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Circuit Breakers for Trolling Motors: A to Z Guide

Written by Anthony Roberts / Fact checked by Jonathan Larson


Newbies may have been advised to purchase circuit breakers for trolling motors. These things protect your motor at all costs. They’re also a requirement of the Coast Guard intended for ungrounded conductors fed by the current.

A trolling motor circuit breaker is set to a certain amp. Hence, it can break the circuit to stop the motor from overloading and causing damage.

The motor doesn’t overwork in situations where the propeller gets stuck on objects like seaweed, rock, and logs underwater. If there’s no limit, the shaft will continuously break free.

The continuous movement needs current, and it can damage your motor for good. So, a circuit breaker has a vital role when operating your boat.

Read this whole article to know the important points.

Are There Different Types of Circuit Breakers?

There are different types of circuit breakers, depending on the kind of trolling motor added to your boat. In connection with this, both MotorGuide and Minn Kota produce their circuit breakers to be flexible with the amperage level above which their motors can draw.

So, a 60 amp circuit breaker is made by Minn Kota as their motors can generally pull below 60 amps. The motors of MotorGuide are typically marked for 50 amp breakers except for its Xi5 80 series, as it needs 60 amps.

Before buying a trolling motor breaker, you have to consider other factors, such as the following:

  • Motor model or thrust
  • Motor’s maximum draw of ampere
  • VDC capacity
  • Wire extension length

Check these factors before going over the different types of breakers for trolling motors. It’s like a circuit breaker chart but more detailed.

Related: Steps to install minn kota circuit breaker

1. 50 Amp Circuit Breaker

You have this type in various motors since you can find it in four types based on VDC.

  • 12 VDC – It’s suitable for trolling motors that are 30 lbs, 40 lbs, and 45 lbs. The topmost draw of ampere for this is 30 amps and 40 amps.
  • 24 VDC – You can pair this with a 70-lb trolling motor. The maximum amp draw is 42 amps.
  • 36 VDC – This is what you need for 101 lbs of trolling motor. The utmost ampere for this is 46 amps.
  • 48 VDC – It’s a match for the E-Drive motor. The max amp draw is 40 amps.

2. 60 Amp Circuit Breaker

Just like the circuit breaker of 50 amp, there are various types of 60 amp circuit breakers. They’re also based on VDC.

  • 12 VDC – You have to get this if you have either 50 lbs or 55 lbs trolling motor. The maximum draw is 50 amps.
  • 24 VDC – It’s what you need for 80-lb trolling motors. The utmost draw is 56 amps.
  • 36 VDC – This type is relevant to 112-lb and Engine Mount 101 trolling motors. The maximum draw is either 50 amps or 52 amps.
  • 24 VDC (2 x 60 amp circuit breaker) – The pair of 60 amp circuit breakers are perfect for an Engine Mount 160 trolling motor. 116 amps are the maximum draw for these two breakers. As a team, they can deal with the power amounting to 120 amps. You’ll find that this type is recommended by the manufacturer of Engine Mount 160. 

Tips to Ensure Getting the Protection From the Circuit Breakers


The different types of circuit breakers that were mentioned can provide the best protection to your motor as long as these things are met.

  • Proper insulation of conductor up to 105 degrees Celsius
  • Only two conductors should be used
  • When the motor is being utilized, the voltage drop shouldn’t be over five percent

In addition, the necessary wiring extension for the circuit breakers has a length of 5 feet to 25 feet. There’s no exact number as it will depend on the gauge, which connects the battery to the matter.

Choosing the right gauge is also vital since this part can detect whether the wire is capable of holding a certain power surge. Thus, be attentive to borh the wiring diagram and appropriate components.

Note that installing a wrong gauge or wire size can lead to overheating and melting of insulation. It’s the consequence of the wire’s insufficient ability to keep up with the power surge. Moreover, the circuit breaker loses its purpose and things might get worse when there’s a fire that you need to put off.

Circuit Breaker for 12v Trolling Motor


Since it’s not mentioned above, you may wonder about the recommended circuit breaker for a 12V trolling motor. You can get any of the two types: the 50 amp or 60 amp. To choose between the two, you have to be guided by these factors:

  • Wire’s running the length
  • Motor’s weight
  • The maximum motor’s amp draw must be 10% less than the circuit breaker

To explain further, any of the circuit breakers should be able to handle 10% of the current essential for the motor’s activation. There will be issues with the wire if it’s too long. Nevertheless, it’s rarely experienced by boaters. If ever you have to resolve this problem, work on the resistance of the wire’s length.

A trolling motor of 30 to 45 lbs is best paired with a 50 amp circuit breaker. The 50 lbs to 55 lbs motor is suitable for 60 amp circuit breakers.

1. Guide to Installation of Circuit Breaker

Instead of hiring a marine technician, you can buy a circuit breaker kit and install it yourself. Here are the essential steps.

  • Step 1: To begin, choose a suitable area in your boat to mount your circuit breaker. The best way to do it is to put it beside the batteries.
  • Step 2: You will mount it through the holes found on its base.


  • Step 3: There are two terminals on a circuit breaker labeled as AUX and BAT. One of them is for the trolling motor and the other is attached to the battery.
  • Step 4: The AUX should be linked with the motor’s positive power cable while the BAT is on the battery’s positive side.

2. More Infos In Getting a Circuit Breaker

  • It’s good to avail of the trip-free breaker that you can reset manually.
  • You have to look for a breaker that has enough amps interrupting capacity.
  • An excellent circuit breaker should remain operable when there’s a short circuit or an electric fault.
  • Some situations will require you to add a fuse when installing a breaker. This is a component that increases the breaker’s interrupting capacity.
  • Before deciding to purchase a circuit breaker, it must go through the checking of ignition protection. The test includes an electric current that is fourfolds of the original rating of the breaker.
  • Short circuit prevention can be done by covering the battery’s positive side with electric tape or some kind of protective shield. It’s prohibiting contact with stray wiring, metal objects, and things that can cause issues.
  • You have to consider using a circuit breaker for all the wires that you place in your boat.


For the sake of protection, you have to know about circuit breakers for trolling motors. It’s primarily to keep your boat’s motor in shape but you might want to connect it with all the existing wires. You have to follow the tips given in this article to ensure that you obtain protection for your motor.

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