Solar panel for trolling motor

I just purchased this boat:

and will be installing a transom-mounted trolling motor, probably 50 - 55 lbs thrust Minn-Kota. I’ll probably get a group 27 deep cycle battery to run the motor since I want to be able to cover a lot of distance with the motor. As an aid to recharging while on the water I’d like to get a solar panel. Anyone have recommendations on inexpensive panels. A buddy suggested I could probably get a panel for about $40, but he didn’t have any specific brands off the top of his head.

Check Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops
They both sell solar battery rechargers.

Have you considered a gas engine? They’re more powerful and weigh a lot less than trolling motors and batteries.

Most reservoirs don’t allow gas engines, so there are limitations.

  • Big D

Most of the places I’d like to go
don’t allow gas outboards. I could use one on some of the local rivers, but all the ponds and lakes around where I live are electric only. I was also looking for something other than was Bass Pro or Cabela’s sells. My buddy suggested I could find cheaper than going through them. Certainly cheaper than going through West Marine.

you might find cheaper than Bass Pro

– Last Updated: Feb-09-12 10:02 PM EST –

...... on the MinnKota or Guide elect. trollers , but doubtful by much savings ... remember , if it has a problem , any problem , even if it's only you who perceives it as a problem ... Bass Pro whill simply give you a new one in exchange or your money back , either way w/o question , it's your call .

Try that with discount Joe's and you're likely not going to appreciate the answers they give you .

As for deep cycle marine batts. , they need to be hot charged during 1st phase , 10 amps. is best recommended . I suppose a solar trickle charge during actual use couldn't hurt anything though , but definately not good for batt. maintenance (remember , 10 amp. hot charge for 1st phase on marine deep cycle batts.) , or you'll severely shorten it's life and in the interim have less and less run time endurance until it finally dies . Got to get them cookin on 1st phase , amp. reduction charging 2nd phase , then trickle charge , your batts. should always be connected to the 3 phase charger when not in use .

Good advice
I was only interested in the solar charger for charging a battery back up while out in the boat. When not boating I’d have a dedicated plug-in charger for the deep cycle battery. I’m finding with my research though, that the solar panels that will actually do better than trickle charging are much more expensive.

10 amp. for each bank on the charger

– Last Updated: Feb-11-12 11:29 PM EST –

...... it's the nephew who keeps me educated on these matters . He does all the research , reads all the technical testing data , real life product and user results , etc. , and the winner by 5 lengths is that 10 amps per each bank on a charger is the best . 15 amps. is too hot , 5 amps. is just not enough to condition the deep cycle marine batts. for 1st phase hot charge .

Just for those who may not yet understand what bank means ... it's simply one bank chargers can only charge one batt. at a time , 2 bank = 2 batts. , 3 bank = 3 batts. and so on . A 3 bank charger with 10 amps. per bank will have a total of 30 amp. output capacity .

something else kiltedcelt …

– Last Updated: Feb-11-12 11:47 PM EST –

...... about Bass Pro and that Minnkota you are interested in .

In case you don't know this ... if you don't already have a Bass Pro credit card and you simply sign up for one at the store ... "everything" on your 1st purchase is discounted 10% .

You would or should make certain "to remind" the cashier that "this is your 1st purchase" and you expect all items rung up at the register to show the 10% discount this 1st time ... it's a standing across the board , all stores Bass Pro policy .

Makes a difference .

Cut the card up after 1st purchase if you wish .

I ended up buying a Haswing
The company I got my boat from, also sells a trolling motor (55lb thrust) made by a company called Haswing. I was able to get the motor for $229 shipped. Also, the Haswing has a cut down 26" short shaft to better fit the inflatable boat transom. I’m still looking at batteries, chargers, and solar panel chargers at this point though. So, from what you’re saying, I should be able to get a charger that will actually be able to recharge the battery? Most of the solar charger units I’ve seen so far have been for battery maintenance and wouldn’t actually charge a depleted battery.