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When you’re looking for a charger for trolling motor batteries you’ll probably find that you’re faced with many different options, which can make the decision particularly difficult.
But to make the choice simpler we’ve put together some information that you might find helpful when you choose your next charger. We’ll check out the various types of chargers as well as some of things you might want to look out for .
Top Picks: At A Glance
- Minn Kota On-Board Digital Charger
- Noco Genius2 2-Amp Smart Precision Charger
- Optima Digital 400 12-Volt Charger
7 Best Trolling Motor Battery Chargers
1: Minn Kota On-Board Digital Charger (best on-board charger)
The Minn Kota On-Board Digital Charger can be a great option if you want to be able to take your charger with you on your kayak or small boat. However, it can be a little heavy and large (17 ¼ by 6 ½ inches) so may not be ideal if your on board storage areas are limited.
- Waterproof – These chargers are designed to be waterproof, shock-resistant and vibration resistant so that they can handle the conditions aboard your boat.
- Types Of Batteries – Designed to work with AGM, wet cell and maintenance free batteries. Compatible with systems from 12 volts up to 48 volts using 12 volt/6 cell batteries.
- Digital – The charger features microprocessors to help deliver the correct amount of charge to your battery. This means it won’t overcharge or undercharge your battery, which can help maintain the longevity of your battery. It also features automatic multi-stage charging depending on the level of charge your battery has, including a trickle charge to keep the battery maintained during periods where you’re not using it.
- LED Display – These LED lights can let you see where your battery is in the charging process, so you know when it’s full or if even there’s a connection issue.
- 3 Banks – This charger benefits from having three banks so it can charge three different batteries at the same time, making it great for three-battery trolling motor systems or if you have other gadgets you need to keep charged on the water. Each bank can deliver 10 amps.
2: Noco Genius2 2-Amp Smart Precision Charger (best precision charger)
The Noco Genius2 is a smart precision charger that can be ideal for a range of batteries including 6 volt and 12 volt batteries. Its compact size, being just 6 inches in length, can make it a good choice for using where space is limited.
- Built-In Thermal Sensor – This helps to deliver precision charging, altering the level of charge in both hot and cold temperatures so that the battery can still be charged to its full capacity.
- Auto-Detection Feature – The charger can automatically detect sulfation and acid stratification. It’s also designed to repair and reverse damage to bring dead batteries back to life.
- Maintenance – It’s also designed to maintain batteries, delivering a trickle charge when needed so that you can prevent the battery from draining if it’s not in use for a long period of time.
- Multi-Voltage – the charger benefits from being able to detect the type and voltage of battery. This can automatically identify the battery and can be used on a variety of types of batteries, including lithium ion batteries, AGM, wet-cell and deep cycle batteries.
3: Optima Digital 400 12-volt Charger (best digital charger)
This Optima Digital 400 charger is designed to work with 12 volt batteries, including deep-cycle marine batteries, wet cell and AGM batteries. It’s a compact size measuring just over 8 inches so it can be easily stored on board boats or in your vehicle.
- LED Display – The handy LED lights and LCD display can let you select your battery type and see when it’s fully charged.
- Built-In Battery Health Mode – This can automatically detect the health of your battery and can maximize its lifespan, delivering a trickle charge automatically as needed when the battery is not in use. It can also deliver as low as 1.25 amps to restart a dead battery.
- One Bank – This compact charger has one bank so you can only charge one battery at a time but can be ideal for trolling motor systems that use only one battery. The bank has an output of 4 amps.
4: Duravolt 20 Watt 1.0 Amp Solar Battery Charger (best solar charger)
The Duravolt 20 Watt solar charger can be a great way to charge your battery while on the go. The solar panel comes with four mounting holes around the frame so that you can easily mount it to a flat surface on your boat.
- Low Profile – The solar panel measures 14 by 16 inches and is just ¼ inch thick so it shouldn’t take up much room on your vessel if you install it on a flat area of your deck.
- Waterproof – The charger is designed to be waterproof so that it can withstand rain and splashes. It’s also built to be durable and may be able to withstand some light impact, such as from gear bags being placed on top of it, for example.
- Solar Power – The durable solar panel comes with everything you need to be able to connect the charger to a 12 volt battery, harnessing the power of the sun. The level of charge it can deliver will depend on how much sunlight there is, which may be significantly less in the darker winter months or on cloudy days.
- Trickle Charge – The charger can also be used to deliver a trickle charge to your battery. However this is not automatic and won’t necessarily adjust the level of charge to correspond with the level your battery needs.
5: Minn Kota MK-105P Portable Battery Charger (best portable charger)
This Minn Kota MK-105P is a portable battery charger that has one bank and can be ideal for charging your battery while out and about. It’s lightweight and compact, making it a good choice for small spaces and storage areas onboard your craft.
- Smart Charging – The charger is designed to optimize battery life and prevent short circuits. Its built-in technology means that your battery won’t be undercharged or overcharged. It’s also built to prevent malfunctions from incorrect connections.
- LED Lights – The lights let you know when the battery is fully charged and that it’s connected correctly.
- One Bank – This charger has one bank that can deliver 5 amps, making it convenient for one-battery trolling motor systems.
- Carry Handle – The Minn Kota MK-105P has a useful molded carrying handle so that it’s easier to move from place to place. The charger measures 8 by 8 by 7 inches so it’s compact and easy to carry.
