, etc.
And with ocean-going fishing kayaks becoming more and more popular, demand for lightweight, high-capacity lithium batteries is increasing.
For more about this topic, feel free to check our The Best Kayak Trolling Motor Battery article.
Long Story Short: Deep cycle trolling batteries, dual purpose batteries and starting batteries will do their job well, if used properly - if possible, don't use starting batteries as trolling motor batteries, but if you do, don't discharge them below 50% DoD.
When picking the right battery, be sure to choose according to your own needs and requirements.
Don't misuse or abuse your batteries, or they will abandon you when you need them most ... 'Murphy's Laws' at their finest!