Deep cycle battery cables

I am looking for the best way to connect a Minn Koto Endura 30 to a battery near the bow of my canoe. The motor has cables about 5’ long. How can I extend those out to 15’?

marine supply… bass boat dealer
go to a marine supply store and buy some heavy gauge wire like they use in bass boats to run your cables along the underside of the gunnel…do not go with too thin of a wire to save money, trolling motors are current hogs and they create alot of heat in the wiring if its not the proper size.

Move Battery Closer to Motor
Why do you want the battery in the bow? The cables are long enough; move the battery.

If you want to pay more than you should
If you want to pay more than you should, then go to a boat supply store or an audio supply store.

For cheap, good heavy cables, go to a welding supply shop.

“Paying what you should”

– Last Updated: Sep-09-08 8:13 PM EST –

That's good advice. Absolutely do NOT use heavy-gauge speaker wire (it costs about 30 times as much as welding cable, in spite of having only about 1/10th as much copper, and the insulation won't tolerate being repeatedly stepped-on like the insulation on welding cable). I'd also recommend a heavy-truck parts dealer. Many medium- and heavy-duty trucks have batteries mounted a pretty long distance from the engine, at least relative to light trucks and passenger cars, so they are likely to have starter-motor cable available in bulk spools. I wouldn't be too surprised if welding cable gives you the best bang for the buck, though, in terms of quality and thickness versus cost per foot. Just be prepared to deal with what looks like about 1,000 very fine copper strands when you make the connections instead of one or two dozen coarse strands. Welding cable is good stuff.

Weight distribution.

Welding cables, no.
The fine strands that were mentioned are not good for low-voltage high-amperage use. The strands heat up and part, throwing more load on the remaining strands, which heat up even more. Any commercial truck shop or alternator repair shop (my background, 13 years) should have spools of proper batt cable.

cost & wait distribution
After you price out the cables, you may wish to reconsider the weight distribution argument - heavy cable can be pretty expensive. But even aside from the cost, I’m not so sure even weight distribution front and aft is all that helpful or even desirable in a canoe.

Here’s how I see it - having the weight more centralized would make turning easier, and if you’re under motor power you don’t have much of an issue with tracking, the usual conterveiling quality to weigh against manueverablity. The only time I would be concerned is if the concentration of weight made the canoe less stable, and I don’t think that it would, as long as it is fixed firmly on the floor where it can’t move, and as long as the weight limits on the canoe are not exceeded.

Now, that said, you can’t be at the extreme end of the canoe with all that weight - you need to be toward the middle. If you have a squareback canoe maybe you can’t do it, but in my experience normal double ended canoes do fine with the motor 1/3 to 1/4 of the length forward of the stern. There’s a little bit of yaw, but nothing you can’t get used to and compensate for.

I said to the nephew …

– Last Updated: Sep-09-08 11:56 PM EST –

........ should we run 4 or 6 guage on this one .
he said 4 , cause it won't hurt a thing to have a higher capacity wire than required . I said sounds good to me .

All you need is 4 gauge , exterior grade single strand x 2 , or comparable any 4 gauge copper . The thing about multi strand wire is that it can corrode at exposed wire areas , especially in salt enviroments .

The stuff in a place like Home Depot will work just fine , no problems . You can go to Batt. shop and get Auto grade batt. cable if you want , but it's not needed , way over kill .

You can use a simple copper O connection at the batt. if you have a wing nut opt. like most marine deep cyle batts. do .

Your 30 Endura has clamps ends , so you just need to have a good solid lead or copper piece on that end of the extension wires , or something suitable to clamp on .

If you want to go the best route , modify the motor ends with another O connection and put a wing nut terminal on the extension wires to make a secure connection .

We run 65 lb. and 74 lb. 24v motors . A 30 lb.x 12v would have no problem with 6 gauge .

We would do a 101 x 36v the same way .

Your batt. is only 45-65 lbs. depending on it's Amp.Hr. , go ahead and put near the front if you go solo , but closer the middle if tandem , I think ..

You do not have to stern mount the motor
Mount it as far toward the bow as you can, use an extension handle. With some trolling motors, you can make one out of PVC and hose clamps, or you can go high dollar and buy the handle. You may have to turn the control head around so the motor can be mounted with the propeller at the rear of the motor housing. Then, you can place the battery closer to the bow if weight distribution is the problem you are trying to solve.

Welding cable… Easy to run since its flexible. Just put battery terminals on one end and terminate with the proper connector on the other end for the motor. Don’t try splicing. You really want a single run of wire. DO NOT forget to put a really big fuse very near the battery end. You don’t want a short to blow the battery up.


– Last Updated: Sep-10-08 9:31 AM EST –

Could you explain this a little more, because now I'm wondering. At first I took this at face value, but then I realized that low voltage and high amperage is what you get with arc welding. I just checked the voltage-amperage graph for my little welder, and it ranges from about 50 to 70 volts within the range of very low-amperage settings to about ten volts when running at 200 amps (225 is the max for this machine). The cables I use are suitable for 100-percent duty-cyle work, even if my welder can't run continuously except within maybe the lower one-third of the amperage range. I would think cables that can handle 10 volts at 200 amps could handle whatever amperage is drawn by a 12-volt trolling moter. I know that this is a lot closer to your field of expertise than mine, Magoo, so I'm not at all ready to say you are wrong, I'm just trying to make sense of it.

Oh yeah, when I took physics, I seem to remember being told that electrical current passes along the surface of a wire more easily than through the center, making me think a whole bunch of fine wires carrys current more easily than just a few fat ones, but not I'm stretching the old memory to the limit. :)

Sorry Magoo, but no
AWG number is determined strictly by the total available copper cross-section of the cable, meaning that if you have solid wire, it will be of smaller diameter than stranded, and wire with a few large strands will be larger overall diameter than the one with many strands, all with the same AWG value. They did not know of skin effect and such in the old days, so AWG ampacity is good for DC and power frequency only. So, DC resistance will be the same for the same AWG (barring slight differences in the copper purity and other such production effects).

The number and size of individual strands becomes important when you are dealing with high-frequency AC.