Trolling Motor spot lock?

aztec23

Newbie
  • Aug 18, 2017
    97
    44
    North County SD
    Name
    Nick
    Boat
    Wellcraft 18 CC
    I am thinking about buying a trolling motor for my 18' center console. The primary interest is to use spot lock inshore off La Jolla/Pt Loma. Tired of current and wind
    moving me off my spot and having to circle back constantly. My question is will (for example) a Minnkota 24v keep my boat in position with a 3-4 knot current and 5-10 knot wind? Also if anyone has suggestions on make/models of motors that you have on your boat let me know.
     

    Hismosa

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
  • Oct 15, 2016
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    Glenn
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    Boats n hoes
    The problem is you probably won't get one til late summer. They are backordered everywhere and it's only going to get worse as the season gets closer. So you better pull the trigger quick and get on that waitlist.

    But yea they are awesome and will do exactly what you want as described.
     
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    aztec23

    Newbie
  • Aug 18, 2017
    97
    44
    North County SD
    Name
    Nick
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    Wellcraft 18 CC
    The problem is you probably won't get one til late summer. They are backordered everywhere and it's only going to get worse as the season gets closer. So you better pull the trigger quick and get on that waitlist.

    But yea they are awesome and will do exactly what you want as described.
    Damn, didn't think about a backorder issue. Thanks for the advice.
     
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    ShadowX

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    Oct 10, 2010
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    Damn, didn't think about a backorder issue. Thanks for the advice.

    The biggest issue you need to plan out is how to mount it, where to locate the batteries and how to run the wires. If you have rails, you might need to cut them to allow the shaft through. The mount can be permanent or you can buy a quick disconnect mounting plate. Permanent mounting is preferred for better performance. If you don't have a nice flat surface to mount it, you may need to add a mounting plate if it has to overhang the side or front of the boat. Its best you use something stiff like a 1/2" (or thicker) aluminum plate. I've seen these motors flex in the waves and make a 1" thick starboard mount flex like its a diving board.

    Get the longest shaft version that you can fit on your boat. The 60" shaft is the shortest you should consider. On a windy or if the waves pick up, the shaft can come out of the water. You will not be able to lock position very well when the propellers come out of the water. Some people don't want to cut their rails so they position the head above the rails. You lose an extra 12-18 inches of shaft height and need to factor that in. Once you find the right height for the stopper on the shaft, mark the location with a sharpie pen. If you drop the motor too fast, it can knock the stopper from your set location. We add an additional hose clamp above the stopper as insurance.

    Stay away from the Ulterra. The auto-deploy system had a lot of return units in the past. I don't know if they fixed all the problems now, but there was a lot of unhappy campers who bought the first generations. The standard manually deployed Riptide has a stellar record. Minn kota parts are dirt cheap so if you like to do your own maintenance, every part is available at a very low price. They don't rape you like other vendors.

    You will be the happiest person out there once its installed. No more pulling on anchor. You drive up to the spot, slow down and lock the GPS position. Grab your poles and start fishing. Not having to anchor up, especially in deep waters is a game changer. You can hit very small rockfish spots that you wouldn't even consider fishing if you had to anchor or drift.
     
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    Northeastfshman

    I see OJ
  • Dec 20, 2008
    2,602
    2,534
    San Clemente
    Name
    Brett Weinberg
    Boat
    Parker 2120SCDV
    Those things are unreal!

    Takes away the need to learn how to anchor (or even double ancor if you really want to get on a spot) or set-up drifts.

    The biggest cheat code in fishing since the invention of the GPS.
     
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    aztec23

    Newbie
  • Aug 18, 2017
    97
    44
    North County SD
    Name
    Nick
    Boat
    Wellcraft 18 CC
    The biggest issue you need to plan out is how to mount it, where to locate the batteries and how to run the wires. If you have rails, you might need to cut them to allow the shaft through. The mount can be permanent or you can buy a quick disconnect mounting plate. Permanent mounting is preferred for better performance. If you don't have a nice flat surface to mount it, you may need to add a mounting plate if it has to overhang the side or front of the boat. Its best you use something stiff like a 1/2" (or thicker) aluminum plate. I've seen these motors flex in the waves and make a 1" thick starboard mount flex like its a diving board.

