Circuit Breaker For Electric Trolling Motor?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by LCnSac, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. LCnSac John or "LC"

    Posts: 556
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +136 / 1
    I've never used a circuit breaker for my 12V Minn Kota motors, but I'm seeing that apparently they are recommended. I've asked Minn Kota tech support via email, but regardless of their forthcoming response I'm curious if you use one or an inline fuse for the 28-55# 12V motors? I just use the motor's alligator clips direct to the battery. I've never seen one used except in the case of internal boat wiring.
  2. mebjen New Member

    Posts: 14
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Don't know about the 55# - but I just finished the wiring for a Minn Kota 101# RipTide / 36Volt System - and per the recommendation from guys at Ollie Damons - I used the inLine breaker from Minn Kota . . . . . they mentioned that if something were to go 'haywire' and there wasn't an inLine breaker then Minn Kota wouldn't have to stand behind the warranty . . . .better safe than sorry.
  3. Drifter Active Member

    Posts: 1,631
    Ratings: +638 / 2
    Arent the breakers for dual or triple battery set-ups like you have to have with motors of over 55# , I just wired my single battery system and 55# with heavy jumper cables to have it under the passenger seat on my drifter and goes through my back box on the bottom to hide the battery and wiring. cut the clamps off and wired straight to two studs of poss. and neg. with wing nuts . did they say anything about the single battery set-up? thanks!
  4. mbowers Active Member

    Posts: 200
    Jupiter, FL / Victoria, BC
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    My local boat electrical company strongly recommends the breaker switch. He said it was not just to protect the motor but if there's a short somewhere that overloads the battery, the battery could explode and shower you with sulphuric acid or start a fire.

    The 55# motors have the biggest current draw as the higher thrust motors use more volts and less amps so the breaker might well be more important on the big current drawing single battery motors since the baseline current is already large. I am speculating on that last comment so hopefully someone with actual engineering knowledge can confirm / deny that.
  5. up2nogood Member

    Posts: 34
    Centerville,Ut
    Ratings: +9 / 0

    I made it pretty easy went to O'Reilly auto parts bought a 50 amp in line fuse, and wired connectors to both sides of the fuse, bolted one end to the hot side of battery and the other end to hot wire ( red ) on the motor when using. The breaker has a terminal for the battery , and the other for the source, and it is marked. Less than 5 bucks for it.
    Ron McNeal likes this.
  6. LCnSac John or "LC"

    Posts: 556
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +136 / 1
    The Minn Kota circuit breaker is rated at 60 amps and is sold for all motors. My motor draws 50 amps max. I would think a 60 amp fuse would be appropriate? 50 might blow too easy at top speed?
  7. up2nogood Member

    Posts: 34
    Centerville,Ut
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    It has yet to blow at any speed, I too have the MinnKota . I also have a MotorGuide ,and it also runs okay on the 50 amps. Anybody I have talked to does not even run a breaker. I was not going to spend another 30-40 dollars for a minnkota breaker on a hundred dollar motor. The 50 amp five dollar breaker is working just fine.
  8. mbowers Active Member

    Posts: 200
    Jupiter, FL / Victoria, BC
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    Is that a breaker or a fuse? Previous owner on my last boat had wired in some sort of automotive automatic tripping breaker (based on temperature) which proceeded to corrode a little and cause me and the trolling motor shop no end of trouble by tripping at all sorts of times and then resetting itself when it cooled off for 5 mins. It created the worst intermittent electrical problem imaginable. It was probably fine until a little corrosion screwed up the heat conduction and caused it to trip prematurely. It was something like this:

    https://www.darvex.com/store/pc/50-Amp-Auto-Resetting-Circuit-breaker-56p969.htm

    [IMG]
  9. Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    Posts: 2,887
    .
    Ratings: +205 / 0
    I just installed an in-line fuse.
  10. LCnSac John or "LC"

    Posts: 556
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +136 / 1
    I got a somewhat snippy response from Minn Kota:

    John,
    Any motor should have a circuit breaker. The attached guidelines are derived from ABYC and Coastguard suggestions/regulations and should be helpful.

