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If you need to remove your motor for storage or maintenance from time to time, you should look into installing plugs and receptacles.

Trolling motor plugs are excellent because they let you quickly and safely disconnect your motor’s wiring without using any tools.

This article takes a closer look at plugs and receptacles, how they work, how to get the right one, and how to install them correctly.

Let’s get started!

How Do Trolling Motor Plugs Work

Plugs and receptacles for your trolling motor work pretty much like plugs and sockets at your home. When you unplug the wire, you break the electrical connection, and you can dismount your trolling motor safely.

Things You Should Know Before Buying a Plug & Receptacle

2 Prong Plugs

These plugs are the simplest, as they require only two wires to work.

The only thing you have to be careful about is to make sure you don’t confuse the positive (usually red color wire) with the negative (usually black).

3 Prong Plugs

This is the older style of plugs designed for trolling motors that could run on both 12 Volts or 24 Volts.

4 Prong Plugs

Some plugs were designed to be used with 24-volt trolling motors so that the plug itself is used to connect two 12-volt batteries in series.

That means that both positive (+) and negative (-) terminals of each 12-volt battery meet at the receptacle where the positive (+) of battery A is connected to the negative (-) of battery B to create a 24-volt system.

Quick Connectors

When you install a trolling motor plug and receptacle, you will need to drill into your boat in most cases. If you want to avoid that, quick connectors can be used instead.

They are a simple way to break the connection between your trolling motor and the battery terminals to remove your trolling motor whenever you need to.

How to Install a Trolling Motor Plug?

It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as the shapes and sizes of plugs and receptacles can vary significantly.

You will need the following:

  • Plug and receptacle kit
  • Wire
  • Drill
  • Hole daw drill bit or a hacksaw
  • Wire stripper
  • Screwdriver

The basic trolling motor plug installation process:

  • Step 1. Choose the location for your receptacle on your boat.
  • Step 2. Drill a hole, make the correct shape with a hacksaw if necessary.
  • Step 3. Place the receptacle in the hole to mark where the side holes should be for the screws; drill the holes corresponding to the screws you have.
  • Step 4. Pull the battery leads through the hole and fix them to the receptacle.
  • Step 5. Fix the trolling motor leads to the plug.
  • Step 6. Insert the receptacle into the hole and mount it using the provided screws.
  • Step 7. Insert the plug into the receptacle. Done!

Plug Testing

The best way to test your trolling motor plug is to use a voltmeter.

You want to make sure that the voltage at the plug is the same as the voltage measured at the battery terminals.

Recommended Plugs and Receptacles

Minn Kota MKR-26

  • Rated for 60 Amps, up to 48 Volts
  • Compatible with 6 to 10 AWG wire sizes
  • Silver-plated terminals (good for resisting corrosion)
  • Waterproof design
  • Easy to understand installation manual

Battery Tender 80A Plug and Receptacle

  • Rated for 80 Amps, up to 48 Volts
  • Solid copper, silver-plated terminals
  • 5-year warranty

Marinco 70A

  • Rated for 70 Amps, up to 48 Volts
  • Brass terminals, silver-plated
  • Sealed, waterproof
  • Compatible with wires up to 6 AWG

Marinco 3 Wire ConnectPro

  • Up to 40 Amps
  • Plated brass terminals
  • Waterproof

Marinco 2 Wire ConnectPro

  • Up to 40 Amps
  • Plated brass terminals
  • Waterproof

Minn Kota MKR-20 Quick Connector

  • Up to 50 Amps
  • Compatible with up to 8 AWG wires

Trolling Motor Plug FAQ

Are trolling motor plugs universal?

I’m afraid they are not. There are many types and brands of plugs and receptacles, which you can’t use with one another. They will not fit.

What gauge wire should I use for my trolling motor?

In most cases, for trolling motors that draw less than 60 Amps, an 8 AWG wire is sufficient when you’re not using an extension. If your wire runs 20 feet and more, you should increase your wire size to 6 AWG.