    Get the longest shaft version that you can fit on your boat. The 60" shaft is the shortest you should consider. On a windy or if the waves pick up, the shaft can come out of the water. You will not be able to lock position very well when the propellers come out of the water. Some people don't want to cut their rails so they position the head above the rails. You lose an extra 12-18 inches of shaft height and need to factor that in. Once you find the right height for the stopper on the shaft, mark the location with a sharpie pen. If you drop the motor too fast, it can knock the stopper from your set location. We add an additional hose clamp above the stopper as insurance.

    Stay away from the Ulterra. The auto-deploy system had a lot of return units in the past. I don't know if they fixed all the problems now, but there was a lot of unhappy campers who bought the first generations. The standard manually deployed Riptide has a stellar record. Minn kota parts are dirt cheap so if you like to do your own maintenance, every part is available at a very low price. They don't rape you like other vendors.

    You will be the happiest person out there once its installed. No more pulling on anchor. You drive up to the spot, slow down and lock the GPS position. Grab your poles and start fishing. Not having to anchor up, especially in deep waters is a game changer. You can hit very small rockfish spots that you wouldn't even consider fishing if you had to anchor or drift.
    Alex, thanks for the tips that I wouldn’t of even thought about.
     
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    ShadowX

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    Oct 10, 2010
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    Alex, thanks for the tips that I wouldn’t of even thought about.

    No problem.

    You really have to think about where to run your wires for the motor. Its best to go with 8 AWG or even 6 AWG wires. It really depends on how many amps your motor would require. Don't forget to add in a circuit breaker. I prefer the sealed ones similar to the ones shown below. Make sure you get the correct amperage rating. You can use this circuit breaker as a switch too. You can press the red button to disconnect and pull yellow tab up to turn it on. Personally, I prefer to wire a separate switch similar to the one below. It makes it a lot more obvious that its a power switch.

    Another thing to not forget is to buy a new battery charger. You want to have a separate charger unless you have spare capacity on your house battery charger and can run the wires to the troll motor battery. Make sure you spray a good coating of CRC 06026 Heavy Duty corrosion inhibitor to protect the wiring terminals. We had one charger terminal corrode. The ground terminal on the charger broke off from the corrosion. What happen was the middle battery of the 3 battery bank was not getting charged. The other battery had to discharge through this dead battery and caused nothing but problems. The reason why this is a common problem is because the batteries are placed up front and is more susceptible to salt spray on the bow of the boat.

    When everything is dialed in, you will never want to go back to anchoring your boat again. The troll motor even held up in 10-15 knot winds and knarly conditions when the seas get rough. Believe it or not, these troll motors work better with wind. It helps point the troll motor in a certain direction. When there is no wind, the motor drift slightly trying to hold position.

    I think on the newer troll motors, it even comes with a GPS or bluetooth compass. The compass helps the troll motor position itself. When it relies only on GPS signals, the small errors make the system think its moving when its stationary and it tends to move in circles or drift around and around. I never used one with compass, but it seems like a big improvement.

    1617833179357.png



    1617833241094.png
     
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    URN

    Almost A Member
  • Feb 20, 2018
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    Anchorage
    Name
    URN
    Boat
    Whaler 25
    I have the motorguide Xi5 on my 25ft whaler. Its the 72" 36V version and its awesome. With the engines down I get 3.5mph on the gps with the engines down. I'm not sure if that's with the current or against it, but it'll hold us in some pretty decent currents. This will be it's 2nd year. I can spot lock over some areas where nobody drops anchor and its awesome. Some areas of Prince William Sound have probably never been fished because dropping an anchor would just mean cutting the line.

    Some good points have been made about mounting, batteries, cables, etc. Onboard chargers are important too. I have the 3 bank 10A and that works well. I can do a full day of fishing and be charged up overnight. There is also an onboard alternator charger where batteries can be charged from the running engines while you're motoring out to your spots.

    They're a game changer and there are some brushless motor options coming out soon so that's something to think about.
     
