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garelval2

12ft aluminum V bottom boat, need tips for controlling it

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I bought a 12ft aluminum V bottom boat, it's currently all I can afford. I've got a 40lb minn kota transom mount trolling motor. This past year I was able to get out alot more, but was struck with a very patience testing problem. The boat is incredibly difficult to control in any kind of breeze, I would guess it has something to do with its' weight. I weigh 150ish and with my hefty battery and trolling motor, there is about 225lbs in the back third of the boat. 
This 12ft-er has a middle bench along with a front, and a back bench. Needless to say, I am confined in a small space with all my equipment, because I must reach the motor to operate it with one hand. On the lake, I'm not real sure how much the bow is actually in the water. My usual fishing technique is trolling docks in the morning, but it is super hard without a foot pedal. If I got a foot pedal that would most likely increase my ability to troll and fish but would that solve the problem of wind too? 
So, I am looking for ANY tips you may have, whether it requires purchasing equipment, or making something.
I am also looking to take out the middle bench when it warms up, it is quite a hindrance.  
This is a boat I pulled from the internet, I would take a picture of mine, but it is covered in snow. Tis is extremely similar to mine except for the back motor, as I previously stated I use a trolling motor. Interestingly enough, the front seat also cracked at the same spot, which I re-enforced.
Thank you for your time!
Image result for 12ft aluminum boat

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I had the same problem when I fished out of a 12' aluminum flat boat.  I would use a drift sock to control my speed when going with the wind.  If I had a cross wind, it tended to push the bow around.  The one thing I did, that helped  was I put more weight up front.  I extended the cables on my trolling motor and put my battery as close to the bow as possible.  I would also put most of my tackle, ice chest and anchor up front.  This helped keep more of the bow in the water, which made it blow around less.  Being a light hull, there is only so much you can do, but moving more weight up front will help.

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I don't know that I would remove the center seat without adding some kind of bracing or maybe a floor to replace the structural support that seat gives. As far as controlling the boat in the wind, you might consider using an anchor. Face the boat into the wind, and drop the anchor off the bow. They are a pain to keep lifting and dropping, but if you use a winch, it might be an inexpensive option. Oars are another option to help position the boat to use in addition to the trolling motor. Oars and anchors were how boats were controlled before trolling motors were used. Certainly not as easy, but a cheap way to get the job done

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Hand controlled bow mount

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I fished out of a boat very similar for a couple of years. 

 

I had a 55 lb. transom hand mount trolling motor. 

 

I ended up spinning the head around on the trolling motor, so that it would go forward - transom first...but the handle still face inside the boat....and I just trolled around like that.  That was the best (cheapest) solution for me at the time.  

 

That rig is going to be difficult to control in the wind either way you go...keep that in mind.  

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1 hour ago, Hez said:

I fished out of a boat very similar for a couple of years. 

 

I had a 55 lb. transom hand mount trolling motor. 

 

I ended up spinning the head around on the trolling motor, so that it would go forward - transom first...but the handle still face inside the boat....and I just trolled around like that.  That was the best (cheapest) solution for me at the time.  

 

That rig is going to be difficult to control in the wind either way you go...keep that in mind.  

 

3 hours ago, slonezp said:

Hand controlled bow mount

I tried spinning the head around, and sticking it up front, but it pulled the boat sideways. I thought maybe it wasn't deep enough in the water, so I dropped it down, but that didn't help either. Any ideas?

 

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1 hour ago, garelval2 said:

 

I tried spinning the head around, and sticking it up front, but it pulled the boat sideways. I thought maybe it wasn't deep enough in the water, so I dropped it down, but that didn't help either. Any ideas?

 

A hand controlled bow mount is different than a modified hand controlled transom mount. It's going to mount differently and steer differently. The bow mount mounts to the nose and you can tell by the position of the handle which way you are going. The modified transom mount is going to mount to the gunwale off either the port or starboard side and may not track straight. The picture shows an outboard but you didn't mention if you have an outboard on it or not. If you do have an outboard, make sure it's in the water while on the trolling motor. It will act like a rudder and help prevent the wind from blowing you around like a leaf.