    The guidelines show a 60 amp breaker for a 50-55# motor, 50 amp for anything less. O'Reilly does not have a $5 solution for mine; they have a $20 solution because of the 60 amp requirement. For another $15 I will probably order a Minn Kota breaker. The replacement cost on my motor is $400 and there's a safety factor to consider as well.
  11. up2nogood Member

    Posts: 34
    Centerville,Ut
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    It is a breaker, auto reset , somewhat like you are showing. I am in to it less than five dollars, the minute it starts what you are saying I will replace it or remove it. It is wired to the battery with a wing nut ,and it is wired to the red lead with a small bolt, and wing nut. It can be removed, and I can hook the positive wire from motor direct to the battery in less then a minute. As I said before,I have yet to run across anyone that even bothers with a breaker, but I do think it is a good idea. Was this breaker of yours wired internally in the motor ??? I don't see where it could give anyone any problems, if it starts messing up I would remove it. IMO if the motor quits running, its either the breaker, dead battery, or the motor is shot, can't be much of anything else. Time will tell on the breaker that I have, but so far no problems .
  12. up2nogood Member

    Posts: 34
    Centerville,Ut
    Ratings: +9 / 0

    I feel very comfortable with 50 amps, but I only have the 34 # , but if not mistaken the manual also said 60 amps for mine. I look at it this way it cost me less then 5 dollars, and it will trip if there is a problem, so that is all I care about.
  13. LCnSac John or "LC"

    Posts: 556
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +136 / 1
    The difference is the draw. Mine draws 50 amp so it could blow the fuse/breaker pretty easily. I think the 55# 12-volt is the highest amp drawing motor in the entire line, unfortunately. The 24-36V motors draw less amperage, per the specs.
  14. mbowers Active Member

    Posts: 200
    Jupiter, FL / Victoria, BC
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    The breaker was installed in the middle of the wiring under the center console. I had no idea it was there and no idea why the previous owner would cut a long wire run in the middle to add an unprotected automotive component to a saltwater boat! He could have at least done it at the battery as you did.

    I think your automotive auto reset breaker system is probably fine because it's easy to access, easy to bypass and you're aware the breaker might start acting up. Much better than nothing IMHO. It's probably a good idea to keep an eye out for the Minn Kota breaker on sale / ebay somewhere and pick it up if you can get it for $20-30. I think my old boat had this one / one like it installed by the trolling motor shop. It's $25 and waterproof. You can also use it as a switch by manually tripping it to leave the motor wired up but disconnect the power to avoid battery drain / increase safety:

    http://www.amazon.com/Bussmann-Hi-A...HQ02/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1335627688&sr=8-2

    [IMG]
  15. Guy Gregory Active Member

    Posts: 452
    Spokane, WA.
    Ratings: +44 / 0
    My transportable 12v Minn Kota wires direct to the battery and has for 15 years. I wouldn't worry.
  16. up2nogood Member

    Posts: 34
    Centerville,Ut
    Ratings: +9 / 0

    That seems to be what most do , but for less the five dollars, what the heck.
  17. mbowers Active Member

    Posts: 200
    Jupiter, FL / Victoria, BC
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    Exactly, it's a smart way to spend five dollars. Most DIY trolling motor installers might not worry but most boat manufacturers do worry. http://www.rangerboats.com/models.cfm?gid=38&mid=6596#|standard_features lists Heavy Duty 6 Gauge TM Wiring with 50 Amp Breaker. To me it's the same reason you put a $20 breaker on the circuit to your toaster. It's not to protect your $20 toaster, it's to protect your $100K+ home and your family in the VERY unlikely event something goes wrong. I wouldn't hesitate to jump in a boat with a new trolling motor that I hadn't had time to wire up properly if the fish were biting, but by the tenth trip I would find the small amount of time and the few dollars to better protect myself and companions.
    Ron McNeal likes this.
  18. up2nogood Member

    Posts: 34
    Centerville,Ut
    Ratings: +9 / 0

    Very good point, I don't think I would ever just ignore the manufacturers, I do think if I have trouble with the cheap version, I will make a change, but have not had a problem so far. The deal for me is I want to be thinking fish, not motors .