Great looking pup you got there, can’t wait to take mine out fishing. He’s slept through a lot of my work but just loves to be in the same roomYour main helper is just a younger version of my main helper. Although all my helper has done so far is to poop in places that almost guarantees I step in it and transfer it directly to the new carpet. She’s much better at fishing than she is at helping.
Ray,I just caught up on your project. You've done a great job and it's really amazing that you were able to keep pushing through even as life happens. Love the pup!
Batteries: I use a dual battery setup.
- Cranking battery is a small Group 24 AGM battery that I got at a home improvement store. The motor on my boat is a 2021 20 HP Merc four stroke with electric start and manual pull rope backup. It's very easy to start with the rope, and so I'm OK with a cheap battery on the motor. This battery is only used for cranking.
- Fish finders, trolling motor, and accessories are powered by a 100 Amp Hour Lithium Ion Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery I got off Amazon. I couldn't afford a big Dakota LiFePO4 battery so I did a lot of reading and even found some vids on YouTube about the cheaper offerings on Amazon. I bought a CHINS battery. I paid about $350 for the battery when I bought it, but the price has actually dropped since then. The CHINS has a battery management system built in with thermal protection on both cold and hot extremes. The vid that convinced me on this brand was by a YouTube creator who specializes in solar power systems. He has vids in which he "dissects" batteries. Some of the batteries were absolutely atrocious in build quality. The CHINS was very clean inside with good solder joints.
- Charging is accomplished with a NOCO 5X2. I mounted the charger such that I can easily remove it when the season is over and I can move the charger and batteries into the shop building to stay on trickle charging for the winter.
I moved the batteries from the stern to the middle bench to even out weight distribution in my small boat. They are mounted so they can be removed quickly and the troller & accessories are all hooked to the battery at a fuse block with overload protection.
I don't have a "long term test" on the lithium battery I bought, but so far, so good. My fishing trips are typically one day outings, and I have yet to use more than 50% of the battery's capacity in a day. I don't have the lighting on my boat that you do, I don't fish at night, and I don't have a sound system (don't know if you're looking at one for your boat.) I won't stress a battery like you might. My personal feeling is that you will need a minimum of 100AH of battery capacity. As far as I'm concerned, LiFePO4 is the way to go. Weight savings and life cycle costs are superior.
Good luck on this adventure. You're almost there!