bought a boat with a motorguide 50lb 24v trolling motor its probably 10-15yrs old. I have cleaned the plug connections and made sure the batteries are charged but the motor just doesn't seem to have much power even on level 5. Its on a Nitro 170DC.
Where do I start is the motor most likely shot or is it more likely a battery issue I hate to replace and it be the other.
You realize you need two batteries connected in series to provide 24 volts don't you? One battery provides 12 volts which is barely enough power to turn the prop. This is what the wiring would look like.
Do you measure 24 volts at the trolling motor receptacle. If not, its the wiring or batteries. If the boat has a switch panel with switch(es) labeled CHARGE/RUN or 12/24 or something similar, make sure those switches are set properly. Looking at the wiring is not a good check. Disconnect and clean the terminals. Then make sure the wiring is actually correct. If you do measure 24 volts at the receptacle that says the troller plug is bad, the cable is bad, or there is an issue with the motor. And yes -- people who don't understand electrical issues have no clue what it takes to get 24 volts. Batteries can be load tested at your local auto store -- usually for free but make sure you charge them before you go.