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    Dave Coopman

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    May 26, 2019
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    Huntington Beach
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    Dave Coopman
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    Judge 27
    I have a Terra nova on a 20 foot boat. I have had it for two years.
    They are awesome. As suggested earlier in the thread get a long shaft. Wind waves, and swell can combine to make conditions tough to use it. Using mine in wind up to about 8 kn is fine.
    I would get three batteries. I have never had my batteries drain in a single day.
     
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    Willdoggy

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  • Jun 25, 2014
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    Will
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    Purr-Sea-Stance / Montauk 170
    Love my Minnkota iPilot 12V 54” shaft. It works great and the spot lock feature alone is worth the price of admission. I run (2) 12V AGM batteries in parallel for the house & trolling motor. I keep a third 12V AGM dedicated to engine starts. There is also an A/Both/B switch for redundancy incorporated into my set up. I’ve never run out of juice. The 12 V set up is more than adequate for keeping my Montauk on the spot. Highly recommend.
     
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    bazzturd

    I fish in the ocean, not the internet
    Aug 7, 2008
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    No problem.

    You really have to think about where to run your wires for the motor. Its best to go with 8 AWG or even 6 AWG wires. It really depends on how many amps your motor would require. Don't forget to add in a circuit breaker. I prefer the sealed ones similar to the ones shown below. Make sure you get the correct amperage rating. You can use this circuit breaker as a switch too. You can press the red button to disconnect and pull yellow tab up to turn it on. Personally, I prefer to wire a separate switch similar to the one below. It makes it a lot more obvious that its a power switch.

    Another thing to not forget is to buy a new battery charger. You want to have a separate charger unless you have spare capacity on your house battery charger and can run the wires to the troll motor battery. Make sure you spray a good coating of CRC 06026 Heavy Duty corrosion inhibitor to protect the wiring terminals. We had one charger terminal corrode. The ground terminal on the charger broke off from the corrosion. What happen was the middle battery of the 3 battery bank was not getting charged. The other battery had to discharge through this dead battery and caused nothing but problems. The reason why this is a common problem is because the batteries are placed up front and is more susceptible to salt spray on the bow of the boat.

    When everything is dialed in, you will never want to go back to anchoring your boat again. The troll motor even held up in 10-15 knot winds and knarly conditions when the seas get rough. Believe it or not, these troll motors work better with wind. It helps point the troll motor in a certain direction. When there is no wind, the motor drift slightly trying to hold position.

    I think on the newer troll motors, it even comes with a GPS or bluetooth compass. The compass helps the troll motor position itself. When it relies only on GPS signals, the small errors make the system think its moving when its stationary and it tends to move in circles or drift around and around. I never used one with compass, but it seems like a big improvement.

    View attachment 1270181


    View attachment 1270182
    I have a minn kota setup already on my Seafarer 228, but unfortunately it's an older model without spot lock. It is properly set up though with charger and heavy pos/neg cables. What kind of run time would you guess I would get when I do get a newer version? Rock fishing standard socal conditions? I have a hard top which will add to wind resistance.
     
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    ShadowX

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    Oct 10, 2010
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    I have a minn kota setup already on my Seafarer 228, but unfortunately it's an older model without spot lock. It is properly set up though with charger and heavy pos/neg cables. What kind of run time would you guess I would get when I do get a newer version? Rock fishing standard socal conditions? I have a hard top which will add to wind resistance.

    It really depends on the version of the troll motor you get and the conditions. If the wind is blowing less than 10kts with normal water current, you can get at least 6-12 hours on a full charge. Obviously, we didn't stay in same spot that long, so we moved boat a few times. Typically if we fish for around 12 hours, about 6-7 of those hours would be with troll motor on if we go to Catalina. If we are just fishing local waters, 7-9 of those hours are with troll motor on. If the current is strong, your run time will drop.

    We prefer a 36V system because the extra battery would provide longer runs. I have never used the 24V version so I can't provide information on the 24V version. We have a hardtop on our boat too so these run times are with the the extra drag. Our boat is 21.5 foot, but I don't think that makes a huge difference compared to your 22.8 footer.