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 I would build a storage box up front ( like a mid height box with a door. Move two deep cycle batteries up there and run proper sized battery cables back to your trolling motor. This will give you added weight up front, lots of power to run your trolling motor all day and perhaps some extra storage. 

Next I would install an Anchor Mate up on that front deck and mount the winch back by you in the rear seat. I did this on a 15 foot jon boat I had years ago. I ran the rope through some PVC pipe so it would never get caught by a fish hook or anything. I even had to make a 45 degree turn up and onto the front deck. It worked very well.  You can also use a manual shallow water anchor pin.  Those poles and a couple of mounts work really well.  

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I had a boat roughly like yours. It's a pain, but your best bet is an anchor. Some mechanical means of deploying and retrieving it is a plus. Pulling up an anchor 20, 30, 40 times a day can get to your back.

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Distribute some of that weight up front.

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On 12/26/2017 at 12:22 PM, Scott F said:

I don't know that I would remove the center seat without adding some kind of bracing.

First, This ^.

 

I fished from a 12' jon almost exclusively when we were in NY. Threw it on top of the Jeep Cherokee, without struggling or scratching the wagon. Got a trailer for it a few years ago, and don't use it nearly as much any more (sucks getting old). Anyway, Here's my $.02: Don't try to fish it like a bass boat. You want to either line up and drift with wind/current, anchor, or use the transom trolling motor and back troll (I used a long bamboo calcutta as a power pole, long before there was such a thing). Depending on where and conditions, all can be very effective. Will you wish you were in a bass boat in large water? yeah, but in smaller bodies of water, once you figure it out, it will sometimes be an advantage. 

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The drift sock is a good inexpensive option.    I rent small aluminum boats pretty often and 2 years ago bought a drift sock.  Now I never go without it.   It definitely slows you down and  helps with the boat spinning in the wind.   

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I have a boat just like that and face similar problems. Here is what I have found:

 

  • Use a drift sock properly to control your drift when the wind is faster than the current
  • Avoid the main lake by fishing shallow cuts and coves
  • Rotate the trolling motor handle 180* and fish backwards, transom forward
  • Buy a motor like the Minn Kota Endura Maxx, which allows you to make finer adjustments to your speed
  • Extend the wiring of your motor so that the battery os up front
  • Extend the handle of your trolling motor and stand in the middle of the boat
  • Buy a bow mount motor
  • Get and anchor or push pole

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Shift some weight up front and get an anchor.  Also figure out a way to mount your trolling motor up front closer to the center of the bow, which will  also allow you to shift the battery up front as well. 

 

Lifting an anchor repeatedly can be a hassle, but normally I will just retrieve enough to lift it off the bottom a few feet while i reposition the boat(if I'm not going far)Then once into your new fishing spot,  you only have a few feet to lower it back down. 

 

Also,  I wouldn't recommend removing the middle seat.   It is there for structural integrity.  

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On ‎12‎/‎26‎/‎2017 at 12:22 PM, Scott F said:

I don't know that I would remove the center seat without adding some kind of bracing or maybe a floor to replace the structural support that seat gives. As far as controlling the boat in the wind, you might consider using an anchor. Face the boat into the wind, and drop the anchor off the bow. They are a pain to keep lifting and dropping, but if you use a winch, it might be an inexpensive option. Oars are another option to help position the boat to use in addition to the trolling motor. Oars and anchors were how boats were controlled before trolling motors were used. Certainly not as easy, but a cheap way to get the job done

My first thought was I wouldn't "I don't know that I would remove the center seat without adding some kind of bracing or maybe a floor to replace the structural support that seat gives"

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I fished for years out of a jon boat. Had a 10hp outboard and trolling motor on transom. With me alone fishing transom first using troll motor, spun badly. With partner, not bad. You need weight up front (battery and maybe even ballast... somebody said two batteries, good idea) and fish transom first. You might also make yourself a rudder to screw on up front with a clamp that will serve kinda like a keel for when you fish backwards, transom first. The Pelican Bass Raider uber-long, years-long thread has a lot of info on that. But you'd have to read hundreds of posts to find it!

 

OTOH, I'd try to figure out a way to mount a bow mount troll motor and put a rudder on back.

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