Electric trolling motors control how fast your boat moves. While many people wonder how far their electric trolling motor will take them, they don’t understand that there isn’t one simple answer.
Electric trolling motors can get you about 25 miles with one charge, as the recommended size battery lasts about 5 hours and the top speed for most electric trolling motors is 5 miles per hour. However, many things can reduce your runtime and affect how far you can go with your motor.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these factors and see what you can do to get more out of your electric trolling motor.
Note: most links in this article are Amazon.com Affiliate links, see Affiliate Disclosure, thank you.
Many factors can determine how far your electric trolling motor will go, such as battery life, how much energy you use, the motor brand, and how much battery you are comfortable with using.
Let’s talk about each of these factors in more detail.
Battery life plays a large role in how long your electric trolling motor will last. To get the most out of your motor, you need to be fully charged before using it. If you don’t, then you risk the battery running out before you are expecting it to. So, ensure that the battery is fully charged and ready to go before using it.
Batteries also tend to wear out over time. Electric batteries tend to be less effective with each cycle, resulting in less total power available. So, always keep in mind the age of your battery when you are trying to get the most out of your electric trolling motor. If your battery is older or has been damaged somehow, it is not likely to get you as far as a new one.
You can typically expect to get two to five years out of an electric trolling motor battery before it begins to wear out. Though, some can go even longer. But you can certainly get more out of yours by taking good care of it. If you do, then your battery will last a lot longer. This will help your electric trolling motor go further.
Intense hot or cold weather can also affect your battery life and sustainability. Your battery will be more likely to run out of energy because extreme temperatures can cause it to work harder. So keep an eye on expected high and low temperatures when you head out on the water.
Another important factor to consider with how far your electric trolling motor will take you is how much energy you use. As a matter of fact, there are probably many things you do that cost a lot of energy. You want to keep high energy costing activities to a minimum to get the most out of your motor.
The faster you go in your boat, the more energy you use. This doesn’t mean that you can’t go as fast as you want, but prolonged fast speeds cost more energy which will take time off the battery life of your electric motor. So, it is best to monitor any prolonged high speeds.
Some elements cost energy that we have no control over. For example, trying to move in high winds can cost a lot of energy. This is especially true when you are moving in any direction where the wind is not helping push the boat along. We can avoid this, but it needs to be considered when figuring out how far your motor will go.
Energy use also depends highly on the size of the boat that is being propelled. So, you may want to consider the size of your motor compared to the size of your boat. Larger boats take a lot more energy to move.
You should also consider how much is loaded on your boat. There is no need to leave everything you need behind, but a lot of heavy cargo can cause your electric trolling motor to work overtime, pushing the extra weight through the water. While it doesn’t actively hurt your motor to have some extra weight, it is important to consider this variable when considering how far it will go.
How far an electric trolling motor will go can depend heavily on the brand of the motor. Some brands are meant to last longer, while others focus more on using less energy for high-speed movement. Whatever the brand focuses on, it is important to consider whether your motor fits your needs.
With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to decide on the right one for you. Just like in other items, you get what you pay for, and a cheap motor can affect the distance you can go without it dying on you.
Remember that the inverse is also true in this scenario. Just because the motor costs a lot of money doesn’t mean it is the best. The most important part of selecting a brand to purchase your electric trolling motor is considering its reputation. Only buy from established brands that have plenty of satisfied customer reviews.
The brand isn’t everything when it comes to how long a motor will last, but a reputable brand can offer you a warranty in case you run into any issues in the future. If the brand does not offer a warranty or they do not have many customer reviews, then it may be best to look elsewhere for your motor.
This is different from what we discussed above but just as important when it comes to figuring out how far your electric trolling motor will take you. A big part of determining how far your motor will go is deciding how far you want to let the battery run out. Sure, some people use the battery until it completely dies, but that isn’t the best way to do it.
It is safer to stop using the motor before the battery dies and recharge it with a 50 percent charge still left. Otherwise, your battery will lose its effectiveness over time and not hold as long of a charge. Accidentally letting your battery die will significantly reduce the total cycle life.
This is also true for leaving your battery connected to a standard charger for extended periods. Keeping your battery charging constantly will affect how long the battery lasts. We recommend charging the battery entirely then putting your charge in maintenance mode or using a battery maintainer, which is a fully automatic trickle charger.
So, make sure your battery is fully charged before departing, and do not let it completely die before charging it again. These things can affect how far you can go with your electric trolling motor because the battery will wear out faster than it should if you let it completely die before charging or let it charge for too long.
Electric trolling motors can last about five hours on average, but there are ways to get more or less time. Always make sure your battery is fully charged, and you are not letting it fully die before recharging. The brand of the motor and the amount of energy that you use both play a major part in how long your motor will last.
So, next time you head out on the water, see how long your battery lasts and make sure you are doing your best to use the least amount of energy possible to get the most out of your electric trolling motor.