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Picking a Trolling Motor

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  • Picking a Trolling Motor

    Not sure if there already is a topic that covers this, so I am going to make this one.

    I am interested in a new trolling motor for my stick steering 14 ft boat. I know there are tons of options available and pretty much know the thrust range I will need as well. My question is, has anybody used a remote control trolling motor setup, and if so how did you like it?

    I was wondering if it allowed you to troll water while watching rods and still be able to steer the boat even if I am sitting towards the back of the boat. I think I remember seeing even hand held remotes to do that, but wondered if they really are any good.

    I also think you can still use a foot control (remote foot controlling unit) like normal...I think. Anybody have any input? Thanks for any responses and your honest input about how good OR bad they can be.
    Tom Boy Boat Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...s-what-trailer
    Rebuilt trailer project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/gener...r-back-to-life
    '76 40 HP Johnson rebuild https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...mplete-rebuild
    Minn Kota 599 Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ta-599-project

  • #2
    14'??(what type of boat)??

    I have a tiller transom mount TM on my 14' jon boat and like it, couldn't imagine using a bow mount unless it was an auto-deploy unit, and couldn't justfiy a $1500 TM when the $250 works great. Manually deploying a bow mount on my narrow 14'er wouldn't be fun either. Plus, I prefer the transom mount hand control on the small boat for trolling, steering input is responsive, and the motor is quiet.

    I have a bow mount on my 18'er and I'm constantly adjusting the motor to keep it going straight while trolling L-R-L-R-L-R-L-R. Each steering input emitting a GRRRR gear whine noise from the trolling motor steering, certainly not "stealthy". I might get a minute out of it going straight, but since nose of the boat is being pulled around, and deviation will send the boat of course, wind, current, or just plain motor not aligned to pull perfectly straight. I have also used a transom mount TM on this boat, but the steering input was WAY too slow. So the bow mount works best for the big boat. I use a hand held key-fob controller for the bow mount TM, MK Power Drive, and like the key fob better than the foot controller, personal preference.

    After experiencing the L-R-L-R-L-R steering adjustments and associated noise on the big boat, I wouldn't want a bow mount on my 14'er for trolling. Position fishing, maybe, but I can use the transom mount for that just fine too. I have my rod holders mounted on the 14' jon boat, within arms reach from the "trolling position" while seated, so when a fish hits, I'm on the rod in a second. I usually troll looking at one rod and have a hand on the other.
    2001 Crestliner SuperHawk 1800, Mercruiser 140HP
    2007 Tracker 1436 jon boat, 7.5HP Force

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    • #3
      I can't really answer your questions because I use a transom mount which is a very basic tiller control model on my Jon boat.
      I know your looking for experienced input, but I do want to mention that the pedal type come in two flavors. One where the pedal operates a cable that adjusts the steering and the other is drive by wire, no cable, it's done electronically. Many of them have the option of remote control. You might already know all this, but I thought I'd just mention it.
      Best of luck...hope someone can help...

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      • #4
        Thanks to both fishrdan and poconojoe for their inputs.

        I am presently working on my boat project on these forums, a Tom Boy Boat. You can see it and other projects I worked on and actually finished from the links I provide. So that is the boat I am looking to install a TM on. I know a lot about a few different types of trolling motors and rebuilt a few more as well. I am more concerned with the wireless setup that poconojoe referenced.

        I was wondering how those remote setups actually work and if there was any really bad things about them. To have the ability to use both a foot operated setup AND a thumb fob or the like, sound interesting to me. But only if they seem to work well without any serious issues.

        I am looking and reading to get all the preliminary info I can before hand. Once I make my decision, I will buy whatever and install it. Thanks to everyone and others are welcome to add your feelings and ideas as well.
        Tom Boy Boat Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...s-what-trailer
        Rebuilt trailer project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/gener...r-back-to-life
        '76 40 HP Johnson rebuild https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...mplete-rebuild
        Minn Kota 599 Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ta-599-project

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        • #5
          The use of programable (gps) trolling motors for position and track fishing in saltwater has gained a lot of popularity in the past couple of years.

          Work great for wreck fishing, staying on a drift line or even just slowing the drift. Punch in the track, push button and go fishing



          Last edited by dingbat; December 22nd, 2018, 02:00 PM.
          ....

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gm280 View Post
            I am presently working on my boat project on these forums, a Tom Boy Boat.

