Trolling Motor – How to Select the Right One

By boatingrvcenter • November 6, 2009 11:57 AM

cheap boats for saleA trolling motor is used to slowly and quietly hold position, troll along weed beds, or slow the drift against wind and currents. They come in bow and transom  mount.

There are several things to consider when shopping for a trolling motor. Do you want bow or stern mount? Generally speaking, a boat is easier to pull than push through the water. It is also easier to move the bow than the stern due to the difference in size and weight. These factors make a bow mounted trolling motor the most popular type. A bow mounted unit gives greater control, faster response, and easier positioning.

The next item to research is the type of controller you would like to use. You can select a hand tiller, foot switch, or laser wireless. The foot switch controller is the most popular. It connects through an electrical cord and leaves both hands free for fishing

A trolling motor is rated by the amount of thrust it exerts. Thrust is what counts the most. While motor output in terms of horsepower will have an impact on thrust, propeller shape, pitch and dimensions, and the motor speed in RPM work together to create the thrust rating. The propeller is especially important and is designed to achieve maximum acceleration and immediate response.

Next up for consideration is the battery. You don’t want to skimp in this area. It’s very frustrating to have a trolling motor stop due to a dead battery. For example, a trolling motor that takes 40 amps is purchased. You will be using the motor for an average of six hours at about half load, so that would be 20 amps continuous drain over the six hour period. This motor will need a battery pack of 120 Ah just to keep operating over the full six hour period.

To keep the above trolling motor operating without damaging the batteries, a battery pack rated at 240 Ah should be used. This keeps deep cycling at about 50%. Ideally, you should select a battery pack for this scenario that is rated at 20 amps for 10 hours. This would cover you in case the motor is used at greater than 50% power for an extended period.

Shaft length must be correct to ensure optimum control. If the shaft is too short, the prop will not stay in the water during rough conditions. A shaft that’s too long will cause problems in shallow water due to prop strikes and also will kick up material from the bottom.

Keep your trolling motor clean and dry when it is not being used. Never leave it outside on a boat that’s not covered. Be sure to disconnect the batteries. If the trolling motor has been heavily used, have it checked and cleaned of excess carbon dust. This dust will wreck motor brushes.

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