PowerMax and Bowfishing

PowerMax is very excited to be part of one of the fastest-growing sports and Industries in the US, Bowfishing. With the sport constantly evolving, boats are being built with more and more requirements to extend fishing times, run more lights and power bigger trolling motors.

There are several important factors to consider when deciding which is the right PowerMax charger(s) for your boat?

Below are some Q&A to help you figure out what will work best for you on your boat;

Let’s start with the basics,

What does the PowerMax Converter do and why do I need one?

  • They convert AC power (from a generator or mains wall socket) to DC power to charge a battery and/or supply power to DC Powered Lights and Trolling Motors.
  • Using a PowerMax charger will extend the time you can be out fishing by helping to keep your batteries Fully charged allowing you to run your trolling motor and lights longer.

Now you know what a PowerMax Converter can do for you it’s time to figure out what’s the right size converter and type that you need and other factors you need to know for your set up, everyone is different.

  • How much DC power do I need to run my equipment?
  • How much AC Power does it take to run my PowerMax Converter
  • What type and size of Generator do I need
  • How do I wire a converter to my battery bank or trolling motor
  • 12V, 24V and 36V systems
  • Standard or Bowfishing model
  • Pro’s and Con’s

How much power do I need?

  • This is the single most important factor when choosing which size of PowerMax charger you need for your boat and is the best place to start
  • Add up the maximum Amp draw from all DC-powered equipment you plan to run or have your batteries connected to that you will use with the PowerMax chargers, usually this will be LED lights and a trolling motor. This will give you a total of DC Amps that your setup needs to run properly.
  • The Max amp draw for your trolling motor is based on the lbs thrust and differs if you’re running a 12V, 24V or 36V motor. See chart below for approx amp draws for trolling motors (Fig 1)
  • LED lights are measured in watts and amps so these are much easier to work out, simply add up total amps for each light being used. Example: A typical 50lbs thrust (12V) trolling motor has a max amp draw of 42 Amps. With 8 x 50W (12V) LED lights each draws 4.7 amps so the total would be 37.6 Amps (12V). With the above example, you will need a maximum of 79.6 Amps of 12V DC power (42 + 37.6) to run everything.
  • The example above shows a max amp draw of nearly 80 amps, we recommend using a PowerMax charger that has at least 20% more charging capacity than your requirement, this would be a 100 Amp 12V charger. Doing this will make sure you have enough DC power available to keep up with the Max demand placed on the batteries by the lights and trolling motor and what is needed to help keep the batteries charged.
  • Use the same method to calculate the different voltages, 24V and 36V systems for the LED and motors to understand your maximum DC power requirements.
  • If your using a combination of 12V LED and a 24V motor you will need at least 2 PowerMax converters, one set per battery bank. You may want to consider running everything at 24V, this would allow you to run off one 24V battery back.
  • Using a Converter(s) that supplies less power than your Amp draw will cause you to lose power even when using it with a battery. You will be going backward on the amount of power in your batteries and ultimately your battery will no longer have any stored power.

How much AC power do I need?

  • Once you decide which size of PowerMax unit(s) you need you can work out how much AC power your PowerMax unit needs to run so it can converter into DC power
  • This is where a generator comes in to give you AC power to run the PowerMax converters. Generators are usually rated by Watts, the AC draw in Watts is larger than the DC output of Watts. The difference for this is the power used by the PowerMax unit to the converter from AC to DC. The chart at the bottom of this page (Fig 2) gives the Max AC and DC Watts of our different models.
  • In the example above a 100A converter is needed which requires just under 1600W of AC power to provide 100A DC power at the maximum output so you will need a generator that provides at least 1800W of continuous power. Be aware that not all generators have the same outputs. Some 2000W models only peak at that level, with continuous output much lower at 1600W which may not be enough to power the converter at full output
  • If you have a large boat running a 24V or 36V trolling motor and LED you will need several converters which could have a combined AC requirement of well over 3000W. Max amps rating on the sockets can also be a factor as these larger 100A 12V or 50A 24V units can pull up to 13A, you may have difficulty running 2 through the same shared socket popping the breakers

What type of Generator should I use and why?

