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selecting the right TM thrust power

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i am considering purchasing a new TM for my boat(2002 bass tracker pro team 175 w/ a 2008 50hp merc).  currently it has the original MG 43lb thrust 12v TM on it.  ild really like to stick with a 12v system but if it is really necessary i would be willing to upgrade to a 24 system.  im really curious to know if there is a way to figure out what thrust is really necessary.  obviously BT thought 43 was enough but i also know its a cheaper model TM to help keep the price down.  one guy on here swears by his 80#thrust which is almost double what the original is.  i dont want to be under powered if a stronger one wold be better for my rig but at the same time i dont want to over power it either to find out later on i could have saved 200-300 dollars by going with one with a little bit less #thrust i.e. i dont want to get a 54# and find out i should have gotten the 70# or get the 70# and realize i only needed 54#

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That really depends upon what type of water you fish, how heavy your loaded boat is, the type of TM you want (electric or cable steer) and how much money you're willing to spend.  I upgraded from a cable steer 12v 54# MG to a electric steer 24v 80# MK.  Don't regret that decision at all. The newer models are more efficient but also more expensive.

My older TM is also a 2002 and it has many hours on it (as I'm sure yours does, too).  It's on a 17'5" aluminum bassboat with a 75hp Merc, two batteries and all my gear (plus a partner from time to time). On a windy day I'd be on 5/high all day just to barely move forward.  Now with the new TM (and three batteries) I'm generally below 5 (out of 10) unless I want to move to a different spot quickly.

If you have the room then upgrade to a 24v system.  If not, you don't have much choice than to go with a 55# 12v.  Unlike outboards, I do not believe you can be overpowered with a TM, especially with the digital/variable speed systems.  So go as big as you can afford.  Even if you don't run at the higher speeds all the time it is nice to have all that extra power in reserve.

Either way you go, budget enough $$ to upgrade your wiring to 6 ga. I'm sure your boat only came with 8 or 10 ga wiring.  Why starve a new motor by using smaller diameter wiring?  

 

 

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The equation for figuring out how many lbs of thrust for your boat is very simple. You figure out how many batteries you can fit in your boat multiply that times 12 and then find the highest lb thrust tm you can buy that runs on that voltage. 

That equation can be changed some depending on how much you fish and how serious you are about it. If you don't mind running for protected coves if it gets windy, or if your ok with loading up and going home then the 12v system might work for you. If you're like me and you want to be out there as much as possible, then there's no such thing as too much power in a tm. You can always turn them down, but they only turn up so far.

To give you a good example, I used to have a 16 foot Ranger that was lighter than your boat. When I bought it, the first year I ran it with a 48lb thrust. It was ok as long as winds were light, or if I didn't get into too much grass. If it was windy, it was terrible. You'd run it on 5 and barely be moving. Same with the grass, a lot of times with a more powerful tm you can turn it up and it'll clear itself. Good luck with that with the smaller tm's I was constantly picking it out of the water to clear it. I needed an upgrade so I bought an 82 lb thrust to replace it. You might think it was overkill, but there was not one time I had that on my boat that I thought to myself, "I wish I would have saved a few bucks and bough a smaller tm". 

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To echo prior posters, there is no such thing as too much trolling motor power.  HOWEVER prior to purchasing a new trolling motor I would check the wiring harness and be certain that it can carry the heavier load.   Tracker is notorious for cutting corners when it comes to keeping costs down in the manufacturing process.   I'd guess that your trolling motor harness is 10 or 12 gauge wire.   4 or 6 gauge wire is safer and will handle the load better.  If you are planning on keeping the boat for a while, bite the bullet and install the heavier gauge wiring harness.

 

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The right size TM is the biggest, most powerful one you can possibly afford/fit in the boat.  

 

Nobody EVER regretted having extra TM power.  Not even once.  

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thanks alot guys guess ill have to save a little more for more power and new wiring ill have to def go with atleast a 24 volt system

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You are lucky enough to have been in a postion where you have a basis for comparison too already.  Were there times with your old setup where you were wishing for more power and/or longer run times?  If that happened to you reguarly, then its definitely worth upgrading.  If not, or if it was very rare, then a similar new system to your old one would seem sufficient.  Other items to consider in addition to volts/thrust: shaft length, and electric or cable steer.

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