Which canoe motor battery is right for me ?

Choosing a canoe motor battery is one of the most crucial elements in your experience, enjoyability, and most importantly, safety. There are several factors that play into choosing the right battery for your canoe, each of which should be carefully taken into consideration to find the perfect fit for your vessel’s motor.


The right canoe motor battery for you would generally be either an AGM or a lithium-ion alternative, depending on your budget, goals, and experience level. The former is best suited for casual use, while the latter would be better for more experienced canoers.


Even though lithium-ion batteries are often regarded as the best type to use for a canoe motor, they come at a high and often inaccessible price point. In this article, I’ll take you through the factors you should consider to determine the best canoe motor battery for you and explain the most common options along with their advantages and disadvantages.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Canoe Motor Battery

You should choose a canoe motor battery according to your needs regarding its size and weight, power, quality, charging time, and ultimately your budget. Your preferences regarding these six criteria will help you to better choose which of the three main types of canoe motor batteries would be the best choice for you.


  • Size: A motor’s size and weight would significantly impact your canoe’s agility and overall performance. You can check out the adequate ratio between your battery’s and your vessel’s weight here. Generally, canoers aim for the lightest battery possible that doesn’t compromise its power.
  • Power: A battery’s power is also an essential factor to consider, as the whole performance of your canoe depends on it. Higher-power batteries tend to weigh down your boat, though, so try to decide the ideal power-weight balance for your needs.
  • Quality and durability: These can affect your canoeing experience, as an unstable, low-quality option would probably not be worth considering even if it comes at a lower price.
  • Charging time: Charging time and the time between charges are both criteria that canoers take into account when offering a price for a specific battery. If your vessel takes forever to charge and can’t even go through a typical trip for you, you might want to invest in a higher-quality battery.
  • Budget: The most crucial factor to consider is your budget. Discussing durability and charging time would be a moot point if your budget doesn’t allow for a specific type of battery. That said, there’s more to an option’s cost than what meets the eye. So before setting a budget, take into consideration each alternative’s longevity and maintenance needs, as many hidden fees can skew your perspective.

Most Common Types of Canoe Motor Batteries

The type of battery you choose is the first decision you should make, as it affects subsequent choices. Three main battery options are generally used to power a canoe. Let’s take a quick look at them.

Lead-Acid Wet Cell Batteries

Lead-acid wet cell batteries are the traditional choice for old-school canoers.


They’re the most famous and cheap option, as they can last 2-3 years following a modest initial investment. They can handle frequent draining and recharge pretty well, considering their price.


That said, they’re slowly declining in popularity, as they’re prone to vibration and spillage, often requiring maintenance. They also are environmentally unsustainable and can damage your vessel, as well as pollute surrounding waters.

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Batteries

Absorbed glass mat batteries are a higher quality alternative to lead-acid wet cell batteries. Although more expensive, they tend to keep their charge for longer and need to be replaced less frequently, lasting for an average of four years.


They’re often used as marine or deep cycle batteries because of their ability to work well regardless of the orientation.


Unlike the previous option, AGM batteries are also completely sealed, making them a safer alternative for your canoe. Although they can cost up to twice the price of a lead-acid battery, not only does their quality justify the price, there will be no added maintenance costs.


I should also note that with the rise of the following alternative, the price of AGM batteries has been declining consistently.


On the other hand, these batteries tend to be quite heavy, a factor which I discussed in the previous section, which can hinder your vessel’s mobility. They also need to be charged very methodically, as leaving this kind of battery half charged for a long time or letting them discharge below 80% can damage their lifespan.

Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are often regarded as the best choice for a trolling motor, which explains their substantial increase in popularity these last few years. Contrary to both their previous alternatives, they’re incredibly lightweight, at around 60-80% lighter than traditional options.


This type of battery also provides more power than the other options, despite its small mass. The quality allows for it to last longer between charges, last longer overall, with a lifespan of up to 10 years, and charge quicker.


Despite the level of charge, they’ll always work to their total capacity. They’re also more environmentally friendly than their alternatives, which is something to take into consideration.


All these qualities come with an added price, which may take these batteries out of the budget range for many canoers. Given their significantly longer lifespan, the price may end up being justified or even more favorable than that of the other alternatives.


Even so, it’s best to make a purchase this size if you’re a little more experienced in canoeing, and lightening the vessel’s weight would greatly impact your further advancement. These batteries can also become dangerous in case of emergency. For example, if the canoe catches fire, it would be tough to extinguish, even if the boat is in direct contact with water.


The right canoe motor battery for you depends on your needs, experience level, and budget. If you’re an amateur canoer looking for a dependable and reasonably-priced option to start learning the sport, an AGM battery would be the best choice for you.


On the other hand, if you have a lot of experience in canoeing and are looking to make an investment in order to make your vessel faster and advance further, you might want to look into one of the lithium-ion options.

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