Trolling Motor questions?

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by Big Dav, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    OK,
    I have three trolling motors I could use on my 2070 Lowe Jon boat.
    First it came with a Minn Kota All-Terrain 55 lb thrust 12 volt motor. I have already removed it. I would rather do something different.
    I have a Minn Kota Power Drive / Auto Pilot / Universal Sonar trolling motor that i could put on it. Only thing is it is the same 12 volt 55# of thrust. Only advantages would be the features and best of all being able to operate the trolling motor from any area of the boat.
    Next I have a Minn Kota Maxxum 24 volt but it is only 65# of thrust. I would have to make room in the back for an extra battery and upgrade the wiring to at least 6 GA (it has 8 GA now). I need to upgrade the wiring anyway.
    My question is would it be worth it for just the added 10 # of thrust or should I make due for now until I can find something with around 80# of thrust?
    I mainly use the trolling motor just for catching bait and controlling drift while drift fishing. I sometimes use it when setting the anchors in slack water.
    For those of you with 20 + foot Jon boats. What size trolling motors do you have or would you like to have? How do they preform?

    One more question.
    On all my boats I have owned in the past, I have set the trolling motor off to the side (angled) as far as possible. Keep the trolling motor in the center of the boat when it is deployed into the water. I have see several boats with the trolling motor mount off set to one side but in line with the boat (not set on an angle). The trolling motor would be off to the side some when in the water. I think that would be a good ideal so I could install a cleat in the very center of the bow for anchoring in current. I think I have seen some tracker Jon's and some Sea Ark's like this.
    What do you guys think about having the trolling motor set off to the side but in a straight line with the boat?

    Thanks for the help,:big_smile:
    David
     
  2. okiefishkiller

    okiefishkiller New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    oklahoma
    i have a 1860 g3, and i have a 82/ 85 lb on it, what ever motorguide is. first i dont think theres any substitution when it comes to the power, front or back. the biggist trolling motor u can get is the one i would go with. i would ask a marine dealer about the ga. wire, because my boat came wired i think with10 ga. and the dealers mach. said even tho it was ment to have a 12v, i could put a24v in it by running one short jumper from one batt. to the other.i have ran the heck out of it for ayear now(knock on wood) and not had any problems. hope this helps.
     

  3. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    The trolling motor will work on 12 guage.

    For any trolling motor I would go with atleast a 6 gauge welding style cable.
    Preferably a tinned wire.
    The enemy is heat.
    If you keep that conductor cool and give it a good friendly DC path (welding cable) you've a got a battery friendly, motor friendly, and optimized system.

    Alot of people fail to realize that DC wire ampacity is worlds different then AC wire ampacity.
    Just 5 short feet of wire can throw you into another size wire where as with AC you can go for more then a hundred feet with little to no loss.

    Probally one of my favorite examples would be using an electric trailer winch wired off the truck battery terminals.
    There is more to it then looking at a piece of wire and saying , yea, that looks big enough.
    Measure the length of the truck and what it'll take to get to the winch. Look at a DC ampacity chart.
    Trucks are too expensive to burn up on boat ramps.

    The leading cause of loss of vessel on the water is fire.
    The way boats are built and wired with wires often foamed in and below deck you are in dire trouble should it be a fire caused by wiring.
    Number one, you often cant get to it. Number two, nasty things like gas fumes like to hide below deck. Number 3 foam burns hot, so does fiberglass.

    That itty bitty extinguisher that a dealer tossed in the boat is so you dont get a ticket. Its not a fire fighter. Peeing on it would work just as well.

    Boat manufacturers will cut every corner possible to make a buck and figure out a way to turn that corner cutting into a selling feature.
    Just because it was installed during manufacture doesn't make it the right install.
    I've torn into several bass boats that had laughable wiring for the trolling motor. One of my own bass boats had solid 10 gauge wire installed and foamed in at the factory. What a joke. It worked alright, but not near as well as it did when I snaked in the good stuff.
    The boating industry gets away with alot of substandard stuff because alot of the boating public has no clue and dont question it as long as it works.
    Alot of whats put in a boat you'll never see unless you tear it apart.
    They'll impress you and focus your attention with a visual appearance and screw you under the floor. by the time you find out, its too late.

