Author Topic: Adding a hand controlled, bow mount trolling motor can be a challenge  (Read 60 times)

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Offline senkosam

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I own a 1986 Ranger bass boat with a 90 hp motor. The boat's been out of commision for 2yrs waiting for repairs on the steering, electronics, gas tank, carburetor and a few other minor things. The 55# thrust Minn Kota bit the dust and I needed to replace it. Problem: a bow mount, foot controlled trolling motor cost a bunch and to add one to an old boat whose engine may die next year didn't make sense. Besides, why spend over $650 when I had a hand controlled 55# thrust sitting in the garage that I used for my jon boat on the stern. 

Mounting a hand controlled bow mount presented a challenge: what kind of bracket, how strong and how not to damage the fiberglass deck. So, I bought a deck mount transom-type trolling motor bracket.




a 55# thrust motor weighs a heck of a lot so support had to be added to a bracket that was designed for a much lighter 35# thrust tm. Luckily I had steel brackets left behind from my garage repair job as well as wood :



You can see the holes left from the previous bow mount tm which have to be filled.When I get it from Amazon I'm adding a foot control and have an extension handle so I don't have to lean over (even though the motor top is at waist level).

But two things I'm glad I remembered at the last minute:
1. the handle on a stern mount faces in the opposite direction of the propeller but on a bow mount they point in the same direction. It was easy enough to turn the top around 180 degrees.
2. the direction of the prop turns opposite when the handle is turned toward the rear when bow mounted. It was just a matter of changing wire polarities - positive wire to battery negative and negative wire to battery positive. Now the prop turns in the right direction whether forward or reverse.

Took us all morning and a few runs to the store for hardware, but once the holes were drilled it was just a matter of lying on my back in the hot sun, reaching under the bow deck and hold the nuts and large washers while my partner tightened them. Now all that remains is attaching the sonar transducer to the tm and filling the holes from the previous deck mount frame. My buddy gave me a cover he had laying around:




It pays to have someone help with such a project to offer suggestions on the run when problems crop up needing solutions. Just because a boat is old doesn't mean it should be dumped, especially after years of good memories and hundreds of fish caught from it most months of the year. With the 90 hp motor fixed, it runs like new charging down the lake at 40 mph. I'll test the boat this week.

(BTW, I got the idea of the bow mount hand controlled tm from a Roland Martin fishing show where he was using one on his guest's bass boat.)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 12:06:16 PM by Curt - RI »