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Bow mount trolling motor questions


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I am strongly considering upgrading from a transom mount to a bow mount trolling motor.  The boat is a 16.5 foot aluminum V hull.  Currently it has a 55lb thrust Minn Kota Endura, which provides plenty of power.  Is there a real world difference in pushing vs pulling via an electric?  Do I need to stick with the 55, or will I notice a huge drop in performance if I drop to a 40 on the bow?  

More importantly, how does one determine what the best shaft length is for a bow mounted motor?  I can calculate the drop from the deck to the water, how far below the water is ideal?  Is it necessary to have the prop at or below the maximum hull depth?  

How much nicer is having the foot control vs hand control on the bow?  Well worth the extra money?

Thanks

Kirk

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It is well worth the extra money, unless you like fishing from the back of your boat. The trolling motor has to be deep enough to stay in the water in waves, On a rough day I will put mine all the way down to keep it in the water. The shafts are adjustable so get a longer one and raise it if you have too. I have fished some water that had 2 foot waves so it really does need to be capable of getting that deep.Remember bigger is always better ;D so dont go down in lbs. thrust, if anything go up. Some people prefer handcontrolled on the bow(not me) because its easier on their back than standing on one foot all day.

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Kirk, I have a 16' mod. V alum. I use a Minn Kota 55lb bow mount foot cont.  It works great. I prefer a foot control. I never liked the idea of taking a hand off the reel to steer. Thats just me. I know a few guys who do prefer hand controlled bow mounts.

gamblerOH is right, spend the extra money. BIGGER is BETTER  :D

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I have a 50lb. on a 16' alum. Ranger Cherokee, and I wouldn't go any smaller, maybe just a little larger if anything. Normally it is more than enough until it gets rough and then its on the highest setting. It wouldn't handle what Gambler is fishing. I have a bow mount with a foot control also a bad back, and it probably will be my last one. I am going Power Drive remote or Hand control xtended handle next time. Just running the motor a foot or so below the bottom of the hull is sufficiant for most of my use but I believe it will go at least 24" or 30" below, if it gets to rough I try to find calmer water. I used to have a trolling motor on a jon boat and a 12' semi v, that I could swap from bow to stern, it was to small to begin with but I think it pulled the boat better because of the way it sat in the water. I don't remember if it made much difference or not.

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Funny follow up. Went out fishing Saturday AM with a friend. As we finished up, there was another person pulling his boat in front of us. Talking to him, somehow it came up that he had an Minn Kota AT 40 hand control slightly used.

Asked what he wanted for it, and he gave me what I thought was a good price, so I bought it!  He bought it last year, and wanted a foot control so he switched.  For the money, it is worth the effort to see how I like the hand control, and if the 40lbs is enough for the boat.  

So, now I am trying to engineer the installation of it.  My boat has only an 18" trianglular front deck, and the motor seems to be fairly back heavy when retracted, and it seems that it would be a good idea to reinforce the rear of it.  

Is there any rhyme or reason that every boat with a bow mount seems to have them installed on the port side?  

kirk

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Gambler installs their trolling motors perfectly in the center of the bow. Most other manufactures do put them on the port side so you can see over the trolling motor when driving. Just make sure wherever you put it that the  shaft is in the center of the boat when the motor is deployed, thats all that really matters.

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hey kirk. i to have the same size triangular bow on my 16' semi-v-hull. i've got a transom mount trolling motor sitting up there now, but i want to put a bow mount on it since the bushing's are taking a beating on the way the TM trolling motor sits. i'm wondering how the bow mount will handle the weight when retracted. also, the hole where the bow light sits in is right in the middle of the bow about 3 inches from the front, will this affect the positioning of the motor? i really feel lost in the market for a new bow mount trolling motor since i've never had one before on this boat.

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I HAVE A 24V 74LB THRUST MINN KOTA POWER DRIVE BOW MOUNT WITH AUTO PILOT AND MY FAVORITE REMOTE CONTROL CO PILOT MUST BE A GUY THING WORKS GREAT MY FOOT NEVER GETS TRIED HAVE THE REMOTE ATTACHED TO MY RODS RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY SPINNING REELS. DON'T USE BAITCASTERS SO YOU WILL HAVE TO FIGURE THAT ONE OUT ON YOUR OWN.

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fishinfool-- I think I will need to  use slightly longer bolts and backing plates under the deck, as there is a significant amout of weight (and therefore torque) at the top of the motor when in storage position.  For the short term, I may install it temporarily on the existing deck, and make a removable support for the top end, while I try the motor a few times.

With my boat, I am fortunate, as the forward deck is a cover over the anchor storage, and I can access the underside easily.  

I will make a new foredeck, which will be a bit longer, out of heavier plywood, and do a better job reinforcing it than the factory deck.  

I don't have running lights in the way, but there are two bow chocks, and a cleat in the way which need to be moved as well.  

Good luck with yours

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Finalized all the wiring and took a test run yesterday.  It is so much nicer to fish with the bow mount.  I don't feel that the boat needed the extra power, and with the motor on the front, actually used it less as it was more efficient at positioning the boat.  

Thanks to all for the advice.

K

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