    It aint no different then buying a trailer house. Some build a top notch house from top to bottom others have a lot of faux front. Its just like buying a trailer house. You dont know what you got until you live in it a month or two.
    Seen it to many times even in boats I owned.

    My cousin bought a bass boat back in the 80's. Sleek nice boat. He bought it used and no warranty.
    He had never owned a bass boat and his fishing buddy hadnt either. The buddy put the plug in the wrong hole and they dumped it into a pond here on the farm. Two rednecks profiling on a glittery bass boat.
    By the time they realized water was in the boat it was coming up through the floor drain. My cousin realized what had transpired and jumped to the console to run it to shore. When his foot came off the front fishing deck onto the floor, the boat went under in a split second straight down 20 feet.

    There wasnt the first hint of foam in that boat. Flotation foam is a Coastguard requirement.
    Luckily the manufacturer was still in business. They fetched the boat from NC , carried it to Georgia, took it apart, foamed it and had the motor repaired by threat of suit and Coastguard involvement.
    They cut a stupid corner and got caught with their pants down.
    The way boat companies come and go he got lucky he wasnt left holding the bag. The boat was 5 years old.
    It goes to show if they think they can get away with it they'll do it.
    2 rednecks fishing on a pond that owned numerous John Deere tractors and scuba tanks wasnt in their plan of success.
     
  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Another classic example. A 25 thousand dollar rig with a 15 dollar bilge pump that couldnt keep up in a hard rain but is supposed to keep up with a leak.
     
  5. catfishscotty

    catfishscotty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    State:
    mo
    i have the same auto pilot as u dave 12 v 55 lb thrust on my 22 ft sea ark and use it for the exact same things as u bait and when drifting i have no complaints. bigger might be better i dunno if it really would tho for the extra money u have to give for the 24 volts. and extra battery. i love my auto pilot because if there is no wind to push my boat for drifting i still use my drift sock and point the auto pilot where i want to drift and set it on auto and forget about it and fish its awsome.
     
  6. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    Mark,
    You are 100% correct on the difference between AC and DC wiring. AC will travel with very little resistance over great distances. DC will not so the size wire must be increased as the load increases or the distance increases.
    I worked in the automotive electronics industry for sixteen years as a professional and I could tell you some stories that you might never believe but you sure would laugh. I think I have seen it all when it comes to DC wiring "bloopers".
    Like you read in my post I need to upgrade the 8 GA wire even if I stay with 12 volt and 55# thrust. For the simple fact of the distance + load = resistance = heat = shortened life of what ever DC motor is on the end of the line.:big_smile:
    i still would like to hear pros and cons of where the trolling motor is mounted. More importantly where the trolling motor, when deployed is in relation to the center of the front of the boat.
    I am strongly considering mounting mine off to the side just enough to add a cleat in the very center of the boat. I think the benefits of having the ability to anchor to the center of the bow would be greater than any issues with mounting the trolling motor off center to the bow.

    Scott,
    You are correct about the Auto Pilot feature. I love it! I am currently using that motor on my tracker but was considering changing it to the Lowe and putting something different on the Tracker. I may just save my pennies, rob the cookie jar, beg from the wife and write a letter to Santa for a 24 volt Terrova for the big Jon boat. I just hate to sink that kind of money into something that I use so little. If I were going to troll along the bank and cast Rapala's for "bait" I mean bass.:roll_eyes: I could see that type of investment in a trolling motor.
    I have read where others needed or wanted 80# + thrust motors for this size boat. I know the 65# (might be 70#) trolling motor on my deck boat pulls it around great until the wind picks up and then it struggles a little. That darn deck boat catches so much wind you could not anchor it with a VW bug on each corner. :smile2: So I cannot blame the Trolling motor for it entirely. When the wind picks up I am asking a lot of it to pull that boat against the wind for a controlled drift.

    Thanks once again,
    David
     
  7. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    No one else care to share what they use on big Jon boats and the results??:sad2::sad2::sad2::sad2::sad2::sad2::sad2::sad2::sad2::sad2::sad2::sad2::sad2:
     
  8. RivrLivn

    RivrLivn Member

    Messages:
    194
    State:
    Missouri
    David,
    My boat is not a jon boat, but it is a big aluminum sled. 21' and almost 2900 lbs. dry.
    I use a MotorGuide "Beast" 109# 36v. I moves my boat great. The only thing I would trade it for is a 85# remote steer model, (I would love to just hit the buttons and let it go), I just don't want to spend the money.

