If you have a large boat, you may not be able to power everything using a 12V battery, especially larger trolling motor setups. However, finding a 24 volt trolling motor battery is not the easiest task. Therefore, many people choose to skip the headache of searching for a 24v battery and run two 12v batteries in parallel.
If you are ready to turn two 12V batteries into a 24v marine battery setup, it is not hard to do. You simply need to have two 12v batteries and a set of cables. You will need to have one jumper wire that goes between the positives on both batteries and another to go between the negative posts. Then, connect the positives and negatives to your boat’s motor using another set of jumper wires, and you will have immediately doubled the capacity, or amp hours, that are going to it.
By creating a parallel setup, you keep the voltage the same, but your amp hours will increase drastically. This is completely different from trying to run your battery in a series, which does not change the capacity. One thing to keep in mind is that your setup will appear as though your motor is drawing off a single battery, but the two batteries will drain out equally. This means, you can still end up with a dead battery if you are not careful.
You can watch the video below for a more detailed look.
Other Battery Options
In the event that you do not want to run two batteries in parallel, you may still want to consider having two batteries. You can do this using battery switches. These switches will allow you to have constant power going to both batteries or one at a time. However, you do potentially sacrifice having a motor that is powered by 24 volts, unless you have the switch set so that it can run in parallel to the motor. This means pulling off both batteries at the same time, but the purpose of a switch is generally to run accessories with one so you still have power when it comes time to crank up and move your boat to another area. There are many people who have more than one or two batteries on board. They may make use of a switch, but have two running in parallel to give their motor extra power and then another for the many “toys” you can have on board.
If you want to run your batteries in a series, you can do that by connecting the positive of one battery to the negative of another using a jumper cable. When doing this, both batteries need to have the same voltage and capacity, otherwise you will end up shortening the battery life of them. You should also keep in mind that this will produce more voltage, but will not change the total capacity of your battery.
Why People Want A 24V Trolling Motor Battery
When it comes to choosing a 12v vs 24v trolling motor, it goes without saying that a larger setup, equates to more power and a faster boating adventure. In fact, power is one of the biggest advantages to having a 24v motor and for all who like power; they will embrace the idea of 24 volts of power in their battery.
Using a 24-volt battery means that you can use smaller wires and still get more power flowing through 24-volt trolling motor wiring. This will ensure that the boat motor has all of the power it could need.
There will also be less of a voltage drop with the 24v motor in comparison to trying to run a single 12v setup so that you have a more consistent power supply for running your trolling motor. This extra power will also help you power other areas of your boat and allows you to run fish finders and more without sacrificing power for your motor.
If you are looking for good batteries to run in parallel, you may want to consider using the VMAXAGM group U1 battery or the Optima Batteries Blue Top. Both of these batteries are very popular with users because they work well both as single 12 volt batteries and in parallel. They have ample power and a large reserve capacity when run as 12V batteries. This is all doubled when you run them together in a group. The Optima battery even has 750 CCA when used as a single battery. The VMAXTANKS has 3.3 amps when solo, but when paired with another you will get more performance out of it.
Another great battery that is perhaps more affordable for some is the Sealed Lead Acid DCM0035 by Interstate Batteries. It has 35 amps when used solo and it is very lightweight. This makes it ideal for paralleling on a small boat. A great option if you want a maintenance free setup is the Universal battery. When not in use, it will only drain out about 3% of its charge over a month’s time. This means if you have it running parallel to another, you definitely will not ever have to think about the battery going dead just because you don’t use it daily.
By connecting any of the popular batteries listed above, you can guarantee that you do not see a loss in performance, even if you do have a larger boat. Can you imagine having a pontoon boat, and a lot of equipment on board, but never have to worry about putting too much weight on a 12v battery?
To make it easier to connect your batteries together in parallel, there are several parallel kits available. They include all the wires and detailed instructions on how to install and get the effect that you are hoping for; without damaging your batteries. Our favorite kits are:
These cables are designed to be ultra-flexible. They are made with 100% fine stranded PURE copper cable to provide you with the max amount of amperage your batteries can provide. They also have copper cable lugs to ensure that they do not corrode easily. The protective seal is made of polyolefin heat shrink. Various lengths are available to meet your needs.
This kit allows you to charge two batteries at one time both at sea and on dry land. It has an integrated automatic charging relay which allows easy DC charging. It also has a remote LED indicator. The battery switch is an M series dual circuit and there is an emergency parallel for jump starting. It works with all flooded lead acid batteries, AGMs, and TPPL/AGMs.
This kit works great for everything from RVs and Boats to snow plows and solar systems. It has a 140 Amp voltage sensitive relay and priority charging for your starting battery. The Alternator outputs up to 150 amps of charging power. It is fully automatic and easy to install.