View Full Version : Trolling Motor Wiring question

10-16-2005, 07:27 PM
I recently replaced an older Motorguide trolling motor with a 50# thrust Minn Kota 12 volt motor. The new Minn Kota came with a tag on the wiring that says I need a 6 ga. wire running from the battery to the plug-in recepticle. I had 10 ga. wire already in place so I tried to run the trolling motor on the 10 ga wire. I was extremely disappointed in the performance and decided that I had better follow the manufacturer's instructions.

I have three questions. First, I only had enough 6 ga. wire to run a single strand of 6 ga. so I used it for the hot wire, then I used the two 10ga wires I already had in place for the old motor and connect both to the ground terminal so the neuteral is two 10 ga rather that one 6 ga. My question is for anyone with electrical knowledge who can tell me if two strands of 10 ga wire will provide *equal to or less resistance than one 6 ga. *

My second question is this: the male and female plug set sold by Minn Kota is wired with only a 10 ga wire. What I end up with is 6 ga from the battery to the receptical wires which are 10 ga. The motor runs, but I cannot tell what efficiency I am getting from that receptical and plug having only 10 ga wire. The wire from the motor looks like 6 ga but it is connected to the 10 ga wire on the plug. Do I need to replace the recepticle with some other type in order to have 6 ga all the way or will the short run through the receptical's 10 ga wire not cause a problem?

The third question has to do with the fusing of the hot wire. I'm supposed to install a 50 amp breaker. The problem is that I can't find one. I've tried places like Lowe's and auto parts stores, Lowe's carries a 50 amp A/C circuit breaker but I don't know if that would be the same. Any help? * *

10-16-2005, 07:35 PM
Look at this link in cabela's for 50 amp breaker.

http://cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0001110011823a&type=product&cmCat=sear ch&returnString=hasJS=true&_D%3AhasJS=+&QueryText= breaker&_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fsearch%2 Fsearch-box.jsp.22&Go.x=11&Go.y=14&N=4887&Ntk=Products&Ntx =mode+matchall&Nty=1&Ntt=breaker&noImage=0&returnP age=search-results1.jsp

Comes in 40 amp and 50 amp.

10-16-2005, 08:04 PM
I just went through this. I used 8 guage wire, and I'm happy with it, The tag said to use 6 gauge, I called minnkota, and they recommend 6 guage. However the tag on the display model said to use 8 guage or heavier. I had some 8 guage and went ahead and used it. I believe that minnkota receptacle will only accept up to an 8 guage wire, they do sell an adapter that accepts 6 guage (see Cabela's). I picked up a 50 amp breaker at Napa auto parts. They do sell one at Cabela's also. Good Luck.

10-16-2005, 09:32 PM
Whether 6 guage or 8 guage wire is used often depends on the length of wire needed to go from the batteries to the trolling motor. My previous boat was a 20 ft bass boat. The trolling motor batteries were back near the transom and roughly had a 20 ft length of wire running to the bow mounted trolling motor. This boat required the thicker 6 guage wiring. The Lund I have now is a different story. The batteries are in the front of the boat and there is a little less than 10 ft of wire running to the bow mount trolling motor. It only requires 8 guage.

What really matters is what the total electrical resistance is between the batteries and the motor. The resistance should be small enough so that there is very little voltage loss in the wire. If you double the length of wire you double the resistance. If you double the cross sectional area of a wire, you cut the resistance in half. That is why my Lund works just fine with 8 guage. It has roughly one-half the length of wire of my bass boat and 8 guage wire isn't that much smaller than 6 guage to make a difference.. Larry

10-17-2005, 01:29 PM
You should be able to get everything you need for boat wiring at West Marine.

10-17-2005, 09:52 PM
As fish4fun said, the length of the wire makes a big difference. 2 #10 wires have about 20 percent less copper than 1 #6. If the distance from the batt. to the motor is more than 8-10' I would change to a #6 for the neg. leg. The short #10 wires on the plug and receptacle wont make enough difference to even notice. You can also find 12v circuit breakers at most RV stores.

10-17-2005, 10:05 PM
you can get nice thick 1awg at a welding store for like 50-75 cents a foot.also you can get circuit breakers at just about any size at almost any good stereo shop.i paid like 15 bucks for my 160 amp breaker for my stereo in my car.they are nice you can just push the button if you need to disconect anything.