  • When using with a generator we highly recommend using an Inverter style Generator such as Honda EU or Yamaha EF models, these are designed for use with electronics.
  • They provide a clean power supply that won’t cause problems with the internal circuits within our PowerMax units or the control board on the trolling motors
  • NOTE: Make sure to follow these simple steps to avoid voltage spikes when using a generator as this can cause your Converter to fail
    • Allow generator to warm up and stabilize before plugging in the Converter otherwise voltage spikes can occur which can damage the unit
    • Unplug Converters from the generator before you turn it off
    • Do not run out of fuel! When fuel levels get low the generator will splutter causing the voltage to surge up and down, if this goes too high it will damage components within the Converter

With different voltage types (12V, 24V or 36V) which is best?

  • PowerMax supplies several different types and sizes of converters in both 12V and 24V to supply your power needs. l addition to this our unit have the ability to be wired in Series or Parallel so you can add multiple units together to meet the higher power requirement.
  • So this can be 2 x 75A 12V in parallel for a 150A 12V power supply, 2 x 55A for a 55A 24V system or 3 x 55A for a 55A 36V system. Diagram showing how to do this can be found at the bottom of the page (Fig 3)

Should I get a Bowfishing or Standard PowerMax converter?

  • PowerMax makes several styles of Converters that can be used for Bowfishing, our standard PM3 Series and our latest Bowfishing model. Which model is best for you depends on how you plan to use your Converter
  • The PM3 model has a built-in smart charger that automatically supplies the correct amount of voltage and amps depending on the demand on the unit. These cycles through 3 Voltage stages – 14.6V, 13.8V and 13.2V (double for 24V unit) with varying amps. These can also be used when you’re not on your boat to maintain your batteries for an extended time as they will go into a float mode.
  • The Bowfishing unit has been designed to be used more as a power supply for your trolling motor or LED lights; this has a single voltage output of 13.4V (double for 24V). These units will keep charge in your battery and run your trolling motors when out fishing but shouldn’t be left connected to a battery once off the lake for more than 8-10 hrs to avoid overcharging. Units also have a Camo themed wrap
  • If using a converter without a battery strictly to power your trolling motor or LED’s then the Bowfishing unit is the one to use
  • Certain trolling motors can be sensitive to higher voltage inputs so with this in mind we developed the Bowfishing unit. We can also customize the output voltage to your specific needs just call us
  • Battery sizes are also an important factor and will determine how long you can run without using your charger. Higher Amp hour rating the more stored power you have.
  • Not all batteries accept charge or discharge at the same rate so make sure you consider this when looking into your batteries

Are there any Pro’s and Con’s with using a Converter?

  • As with anything else you will always come across problems when trying to adapt or modify an existing setup to get more power and push things to the limits.
  • One of the biggest problems we see is guys not having enough power available for a new motor or more lights being added to their boats. This usually happens when they are modifying a boat they already set up and trying to change something to work better or run longer but have limited themselves with a small generator.
  • If using the PowerMax Converter strictly as a power supply you will need to run the generator constantly to power your motor or lights, some teams like run quiet so this needs to be considered when choosing how to use your converter

Our PowerMax units are usually one of the least expensive components on your Bowfishing boat set up when matched with the correctly sized generator and batteries the right PowerMax charger they can provide the power you need to run all night, leaving you to enjoy your Bowfishing!

If you have any questions simply give us a call at (941) 201 8041 we are always glad to help you.

Fig 1 – Maximum Amp draw on trolling motor based on lbs thrust


Fig 2 – Maximum Input / Output Wattage

12 Volt Converter – Input / Output Wattage

Amp Size45A55A75A100A
Max Watt Output (DC)60078010651440
Max Watt Input (AC)70591711451548

24 Volt Converter – Input / Output Wattage

Amp Size20A30A40A50A
Max Watt Output (DC)57686411521440
Max Watt Input (AC)62093012401548

Fig 3 – Wiring 12V Converters in series for 24V or 36V systems


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