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Single 36V or Three 12V Batteries for Trolling Motor Batteries?

Single 36V or Three 12V Batteries for Trolling Motor Batteries?

When it comes to powering a trolling motor, the battery setup is an important consideration. Many anglers debate whether to use one 36-volt battery or three 12-volt batteries to power their trolling motor. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice depends on your specific needs and preferences. In this blog post, we'll explore the pros and cons of each option to help you make an informed decision.

One 36-Volt Battery

A single 36-volt battery offers several advantages. First and foremost, it's more convenient to use just one battery than three. This is especially true if you have limited space on your boat. One battery is also easier to install and maintain than three batteries.

Another advantage of using a single 36-volt battery is that it offers a more consistent power supply. With three batteries, each battery is likely to discharge at a different rate, which can affect the performance of your trolling motor. Using a single 36-volt battery ensures a more stable power supply, which can be beneficial when you need consistent power for extended periods.

However, 36-volt batteries tend to be more expensive than 12-volt batteries, which can be a consideration if you're on a budget. For example:

1x Dakota Lithium 36V 60AH Deep Cycle Battery - $1899

3x Dakota Lithium 12V 60AH Dual Purpose Batteries - $1797

Three 12-Volt Batteries

Using three 12-volt batteries to power your trolling motor has some significant advantages. First and foremost, it provides a backup power source. If one battery fails, you still have two other batteries to power your motor. This can be particularly important if you're fishing in challenging conditions or in a remote area, where a battery failure could be a serious issue. Some trolling motors, notably the Lowrance Ghost, can run on either 24V or 36V so having three 12-volt batteries may be more beneficial if one battery were to die. 

Using three 12-volt batteries also provides greater flexibility. You can choose the size and type of battery that best fits your needs and budget. This allows you to find the best balance between power and cost, and you can mix and match battery types if you need to. 

However, using three 12-volt batteries does have some disadvantages. One of the biggest is that it can be more complicated to set up and maintain three batteries than one. Batteries in series can be discharged at different rates and need to be equalized with chargers. 

You'll need a battery box that can hold three batteries, and you'll need to connect them in the correct order to ensure that they work together properly. 

Which Option is Right for You?

Ultimately, the choice between using one 36-volt battery or three 12-volt batteries comes down to your specific needs and preferences. If you value convenience and simplicity, and you don't mind paying a premium for a 36-volt battery, then a single battery is likely the best choice for you. On the other hand, if you prioritize backup power and flexibility, and you're willing to take the time to set up and maintain three batteries, then using three 12-volt batteries may be the better option.

Regardless of which option you choose, make sure to select high-quality batteries that are appropriate for your trolling motor and the conditions in which you'll be using it. A well-chosen battery setup can significantly improve the performance and reliability of your trolling motor, making your fishing trips more enjoyable and productive. 

For our selection of 36V batteries, click here

For our selection of 12V batteries, click here

Next article Marine Electronics Battery Selection - Amp Hours

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