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Author Topic:   24 volt trolling system idea- need feedback
wally910 posted 08-27-2012 04:22 PM ET (US)   Profile for wally910   Send Email to wally910  
I recently purchased a 24 volt trolling motor for my montauk. I have installed a quick disconnect for the motor its self and am now wrestling with the best battery placement. I will not be using the trolling motor all the time, and so I want the batteries to be easily removeable for when I am simply cruising or fishing offshore.

The best idea I have been able to come up with is to use my old cooler to hold the batteries. When in use, I would take the forward cooler out and place the battery cooler in the chocks. The battery cooler would be reinforced with a plywood floor, and I would mount a 24 volt plug in the front side of the cooler. I have not yet decided whether to go with AGM or standard batteries. If I go with standard, I will have to ventilate the cooler. I guess I could vent by using a hole saw bit and drilling a few large holes in the cooler.

Does this sound like something that should be attempted? I guess one other possibility would be to take the cooler out of the picture and simply build a platform for the batteries that would fit in the chocks so that the batteries would be totally exposed.

Any input/alternate ideas would be greatly appreciated.

PATXBill posted 08-27-2012 04:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for PATXBill  Send Email to PATXBill     
The cooler is the way to go. That's exactly what I did with my Outrage 22. I have a 36 volt 101 lb thrust motor. I ran 2 gauge cables through to the stern in the rigging well. I bought a new 94 qt igloo, drilled a hole in the side and mounted a plastic through-hull to run the cables through. Then I reinforced the floor with marine-grade plywood where I mounted 3 optimax trolling batteries. I also built a plywood platform to mount a 3-bank battery charger and drilled another hole in the side for the charger plug-in (mounted just like the through-hull).

Was just talking this past weekend to my buddy who helped me. Told him it was one of the best mods we ever did for the boat. The entire thing is removable for offshore fishing/crusing. Works great for tarpon fishing, fishing the birds, or now freshwater trolling (live on a lake now). Been 6 years and works like a champ. Still on my orginial batteries because of their quality and ease of charging--I just plug it in whenever I get home.

Drop me a note if you want pictures. Boat is at the house, I can snap and send.

prj posted 08-27-2012 05:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
You and Bill are correct, the cooler is the way to go.

I did the same thing with my Outrage-18, using the existing front of console cooler. I simply drilled a small hole to pass the cable through, no reinforcement required for battery bearing. I'm not certain about the requirement for reinforcing the floor, as I doubt you'd lift that cooler in or out of the boat with the batteries installed. I simply pull my batteries out when I change the rigging from bow mounted trolling to other.

Here are some photos of the install, most specifically of the motor but one good shot of the battery configuration.

wally910 posted 08-27-2012 05:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for wally910  Send Email to wally910     
Thanks for the responses!

I noticed that neither of you mentioned venting the cooler. Did you use sealed batteries or am I just overthinking the need for ventilation?

PATXBill posted 08-27-2012 06:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for PATXBill  Send Email to PATXBill     
On the advice of Gulf Coast Trolling Motors in Houston, I didn't worry too much about venting. The through-hull with the cables is not sealed and allows a bit of airflow (not much), and supposedly the Optima batteries are sealed and don't require venting.

I DO vent while charging--just leave the lid open, or if moist/rain, I prop open partialy with a can, block of wood, etc.

Prj is probably right about reinforcing the floor. I reinforced the floor just in case--did quite a bit of beachfront tarpon fishing and it could get choppy, and I felt it gave a more secure mounting for the batteries. Also, it allowed me to mount the charger in a more convenient location. I CAN remove the entire cooler (with help and care, it's HEAVY)as a unit.

Also, be sure to mount a circuit breaker on the inside of the cooler between batteries and motor.

kwik_wurk posted 08-28-2012 01:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for kwik_wurk  Send Email to kwik_wurk     
Given you boat is a Montauk, and space is a premium, especially the forward cooler, I would not use the forward console cooler.

I would go with dual purpose AGM's in the console. Then I would wire the batteries with a selector switch (or reset-able breaker) that enabled in series or in parallel operation. (Running electrical cables would be a little easier too.)

The primary main battery would always be the lower part of the 24 volt circuit (0-12VDC) and serve for engine and electronics.

When you want to enable the 24 circuit, you can simply close a reset-able breaker (or selector switch) to get the upper end of the 24VDC.

In the need of having both batteries in parallel, a switch or breaker.

I can't remember if Blue Sea Systems has a per-configured product for this. But I have seen this installed on a boat for the purpose of running a bow thruster. The configuration was awesome and elegant, 24VDC system was used for docking (batteries in series), then the batteries were returned to 12VDC (in parallel) for house use and charging.

wally910 posted 08-28-2012 02:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for wally910  Send Email to wally910     
Thanks for the suggestion, you make a valid point about space.

I thought about doing what you are saying, but I'm leery of putting my primary battery into my trolling circuit. We have quite a bit of current in the St Johns where I fish and you can flat out drain a 24 volt sytem in a hurry.

I won't be fishing more than 2 in the boat with the trolling motor and so I can easily put an extra cooler in the stern of the boat which is used by the rear fisherman as a casting platform as well.

crabby posted 08-28-2012 06:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for crabby  Send Email to crabby     
Front cooler works nice, try out the Anderson Power Pole plugs mentioned by JimH. Been using the PowerPoles for nearly twenty years in various apps and they are great!

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