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How to Rig & Charge a 24-Volt Trolling Motor

by Will Charpentier
Batteries to start an outboard can be wired through your 24-volt trolling motor.

Batteries to start an outboard can be wired through your 24-volt trolling motor.

“Keep It Simple, Stupid” are the watchwords of those who spend their lives on the water. It should be yours, too, when you rig and wire a 24-volt trolling motor. A battery box near the trolling motor takes up valuable space on a boat. When you figure you need a second battery box for the battery to start your outboard, it only makes sense to put all the batteries in one box all the way at the front, where fishing space isn’t at a premium. Once you mount the new battery box in your boat and load all three 12-volt batteries into it, the fun starts.

1.

Attach the trolling motor to the front of the boat. Most non-OEM trolling motors either bolt to the deck or use a screw clamp of some sort. Use your fingers to remove the nuts from the posts of a 50-amp manual reset circuit breaker. Don safety glasses.

2.

Place the ring terminal of the trolling motor's red wire over the post of the 50A manual-reset circuit breaker and tighten the circuit breaker's nut snugly. Cut a jumper wire, using wire cutters. The jumper must be the same gauge as the motor wire and long enough to reach from the 50A breaker to the positive post – marked with a “plus” sign – of the battery nearest the trolling motor. Strip 1/ 2 inch of insulation from both ends of the jumper wire, using a wire stripper. Crimp a ring terminal on both ends of the wire.

3.

Place one of the jumper’s ring terminals over the unoccupied post of the 50A circuit breaker. Remove the nut from the positive post of the battery nearest the trolling motor, using a 3/8-inch open-end wrench. Place the jumper's other ring terminal over the positive battery post. Secure it to the battery with the battery nut

4.

Cut two more jumper wires, one long enough to reach from the negative post – marked with a “minus” sign -- of the battery nearest the trolling motor to the positive post of the battery in the center of the battery box. Cut the other long enough to reach between the negative posts of the battery nearest the motor and the outboard starter motor. Strip the ends of both wires and crimp ring terminals onto all four ends.

5.

Remove the nut from the negative battery post of the outboard starting battery, using a 7/16-inch open-end wrench. Remove the outboard’s ground wire from the battery post. Place the ring terminal of the longest jumper over the post. Place the outboard’s ground wire over the post. Return the nut to the post and tighten the nut snugly.

6.

Remove the nut from the negative post of the center battery. Place the remaining ring terminal of the longest jumper over the negative battery post of the center battery.

7.

Place the black wire from the trolling motor over the negative post of the center battery. Thread the nut back onto the negative post, tighten it snugly and you’re ready to troll.

Items you will need

  • Safety glasses
  • Jumper wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire stripper
  • 3/8-inch open-end wrench
  • 7/16-inch open-end wrench

Warning

  • Don't smoke when working with or around batteries.

About the Author

Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.

Photo Credits

  • Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images