Trolling Motor Complete Wiring Guide (2023)


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- In this video I go detail the process to select the proper wiring size/gauge, connectors and circuit breaker to properly and safely wire a trolling motor. The trolling motor I am working with in this video is a Minn Kota Terrova 12v 55lb thrust with I-pilot however the process is sound for all types and models of trolling motors. See below for the specific products used in this video and drop a line in the comments if you found this helpful. Thank you for watching!

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What's up guys for today's video, I'm going to show you how to properly wire a trolling motor from the front of your boat to the battery in the back of your boat overall.

The process is pretty straightforward, but there's a lot of specific things.

You need to account for and do correctly to make sure you're wiring it up safe and effective.

Now, the main thing that you're going to need to take a look at with your trolling motor is what is your distance from the end of your cables from the trolling motor running to your battery, not from the actual trolling motor to your battery.

But from the end of the cables, most trolling motor manufacturers will have some type of chart to tell you what size cable you need to use based on the size of your motor and the distance to the battery.

Now the mistake I made was I only used about 10 gauge wire.

But the recommended size is actually six gauge, which is considerably thicker cable.

Now, the other thing that you want to make sure that you're doing is you're wiring up a breaker in between your positive cable and the trolling motor, if you're a trolling motor for some reason starts taking too much power, you can burn your cable up and cause a fire in your boat that's.

The last thing you want to do so for today's video, I'm going to show you guys how to connect six gauge wire to your trolling too complicated for one.

You want to get yourself a wire stripper that has a crimping section on here, we're going to be using Anderson plugs.

So this comes with two plugs and a set of lugs for each plug you're going to want some heat shrink just to make sure all your connections, stay nice and protected and solid and then you're going to want some type of hot air to do your heat, shrink I'm using this hot air station, you can use a regular heat gun.

First thing I'm going to do is strip back the wires a little bit further.

So we have a good connection in the lugs on both sides.

So when these wire ends get pushed into the housing, the general idea is that they're going to clip into each other like that inside the housing.

So you want to make sure that when you're doing your connectors, you have them both facing the same side when they go into the housing, if you have smaller than six gauge wire, and your connection is loose.

When you push the cap on, you can actually fold the wire down and then press it in to make sure you have a solid connection.

So I'm just going to go ahead.

And twist the end here just make sure we get something nice to crimp onto that's good for these type of connectors we're going to be using the crimp part that has the spike on it.

Here, one a little too hard two all right.

So now we got two good crimps on it.

There that wire is not going anywhere, I'm gonna make sure that both of the connections are facing in the same direction just to make it easier when we put it in the housing, one and there's, two so I'm going to slide the heat shrink over the connector and use our hot air station here and shrink it up all right with all of our connectors heat shrunk onto the cables.

We are good to insert these into the housing and get this end connected up.

So for your housing you're going to have a flat side and a rounded side.

The rounding side is what we're going to consider the top.

If you look at your cable end, there's, a bump, the bump is going to go towards the top so it's noted, positive and negative I want to make sure we do the same on each side so we're going to go ahead and insert our cable lens.

And then once you see the tab come through on the other side, you know, it's good.

And now we have both of them in there.

So now I'm going to go ahead and do the same thing for the other side, listen for the click now therein.

Now you got positive to positive and then I'm going to connect in your wire connection is complete I'm going to go ahead and leave this unconnected we'll rejoin.

These connections.

Once we get our battery cable lens done and the 60 amp, fuse setup.

So now we need to hook up our fuse in line with the positive of the battery.

We have a battery line, that's going to run from the fuse to the battery and then we're going to be having our load line, which is then going to connect up to the cable that's routed from the trolling motor we're, going to be doing four of these connections.

So basically we're going to have one end on either side here.

And then the two going to the positive and negative on the battery itself.

The one thing I did make a mistake with my ordering is I, got my ring size, a little too big.

You can see here so I may put a washer make sure we have a really solid connection.

Here so now I've cut my positive, where I want to do the first connection, make sure that's nice and solid, which it is a good seal on this I, really enjoy this.

Hot air station over a big, bulky heat gun like I was using before super cheap, too.

This thing was like 15 bucks or something like that all right, let's, go ahead and hook these up to the breaker and see how that works all right.


Just gonna use a flat washer the way we know our connection is good.

These are stainless steel washers.

So we should have any issues with that.

Yeah, that's.

Why? The fuse is connected that looks good I'm going to go ahead and connect up the other side doing the same way all right so I just had the zip tied in place here, just to give myself a rough position before I mount this I think this is actually where I'm going to go that way when I lift up the lid, I'll have easy access to reset the breaker if I need to and uh gives me plenty of clearance to do everything else I need.

So this is going to be my cable that is going to go to the positive terminal on the battery now so I'm going to go ahead and get this side cut and put a ring connector on it and then I'm going to do the same thing on the negative terminal.


Now, let's, go ahead and get everything hooked up and try this out I'm going to add this to the negative kill switch terminal.

Now, the positive is going to connect right to the battery.

Just now I will probably switch over to a positive and negative bus bar.

At some point, I just haven't finished my wiring to know how I want to directly route every single wire.

So for now, this is what we're gonna get now to sum.

This might look like A, Rat's, Nest of wires.

But to me, it is a beautiful connection all set up exactly the way it should.

So at this point, all of our wires are set up the last connection we need to make is up by the trolling motor.

First thing I want to do is turn, my kill switch on to make sure that the breaker doesn't immediately pop and make sure we have our connections good so so far so good okay so again turn that off now follow our line so we got positive to the battery coming up to the breaker the breaker is following down here down the side of the boat negative is directly connected to the battery following the line down we have our Anderson connectors up front and if you remember the chart that I referenced in the beginning of the video we have this was a 20 foot cable that I probably cut off about three to four foot so I would say we're closer to the 15 foot Mark which is a about four to six gauge wire so we're using six I think we should be good I'm gonna go ahead and connect up the two cables nice solid connection there now let's go ahead and turn our kill switch on on we got power.

See the switch panel.

Okay, let's.

See if the trolling motor turns on there, it is awesome.

All right? Guys? Well, I hope you found this helpful, uh, after seeing it all demonstrated as you can see it's, not really that difficult.

But there are a number of specific things you want to make sure you do right.

So this is safe and works as best as it.

Can if you use wire that is undersized, you can actually lose power to your trolling motor, because when heat generates that's power loss that could have been in your trolling motor.

Now, obviously, the bigger concern is that using two small wires, the heat generation from the resistance can actually burn the wires and start a fire.

So that's.

The main reason for using the right cable.

But if for some reason you're not safety conscious, you want the most power to your trolling motor use the right size cable.

If you guys found this video helpful, let me know by hitting that like button.

If you want to see more videos like this and all the other fun stuff I got coming up for the Jon Boat, don't, forget to subscribe and thanks for watching [Music].

Thank you.


Trolling Motor Complete Wiring Guide? ›

The jumper wire used should be one size larger than the Trolling Motor lead wire. Connect positive (+) red lead (from motor) to positive (+) terminal on battery 2. Connect negative (-) black lead (from motor) to negative (-) terminal of battery 1.

Which wire is positive on trolling motor? ›

The jumper wire used should be one size larger than the Trolling Motor lead wire. Connect positive (+) red lead (from motor) to positive (+) terminal on battery 2. Connect negative (-) black lead (from motor) to negative (-) terminal of battery 1.

What gauge wire should I use for a trolling motor? ›

What wire gauge do I need to use? When extending the wires of your trolling motor up 94”, we recommend that you use #10 AWG 105C wire (for 55lb Thrust Trolling Motors and smaller). If you are extending the wires more than 94”, we recommend #8 AWG 105C.

How many amps does a 24 volt 80 lb thrust trolling motor draw? ›

24 Volt Power Source
Throttle LevelThrustCurrent
70%233 N-m (52 lbf)29 A
80%287 N-m (65 lbf)40 A
90%345 N-m (78 lbf)54 A
100%355 N-m (80 lbf)57 A
6 more rows
Jul 13, 2020

How do you figure out which wire is positive and which is negative? ›

Colored sheaths on the wires identify them. AC power and DC power use different wire colors. Positive wires in a modern AC outlet setup will likely have black, red, and blue cable sheaths. Negative wires will likely have a white cable sheath.

What wire goes to positive and negative? ›

In the world of DC electronics, the accepted wiring convention is that the red wire carries the positive voltage, and the black is circuit ground. Usually the red is marked as + (plus) and the black is marked as – (minus).

How many batteries do I need for a 24 volt trolling motor? ›

Rigging batteries in what's known as a series adds together the voltage of the battery. So a 24 volt system will require 2 common 12 volt marine batteries in series (12v x 2 = 24v) and a 36 volt system will require 3 (12v x 3 = 36v).

What happens if you put 24 volts to a 12 volt trolling motor? ›

The system will constantly demand more power, while not using the power that it is getting efficiently. This means that your time out on the water may be short indeed! If you regularly run your 24-volt trolling motor on a 12-volt battery, the battery will die sooner than it was designed to, too.

What are the three wires on a trolling motor? ›

Trolling Motors With 3 Wires

Most trolling motors with three wires are designed to give you a choice between using 12 volts or 24 volts. These trolling motors will also have a switch that you can set to either voltage to make sure it is working the way you want it to.

What circuit breaker do I need for a trolling motor? ›

The 40 amp circuit breaker is recommended for the 36lb and 40lb thrust motors. The 50 amp circuit breaker is recommended for the 46lb, 55lb, and 86lb motors. And the 60 amp circuit breaker is best for the 62lb thrust motor.

How many amps does a Minn Kota 55lb motor draw? ›

Example: The NV 55lb thrust motor draws 52 amps at full speed and uses one 12V battery.

Will 10 gauge wire work for a trolling motor? ›

Many ship with 10-gauge wire leads factory-installed. These leads work fine as long as they reach your batteries. Unfortunately, these power cables often need to be lengthened to reach the trolling motor batteries, and people who don't know any better extend the cables using the same 10-gauge wire size.

How long will a 100Ah battery run a trolling motor? ›

A 100Ah lithium battery will last for 1.85 hours or 1 hour 51 minutes on that trolling motor at full speed.

Is 50ah enough for a 24V trolling motor? ›

This is enough power for many kayak fishing and other small boats. One important note, if you wire two batteries in series it will increase the voltage but not the max continuous amp discharge or the capacity (Ah). This is why most 24V or 36V trolling motors use 50 Ah batteries or larger.

How long will a 75 amp hour battery last for trolling motor? ›

The Runtime of a 24V Trolling Motor Battery

Our 24V trolling motor batteries from Abyss Battery feature a general runtime of five to seven hours on a single charge and under favorable conditions. With a 24V 75 Ah or 24V 100Ah setup from Abyss Battery, you can expect an even longer runtime of over eight hours.

What happens if you wire positive to negative? ›

The cable on the positive terminal uses +12V while the one on the negative side uses -12V. If the positives and negatives are switched, the battery will try to compensate and make the negative 12 volts into a positive charge resulting in a huge surge of power and an enormous amount of heat to be produced.

Which wire is hot if both are black? ›

The red wire is positive. The black wire is negative. The white wire (if present) is ground (sometimes called neutral in DC). If both wires are black but one has a white stripe, the striped wire is negative, while the plain black wire is positive.

What is the color code for motor wires? ›

US AC power circuit wiring color codes

The protective ground is green or green with yellow stripe. The neutral is white, the hot (live or active) single phase wires are black , and red in the case of a second active. Three-phase lines are red, black, and blue.

How do I know which wire is positive? ›

The positive wire, also commonly called the hot wire, will typically be black in color. It is the source of the electricity. The electrical current travels from the outlet or other power source on the positive wire, so if it is plugged in anywhere, it should be considered a live (and dangerous) wire.

How long will a trolling motor run on a 12V battery? ›

As a general rule, we recommend a 110 amp hour (Ah) rating per battery for 6-8 hours of runtime. If you have a lower Amp Hour rating, you will want to calculate the runtime for your motor.

Why are lithium batteries not recommended for trolling motors? ›

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.

What voltage should a fully charged trolling motor battery be at? ›

100%: At full charge, each cell should measure 2.12 - 2.15 volts per cell (VPC).

How long will a 12V marine battery last with a trolling motor? ›

They typically last around 2-3 years and may require some sort of maintenance.

How long does a 12V deep cycle marine battery last on a trolling motor? ›

Typically, a 12-volt marine starting battery will last between 5 and 10 years, depending on the use. These batteries are usually lead-acid and perform well at their task. Providing a quick burst of power and then immediately getting recharged by the engines.

Can you wire trolling motor direct to battery? ›

You can then connect the second battery directly to the trolling motor using the negative terminal on the battery to connect to the negative (black) lead on your motor. To use a 36 volt system you can simply add a third 12 volt battery into your link.

What is the difference between a 2 wire and 3 wire transducer? ›

2 wire sensor is basically a loop-powered device without requiring a separate supply voltage (the source voltage is supplied to the destination device) whereas the 3 wire sensor is a self-powered device meaning, you supply source voltage to the sensor and it can drive a 4-20 ma input device directly without the ...

How many amps does a 12V trolling motor draw? ›

At 12V the Amp draw would be (1Hp / . 75% x 746W = 994.66Whr / 12V = 82.8A). If you wanted to operate a 1HP 12V trolling motor for 1 hour, you would need an 82.8AH 12 V energy (battery) source.

What gauge wire for 24 volt trolling motor? ›

The 12 and 24 volt configurations include 8 gauge copper marine wire, suitable for most applications. The 36 volt configuration includes 4 gauge copper marine wire, suitable for extreme duty applications, longer wire routings, and larger trolling motor installations.

Where do you put a trolling motor circuit breaker? ›

The circuit breaker is installed on the positive battery lead wire coming from the trolling motor to the battery(ies).

What size of boat do I need for a 55lb trolling motor? ›

Vessel Size

For example, a 55lb thrust trolling motor works well for a boat between 12 and 16 feet.

How many amps does a 30 lb thrust trolling motor draw? ›

While the Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (30" Shaft) model takes 32 amps/hr to get that 30 lbs of thrust, this one can do 30 lbs of thrust for roughly 18 amps/hr. 40 to 45 lbs thrust is roughly 29 amps/hr instead of the 42 amps/hr that those respective motors draw for the same thrust.

How many HP is a 55lb trolling motor? ›

Comparing Thrust and Horsepower

As an example, the mid-size 55lb thrust trolling motor has the equivalent power of about 0.84 hp.

Can I use 12 gauge wire on a 10 amp circuit? ›

For a maximum of 10 amps, you'll need a wire gauge of 16.

Should I use 12 gauge or 10 gauge wire? ›

12-gauge are used in kitchen, bathroom, outdoor receptacles, and 120-volt air conditioners supporting 20 amps. 10-gauge are used in electric clothes dryers, 240-volt window air conditioners, electric water heaters supporting 30 amps. 6-gauge are used for cook tops and ranges carrying 40-50 amps.

How many amps can I run through 10 gauge wire? ›

#10 Gauge THHN Copper Stranded Wire is the most popular single conductor copper wire and RATED FOR 30 AMPS.

