Battery For Trolling Motors

Thread starter #1
Currently, I have a MinKota 40 which seems to work well for me.

The problem I have is the battery. I have seen some postings in other areas that mentioned what type of battery is used but I thought it would be helpful if we started a dedicated thread.

I am presently using a deep cell marine battery that is usually hooked up to my sump pump in the basement in case the electricity fails. While it sits in my basement, it is constantly being charged so I always have a full charge when I go sailing. I use the motor all of 3-5 minutes when I sail for the entire day just to get to and from the dock as it provides better control.

Here is my problem: The darn things weighs over 50 pounds and even though I tie it down at the stern of the boat, if I capsize, I doubt I'll be able to save it never mind the potential damage to my boat and not to mention it can't be good for the lake either. Add to that the pain in the ass factor of lugging the thing to and from and you can see why I bitch and moan.

I know there are alternatives out there that can give me the power I need for the short time I use it without the weight and potential hazards.

Please respond with your solutions and provide whatever information you can on this subject for current and future sailors.

Thanks in advance,

Installing the battery in the cuddy?

On a related thread, I called Catalina Yachts yesterday to see if they had any suggestions for where it would be best to install a motor battery. I spoke with a technician who said it might make sense to install the battery mount in the cuddy and then run wires from the battery to the motor at the stern.

He told me that one way to run the wires would be to carefully remove the cuddy. I don't feel very comfortable doing this so I was wondering if it may be possible to fish a wire from the cuddy area to the stern without removing the cuddy. We would just drill a hole through the back wall of the cuddy and drill another hole by the transom and fish a wire through.

This looks like it may become a pain. I am still considering buying a small outboard instead, but I have a question about shaft length. I'll post that on on a different thread.

Good luck!
Battery Use and Location

First, I have a marine battery in the cubby area with extended wires back to the transum. I keep them clipped to the floor and out of the way while sailing. That heavy battery in the forward area seems to help balance the boat better as well. It stays on the boat at all times until I need to haul it up to the house for a charge (about 2 or 3 months)

Here is an option that I have found very useful as well as a backup:

I am, on clear nights, a star gazer. My scope uses either batteries or can be hooked up to a 12V source to run it's electronics.

Go on to and find the link for power supplies. I use this combination flashlight/power source on the boat since as a backup as it only takes a few minutes worth of power to launch and re-dock and this unit provides more than enough amp hours for that.

Also, it's VERY light and portable and provides a good light should you be coming in after dark as I do once in a while.

There are many types out there and run anywhere from $50 to $90.00 depending on the amp hours.

Nearly any telescope supplier will have an accessories section where these goodies may be found.

Good luck.
Battery Information

I found a very good web site for battery information. The site is In the tutorial section it explains a lot about the different types of batterys and care for them. I hope you find this interesting.

Roger Lohrey
Battery Mounting and Charging Idea

I saw a Model 3 last week that had the battery mounted on a board that was fiberglassed to the hull in behind the hatch. It was held firmly by a strap with an adjustable buckle. Leads were run from the battery, aft inside the coaming area down the port side to a waterproof, recessed recepticle mounted in the coaming that receives either the leads from the charger or the trolling motor. (You plug in either the motor or the charger.) No loose wires to worry about. I don't use a trolling motor, but I thought it a pretty slick idea. :cool:
Thread starter #6
Alternative batterys

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. These seem like helpful hints for the 50+lb battery I already have.

I'm looking for an alternative battery. Something that is not so big and heavy. Would a motorcycle battery do the trick? Or something that size, like a riding mower battery. Something that gives me the performance to run the motor but not the bulk. I know that it will not last as long on a charge but like I said, I only need it for 5 or 10 minutes each time out.

I was hoping someone out there has had experience with what works and what doesn't work. Any other ideas


bigsky said:
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. These seem like helpful hints for the 50+lb battery I already have.

I'm looking for an alternative battery. Something that is not so big and heavy. Would a motorcycle battery do the trick? Or something that size, like a riding mower battery. Something that gives me the performance to run the motor but not the bulk. I know that it will not last as long on a charge but like I said, I only need it for 5 or 10 minutes each time out.

I was hoping someone out there has had experience with what works and what doesn't work. Any other ideas


Hello Big Sky!
With all due respect for your needs, it seems like you want to have your cake and eat it too! (Don't we all?) I can tell you straight away that trying to use a lawn tractor battery or motorcycle battery is extremely risky. They are not designed for a constant heavy load over time. They are for a quick burst of energy i.e. starting and then they require a length of time for self recovery and/or charging for the next demand for a heavy load. Think about how long you can continuously crank your car engine before the battery goes dead?
You might contact someone like Interstate Batteries or Minn Kota directly and talk to someone in their customer service department. There are so many factors you need to consider in trying to find the perfect balance, if there is one!
If you do find the "perfect balance", that would be great, but keep a paddle handy anyway! Sorry I can't help more. Good luck and fair winds, Big Sky! :D
Saw some batteries at Wal-mart that might be of interest. They were re-chargable ones for the little kids cars. Several sizes were available so might find one to power a trolling motor.

Battery Information

After I did a lot of research here is what I did:

I purchased a deep cycle marine gel battery from Batteries Plus (that way it won’t hurt the environment). You can purchase online or they have stores all over the place. The battery is relatively small (less than half the size of a car battery) and weighs about 25lbs instead of the 50lbs you were talking about.

I purchased a plastic battery case with a strap which I secure over the rear hiking strap at the stern. I just connect the wires and I am ready to go. The battery never gets in the way because with it being up against the stern, you can't sit there anyway and still use the tiller.

I can also attest that as long as you secure the strap tightly when / if you capsize, the battery stays attached to the boat and does not sink to the bottom.
Bigsky! I cant believe all these responses to your question !!

I asked last month for advice on location of my battery, and received ZILCH, NADA, BUPKES, for response. Now, they are tearing the walls down to get to you.

I have a "new" 1999 14.2. Here is what I did - it is something else to consider: I had my dealer here install my marine deep cell battery forward. They ran wires back to a plug fitting on the gunwale just forward of the transom. Like you, I seldom use the motor, but I leave the battery on the boat. So, I bought a small ($10) solar panel off eBay, and had my dealer put a matching plug fitting on the pigtail from the solar panel, so that I can plug it in when I leave the boat.

The weight was too much in the stern. Even with my little 30-lb-thrust [smallest] Minn Kota tilted all the way up, my prop was still in the water, and I only weigh 150 lbs.

I had another problem that I am hoping I have cured. With the motor tilted so far up, every time I tacked, I got the sheet/traveler tangled on the motor handle, sometimes TURNING THE MOTOR ON! At least I can now unplug the motor from the battery. Well, I start serious (daily) sailing of her Tuesday, after the drunk stinkpotters are off the lake.

Good luck - let us know what you decide, and how it works out. George


New Member
Thanks for the havy battery

If it was not for the fact that my brand new, just out of the box, electrical motor was connected directly to a heavy battery using wing nuts, I would have lost it. As some of you might have experienced, the main sheet or traveler got stuck under the control handle and first thing I knew my motor was playing in the water behind the boat. It really slows down the boat but heart beat races up.

I stored it in the cuddy for the remain of the day and did not have a chance to study the matter any fhurter, but any suggestion is welcome as how to leave it on the transom whail sailing without any risk of loosing it.

Also I am thinking of adding a cleat on the inside of the transom, between the rudder brackets, to secure the motor or to use for docking. Does any one know if it safe for the structure to do so in that location?



New Member

I havew a mod 1 with the old style cutty you can get in and out of. When we bought her last year she had a deep discharge marine style battery stored up there and a base and bracket are there to secure the motor when put inside a plastic case made for that purpose. Then, as described in a previous post, it is wired inside the bench seat to an outlet at the stern. They even gave me a plug with two terminal on it to easily charge the battery.

I tried buying a Garelick motor mount to take care of the line fouling problem by extending the motor back 8 inches. Alas the brackets are to big to fit above where the seat is. See my longer post on the motor mounting thread near this one.

Craig Foster
Thread starter #14
Hey COCatalina


Thanks for your post, I had sent you an e-mail to this sight a week or two ago, not sure if you have looked at it but I'll ask it hear for all to see.

It seems that you have the solution I'm looking for. I have a mod 2 and I'm not interested in cutting out the cuddy and/or running lines, etc.. I just need a smaller, lighter battery that I can safely secure to the boat.

There are so many battery's out there, can you provide me with the specs of your 12V? I guess all I need are the amps which, from what I understand, will control the legnth of time I can operate the motor at full stregnth. Are there any other specs that I need to know (other than volts and amps)? Also, it seems that gel is the way to go. Why is that?

Also, it sounds like you have a good system to secure it to your boat. Any chance of seeing a picture or two of that?

You can post reply with pictures or e-mail me at

Thanks in advance,

Battery Thoughts

I have a small marine battery that sits in the cuddy and I run wires back to the electric motor. I often take a night cruise even without wind and so in the dark, I use my spot light.

The light is also a rechargable power source from Orion Telescopes called the "Dynamo". Maybe it can be found on or something like that. It puts out 12 volts and 10 amp so my little motor runs very well when I use it.

Often, when my regular battery has been in use and I'm not sure how much more running time there is on it, I take my Orion Dynamo as a back up. If you don't use the motor much this could easily be your only battery. It even has a light on it to let you know it's getting low and needs to be recharged. Just take it inside and plug it into the wall.

I am not employed by or associated with the Orion folks but I have had good success with this unit. It's about 3 years old so they may have a much nicer and more powerful Dynamo out now.

That's the latest.
Be careful trailering with battery in the cuddy!

I would be careful trailering a C14 with the battery in the cuddy.

See this link Capri 14.2 National Association > Capri 14 Forum > Capri/Catalina 14 Talk
Trailer Info.

For a description of what I did to alleviate my concern for the lack of hull support while on the trailer.

The pictures of the swivel bunks seem to be gone. Let me know if there is interested and I will see if I can post again.

I too love the trolling motor, but I absolutely hate the battery due to:
Weight mostly and what happens when I capsize. What I used to do was to put the battery, in a plastic case strapped to the hiking strap in the stern. I never capsized but I believe that the battery would do some damage to the C14 or bodies that got in the way.

I was lucky enough to find a 3.3 HP engine that works great. It weighs about 30LBS if my memory is correct. It has it's own issues though- noisy, vibrations, gas, maintenance. I do not sail regulary so if I do not run it out of gas or drain it the gas just sits in there. bad! Another issue is that most of the lakes nearby do not allow gas engines.

The last couple of times that I went out I took no motor or engine. I felt free!! This is ok if you have 2 people. One hangs off of the bow and paddles, the other can steer with the tiller.

I am not an expert on batteries, but I think that it would be best to leave the cuddy open when charging for ventilation.