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Trolling Motor Left Outside And Deployed In Water

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I have a floating dock that i attach a trolling motor to and moazy around on. I have left the trolling motor on it with the motor head in the water for just under two years. It is now, malfunctioning. It eats batteries twice as fast, the wires get hot enough to melt the plastic casing at full speed, and reverse quit. It might have been the florida sun or the head in the water for 2 years.

Are any troling motors made that can stand up to this abuse? This dead one is a Motorguide Varimax.

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Maybe a saltwater model?

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My guess. You have water intrusion somewhere in the unit, be it in the motor, or the control head. Somewhere you have a short, probably not a dead short or the thing would not run at all, but a leak of electricity that makes it draw more amps than the wiring can handle.

Obviously you do not have a circuit breaker or some other protective device that will shut down the flow of electricity from the battery to the unit.

My question is why have you left it submerged for two years, rather than toting it back and forth. Nothing good can come from doing that. Even in fresh water, dissimilar metals can result in galvanic action. In addition, marine growth can chew away at the seals on the rotating submerged parts allowing water intrusion.

If there is a shore line which runs electricity to the dock in the vicinity, electrolysis can take place. It's why outboard motors have sacrificial anodes on them even for exclusive use in fresh water. All you need is a trickle of electricity into the water, and voila, instant trouble.

Even elecrical leaks from nearby boats can cause problems to other boats in the area. It is not as serious in fresh water, but still something you need to consider.

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Correct. No circuit breaker. Nearest electricity is a quarter mile uphill and no other docks or boats on the lake, so current in the water is not an issue. I left it there cause I'm lazy. I would like to continue being lazy if a trolling motor can survive.

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You might extend the life by simply tilting the motor up, getting the propulsion unit out of the water. That will inhibit any marine growth that might shorten seal life. I'd say you did pretty well getting two years out of it leaving it at the mercy of the elements.

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. I left it there cause I'm lazy. I would like to continue being lazy if a trolling motor can survive.

That is the best thing I read all day...I'll be laughing till tomorrow on that one...thanks!!!

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Before I gave it up for dead, I would do a little trouble shooting. Most likely your only problem is a connection/switch that has corroded and overheating. Not sure if you're talking about the plastic casing on the tiller head or if it's a foot control, but where ever it's getting that hot, you have a bad connection there. As for no reverse, that's most likely just the switch. For the batteries not lasting, again, that could just be the voltage loss caused by a bad connection, or time to replace the batteries.

I'm just the type that checks everything before I spend my money on a new replacement. Now, if money is no problem, get a new one, fixing old crap gets to be a pain in the butt at times.

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My first guess was the battery, but the new battery died just as quick. The hot wire was at the battery connection. That could be I didn't tighten it enough that day. And I sure wouldn't say that money is no problem, but a floating dock is prety cheap to maintain. $500 Every other year for a battery and new trolling motor is tolerable. I think I will try lifting the head out of the water and get a cover for the brains and handle. Maybe a shower cap.

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Update. Ends up it had a 2 year warrantee. I took it to Kel's Rod N Reel here in Orlando. They looked it up. 2 months left on warrantee. The motor head and shaft were fine. Everything else got replaced with new. I think i'll treat it a little better this time, but Im still gona leave it out in the elements.

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The shaft seal on the prop shaft might have seeped a bit. I would think any water in the motor section would cause failure. Get your wife or girl friend to hoist it out of the water as this is a chore outside of what is important to a guy. My wife would do this in a heart beat. Sadly she would also take it loose from the raft, tie the end of a rope fastened to it with the other end around my neck and trhrow it over

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I have a small pelican boat that I keep on my pond. I leave it in the water 9 months of the year (as long as there isn't ice) and the motor stays on it. Its a Minn Kota, don't remember the model but its a 54lb thrust 12volt, in the wetland camo. I tip it up so that it dosn't stay under the water, but that is all I do. Its on a quick attach plug to the battery, and I unplug that as long as I remember so it dosn't have any current to it. I havnt had an issue with it yet on its 5th year and going strong. I leave the battery in it too as long as it has a decent charge. I've rigged it with an automated 12v bilge pump for the rain. But I'm like you, if you live on or near a pond you don't want to have to tote everything out there when you want to take it out for a half hour quick fish.

Now my big boat, thats a different story, I wouldn't leave that in there for anything.

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