Keeping Up with Your Boat’s Accessories

As an Authorized Service Center for Johnson Outdoors Minn Kota Trolling Motors, Talon Shallow Water Anchor System, and Cannon Downrigger Products we see all kinds of accessory issues.

Trolling motors that are brought in for repair and service; whether 12v, 24v or 36v, seem to have a common denominator among the whole group of them. The compliant or problem is usually expressed as running intermittently or the trolling motor speeds are slower than usual. Also common is the unit not responding to the remote control.

Battery configuration, connections and using the correct charger/maintainer are all factors for correct operation.

1). Voltage dropping below specification will affect remotes, speed and duration of use.

2). Connections - loose, dirty or corroded - at the batteries or at the plug, will all produce intermittent operation, lower speeds, and can cause voltage spikes that could fail the circuit board in the head unit.

3). A failed or shorted battery in a bank of batteries can make it appear that all the batteries are failed. To discover the true source of the problem, each should be inspected independently.

4). The correct size wire based on the length of cable from the batteries to the plug will also determine the life and effectiveness of your trolling motor. Eight gauge cable is preferred.

5). Wet cell batteries have an expected service life of about 24 to 30 months.

6). Use deep-cycle batteries for all trolling motors due to the slow release of energy and the slow recharge rate. Gel cell batteries can be very effective and have great durability but, they do cost more.

7). Make sure the charger selected is for gel cell or wet cell and that it is on the correct setting. Leaving a charger or maintainer plugged in 24/7 for long periods and unattended should be avoided.

8). The last and most important reason for failure is that the trolling motor is mounted incorrectly or the head is subjected to severe bouncing and jarring from waves while underway. A quick-detach mount is the best defense here, allowing the trolling motor to be removed and carried on an additional mount located in the rear of the boat for a smother ride. With the pull of a pin it can be moved back to the bow. At minimum, (if the trolling motor is to be left on the bow bracket), a sturdy strap secured to the deck and wrapped around the shaft near the control head can eliminate a lot of potential damage.

Have a great winter fishing season!

Chris Mapp

Coastal Bend Marine
Port OConnor TX
361 983 4841