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Bow-mount trolling motor on a open bow boat

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  • Bow-mount trolling motor on a open bow boat

    After 3 years of using a transom mount trolling motor on my open-bow Glastron 175, I was finally ready to cut a hole in the bow so I could get in and through-bolt and back plate a trolling motor mount. I just finished it yesterday, and thought I would post some pictures...I know people often look to this forum for ideas on fabricating flat mount points on their open bow boats.

    First, my "before" picture. I have a 2001 Glastron SX 175 - not a fish and ski model or anything. There was not flat spot on the bow, and no access to through bolt or back plate. I know a lot of people have used mollys or well nuts in these situations, but I just wasn't comfortable with that....

    So, I had to install an access point. I installed a 4" one - about $8 on iboats. Plenty big enough for me to get my hand through with a ratchet, metal backing plates, etc.

    I used a Minn Kota removeable mount as my mounting base. When I take my kids tubing for the day, I can remove everything except the "puck" in the center of the mount. I cut galvanized steel pipe to the contour of the boat to get the mount level. This took a while, and was a bit of a pain. I used a hand-held hacksaw and mitre box...a good power saw would have sped this up quite a bit. I ended up throwing a couple of cuts away that didn't turn out quite right. I have seen people use PVC pipe here for the stilts...definitely would have been easier to cut and work with, but I like the galvanized steel.

    Then, I through-bolted through the normal install holes on the Minn Kota mount - through the rubber washers, and galvanized steel pipe sections. I found some galvanized U-Bolts at Lowes whose hole pattern matched the hole patterns on the Minn Kota mount. So, I took the steel backing from the U-bolts to use as my back plates for the mount underneath.

    Then, the hole patterns of the Prowler mount didn't match the Minn Kota removeable mount, so I used a piece of marine plywood to fabricate a connection between the removeable mount and the trolling motor mount. It was tricky to get all of this flush, but through bolted. I ended up using a small paddle bit to get the nuts sunk in the wood just enough, then hack sawed off whatever part of the bolts were sticking out. So, it is through-bolted going both ways...5 going up from the mount to the plywood, and 4 coming down from the motor mount to the plywood.

    It feels super secure - but, I haven't tested it on the water yet; I really like it in my driveway. I'll post back one I get it in the water.

    Let me know if you have any suggestions...I'm sure I'll end up tweaking it in the future...

    This thread is a follow up to a thread I started 3 years ago. At that time, I was looking to put a transom mount on the swim platform of my boat. I had just bought the boat at that time, and wasn't ready to drill holes in the bow. The transom mount served me well, but now, it was finally time to move the trolling motor to the the bow.

    Old thread on installing a transom mount trolling motor on the swim platform:

  • #2
    Re: Bow-mount trolling motor on a open bow boat

    Looks like it came out nice. The only suggestion is to add a pole red/green light so it will stick up above the trolling motor unless you never plan to use it in the evening hours.
    1996 Crestliner 2160 Phantom, 1996 Evinrude 130 HP


    • #3
      Re: Bow-mount trolling motor on a open bow boat

      Originally posted by rndn View Post
      Looks like it came out nice. The only suggestion is to add a pole red/green light so it will stick up above the trolling motor unless you never plan to use it in the evening hours.
      I agree on both counts.
      Bob, Orange County NY
      '88 Bayliner 1700 Capri Bowrider, 85 HP Force O/B, "Sea Weasel"
      Want a vessel safety check? Click here. Want to join the Coast Guard Auxiliary? Click here.
      Disclaimer: Although I am a member of the USCG Auxiliary, the opinions and advice in my replies are my own and do not necessarily reflect CG or CG Auxiliary policy or regulations unless so specified.


      • #4
        Re: Bow-mount trolling motor on a open bow boat

        Good point, thanks!


        • #5
          Re: Bow-mount trolling motor on a open bow boat

          Wow, I got the same boat and have been dying to get a bow-mount motor on it, but ran into the same problem you did. It's nice to see you tackled the problem, looks like a great result!

          How did it work on the water? Any updates?
          Also, can you post pics of your 'casting' platform?

          I am a big dual use person like you, sometimes I'm bass fishing, other times I'm out with friends tubing and wakeboarding.