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BigAngus752

Kicker or upgraded trolling motor?

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Need some advice, please.  Last year we bought an 18ft Ranger aluminum.  Great boat and we love it but we've found two drawbacks.  First, it has a 12V trolling motor.  Not awesome when it's windy but works fine the rest of the time.  Second, with the 115 Merc on it we are banned from some nearby lakes that we would love to fish with a boat.  We have considered getting a 9.9 kicker so we can fish the restricted lakes but I'm wondering if we can't just kill two birds with one stone and get a new 24V Terrova?  The restricted lakes range from 800 acre to 2000 acre.  Assuming it's not a terribly windy day couldn't we expect to get a lot of fishing in if we weren't actually trolling but just moving from spot to spot with the 24V?  We already know we can load and unload with the big motor at these lakes.  We are just wondering how much risk we are taking of paddling back to the ramp if we rely only on the 24V TM.  Any advice is appreciated.  

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Can't speak to a 24 volt TM, but we made it back across 5 miles of Lake of the Woods with a 36 volt Terrova...after fishing all day.

 

For reference, the 36 volt Minn Kota TMs (Terrova and Ulterra models) will move my 18 ft. Crestliner 3 1/2 MPH.  I hav't looked at all the Ranger 18 ft. aluminum models, but I suspect my Crestliner is wider and heavier and my motor (Suzuki 140) is heavier than your 115...so you might get by with a 24 volt.

 

...I'd go 36 volt, but there's plenty of people out there who think that's overkill...for my own purposes, I haven't felt like I had too much power yet...

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You will see a big difference by upgrading to a 24 volt system.  The Terrova is a nice piece.  Remember, in this instance your batteries are your fuel supply ie. do not scrimp on the batteries. I run a 17 1/2 foot long Lowe Stinger 170, very similar boat to the Ranger Rt 178.  I chose to use two Cabelas AGM batteries in the group 30 size for my trolling motor and one for the gas engine .  These batteries are expensive like $250 each but go on sale annually. They also weigh like 65 pounds each!  The have a great big reserve minutes rating, much higher than most others. Mine are beginning their 8 year of service, so I got my use out of them. Make sure to add an onboard charger to your must have list and then USE it every time you come off the water.

36 volt is better but you will probably find it difficult to fit 4 batteries on board

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8 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

You will see a big difference by upgrading to a 24 volt system.  The Terrova is a nice piece.  Remember, in this instance your batteries are your fuel supply ie. do not scrimp on the batteries. I run a 17 1/2 foot long Lowe Stinger 170, very similar boat to the Ranger Rt 178.  I chose to use two Cabelas AGM batteries in the group 30 size for my trolling motor and one for the gas engine .  These batteries are expensive like $250 each but go on sale annually. They also weigh like 65 pounds each!  The have a great big reserve minutes rating, much higher than most others. Mine are beginning their 8 year of service, so I got my use out of them. Make sure to add an onboard charger to your must have list and then USE it every time you come off the water.

36 volt is better but you will probably find it difficult to fit 4 batteries on board

I'm fortunate that the Ranger already has a 3 bank charger and wiring for a 24V.  I was thinking that if we choose that route we should get the best batteries available.  The 12V is on an Interstate but I'll look at a couple of the Cabelas or maybe Optimas?  You're right, I would love a 36V but that would be quite a project in this boat.  Thanks for the help.  

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9 hours ago, Further North said:

Can't speak to a 24 volt TM, but we made it back across 5 miles of Lake of the Woods with a 36 volt Terrova...after fishing all day.

 

For reference, the 36 volt Minn Kota TMs (Terrova and Ulterra models) will move my 18 ft. Crestliner 3 1/2 MPH.  I hav't looked at all the Ranger 18 ft. aluminum models, but I suspect my Crestliner is wider and heavier and my motor (Suzuki 140) is heavier than your 115...so you might get by with a 24 volt.

 

...I'd go 36 volt, but there's plenty of people out there who think that's overkill...for my own purposes, I haven't felt like I had too much power yet...

I'd love to have a 36V but that would be tough to get in my boat.  I'm not looking to fish anything that large on just the TM.  But glad you had that as a backup!  That's impressive. 

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5 hours ago, BigAngus752 said:

I'd love to have a 36V but that would be tough to get in my boat.  I'm not looking to fish anything that large on just the TM.  But glad you had that as a backup!  That's impressive.

Yup, it was a challenge...but where there's a will, there's a way.

 

...I was helped out by the fact that I can just barely shoehorn 3 31 series batteries into my battery compartment.  Had to put the charger in back and run wires, but it works!

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