Deep Cycle Battery Selection and Recommendations

The battery is a critical element of your electric motor system. A high-quality deep cycle marine battery should always be used. Unlike automobile batteries, deep cycle marine batteries are designed to be run down to a discharged state and then recharged. Note: To extend the life of your battery, always recharge after use. Most trolling motor batteries fail due to lack of proper charging.

Click here for more information on battery selection and power issues.

Battery Recommendations

We suggest selecting a 12 volt deep cycle marine battery with at least a 110 amp hour rating, usually a group 27 size battery. The higher the amp-hour rating, the more run time you will receive. If an amp hour rating is not available, select a deep cycle battery with a minimum of 180 minutes reserve capacity. Note: A starting battery is not suitable for use with an electric trolling motor. Starting batteries are rated in cold cranking amps (CCA)or Marine Cranking Amps (MCA); both ratings have no relevance to deep cycle performance.

Using a 12-volt Battery for a 24-volt Motor

While it is not recommended and depending on the model of motor, you can run a 24-volt motor off of a 12-volt battery. For a cable steer or hand-controlled model this will not hurt the motor, but it will considerably affect the performance of the motor. However, an electric steer motor, such as, the PowerDrive, Terrova, or Ulterra cannot be used on lower voltages. 24/36V Terrova, Ulterra, and Ultrex will not even power on at below 18 volts.

Lithium Ion Batteries

The LiFePO4 Lithium batteries can be used with our motor. When using lithium batteries, you want to ensure the battery(s) provide(s) enough continuous discharge amperage to run the motor at its max amp draw. The chart below shows the max amp draw by motor thrust. If the motor is not getting enough amperage, it will have issues including working for a short time and then shutting off, being able to turn on the motor but not turn on the prop, steering issues, issues with i-Pilot and i-Pilot Link such as Spot Lock not working or being erratic. If you are having any issues with your motor and you are using Lithium batteries, verify you have enough continuous amperage available for the motor to pull its max amp draw.

Lithium Ion Battery Power Output

Lithium Batteries maintain higher voltages for longer. Motors engineered to make the most of flooded lead acid batteries can be damaged by the higher power output. To prevent this damage when using Lithium batteries you should not run your motor at its highest speeds, staying at 85%/Speed 8.5 or lower.

Battery Life

The length of time your batteries will last can vary based upon battery amp hour rating, boat size and weather conditions. Generally, you should get a typical day of fishing on a single charge. We suggest selecting a 12 volt deep cycle marine battery with at least a 110 amp hour rating. You can use the chart below and this formula for determining Estimated Runtime.
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Selecting the correct type of battery to run a Minn Kota Trolling Motor

For more information review these instructions on Selecting the Correct Batteries, click on the guide or watch the video below.

A Minn Kota trolling motor will operate with a lead acid or lithium deep cycle marine 12-volt battery/batteries. For best results, use a deep cycle, marine battery with at least a 110-ampere hour rating.

Advice Regarding Batteries

  1. Never connect the (+) and the (-) terminals of the same battery together. Take care that no metal object can fall onto the battery and short the terminals. This would immediately lead to a short and extreme fire danger.
  2. It is highly recommended that a circuit breaker or fuse be used when installing a trolling motor. Refer to the Minn Kota “Conductor Gauge and Circuit Breaker Sizing Table”. For motors requiring a 60-amp breaker, the Minn Kota MKR-19 60-amp circuit breaker is recommended.
  3. Batteries should be stored and maintained at full charge. Failure to recharge lead-acid batteries (within 12-24 hours) is the leading cause of premature battery failure. Minn Kota offers a wide selection of chargers to fit your needs and application.
  4. If using a crank battery to start a gasoline outboard, we recommend that you use separate deep cycle marine battery/batteries for your Minn Kota trolling motor.


  1. For safety reasons do not switch the motor on until the propeller is in the water. If installing a lead wire plug, observe proper polarity and follow instructions in your boat owner’s manual.
  2. For safety reasons, disconnect the motor from the battery or batteries when the motor is not in use or while the battery/batteries are being charged.
  3. Improper wiring of 24/36/48-volt systems could cause battery explosion!
  4. Keep all battery post connections tight to the battery terminals.
  5. Install battery in a ventilated compartment.

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