Trolling Motor Setup Guide
BATTERY AND CHARGING REQUIREMENTS
For current Watersnake motor ranges, only use a 12V deep cycle lead-acid (e.g. Gel or AGM) battery or a 12V LiFePO4 lithium battery. The operating voltage must not exceed 14.5V.
For discontinued Watersnake motor ranges, only use a 12V deep cycle lead-acid (e.g. flooded or AGM) battery e.g. Watersnake Ambush, Combat, Slider Pro, Tracker Pro and other earlier models.
Do NOT power a Watersnake motor with cranking batteries, hybrid marine batteries, or lithium batteries made with chemistry other than LiFePO4.
Cranking batteries (including hybrid marine batteries) are designed for delivering pulses of power to start vehicle engines. They are not suitable for delivering the sustained high power required by electric trolling motors. Cranking batteries used this way can develop a “memory” preventing complete recharge and can produce current surges that might damage electronic components on your Watersnake.
Most lithium batteries (including Ternary lithium) deliver more voltage than what the trolling motor is designed for. There is a real risk of overheating and burning out your motors’ electrical components, especially when using the motor at full speed. A circuit breaker or fuse will not protect your Watersnake motor from this excess power. Only LIFePO4 lithium batteries have a voltage close enough to lead-acid deep cycle batteries. They are also safer to use than lithium batteries made from other chemistries.
If the voltage input to your Watersnake motor exceeds 14.5V it may damage the electronics and void your warranty. If you are unsure about the voltage output of your batteries, contact your battery supplier or consult a marine auto electrician.
Battery capacity is measured in Amp hours (Ah). For a given battery voltage, the larger the Ah, the longer you can power the motor before recharging.
Recommending a battery capacity can be difficult as the way you use the motor greatly affects how long the battery will last. For example, using full speed regularly will greatly reduce the battery run time (and your distance travelled as well). As a rough guide though, smaller motors (18lb – 34lb) will benefit from around 60Ah, while larger motors (44lb – 80lb) will match a battery around 100Ah or more.
Be aware that deep cycle batteries should not be fully discharged. Doing this reduces the number of charge cycles the battery will accept. A rule of thumb is to only use half the capacity of a deep cycle battery before recharging.
Charging the battery while using the motor:
Charging a battery while it is powering the motor will increase the voltage delivered to the motor. This motor can be powered by a charging battery (e.g. charging with an alternator or solar panels) as long as the voltage it receives does not exceed 14.5 volts. Exceeding 14.5 volts will potentially damage electrical components in the motor and is not covered by warranty.
Charging the battery after use:
When you are off the water and are charging your battery at home with a 240V or 110V AC charger, disconnect the motor from the battery. Watersnake recommends a “smart” charger capable of recharging a deep cycle battery on at least 8 amps before reverting to a trickle or maintenance phase to maintain complete charging.
CONNECTING THE MOTOR TO A BATTERY
Note: If you need to extend the motor power cable to reach a battery, make sure to read the EXTENDING OR REPLACING BATTERY LEADS section below for important information.
AVOID USING STORE-BOUGHT BATTERY BOXES WITH BUILT-IN CIRCUITRY
Battery Boxes use low quality electrical components that cannot handle the high current loads that trolling motors draw. This can cause issues with your Watersnake motor. We recommend connecting your Watersnake motor directly to the battery using the provided battery leads. If you require further information on this, please contact Watersnake support in your region.
USE AN INLINE FUSE OR CIRCUIT BREAKER WHEN REQUIRED:
DO NOT CONNECT OTHER ELECTRICAL ITEMS TO THE MOTOR BATTERY
This includes, but is not limited to, fish finders and lighting. Connecting items like this may cause interference, damage or performance issues to the trolling motor.
- Route the wiring from the battery to the trolling motor on an alternate route or path to other wiring on the boat. If possible, it is preferable the wire is fitted to the opposite side of the boat to other wiring.
All Watersnake wiring connections should conform to best marine standards. Soldered, sealed and heat-shrink protected. If you doubt your ability to produce quality waterproof connections or lack the equipment, consult a marine technician or auto electrician.
- Before connecting the motor’s cables to the battery terminals, ensure all switches are in the OFF position and stand clear of the propeller.
- Connect the red cable to the positive (+) terminal and the black cable to the negative (-) terminal, making sure the terminals are clean before doing so. A clean connection will minimise power wastage and give you maximum power from the battery.
- When not in use please make sure that the motor is disconnected from the battery.
EXTENDING OR REPLACING BATTERY LEADS
The longer your battery cable needs to be, the thicker it needs to be to avoid damaging voltage drop. The supplied cable has the correct wire gauge (thickness) for its length. But if you need to extend the length by more than 30%, you will need to replace the existing cable completely with a new longer thicker cable. This means the entire cable will be the correct wire gauge for the new length. See below to find the correct wire gauge for your motor thrust and required cable length.
If you doubt your ability to produce quality waterproof connections or lack the equipment, consult a marine technician or auto electrician.
MOUNTING TO THE BOAT
Please refer to the motor user manual for details on how to mount that specific motor. These manuals can be found here. MANUALS