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buying a new boat. trolling motor + finder help

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im looking at buying a 17-18 ft lund aluminum boat.  its going to be used to troll for kokanee, fish for steel head and pike, and of course bass fish.  The boat will never leave freshwater lakes, maybe the occasional river. Its going to have  a 90 or 115 merc and a 9.9 kicker for trolling in the open waters of the lake.  I wil probably get about 4 hours max per day out of the bow mount electric trolling motor when i am bass fishing which will be about 2-3 days a week.  Ive spent my whole life fishing and on boats but have never owned one so ive never been keen on all of the different options compared to each other.  I wont be fishing any tournaments but will be out on the lake as much as possible fishing with my family and friends.  What would you recommend for a trolling motor some someone in my situation?  I would rather by nice than buy twice so i dont want to spend the bare minimum and want to upgrade after a season but i dont want to go completely overboard and pay for something i wont need.  12v vs 24v? will i need a charger? what size motor?

also looking for recommendations on a fish finder.  Schools of kokanee will be anywhere from 30-70 feet deep depending on time of the year.  Id like a quality fish finder and gps but again dont want to go overboard and pay for something that somebody like me wont need

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Side console or tiller?  If tiller, you're capped at 90 hp, unless you jump to a 20' Pro Guide. 

Why not an electric tiller, like a Minn Kota Vantage instead of a gas kicker?

A bow trolling motor would be my preference, and I'd spec an Ultrex or Ulterra.

Also look at Crestliner - made in the same factory as Lund.

As far as graphs go, get the biggest screen you can afford. My buddy has a Solix 12 on his Lund, and is looking to add a 15.  


Rebel XS 1650/1750

Pro Guide 1675/1775

Impact 1675/1775


That's what I'd be looking at. (In fact, I am looking at them for myself)

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I've got a Lund rebel 1650 with Minn Kota Terrova w/ IPilot Link, 80 lb thrust, 24V, and a Humminbird Helix 9 SI GPS. Never had a problem with batteries running out or not enough thrust. Satisified with the Helix unit as well. I would go with a 24V system and 80 lb thrust minimum. 

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side console not tiller.  lund rebel 1650 or 1750

how does charging work for a trolling motor? i imagine its tied into the outboard and charges while the outboard is running? is that system standard or an extra charge?

the reason i want a gas kicker is for trolling for salmon, kokanee and other species in the open water, the electric bow mount would be for bass fishing.

im looking at the lund rebel 1750.  how do you like the 1650? how many people have you had comfortably on it?  The reason i ask is because right now it will be my wife and 2 boys, but as the boys get older it will be 4 adults.

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I think you should all 4 get in a boat and see how it does size wise.  Think about what each person will bring along as well as the fishing equipment needed and how much space it will take.   I'm betting even a 17' will be tight quarters.  


Get a 24 volt trolling motor and an onboard charger with banks for each battery.  


Get the bigger gas motor you can always back off on the throttle but can't make a smaller motor go faster.

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I have a Crestliner that is 16 feet and it's on the small side for more than me.

I have 7 foot rods and unless I'm casting directly in front of the boat, I have hit the console and the rear seat.


When 2 people are in the boat it takes the two of us to pay attention to when and where the other person is casting

that way we dont catch each others lines/baits


I would look at something larger for 4 people


I have a 36V trolling motor and never have I wanted something smaller

I have a 3 bank on board charger so when I park it in the garage I can just plug it into an extension cord and it charges all 3 batteries.

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I concur with much of the advice above:

  • Nothing less than an 80#, 24 volt system.  I run a 112#, 36 volt system on my 18 foot boat. I made that call because of wind and current, but of which I suspect you have at least what we deal with here in NW WI.
  • IMO, 4 people on a 16 foot boat is a recipe for disaster if you're casting and really pushing it if you're just jigging.  I've spent a couple days fishing walleye out of a 1650 Crestliner with three guys...and while I love the boat, it was a day long PITA to stay out of each other's way and not step on something.
  • I strongly believe you cannot have "too much power" in your trolling motor...unless the cost exceeds your budget.  I ran a 36 volt, 101# Terrova in a Crestliner 1750 for a couple of seasons and would not have it any other way.
22 hours ago, AmericanMade said:

how does charging work for a trolling motor? i imagine its tied into the outboard and charges while the outboard is running? is that system standard or an extra charge?


Regarding charging the trolling motor batteries: You will need a charger.  The only battery the big motor charges is the starting battery (there are some products out there that will divert some charging to the the TM batteries) but even that is minimal on relatively small inland lakes.  Unless you are making long runs, you will need to top up your starting battery after each day's trip as well as the TM batteries. I would recommend a charger that has the number of banks you need to charge your TM batteries +1.


For example: If you go with a 24 volt TM, get a 3 bank charger (two banks for the TM batteries, one for the starting battery).  If you go with a 36 volt TM, go to a 4 bank charger.  I've gone to what some folks consider over the top: I run three TM batteries and a starting battery on one 4 bank charger, my electronics are on a completely separate battery with it's own charger and a completely isolated system.  I do this because I fish some big water (Lake of the the Woods and other Canadian lakes with few people on them) for long days (10m 12 hours) and I do not want to risk my electronics running down my starting battery.  There are other ways to deal with this (self contained jump starters, for example) this is just my way. 


I am kind of a "belt and suspenders" guy when it comes to boats, so consider that when you make your choice.


On the fish finders: All the top brands are great; find the one you like the best, don't sweat the small details that they claim makes them better than the other guys.  They all have good GPS, mapping, 2D sonar and side imaging.  Having menus that are logical to you is more important than any of the gee-whiz features.


Great advice above on getting the biggest screen you can afford.  I help a fair number of people pick out Humminbird locators every year, and without exception, every one of them* that has gone to a 5" or a 7" screen the first time around has been back for a 9" or 10" screen.


*There was one exception: a 7" unit for a kayak.

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