Learning, Wiring,

How to Wire a 24v Trolling Motor (2 Methods With Steps)

If you need to wire a 24V trolling motor, my article will show you how to do that.

You will need to connect two 12V batteries in series, using at least a power cable and a connector cable.

I will also advise you on choosing the right battery, which size wire to use, and how long you can expect the 24V motor to run.

Trolling Motors

The trolling motor is usually either 12V, 24V, or 36V. The 24V motor is generally the ideal size motor for anglers that balances good fishing capability with affordability.

a trolling motor with battery cables

Choosing the Right Battery

Battery Size and Arrangement

The power supply of a 24V trolling motor is two 12V batteries in a series.

This arrangement doubles the voltage to provide the needed 24V. The wiring is simple enough to do yourself without hiring an electrician.

Battery Type

There are two battery types that anglers recommend using for a trolling motor: Flooded lead-acid and AGM batteries.

The two differ in quality/price and maintenance requirements. So consider how much you can devote yourself to maintenance work besides what you can afford and how long you expect the battery to last.

Lead-acid batteries are generally cheaper; for this reason, they are more common. Most anglers use this type. However, if you can afford it, AGM batteries off more advantages. They are fully sealed batteries. Its key advantages are enhanced battery life and longer life span. Moreover, they are virtually maintenance-free.

For these advantages, you pay extra as they are more expensive (significantly, in fact), but their performance edge could make you consider choosing an AGM battery instead.

Warning: Don’t mix different battery types. For example, a 12V lead-acid battery with an AGM battery will mix two different types. Doing this can damage the batteries, so it is best not to mix them. Either use two lead-acid batteries in a series or two AGM batteries in a series.

Before Wiring for a 24V Trolling Motor

The two 12V batteries must be connected in series, not in parallel. Only then can the supply voltage be 24V.

Also, you will need the following items before wiring:

  • Two deep-cycle 12V marine batteries
  • Power cable
  • Connector cable (or jumper wire)

You should do a few more things before starting to wire for the 24V trolling motor:

  • Batteries – Check both batteries to ensure they have sufficient charge and can provide the required voltage. They should be roughly or close to 12V each. Usually, the red wire is connected to the battery’s positive terminal and the black wire to the negative terminal.
  • Circuit Breaker (optional) – The circuit breaker is designed to protect the motor, wiring, and the boat. You can alternatively use a fuse, but a circuit breaker is better for this purpose.

Wiring for a 24V Trolling Motor

There are two ways to wire for a 24V trolling motor: With and without circuit breakers.

Method 1 (Simple Method)

The first method requires only a power cable (with one red and one black wire) and a connector cable. The arrangement is as follows:

  1. Connect the power cable’s black wire to one battery’s negative terminal.
  2. Connect the power cable’s red wire to the other battery’s positive terminal.
  3. Attach a connector cable (of the same gauge) from the first battery’s positive terminal to the other battery’s negative terminal.

Method 2 (Using Two Circuit Breakers)

The second method requires an extra white cable and two circuit breakers besides the power and connector cables. The arrangement is as follows:

  1. Connect the power cable’s red wire to one battery’s positive terminal, and place a 40-amp circuit breaker on this connection.
  2. Connect the power cable’s black wire to the other battery’s negative terminal.
  3. Attach a white cable (of the same gauge) to the second battery’s positive terminal and another 40-amp breaker on this connection.
  4. Attach a connector cable between the batteries’ remaining terminals.

The Right-Sized Wire

For a 24V trolling motor, you will normally need an 8-gauge wire.

But if the wiring is over 20 feet, you should use a thicker 6-gauge wire instead. Extended systems will also require wire to be thicker than eight gauges, i.e., lower gauge. (1)

The manufacturer of your trolling motor will have specified or recommended which wire to use, so consult the manual or directly ask the manufacturer. Otherwise, using the standard-sized wire mentioned above should be safe according to how long wiring you need.

How Long Does the Motor Last

The time a trolling motor gives on battery power will depend on how long and heavily you use it.

Generally, you can expect a 24V trolling motor to last around a couple of hours if you use it at full power. So it can last longer if you use it with less power. It can last as much as around 4 hours at half power.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) Boating. Soldier boy. Boating, vol. 68, no. 7, p. 44. July 1995

Video Reference

Fishing With Salty

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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