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Best Method/Switch to Isolate Trolling Motor While Charging?

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Best Method/Switch to Isolate Trolling Motor While Charging?

Old 04-13-2018, 03:22 PM
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Default Best Method/Switch to Isolate Trolling Motor While Charging?

It seems the consensus is to isolate these smart trolling motors while charging the batteries (feel free to argue this if you disagree... I could be persuaded.) My iPilot Riptide has an On/Off switch on it, that you would think isolates the thing, no? Is this just a liability thing, or is this to protect perhaps the ultra sensitive little brain in this thing?

My trolling motor has been direct wired, with no other switch or unplug available... which I kind of like as it seems plugs and connectors like to corrode. My 3 TM batteries are in my console (along with my cranking battery.) I was considering putting something like a Blue Sea isolation switch next to my existing cranking/house switch, so that I could simply isolate the TM right at the console. This would only require 2 short cables, a switch, and a hole in the console. Is it sufficient to isolate either the Positive or the Negative side? Which is better to isolate? Any better ideas than this?


The MinnKota manual says this:
"For safety reasons, disconnect the motor from the battery or batteries when the motor is not in use or while the battery/batteries are being charged."
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:27 AM
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I have a 24 volt system. I installed a switch in the cable connecting the two batteries. This cuts the power to the trolling motor. I turn the switch off while charging. I feel safe with this set up. I welcome any comments also.
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:44 AM
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No insights on the merits of disconnecting although it couldn't hurt. Regardless, you only have to disconnect one cable with the positive being the preferred choice.
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:46 AM
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You should have a circuit breaker in the power line. Manually trip it off. And you should when charging your TM.
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
You should have a circuit breaker in the power line. Manually trip it off. And you should when charging your TM.
https://www.amazon.com/Bussmann-CB285-60-Surface-Mount-Circuit-Breakers/dp/B01FWMM09O/ref=sr_1_11_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=152
This! You absolutely should have a 50V or 60V manual circuit breaker in the system. I always trip mine when I am through with the trolling motor. On the next trip before I power up the troller, I reset the circuit breaker. Real easy.

If you ever upgrade to an Ulterra, Minn Kota will tell you don't leave the motor connected to the batteries. There is a slight current draw even when the trolling motor is off.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jeff7y28 View Post
This! You absolutely should have a 50V or 60V manual circuit breaker in the system. I always trip mine when I am through with the trolling motor. On the next trip before I power up the troller, I reset the circuit breaker.
Real easy.
My buddy burned his boat to the ground and the side of his house off charging his TM while being left hot. No idea what went wrong but without a breaker it can and did happen.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:31 AM
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Put the heavy duty blue seas or Perko switch in. Have used Hella battery disconnect switches, because they have a removable "key"--on both the boat's main battery and trolling motor. But the Hella are not as robust as the Perko or Blue seas.
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by thataway View Post
Put the heavy duty blue seas or Perko switch in. Have used Hella battery disconnect switches, because they have a removable "key"--on both the boat's main battery and trolling motor. But the Hella are not as robust as the Perko or Blue seas.
If they are not breaker protected in the switch do not follow this advice. You should never hard wire anything to a switch that is not breaker protected. Especially a trolling motor.

Use what I recommended in above post. It will serve both over current protection and a point of disconnect. Standard Battery switches are just switches.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:14 PM
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I simply unplug my motor. Most instructions will tell you to keep it unplugged until using it.

I've never seen a hard-wired trolling motor.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by thill View Post
I simply unplug my motor. Most instructions will tell you to keep it unplugged until using it.
This is what I do with the Ulterra. 24V plug in a panel near the bow. Neat & clean install.
Cords are in wire loom which makes it easy to coil on the deck.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:07 AM
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I read some lengthy threads regarding disconnecting the trolling motor when charging. This is an important point to me because I use a combiner to charge my trolling motor battery, and I use a single bank 10 amp charger directly connected to the trolling battery which combines to top off the cranking battery as needed. No fuss! I’ve been doing this for 15 years and no problem.

The only damage I have read about is when the 110v power is disturbed by lightning and fried motors. When my riptide is stowed and locked into position I find no evidence that there is any current electrifying any components in the motor. If this is the case, a secondary cut off switch or unplugging is redundant. I suggest that is the critical point and worthy of opposing findings.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:14 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

I'm going to do as 20biminitwist suggested and install the breaker. The only downside of using that as my disconnect, is that I have to loosen my ice chest/seat in front of my console to access it inside the console. If this proves to be too inconvenient, I'll add a switch on the back of the console next to my cranking battery switch. Either way, I'll have the breaker protection.
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