August 9, 2011 Recently, Lithium Pros has expanded to a new market for 12v, 24v, and 36v marine trolling motor batteries. One of our first customers to try one of these products is a local Knoxville fisherman named Jr. Bailey. He has been fishing since the mid-80s in a variety of boats with all different kinds of batteries. Currently, he is running a 2000 Bullet 20-XD with a Minn Kota Four-trex 24v trolling motor, rated at 80 lbs of thrust.
Recently, he tried our new M3400-24 to see how it stacks up against the “regular” deep-cycle lead acid/AGM competition. Here is what he had to say: “I charged battery to a full charge, and then made these fishing trips.
1. fished 4 hours with (wind 5 mph) slight current
2. fished 5 hours (wind calm) slight current
3. fished 4 hours (wind calm) no current
4. fished 6 hour tournament (wind 10 mph) slight current
5. fished 6 hour tournament (mild wind) fishing against strong current all 6 hours
6. fished 4 hour tournament (light wind) slight current
7. started tournament after sitting for 1 week and the battery was dead.
Summary: Battery lasted a total of 3 weeks and 29 hours of use on initial charge. The best thing other than the 29 hours is that it was as strong on hour 29 as it was on hour 1.. Also, when I put battery back on charge it was fully charged in a little less than five hours. That is very impressive.”
Our batteries are perfectly suited to this application. For deep-cycling (taking a battery down to almost empty, then charging it back to full and doing it over again), lithium-ion packs are similar to deep-cycle marine AGM batteries, while maintaining a high discharge capability. The voltage also remains very stable, all the way until the pack is empty; this is why it performs the same, no matter if it has been running for 29 hours or 1 hour. With our batteries, the useful capacity will generally be greater, as well.
“Before the M3400-24, I might have been able to get 12 hours with two batteries with power gradually decreasing from hour 5 or 6, until they were fully discharged. Then it would take from 12-15 hours to recharge.” For most users, a battery with double the useable capacity, half the recharge time, and more consistent performance is a no-brainer. However, there is another, less-obvious benefit.
Read on: “Also, while I was testing I thought I would see if the difference between one light weight 24 volt lithium battery versus two Everstart Extreme 115 amp-hour batteries would transfer to more speed in the boat. So with boat loaded to fish and with two people in the boat with my two batteries, top speed was 79.75 mph. Then, by taking my batteries out and installing the 24 volt lithium battery, with same load and same people, top speed was 81.25 mph, which translates to 1.5 mph faster which was also impressive.”
To sum up, there are several benefits to running a lithium battery on your trolling motor:
–Capacity. It lasts longer on one charge than regular batteries.
–Recharge. Can be charged up much faster than regular batteries
–Voltage. They perform consistently, from full until empty.
–Deep cycling. Running these batteries low will not hurt them.
–Weight. Less of it equals more speed, and better fuel economy.
We are enthralled Jr. is getting great performance out of his new battery. We wish him the best of luck in upcoming fishing tournaments, and can’t wait to hear another report after some hard testing!
12/11/2012 UPDATE It was good to get a chance to test this battery after heavy use for the past year and a half. Jr. has been using this battery at least two times a week and three to four times during summer months with great results. We were pleased to see that the capacity of the cells had only dropped 1% and was still above the rating. Jr. we wish you well for 2013. Stay in touch!