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Trolling motor too long?


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Hey all, just scored a ridiculous deal on a minn kota Fortex 80 with the 52in shaft. Currently running a 16.5 bass tracker 165 that has a 12v Motorguide x3 with 45 lb thrust and 36in shaft. Bow to waterline is ~13 inches. My fear is the fortex might be too long for my current boat. How much "play" is there in moving it up? I like fishing the skinny stuff, so I'm fearful of the depth. I know not optimal, but is it worth it or will the length cause me more headaches? Will appreciate any wisdom. 

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5 minutes ago, Kreagerc said:

How much "play" is there in moving it up?

I can’t specifically say in a number how much you can move it up, but you certainly can. I have a Maxxum with a 52 inch shaft and it’s definitely adjustable.

 

I think the bigger issue you may encounter is when it’s stowed on deck. The Fortrex is a sizable bow mount for a 16.5 foot boat.

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11 minutes ago, gimruis said:

I can’t specifically say in a number how much you can move it up, but you certainly can. I have a Maxxum with a 52 inch shaft and it’s definitely adjustable.

 

I think the bigger issue you may encounter is when it’s stowed on deck. The Fortrex is a sizable bow mount for a 16.5 foot boat.

Thank you. So you're saying I need a bigger boat? Great, I'll tell my wife. Yeah, there is going to be a lot I'll have to look at when I get it. I imagine some marginal overhang on each side. I'll update when I get it. I'd hate to return 

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You can always take the head off and trim the shaft down a few inches. It is not the end of the world to do that. I know ott Defoe did that to his river jet boat as well. I run mine up as high as I can because of the rocks I bounce it off of. 

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A lot of kayak guys shorten the shafts.  I don't know how much more difficult it would be to do on a Fortrex, but on my Endura, it was simple.  

 

According to Minn Kota's website, it can be done.  But they say it voids the warranty unless you have it done by an authorized service center.  

 

https://minnkota-help.johnsonoutdoors.com/hc/en-us/articles/5416132971799-Shortening-your-Shaft

 

So it might be worth the time and money to take it in an have it shortened.  Or it might be worth attempting yourself, depending on how you feel about warranties and how handy you are.  Or just use it as is, and see how you get along first with it raised up.  

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It is a bit long for the boat, but generally you can work around it. One thing you may run into is having it adjusted all the way up may limit some casting angles when throwing to the sides of the boat depending on which hand you cast with. As far as exactly how far it adjusts, I'm not sure, but since you have it you can measure to see. Since you know your bow to waterline measurement, you can figure out how far under the water the head will be by measuring 13" down from the top of the bulge on the upper shaft.

image.png.c6a3d61694e4e499e14df1760325566f.png

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9 minutes ago, WIGuide said:

It is a bit long for the boat, but generally you can work around it. One thing you may run into is having it adjusted all the way up may limit some casting angles when throwing to the sides of the boat depending on which hand you cast with. As far as exactly how far it adjusts, I'm not sure, but since you have it you can measure to see. Since you know your bow to waterline measurement, you can figure out how far under the water the head will be by measuring 13" down from the top of the bulge on the upper shaft.

image.png.c6a3d61694e4e499e14df1760325566f.png

I'd cut it down.

Otherwise I'd be smacking that thing with the bait or my rod ever other cast.

No Good.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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32 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

I'd cut it down.

Otherwise I'd be smacking that thing with the bait or my rod ever other cast.

No Good.

:smiley:

A-Jay

Same, it'd drive me crazy with it all the way up. There are times in the spring when I'm fishing up in the dirt that I have to run my 47" all the way up and even though it doesn't stick up real high, I feel like it's in the way vs the rest of the year when I run it pretty much all the way down. The only concern I'd have with cutting it down is with the bracket. Looking at trollingmotorparts it looks like the 45" & 52" have different part numbers leading me to believe the 52" would have a longer bracket and cutting it the shaft down to make it a 45" or shorter could make that look a bit out of place. Given the boat layout, the longer bracket may also take away some space to store rods on the deck when in the stowed position if there's not proper clearance. 

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9 hours ago, A-Jay said:

I'd cut it down.

Otherwise I'd be smacking that thing with the bait or my rod ever other cast.

No Good.

:smiley:

A-Jay

Thank you all for the wisdom. Never knew you could cut it down. Ill do that before returning it. 

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Make sure you know what you are doing, watch a few a videos. 

The average shaft length is 42”.

Tom

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I have a 16' Alweld with a 52" shaft Riptide, by the time i adjust the height to where the prop isn't breaking the surface it ain't nearly all the way up.

 

Y'all are use to running yours all the way down so anything above that feels awkward. 

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1 hour ago, Catt said:

Y'all are use to running yours all the way down so anything above that feels awkward. 

I usually run mine about halfway down.

 

Rarely do I move mine all the way down, and rarely do I move it all the way up.  If I need to move it all the way down, there's a good chance I shouldn't be out there because the waves are already too big.

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2 hours ago, Catt said:

I have a 16' Alweld with a 52" shaft Riptide, by the time i adjust the height to where the prop isn't breaking the surface it ain't nearly all the way up.

 

Y'all are use to running yours all the way down so anything above that feels awkward. 

 

Additional question: Do you use 6 gauge or 8 gauge wire. Currently my boat has 8 gauge ran. Minn Kota install page says 8 gauge is fine for the 80lb up to 15 ft. Length from battery to trolling motor is a shade under 15 feet for me. Should I be good with the already installed 8 gauge or should I run new wiring? 

