Fabricating a Mount for Trolling Motor.....Any pics out there?

Tin Man

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Would like to add a bow mount 12V TM to my 16' Alumacraft. I added a few pics so you can see what I have to work with. I need a flat area large enough for the TM mounting footprint which is approx. 10" x 15". I have the original cast alum bow piece and would prefer not to remove it. It has a slight convex shape to it, so TM could not mount on top of it. I want it to be solid with no flex.

Considering all options....1/4" alum plate; plywood covered with fiberglass cloth; ????

Thanks!

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MrGiggles

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When I did it a few years ago, I just made a cardboard template and transferred it over to 3/4 plywood, which I then carpeted. I notched out around the factory bow plate, and placed the trolling motor so it would deploy just off the left side of it. That plate went over the top of the gunnels, which made fastening simpler and I didn't have to make any support brackets.

When setting the trolling motor up to deploy off center, make sure that it's angled enough so the head is inside the gunnel when stowed, otherwise it will snag and hit on docks. Ask me how I know....

Aluminum plate would work well for you. Either rivet it onto the gunnels or use rivnuts. You have flat top gunnels which makes things easier. I would also add an angle brace across the rear to keep it from flexing, trolling motors are pretty strong and have a lot of leverage, and it would be smart to use some kind of rubber gasket, or washers to keep it from rattling against the hull.
 

Tin Man

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Mr. G, do you have any pics of what you built?

BTW...my gunnels (1.25"x1.25" extruded aluminum) are tilted slightly outward; they are aligned to shape of hull. It makes mounting a challenge in that the flat top of whatever I use, not sit flat on gunnels.
Alum. would be best IMO, but I do not have a TIG welder. I'd have to find a fabricator if I go alum.
Wood is much easier to work with and readily accessible.
I just want to make one that is solid, durable, and long lasting.
 

eeshaw

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If it were me I'd remove the cap on the bow by drilling off the rivet heads, this will save your cap if you decide later you want to get rid of the trolling motor, then you can just have it riveted back on. Once I removed it I'd make a flat cap to replace it any size I wanted and bolt it to the gunnels, this will allow you to drill holes in it till your hearts content and not screw up your boat.
 

FuzzyGrub

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3/4" Ext Plywood and epoxy sealed will last forever on the bow.

While I have a boat with a similar bow, never mounted a traditional bow trolling motor to it. I do understand the angle and curves is going to make it more "fun".

I wouldn't settle on size of the bow platform until you have the trolling motor and removeable mount (if using one) in hand. You have to work out the overhang and angle for stowing. Use a piece of scrap plywood for the "mock up" stage.
 

MrGiggles

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Mr. G, do you have any pics of what you built?

BTW...my gunnels (1.25"x1.25" extruded aluminum) are tilted slightly outward; they are aligned to shape of hull. It makes mounting a challenge in that the flat top of whatever I use, not sit flat on gunnels.
Alum. would be best IMO, but I do not have a TIG welder. I'd have to find a fabricator if I go alum.
Wood is much easier to work with and readily accessible.
I just want to make one that is solid, durable, and long lasting.

There's a pic of the deck plate in here. Be warned, that plate snowballed into a front deck, then a rear deck, then a front deck extension with a livewell. These were taken before the last addition. I sold it later that year.

I did the same with the plate on the Tracker that I have now, although it was already setup that way from the factory, the brackets were already there. 3/4" ply, cardboard template. I also screwed a chunk of hardwood to the bottom to stiffen it up further, even still it flexes a little with the trolling motor on high.


If you went aluminum I imagine you could notch and bend the outsides slightly to match the countours of the gunnel. It would be slow going but you could cut the plate with a jigsaw. Could also haul the template over to a fabricator and have them blast it out with a plasma cutter.

Although it may not be worthwhile, plywood certainly has advantages in terms of cost and ease of use.
 