    There are other factors to consider on the troll motors. Make sure your motor thrust washers are in good shape. The way you can tell is to grab the propeller and pull on it in the axial direction. If you notice there is a lot of movement back and forth, there is a chance the washers and C-clip on the shaft may have deteriorated. We did a rebuild of the motor last year because the play seemed excessive. Once we opened up the motor, we realized the C-clip was either corroded or was lost. It caused the motor to push against the shaft. There was also a self lubricating plastic washer that deteriorated. As a result, it created a lot of friction when the motor was running. Before fixing the problem, we had around 6 hour run on typical day. Now, we can run it close to 12 hours in roughly the same conditions. After we get back, there is at least 25% charge left on the batteries. Its something to consider checking if you notice your motor run times dropped as compared to when the motor was new.

    I believe if you change to a newer troll motor, it would greatly benefit you, especially with the spot lock function. The newer motors even have a Bluetooth heading sensor that is used to maintain a direction heading for the troll motor. On the older versions that I have, the direction is based on the GPS positions. It basically takes at least two measurements or more and determines the direction the boat is pointing. When there is wind, the direction is constant and the troll motor maintains position well. However, when the wind is low, the readings may be erratic and it causes the motor to wander a bit at times. Having the compass helps eliminate these types of wandering because the troll motor no longer relies on the GPS coordinates to determine heading. The heading sensor is basically a compass that keeps the heading and motor pointing in the correct direction.

    With the 112 lb thrust motors we were able to hold in 15 knot winds and some knarly wave conditions. Unfortunately we have a 60 in shaft and the top part motor is about 24 inches high to clear the rails. The main problem we have is when the waves are rougher, the propeller comes in and out of the water. Each time it does that, the shaft flexes and you lose motor thrust. Getting the longest shaft the boat can use helps in the rougher conditions. There were some days we shouldn't even be out there, but the troll motor held as best it can.
     
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    onehottip

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    May 8, 2006
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    Love my Minnkota iPilot 12V 54” shaft. It works great and the spot lock feature alone is worth the price of admission. I run (2) 12V AGM batteries in parallel for the house & trolling motor. I keep a third 12V AGM dedicated to engine starts. There is also an A/Both/B switch for redundancy incorporated into my set up. I’ve never run out of juice. The 12 V set up is more than adequate for keeping my Montauk on the spot. Highly recommend.
    Will doggy can you post pics of your install. I am going to set one up and some pics will help. My boat is somewhat similar! Thanks
     
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    onehottip

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    Question , is having a motor that connects to mfd a biggie? Like lorance will work with motorguide. Should I worry about that? Or do they all connect to mfd.
     
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    ShadowX

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    Question , is having a motor that connects to mfd a biggie? Like lorance will work with motorguide. Should I worry about that? Or do they all connect to mfd.
    The troll motor control is specific to the fish finder brand and the troll motor company. Lowrance/Simrad products work with Motorguide while Humminbird works with the Minn Kota motors only.

    What really sucks is the tying of one trolling motor to a specific brand of fish finders. It does the industry no good and takes away options. It would be great if someone creates a box that allows the use of any brand of motor on any fish finder. Motorguide seems to be using the NMEA2000 backbone while Minnkota uses ethernet ports to connect to the Humminbird fish finders. Either way, there should be an industry standard. I know they have signed long term exclusive contracts, but it does not benefit the end users.

    It really depends on how you fish. If you like to follow a trolling path, using the fish finder to set the path is the best option. You can use this to follow a depth or contour line. This is very popular with the bass fisherman in lakes. On the other hand, if your fishing style is mainly to stay anchored in one spot, its not as important.
     
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    onehottip

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    It has enough juice for a full day? Decent power? BOat weight with motor?
     
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    Willdoggy

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  • Jun 25, 2014
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    Boat empty with no motor is 1400. W/90hp Yamaha say 2000. All I use the trolling motor for is the spot lock so it lasts all day.
    My boat about 2400#s all loaded with fuel bait tank and gear. Spot lock lasts all day easily with a 12V iPilot system and two 27 Group AGM batteries in parallel. Batteries are also used for the pumps, electronics and lights.
     
    ChaseTheBait
    ChaseTheBait
    How do you charge the two batteries? They hooked up to a perko switch or on a separate on board charger?
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