RAPALA | Otts Garage Series, Page 2

RAPALA | Otts Garage Series, Page 2


Winter 2022

page 38


This is a significant upgrade

with many advantages. Unlike

lead-based batteries, lithium

batteries maintain their voltage

until depleted, so the level of

power stays consistent instead

of tapering off. And they greatly

reduce weight, improving

overall boat performance and

fuel economy. I opted for three

100-Amp Hour lithium 12-

volt batteries with Bluetooth.

Enough power for the most grueling conditions of wind and current. In many cases this setup allows for fishing multiple days without recharging if necessary. After fishing a full day, I normally still have 92% charge remaining in my lithium batteries. By using 12-volt models if one fails, I can still use

A spray-on terminal protector against corrosion and shows a battery top masked off for spraying.

my Ghost trolling motor on 24-

volt without skipping a beat. If

two were to fail on a trip, I could go to the closest battery

store and substitute a lead-based battery and keep fishing.

An alternative setup could be to use two single 36-volt

lithium batteries which still provides operational redundancy

should one ever fail.


One reason some fail to upgrade their boat’s electrical system or add a house battery is the complication of battery charging, particularly if using both lead-based batteries and lithium batteries. My older Ranger Z20 now has 5 batteries (1 AGM starter, 1 lithium house, and 3 lithium trolling batteries), and all are charged by a Stealth 1 charging system.

When using a house battery, it is ideal to use a charger with dual power leads so one of the charger’s power banks go to the starting battery, and a second charging bank goes to the house battery for AC charging. The Stealth 1 charger I installed has dual AC charging leads which simultaneously charge both my AGM starting battery and my lithium house battery.

It also utilizes a separate DC Charger which moves power to the three trolling motor batteries, so they are charged. With the model designed for AGM or wet cell starting batteries, once the starting battery reaches 13.0 volts current is directed to the DC Charger to charge the trolling motor batteries (14.6 to 14.8-volts bulk charge). If you have a lithium starting battery a different version is available that powers the DC charger after the lithium starter reaches 13.2 volts.


The DC charger also direct excess voltage to the trolling motor batteries once the starting battery achieves 13.0 volts. This means your outboard can even charge your trolling motor batteries while on the run.


With the additional wiring I installed on my boat and Yukon AT4, I can even charge all my batteries from my tow vehicle charging system. The days of worrying about motel charging outlets are over.


By installing the jump start

switch that came with my Stealth 1

Charging System should my starting

battery fail for any reason, I can start

my outboard from my lithium house

battery. This switch has additional

uses in that you can equalize your

batteries with it, and by putting the

starter and house in parallel you

can even charge both using the TowNCharge or ChargeOnTheRun systems for short term situations.


The system gauge has dual display readings, so I always know the state of charge of my starting battery, and my trolling batteries. It also provides visual verification at the end of the day that I remembered to shut off the circuit breaker to my starting battery and my trolling batteries. Each display turns off when I throw the corresponding breaker.

When fishing at the bow of my Ranger I can know the trolling motor battery charge with the button and gauge on my Ghost trolling motor built-in battery indicator. I know my house battery charge by the supply voltage overlay on my Lowrance HDS display.

When at the console I know the state of charge of all batteries by my Stealth 1 gauge, and my HDS Live display. All my electronics are wired to accessory switches on the dashboard, including my Active Target box and my 3D StructureScan box. If I see my power getting low, I can elect to turn off any accessory switch to conserve power or to stop a transducer from pinging when not needed.

I even know the condition of my three trolling motor lithium batteries by viewing the Bluetooth app on my cell phone from either my boat or in my home. With this setup, there is no reason to ever worry your boat lacks the power it needs.

Yes, it takes time and effort to set this up, but the accompanying video makes it easier, and “The Juice is Worth the Squeeze!” Ciao! •