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Tin Man

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Mp, thanks for the pics. Yes, It did give me an idea. I could build a small deck (like your upper one) that would come off my most forward bench/compartment. It's not a seating bench, just a small enclosed bench for boat rigidity. Currently there is a 100# weight that original owner placed inside to assist with getting boat on plane. Between a TM and 12V battery, it would be close to the same weight forward. The deck could be the entire bench forward to cast bow plate (raised 10" to meet top of gunnel).....it could be TM deck and storage for lightweight items.

That aft part of that forward bench is 30" from tip of bow casting. From bench to top of gunnel is 10". My cast bow plate is 10" from tip to the aft ends of plate. Your TM appears to be moountd off the bow by several inches. Is there an issue with mounting a TM 10"-20" off to one side of bow? Minn-Kota states to keep as close to center line as possible.
 

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Mpcassid

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It hasn’t really caused any issues in terms of the overall balance of the boat. It might track better if it was closer to center, but because of the design of the boat (‘81 SeaNymph 14R) there is a plate that sits on the bow that gets in the way of mounting it any closer to the front (see the photo from when I was setting up the location). I don’t trailer the boat with the TM attached to the boat. I’m afraid it would bounce too much and damage the deck.

Your plan sounds solid and I noticed from your pics that your boat doesn’t have that plate so you should be able to get it closer to the centerline of the boat.

Best of luck to you!
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Tin Man

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I actually do have a plate, although it looks a little smaller than yours. It does prevent me from installing TM directly off bow. I'll have to move it back like yours, or design the deck so it covers the plate (not sure that would work too well).
 

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MrGiggles

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I have never had a trolling motor that deployed dead center. Mostly because I don't like them hanging out over the front deck when stowed, and I think it's more ergonomic to stow/deploy them when they're mounted at an angle along the gunnel.
 

cyclops2

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I made the deck big enough to allow the battery to be in a plastic box. STRAPPED on top of the bow seat. Cleans up all the bow area and allows all bow light, horn, powered anchor on deck. Small vertical door to put large tool box on bow seat and strapped down..................Think the ultimate lay out. Several times . Then use Aluminum angle clips to bolt the deck to the top rails. They ONLY are used to prevent the deck from sliding around. No load is on the clips.

Key FOB controls work great on anchor & a bow motor. So do switches wires run in the hollow top rail. Put several layers of electrical tape on the sharp hole edges that the wires enter and exit the top rail.

DO NOT DRILL holes in the top rail with the wires still in there !!!!!!!!!! Add 2 spare wires in that run.
 
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Tin Man

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cyclops2, do you have pics of the alum angle clips for deck? Also, pics of the set up you speak of?

I plan on placing battery inside the existing small bench. It is rare that I fish at night, so I am considering using battery operated clamp on nav lights.
 

cyclops2

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No pictures. I used Home Depot 2" x 2" Aluminum scrap piece I had for the 4 clips. I also drilled and tapped thru the wood deck at the triangular bow plate area for 1/4-20 countersunk head screws coated with Silicone Rubber on the threads to prevent vibrating out. Good for over 7 years
 

Alaskan16

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Tin Man,

Here are pics of my motor mount on my Boston Whaler 17' Mountauk...
All 1/4" aluminum. I made up a three piece cardboard mock-up of what a needed, used the metal shear at work to cut the pieces. I took these pieces and my boat to a welder who could weld aluminum and had him just tack the three pieces together, as it had some compound angles that had to be adjusted to fit the slope and can't of my slanting deck.

Once we were able to twist the mount around to set flat in the deck, and be level for the motor mount, he finished welding it solid!

I added a Minnkota two piece removable trolling motor base and was able to mount my 3HP Minnkota on the front.
 

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airshot

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cyclops2, do you have pics of the alum angle clips for deck? Also, pics of the set up you speak of?

I plan on placing battery inside the existing small bench. It is rare that I fish at night, so I am considering using battery operated clamp on nav lights.
Those battery units are not cheap and typically the batteries are dead when you need them !!!! Been down that road.....If you shop around you can buy the plug in nav lights so the actual light itself can be stored when not being used. I have them on my current tinny and works out very well !!!!
 

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