            I was wondering how those remote setups actually work and if there was any really bad things about them. To have the ability to use both a foot operated setup AND a thumb fob or the like, sound interesting to me. But only if they seem to work well without any serious issues.
            Cool looking boat gm280, going to be a fish killer!

            As I remember, the MK Powerdrive I have can operate 4 remotes at one time. It stores up to 4 remotes, and when you add the fifth remote it dumps out the first. Remotes would be wireless keyfob controllers or wireless foot controller. I suspect that you could also run a wired foot pedal, along with 4 wireless remotes, since there is a connector for the wired foot pedal.

            I have personally run 2 keyfob controllers at once when my son and I were fishing, then I have also used the wireless foot pedal and wireless key fob when fishing by myself. All three of these controllers are programmed into the trolling motor. I also have a wired foot pedal for emergencies, in case the wireless part of the trolling motor goes out.

            2001 Crestliner SuperHawk 1800, Mercruiser 140HP
            2007 Tracker 1436 jon boat, 7.5HP Force

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            • #7
              Originally posted by fishrdan View Post

              Cool looking boat gm280, going to be a fish killer!

              As I remember, the MK Powerdrive I have can operate 4 remotes at one time. It stores up to 4 remotes, and when you add the fifth remote it dumps out the first. Remotes would be wireless keyfob controllers or wireless foot controller. I suspect that you could also run a wired foot pedal, along with 4 wireless remotes, since there is a connector for the wired foot pedal.

              I have personally run 2 keyfob controllers at once when my son and I were fishing, then I have also used the wireless foot pedal and wireless key fob when fishing by myself. All three of these controllers are programmed into the trolling motor. I also have a wired foot pedal for emergencies, in case the wireless part of the trolling motor goes out.
              Now that sounds very interesting. I will have to check that out seriously. Sounds exactly what I'd like to have as my setup. Thanks much for the info.

              So the TM is a MK Powerdrive...Okay!
              Tom Boy Boat Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...s-what-trailer
              Rebuilt trailer project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/gener...r-back-to-life
              '76 40 HP Johnson rebuild https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...mplete-rebuild
              Minn Kota 599 Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ta-599-project

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              • #8
                I use a Minn Kota Powerdrive with foot control and a wireless fob (co-pilot). I will use both on any given trip and it works great. It will absolutely work from the back of the boat and beyond.

                My other boat has a MotorGuide Xi5 with wireless control. That one is a little fancier and uses GPS. The anchor feature on it is amazing. Being able to hold your position with the push of a button is incredibly useful, particularly on windy days.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BTL View Post
                  I use a Minn Kota Powerdrive with foot control and a wireless fob (co-pilot). I will use both on any given trip and it works great. It will absolutely work from the back of the boat and beyond.

                  My other boat has a MotorGuide Xi5 with wireless control. That one is a little fancier and uses GPS. The anchor feature on it is amazing. Being able to hold your position with the push of a button is incredibly useful, particularly on windy days.
                  Thanks for the info. That is exactly what I was asking about. If you go to the manufacturer's websites, they talk like their product is the best thing since sliced-bread. That is why I ask for real users instead of merely reading and watching their videos. Thanks again... And anybody else with anything to add, please do so...
                  Tom Boy Boat Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...s-what-trailer
                  Rebuilt trailer project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/gener...r-back-to-life
                  '76 40 HP Johnson rebuild https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...mplete-rebuild
                  Minn Kota 599 Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ta-599-project

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                  • #10
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                    I have a Minn Kota (something) with wireless foot pad. Came with the boat. I thought I would like it but I keep reaching for the top of the unit to turn it by hand. It's a pain to adjust - could be operator error. Minute adjustments are out, large ones are in. It was mentioned above, the drive sounds loud when it changes directions. Might be silent under water once you have the direction set but do slight adjustments and you are sure to alert anyone under you that you are there.

                    Keyfob might be better in terms of control - dunno.


                    IF I were to do it over again (and have options) I'd go with a manual unit.



                    **This from an IT guy who generally has a grasp on technology and how to operate it.
                    2017 Chaparral 19 H2O Ski & Fish w./4.3L 180HP Merc Alpha
                    2005 Four Winns 200Le x/5.0L Volvo SX-M (270HP - FI) - ordered new, traded in on Chaparral
                    1999 Bayliner Capri 1800LS w/2000 Honda 115HP - ordered new, traded in on Four Winns
                    1956 MFG 15' w/matching Evinrude Big Twin 30HP - presumed to be a sandbox somewhere


                    Tow Vehicle:
                    2017 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium 4x4

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