Analysis and Results
Goldenmate produces deep-cycle batteries that are perfect for running trolling motors and other electronics on your boat. But as deep-cycle specific designs, they will not start your outboard.
For that, you need a starting or dual-use battery.
Deep-cycle batteries are designed to provide steady, long-lasting power, discharge deeply without damage, and then be recharged through many cycles.
That power output is measured in terms of voltage - in this case 12V - and in time by Ah and/or RC numbers. Obviously, higher Ah ratings mean longer battery life.
And when you’re running a power-hungry trolling motor at high speeds to keep your boat put in a current, or just working a vast weed bed at the edge of a drop off, the last thing you want is for your battery to let you down.
Typically, anglers in larger boats - where weight is not an issue - opt for the highest Ah/RC numbers they can get, especially if they’ll be running a live well, a few fish finders, and a big trolling motor all day.
Goldenmate’s 100Ah batteries are ideal for these uses, offering RCs of 240. That’s an impressive run time by any standard.
Goldenmate also offers smaller batteries that are ideal for other marine uses, producing 10 and 20Ah. With RCs of 24 and 48 respectively, these smaller, lighter batteries are perfect for kayaks, canoes, and other small boats where space is at a premium and battery weight affects trim.
Size and weight
Goldenmate’s batteries are roughly the same size as alternative AGM batteries. Consider the excellent VMAX MR127 12 Volt 100Ah AGM Deep Cycle, which measures 12.1” x 6.75” x 8.2”.
The 100 Ah Goldenmate is just fractions of an inch larger in two dimensions, but weighs just 42% of the hefty VMAX!
That’s an enormous difference, especially when you’re running a 36V trolling motor or fishing from a small boat where every pound matters.
Even head to head with smaller lithium batteries like the reliable Dakota Lithium 12V 10Ah LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery, an excellent choice as a dedicated battery for your fish finder or flasher, the 10Ah Goldenmate offers virtually identical dimensions but weighs 7% less.
That may not sound like much, unless you’re the one pulling the sled across the ice!
Performance and durability
The high initial price of lithium batteries is offset by extremely long service life. In this case, Goldenmate promises 4000 to 15000+ cycles from its 100Ah battery, which equates to many years of service.
Taking a close look at the inside of our 20Ah model - after removing the screws - we found that everything was right and tight. And while we obviously haven't been able to test the longevity of this Goldenmate, it delivered the promised Ah, charged quickly, and the Battery Management System (BMS) did its job and prevented overcharging.
On the water, that BMS also insures that you won’t get overheating, an important consideration when running your battery hard in high ambient temperatures.
With reasonable throttle settings on a trolling motor, plus accessories like your fishfinders, I would expect 7 to 10 hours of battery life, with recharging times of 5 hours or less. But if you’re fighting currents or waves, running your trolling motor hard, battery life may be as short as 4 hours or less.
We can take a closer look at performance by understanding Ah.
The experts at Trollingmotors.net explain that:
a 100 amperage hour battery is one that would be able to supply 25 amps of power for 4 hours (25 amps * 4 hours = 100 amp hours) before running out of energy. Alternatively, the same battery could also supply 10 amps of power for 10 hours (10 amps * 10 hours = 100 amp hours) before running dry You can think of the amperage hour rating as being similar to a gas tank in a car – the larger it is, the more energy/fuel it can store, and the longer it can power a motor.
To calculate how long a Goldenmate 100Ah battery can run your trolling motor, you only need to know the amps your trolling motor draws. That’s related to the thrust it produces, and the chart below provides good average numbers for you to consider:
For anglers using a 10 or 20Ah battery to run fishing electronics, expect very long run times.
For instance, the incredible Lowrance Elite FS 9 draws 2 amps when fully backlit. The 10Ah Goldenmate can run that fishfinder for roughly 5 hours, while the 20Ah model can provide power for 10 hours.
For kayak anglers who need a small, light, long-lasting power plant for their fishing electronics, the Goldenmate 20Ah is hard to beat.
But marine batteries don’t just need to provide the Ah they promise; they need to be able to take the pounding that comes with life on the water.
Goldenmate’s batteries aren’t designed specifically for marine use, and I’m not sure they’re as shock resistant as options like LiTime’s 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Trolling Motor Battery.
Put simply, only time will tell whether this relatively new battery can withstand the pounding of running a boat across choppy water. That’s not something to worry about with kayaks and canoes, however.
But keep in mind as well that Goldenmate makes no claim whatsoever to saltwater spray resistance - indeed, they make no claim to water resistance at all.
I would make every effort to keep these batteries dry, which is easy enough on a bass boat but may require a battery box on a jon, kayak, or canoe.
If you’re running a bass boat, jon, or other similarly-sized watercraft, and you need to power a trolling motor, live well, fishing electronics, or radio, a larger 100Ah battery is the right choice. And though Goldenmate offers a 200Ah battery, it’s sized for RV and home use rather than a boat.
If you fish from a kayak or canoe, and all you power is a fishfinder, a 10Ah or 20Ah battery is the better choice.
You’ll also need to be keenly aware of the dimensions and weight of your battery, as deck space is minimal and it takes just pounds to affect trim.
There’s simply no question that lithium batteries are superior tech when compared with AGM and lead-acid alternatives.
They’re lighter, aren’t damaged by deep discharging, and last much, much longer.
That comes at a price, and many anglers are willing to pay up front knowing that they’re expensive lithium battery is going to serve them for years.
Even then, it’s easy to find 100Ah lithium marine batteries that run into the four-digits, and price points below $400 are pretty rare.
That’s where Goldenmate’s lineup of lithium batteries really come into their own: these value-minded power systems are significantly easier on your wallet than most, allowing anglers to switch to lithium without selling their boats.
If money were no option, and Elon Musk was footing the bill for my next set of lithium batteries, I’m sure I could find more durable, higher-end options that I’d be delighted with.
But since that’s not in the cards for me, and I’ll be spending my own hard-earned money - just like you will - I want to maximize the value of my purchase, increasing the performance I buy for every dollar I spend.
In that respect, Goldenmate’s 100, 20, and 10Ah batteries are very hard to beat, whether you’re buying three to run a 36V trolling motor or just need power for your kayak’s fishfinder.
Goldenmate’s batteries offer nearly identical dimensions and power performance when compared with their lithium competitors, though they’re slightly heavier (the LiTime 100Ah battery weighs just 22 pounds). But when compared to AGM options, they’re much lighter at the same size, and only marginally more expensive.
I’d love to see shock protection and waterproofing - at least against spray - but at this price/performance ratio, there’s really nothing to complain about.