    I would think an 80# model should handle your boat well.
     
  9. Wabash River Bear

    Wabash River Bear New Member

    Messages:
    3,019
    State:
    Indiana
    Big Dave,
    The reason alot of people mount their trolling motors on center or angled to center is so the motor pulls from the center. Basically it drives easier and truer in forward motion. Mine is mounted off to the left side parallel to the boat, I need it out of the way gettin in & out of the boat on banks, bars, runnin lines, jugs and such. There is a bit of angular pull when driving if you point the motor straight ahead in line with the boat, its easily compensated for and worth having out of the way. I've got a MinnKota 55# Edge mounted on my Lowe 1652. I hope this helps clear up some of the questions you had. Later Bud.
     
  10. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    Barry,
    Thanks for the reply. That helped a lot and I think I am going to move mine over to be able to better use the front deck while anchoring and loading and unloading passengers. Much appreciated.:big_smile:
    Thanks and Merry Christmas.
    David
     
  11. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    The ultimate. Trim tabs that include trolling motors.:big_smile:
     
  12. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    Mark,
    Are you talking about the ones on each of the main motor or actual trolling motors on the trim tabs. I have not seen them actually on trim tabs. Now you have got me thinking. Could something like that be added to flotation pods. That would be the ticket for this boat. No trolling motor on the deck to get int he way and no lifting it in and out of the water.:roll_eyes::big_smile::0a31:

    Thanks
    David
     
  13. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    http://lencomarine.com/trollntabs.html

    Sit down before you get to the price.
    But I still think these are the ticket. Maybe not for bass fishing but drift fishing. The captain never has move from gas to battery.
     
  14. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    For the toon I'm working on something different
    that will put 2 -55 pound thrusters on the rear of the toons and controls on the dash.
     
  15. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    Thanks Mark,
    If you look at the price of power trim tabs and what it would cost for two trolling motors that size. That price is not that crazy. I don't need the trim tab portion. I am going to add flotation pods on the back of this boat and something (I think) like you are thinking about for the pontoon might be want I could use.
    Have you checked into what it would take to control two motors mounted solid on the back?
    What have you got in mind for the pontoon? If you don't mind me asking? :roll_eyes:
    I found the control brain for the Lenco trim tabs. I need to place a call to the company after the holidays are over. Something like this with the auto pilot feature would be the best of both worlds. IMHO :big_smile::still_dreaming:

    Thanks and Merry Christmas
    David
     
  16. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I'm going simple and creative.
    Cutting the trolling motor shafts way down, hanging one off each pontoon and either tie them into the outboard steering or let the outboard act as a tiller.
    I'll remove the rheostats from the trolling motor heads and mount them in the dash.

    Cuts way down expense of the trolling motors themselves.
    You are looking at around 500 dollars in motors and pennies in setting it up to work like a 1500 dollar unit minus the automatic stowing.
    I think I can manage to walk back and stow a few stubby trolling motors to the running position.:wink:

    We've always done this type of thing on our one man boats.
    Make it a stubby shaft motor, put the rheostat on the gunnel beside the seat and steer the boat with foot pedals tied to pulleys and the motor.
    The only way to do it in a small boat. No fumbling around with a motor other then flipping a rheostat into another position. No reaching behind you or turning in the seat.

    You just have to be sure you buy a plain jane trolling motor that relies on a rheostat.
    An example would be the popular Minnkota that is 30 pound thrust and sells for about a 100 bucks.
    However you can get those plain janes on up in thrust. I'll probally go with 2- 55 pound thrusts 12 volt each.
     
  17. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    Thanks Mark,
    My ears have smoke coming out of them now. I need to stop thinking so hard. I tend to make things much more complicated than they sometimes need to be. :smile2: I need to get a few things finished, get my flotation pods built and then get back to this subject and idea. :roll_eyes::eek:oooh::big_smile:

    Thanks and Merry Christmas,
    David
     
  18. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I to sleep most every night with smoke coming out of them.:smile2: