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Fish Forever

Trolling Motor question

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I have a question about mounting a trolling motor onto a fiberglass boat. My boat is a 17'6" Larson runabout. I know this isn't a fishing boat, but right now the budget does not allow me to purchase a fishing boat so I've got, what I've got. My first problem was have would mount a flat plate to a curved front bow. I called Larson and they were kind enough to give me their manufacture for trolling motor brackets. I talked to the manufacture and they said they could make a custom bracket with varying height stand-offs that would level the plate. My next concern was can the fiberglass handle this additional jarring? I know the boat is not reinforced at the bow for this type of thing like a "fish-ski model" but does anyone know the loads something like this can place on the trolling motor bracket? Is the force a twisting, bouncing, pulling, compressing force? I know this isn't the ideal situation but I love to fish more than I love to ski. Has anyone tried something like this? The other issue is I already have a like new bow mount trolling motor so I don't want to buy a rear mount if I don't have to. Any thoughts, hints, or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Also how far below the waterline is the trolling motor prop suppose to be?

Thanks for any info you can provide.

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I'm not sure as to what the front end of your boat will accomidate but I would definately consider getting a removeable trolling motor bracket. As long as you can get the motor off you should be all right. I have a Minnkota bracket that you can find in Cabelas / Bass Pro catalogs. Part of the bracket mounts to the boat and part to the trolling motor.

If you are out bouncing around going fast there is a decent amount of stress rut on that area. You might be fine but try giving Larson a call and see what they say.

Keep the prop deep enough to stay in the water but shallow enough not to hit any rocks.

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If you really want it set up right, I recommend you take

it to Jim Wentworth up in Nisswa - I used to work for him

rigging boats and he will know just what to do. (He rigs

the boats for In-Fisherman, BTW).

I'm assuming you have a fiberglass bow on that boat, so

you may want to go with a backer-board of marine plywood

under the motor bracket. However, I've rigged many bow

mount motors on glass boats and never had a problem.

Most glass boats have a pretty stout area wherever they

even THINK someone might step.

The Minn-Kota bracket is a good one, and you can detach the motor easily. If you do it yourself, consider:

1 - which side of the dock do you normally come in on?

Place the motor so your not always stepping over it.

You want the entire motor within the outline of the boat

if possible, hanging out only when deployed. (Just in case

you come into some dock on the 'other' side.

2 - Shaft length of motor, because in choppy water you don't want the motor to cavitate. Too long is more

easily dealt with than too short.

3 - No matter what you do, you WILL want to install some

sort of tie-down to hold the motor in its cradle while

bouncing along the waves (or the highway). I've seen

motors that have dropped down in both situations - it

aint pretty!

4 - A last tidbit - don't charge your trolling motor

battery with the motor connected to said battery - some

chargers feed too much A/C though, and the electronics of

some motors may not deal with that too well.



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I had the same problem on my first boat it was a fiberglass Bayliner that could not handle a standard bracket. If you are looking to do this on the cheap here is what I did and it lasted for three years with no problems before I finally traded in on a new Crestliner Sportfish.

I Cut a piece of 3/4" green treat plywood in the shape of the bow that was large enough to mount a removeable braket.

I then cut a piece of outdoor/marine carpet that was large enough to cover the top and sides of the plywood. Glued on the carpet with outdoor glue. Then I cut a smaller piece of plywood to fit under the bow fiberglass. Then clamped both pieces into place and drilled four holes through the strongest areas of the fiberglass. Fastened the top and bottom sections of plywood together with stanless steal bolts. Next I bolted the base of the removeable mount to the top piece of plywood. I had to drill additional holes in the mount to be able to bolt through the plywood where there was clearance away from the fiberglass.

I trailered this boat all over the state and ran it in some rough water. It was quite secure and by matching the carpet with the carpet that was in my boat it did not look too bad. A cheap way to solve your problem but with any garage fix your results could be different than mine.

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