BOATING 101: CHOOSING THE RIGHT ELECTRIC TROLLING MOTOR
Electric trolling motors have become an invaluable, must-have accessory for anglers and their watercraft. Electric trolling motors are known for helping anglers catch more fish with subtle, stealthy movement, plus the fact that they make practically no noise at all. Even better, being battery powered, electric trolling motors don’t produce any emissions.
When it comes to choosing the right model, there are a few variables to consider, such as the size and weight of your vessel, as well as your intended purpose and common fishing conditions. Here is a look at the most important factors to consider when choosing the right trolling motor for your boat.
The weight of your boat will determine how powerful the right trolling motor should be. Generally, you should have two pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds of total boat weight. A 12-volt electric trolling motor will be best suited for boats that weigh about 1,500 to 3,000lbs. Meanwhile, a 24-volt model will be better for boats that weigh 3,000 to 4,500lbs. For boats heavier than that, you should consider a 36-volt electric trolling motor.
Another consideration is where you will be fishing, of course. If you’re fishing in shallow water where there is minimal current, the guidelines above will suffice. However, if your intended fishing location has stronger winds and faster currents, you might want to consider adding more thrust.
Anglers can choose to mount their electric trolling motor in two ways: bow or transom. The choice of bow or transom mount is generally a preference. With a bow mount, the electric trolling motor is located at the front of the vessel and pulls your watercraft through the water. This option allows anglers to have excellent manoeuvrability and control of their boat. Also, an added benefit is that many bow mount electric trolling motors can be operated remotely or with foot pedals. Those added benefits also come at an extra cost.
The transom mount is the more affordable option. It’s best suited for smaller boats and is perfect for kayaks. Transom mount electric trolling motors are operated by hand. With a transom mount, the electric trolling motor is located at the back of the boat and pushes your vessel through the water. This option is for standard trolling, so steering is less precise, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to sneak up on those fish.
You’ll also need to consider the size of your boat when determining the shaft length of your electric trolling motor. If it’s too short, then the propeller won’t be fully submerged. If it’s too long, then you will have issues when fishing in shallow water. Generally, the centre of the motor should be submerged by at least 12 inches.
If you have chosen a transom motor, the distance between the mount and the waterline are usually the same. But for bow-mounted motors, this distance varies significantly. The rule of thumb is to measure the top of the bow to the waterline and add an extra 18 inches.
The type of electric trolling motor you’ll use for your boat or kayak will essentially depend on three main factors: thrust, mount and shaft length. You also have to be aware of your vessel’s dimensions and your intended purpose. Good online retailers make it very easy to choose the right motor and with the above knowledge you are already in good stead.
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