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BigAngus752

Trolling motor shaft length

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Please be kind if this is a stupid question.   I'm new to owning a real boat.  I have a Ranger RT188 that currently has a 42in Maxxum on the bow.  I am going to upgrade to an Ultrex and I was going to buy one with a 45in shaft.  They are currently on backorder at every retailer and I started to wonder what the negative would be to putting a 52in on the boat.  Wouldn't a longer shaft be more adaptable?  I can trim up a 52in shaft but if I find I'm in too much chop for a 45in I can't make it longer.  But if I run the 52in shallow all the time would I have to adjust it down every time I pulled it back onto the rack?  Any advice from experienced boaters would be appreciated.  Thanks. 

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Ive got a 45in on my 188 and its plenty long. You could trim the 52 up but the head unit is going to be in the way a lot. I generally have mine up a little higher in shallow backwaters. The 52 would, for me, be annoying. Its fine offshore as the motor will be down further.

 

try email troy@boemarine or google BBG marine. I think they have some 80/45 non links

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Not a bad question at all.  There are multiple things to consider when determining TM shaft length.  

1. Type of boat.  My Z21 Ranger is not going to sit in the water like your 188.  The distance from the mounting point to the the water is what I look at.  If your boat sits nose high, I start leaning to the longer shafts.  If the head is going to be in the way when set to run shallow or stored is also a concern.  

2. Type of water you fish most often.  Lake or River? Deep or Shallow?  Big or small?  Heavy boat traffic?  Current?  Every one of these impact shaft length consideration.  

 

For reference, I have a good friend who I fish with a LOT.  He has a Ranger 520, I have a Z21.  He is rigged to run rough water and we take his boat to Lake St Clair every year.  He has a 52" shaft.  Why?  Because St Clair can get rough and with a 20' boat there can be a lot of rocking up and down.  The 42" shaft was never a consideration for him.  My 21' boat doesn't rock nearly as much and I have a 42".  If I were taking it to St Clair though, I can guarantee I would be surfacing the TM prop in rough water.  Many multi-species boats have 60" TM Shafts due to the way their boats sit in the water and the type of water they fish.  

 

With all that being said, for your use, I would see no reason to go with the longer shaft since water bad enough to require the long shaft would likely be too bad for your setup to be out safely anyway.  IMHO.

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1 hour ago, TOXIC said:

Not a bad question at all.  There are multiple things to consider when determining TM shaft length.  

1. Type of boat.  My Z21 Ranger is not going to sit in the water like your 188.  The distance from the mounting point to the the water is what I look at.  If your boat sits nose high, I start leaning to the longer shafts.  If the head is going to be in the way when set to run shallow or stored is also a concern.  

2. Type of water you fish most often.  Lake or River? Deep or Shallow?  Big or small?  Heavy boat traffic?  Current?  Every one of these impact shaft length consideration.  

 

For reference, I have a good friend who I fish with a LOT.  He has a Ranger 520, I have a Z21.  He is rigged to run rough water and we take his boat to Lake St Clair every year.  He has a 52" shaft.  Why?  Because St Clair can get rough and with a 20' boat there can be a lot of rocking up and down.  The 42" shaft was never a consideration for him.  My 21' boat doesn't rock nearly as much and I have a 42".  If I were taking it to St Clair though, I can guarantee I would be surfacing the TM prop in rough water.  Many multi-species boats have 60" TM Shafts due to the way their boats sit in the water and the type of water they fish.  

 

With all that being said, for your use, I would see no reason to go with the longer shaft since water bad enough to require the long shaft would likely be too bad for your setup to be out safely anyway.  IMHO.

That makes sense.  I do not see rough water often and I just don't go out in anything really rough.  Based on what you and @iabass8 have said it would clearly be a pain in the you-know-what to try to use a 52in.  Thanks much to both of you for the input.  

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45" is standard shaft length for glass bass boats with standard freeboard height like yours. If the waves get over 18" you wouldn't be able to stand and operate the TM, big boat wakes may pull the prop out depending how high you adjust motor. My boat has 45" shaft and I fish off shore most of the time.

Tom

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My rule of thumb 😉

 

Go with the longest shaft & most horsepower I can afford!

 

You don't have enough of either ya stuck like Chuck!

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13 minutes ago, Catt said:

My rule of thumb 😉

 

Go with the longest shaft & most horsepower I can afford!

 

You don't have enough of either ya stuck like Chuck!

I don't want to come up "short"....:D

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Not a stupid question at all.

 

I have a 60" Ulterra on my Crestliner CMV...and I wish it was a foot shorter, and wouldn't be unhappy if it were 15" shorter...  the head sticking up is a PITA at times. 

 

But they don't make a 45", 112 lb. thrust Ulterra with Link...

 

...at least with power trim, I can drop the head down to the deck in seconds without spending 5 minutes adjusting the depth collar...

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8 hours ago, Further North said:

...at least with power trim, I can drop the head down to the deck in seconds without spending 5 minutes adjusting the depth collar...

That's a worry for me too.  Thanks for pointing that out. 

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