What is the longest lasting battery for a trolling motor? ›

Lithium Batteries:
  • Significantly longer run time - Almost 2x the run time compared to traditional lead acid and AGM batteries.
  • Extremely Lightweight - For the smaller boats and boats where weight can be a considerable factor, lithium batteries offer a 70% average reduction in weight compared to traditional batteries.

Do lithium batteries last longer on trolling motors? ›

Longer Run Times and a Faster Charge

Another notable advantage of lithium trolling motor batteries includes longer run times without battery voltage drop and the potential for quicker charging cycles.

How do I make my trolling motor last all day? ›

Maintaining a proper charge affects the longevity of your trolling motor battery more than any other single factor. For best performance, service your battery regularly, store it in a clean, dry, and temperature-controlled place, and use a trickle charger to keep it at maximum charge throughout the offseason.

How long will a 50 amp hour battery last on a trolling motor? ›

Many of our customers can comfortably run their trolling motor and other accessories for a full day fishing trip with our 50Ah models. With our 100Ah models, many customers report 2 or more full days of fishing before needing a recharge.

How many amps does a 24 lb watersnake trolling motor draw? ›

24lbs Maximum Thrust. 12-Volt Motor Amp draw 9 -20 amp at 12vdc. 2 Speeds Hi and Low.

How fast will a 86 lb thrust trolling motor go? ›

The motor is designed for trolling, so the top speed of this motor is about 4.5mph, but depends on your boat shape, weight, water, wind, and other factors.

Does 2 100ah batteries equal 200ah? ›

A: As far as capacity goes it's the same. However, 2 100 ah batteries would be better than 1 200 ah battery.

Can a trolling motor be too long? ›

A trolling motor shaft can be too long. If the trolling motor shaft is too long, you risk the propeller hitting bottom or the inability to stow the motor properly. Too long of a shaft can not only damage the propeller but also the rest of the motor and the environment beneath the water as well.

What color wire is positive on a boat? ›

Individual equipment usually has just black and red wiring. For example, dark blue wire in a boat is the positive conductor for cabin lights (or cockpit lights in an open boat).

Which wire is positive with 12V? ›

For 12V Wiring on DC Circuits, Red Is Positive, Black Is Negative but What Is Yellow? Pacific Yacht Systems.

How to tell which wire is positive and negative without color? ›

The white wire (if present) is ground (sometimes called neutral in DC). If both wires are black but one has a white stripe, the striped wire is negative, while the plain black wire is positive.

What color wire is positive and negative? ›

The coloring is as follows: The positive current must be red. The negative current must be black. The ground wire, if present, must be white or grey.

What color wire is positive or negative? ›

US recommended DC power circuit wiring color codes
3-wire grounded DC Power System
Mid-wire (center tap)Nwhite
9 more rows

Which wire is positive all black? ›

The positive wire, also commonly called the hot wire, will typically be black in color. It is the source of the electricity. The electrical current travels from the outlet or other power source on the positive wire, so if it is plugged in anywhere, it should be considered a live (and dangerous) wire.

Does red wire go to white or black? ›

A simple standard electrical circuit has a black or red "hot" wire that carries power from the power source to the device (e.g., switch, fixture, outlet, appliance), a white neutral wire that carries the power back to the power source, and a green or bare copper ground wire that connects the device to the home's ...

What are the colors of 12v wire? ›

12v Wire Color

Since you are likely starting this from scratch, I recommend keeping it consistent and going with red for the positive wires. Negative and neutral (again, same thing) in 12v systems are commonly EITHER black or sometimes yellow.

Does positive and negative matter on DC? ›

DC is short hand for Direct Current, meaning that the polarity of the voltage remains constant (positive or negative). In a DC circuit, it is generally accepted that current flows from positive to negative.

What is the color code for DC wire? ›

DC Power Color Codes

They are as follows: Red – Red cables carry the positive current. Black – Black cables will be the negative cable. Grey or White – Grey or white cables are the ground wires.

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