6: Adpow 5 Amp 12 Volt Smart Battery Charger (best budget charger)
The Adpow smart battery charger can be a good option if you want to stick to a budget. It’s designed to work with 12 volt batteries and can deliver 5 amps through one bank.
- Water Resistant – The battery charger is sealed to prevent water and dust from getting into the mechanics.
- 7 Stage Smart Charging – The smart battery charging features desulfation and float stages, as well as being able to detect when the battery has been fully charged to avoid overcharging.
- Portable – The charger is lightweight and easy to carry. It measures just 9 by 4 inches.
- LED Indicator – The LED lights let you keep an eye on the status of your battery, as well as if there’s a fault in the connection and when the power is on.
7: ProMariner 43021 ProSport 20 Plus
The ProMariner ProSport 20 Plus can be a great choice if your trolling motor set-up uses two or three batteries, as this charger has three banks so that you can charge the batteries simultaneously. It can be used with 12, 24 and 36 volt battery systems.
- Waterproof And Shockproof – The charger is designed to withstand vibrations and is fully sealed for added water resistance.
- On Demand Technology – Designed to automatically distribute the required level of charge across all batteries, using all available charging amps, which means batteries can charge more quickly.
- Illuminated Controls – the control panel features lights to alert you to any problems in the connection with a trouble-shooting panel to let you know if there’s a problem with the battery.
How To Choose A Charger For Your Trolling Motor Battery
Number Of Banks
The number of banks a charger has relates to the number of batteries it can charge at the same time. For example, if your trolling motor requires two batteries, a charger with two banks can be more suitable as this can let you charge both batteries at once.
It can be a good idea to choose a charger with the same number of banks as you have batteries in your trolling motor set-up, as this can be more efficient.
Time To Recover
The time it takes for your battery to charge will usually depend on how many amps your charger can deliver and how large your battery is. A lower amp battery will generally take less time to charge than a battery with a higher amp rating.
Video: How To Select An On-board Battery Charger
Many chargers can charge a battery from empty to full in around 10 to 12 hours but some may be quicker than this. It can be safer to use a battery charger that is compatible with your battery and avoid a charger that has a higher amperage rating than your battery.
Types Of Battery
There are various different batteries that can be used with trolling motors, so the type of charger you need will depend on the type of battery you have.
A lot of the time, trolling motors will use either AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat), gel cell, wet cell and deep cycle batteries. Some may also use lithium-ion batteries but these are usually not as common because they tend to be more expensive.
When you’re choosing your charger, it can be important to choose one that is compatible with your type of battery. Some chargers will be able to work with a variety of battery types, which can be beneficial if you need or want to use the charger to charge more than just your trolling motor.
Types Of Charger
You’ll notice that there are a few different types of charger, with each type suited to a particular purpose. The type you need will usually depend on where you plan to charge your trolling motor battery or how often you want to charge it.
On board chargers can be useful if you have space on your boat to install one. These types of chargers are usually mounted to your vessel so may not be suitable for everyone. There’s also the option of a portable charger, which can be easier to transport as they’re usually lightweight and compact.
Video: How To Install Boat Batteries and Onboard Chargers [36V]
Solar chargers can also be a good idea if you’re looking for an efficient way of charging using the sun’s energy. However, a solar charger may not work as well in winter months when there’s less sunlight and the sun is not as strong.
Many chargers are categorized as smart chargers because they usually have built-in technology that can improve the charging process. This usually means that the charger can prevent the battery from being over or undercharged and can prevent overheating.
A smart charger can usually deliver a more optimum charge, helping to maximize the battery’s overall life. It should also be able to detect the type of battery you’re charging.
You may also notice that some of the battery chargers offer a trickle charge feature. This can be useful in winter months when you’re not using your trolling motor, as the charger can deliver a small amount of charge in order to keep the battery topped up, which can prevent a dead battery when you next go to use it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Hook The Charger Leads To The Battery?
You can use eyelet connectors or clamp connectors to attach the charger leads to the battery. Connect the positive cable on the charger to the positive terminal on the battery.
Are Amps And Volts Important?
Yes, this can be important for both safety and the speed at which your battery can charge. Remember not to use a different voltage of charger than what’s rated on your battery.
The amp rating on the charger should be lower than your battery’s amp rating; roughly 15 to 20% of the battery’s amp rating (for example 15 amp charger for 100 amp battery).
Is It Safe To Charge My Trolling Motor Battery?
Yes, as long as you follow the recommendations or instructions based on your particular battery and charger, making sure that your charger is compatible with your battery.
We think the best trolling motor battery charger is the Minn Kota On-Board Digital Charger. With its three 10 amp banks, it can be useful for keeping three batteries charged at the same time. It also benefits from being waterproof and has a digital display so you can keep an eye on the status of your batteries.
If that’s not for you, a great runner up is the ProMariner ProSport 20 Plus. This three bank charger can automatically distribute the power to the battery that needs it most, for more efficient charging. It also has a clear and easy to use LED display screen for easier trouble-shooting.
Before you jump right in to buy a charger, remember to check that the charger is compatible with your specific type and size of battery. Not all of these chargers will work with all types of batteries.
It can also be worth considering a charger with a higher number of banks if your trolling motor uses more than one battery, as this can make it quicker to charge.