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1 minute ago, Kreagerc said:

 

Additional question: Do you use 6 gauge or 8 gauge wire. Currently my boat has 8 gauge ran. Minn Kota install page says 8 gauge is fine for the 80lb up to 15 ft. Length from battery to trolling motor is a shade under 15 feet for me. Should I be good with the already installed 8 gauge or should I run new wiring? 

I always try to up it a gauge for safety sake. Wire run from my battery to my 45# Edge is 4'...MinnKota says I could use 10 gauge - but I'm running 8 gauge just to be sure.

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On 1/18/2023 at 10:26 PM, Darnold335 said:

You can always take the head off and trim the shaft down a few inches. 

 

It's been a while since I've been to a brit milah, so check with a mohel, but I'm pretty sure you leave the head on...

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1 hour ago, Kreagerc said:

Additional question: Do you use 6 gauge or 8 gauge wire.

 

I'm running 6 but that's what came in the boat.

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IMHO stowing a longer shaft isn’t a problem since you are not on deck fishing with it stowed.  With all of the add on deck mounted stowing locks, I wouldn’t be concerned about it bouncing in rough water.  When fishing and you have to raise it up then yes, you have to be careful casting around it.  Question is do you fish more shallow or mor deep?  You can always raise it but you can’t lower it if it’s too short.  Nothing more aggravating to me than my TM surfacing in rough water or boat wakes.  On St Clair one year, my buddy had to sit in the drivers seat with the big motor running to hold us on a spot because the wind and waves had my TM out of the water more than in it.  

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The OP has a 16 1/2’ Tracker 165, Where is the 52” TM going to be stowed? Adjusting the shaft height isn’t the issue imo.

Don’t need the TM motor any deeper then keeping it from cavitation in waves, shouldn’t be out with big waves windy white caps in the Tracker 165!

Tom

 

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17 minutes ago, TOXIC said:

IMHO stowing a longer shaft isn’t a problem since you are not on deck fishing with it stowed.  With all of the add on deck mounted stowing locks, I wouldn’t be concerned about it bouncing in rough water.  When fishing and you have to raise it up then yes, you have to be careful casting around it.  Question is do you fish more shallow or mor deep?  You can always raise it but you can’t lower it if it’s too short.  Nothing more aggravating to me than my TM surfacing in rough water or boat wakes.  On St Clair one year, my buddy had to sit in the drivers seat with the big motor running to hold us on a spot because the wind and waves had my TM out of the water more than in it.  

Big time shallow water guy. Lets just say, I bring a push pole with me to most tourneys (in ohio). Your experience on St. Clair sounds like most of mine on a windy day. That's mostly attributed to the 45lb thrust of my current trolling motor. Excited to see what the 80lb will do with my 165 tracker, might be overkill, but getting it for $700 new (damaged box) is worth the try

4 minutes ago, WRB said:

The OP has a 16 1/2’ Tracker 165, Where is the 52” TM going to be stowed? Adjusting the shaft height isn’t the issue imo.

Don’t need the TM motor any deeper then keeping it from cavitation in waves, shouldn’t be out with big waves windy white caps in the Tracker 165!

Tom

 

Yes, I never fish open big water. Cuts & creeks. Which is the concern for the 52". Now, the sales pitch I made to my wife is that this TM can go on my next boat (upgrade hopefully happening in a year or 2). Took a tape measure to the boat to get a rough idea, and I agree, the overhang might be an issue. Trolling motor will be here tomorrow, fingers crossed

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1 hour ago, Kreagerc said:

getting it for $700 new (damaged box) is worth the try

 

Great price 😉

 

Here's mine, it does hang over the gunnel but not enough to  bother anything.

IMG_20171118_195154.jpg.0c443ee09628341599e34478f909531a.jpg.3a4ffa948472276d52260a79d769c755 (1).jpg

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The tall TM manually operated is an advantage and doesn’t hang over the gunnel too far.

Tom

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On 1/18/2023 at 7:52 PM, Kreagerc said:

minn kota Fortex 80 with the 52in shaft

 

Did ya get it? 😉

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On 1/20/2023 at 4:04 AM, Catt said:

I have a 16' Alweld with a 52" shaft Riptide, by the time i adjust the height to where the prop isn't breaking the surface it ain't nearly all the way up.

 

Y'all are use to running yours all the way down so anything above that feels awkward. 

 

I have my transducer cable attached in such a way that I can't raise it in the clamp more than an inch or so. But I have committed to doing it differently next time so that I would be able to raise it in the clamp if I want to. 

 

If I'm fishing next to the bank, I do sometimes wish it was closer to the surface. I have a 42" shaft (on my trolling motor) and on my 1648 Grizzly, it sticks down quite a ways. The times I appreciate that the most is when the wake boats are out in force and I am fishing near sheer cliffs and I don't want the TM going in and out of the water as I dance with the devil trying to keep from being bashed on the rocks, but still being able to fish parallel to the sheer walls. If that wasn't ever a problem, I could probably get away with a 36" shaft length (on my trolling motor).

 

Keeping the turbulence from the propeller closer to the surface might disturb the fish less in some small way to at times too, but I have no way to verify that.

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Fish with it a few times before you cut it down.  Going to the back of the boat, or adding a passenger will raise the bow quite a bit.   

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