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Thread: Bow Mount Trolling Motors on a "Runabout"

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    Member ydoc's Avatar
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    Default Bow Mount Trolling Motors on a "Runabout"

    I hope to be in the market for a "bigger" boat some time in the near (12 months) future. As I watch craigslist/etc. for my "dreamboat", I see a number of "bassboats" and pure fishing boats for sale.

    For about the same price (range), I can get considerably newer "runabout", "fish-n-ski" model boats!

    If I did get a "bassboat", I like the dual-console type... with the pads in front of the console, so that if I wanted to, I could also use the boat for dual-purposes (general boating, tubing, and maybe even skiing).

    Since I ALWAYS practice catch-n-release, I don't need a livewell... and I could find a place to put the rods... all I'd really need in a FnS type boat (a boat like this: 1988 Ski-Deck open bow boat 18') is a bow-mount trolling motor and the ability to mount a pedestal seat to the floor (front and back). I realize that the "seat" type would be too low to fish over the sides, so would use a "pro-pole" type so that I could stand and "lean".

    My question is, do YOU have a boat like that, or have you fished out of a "converted" boat like that? (I'm assuming it's possible...???) If so, how did/does it work?

    Obviously I will continue to look for/at bassboat/fishing boats, but if it's practical to "covert" a fish-n-ski model by adding a bow-mount trolling motor and seats, it would dramatically increase the number of potential boats!!

    Thanks!

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    Member xtreme76's Avatar
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    You mean something like this?


    -
    Yes it can be done, mine is still a work in progress. I got a bowrider mainly because my wife was okay with it. I plan on adding a rear casting platform and under floor rod storage this winter. I fabricated the trolling motor mount myself out of plywood, expanding foam, and fiberglass resin. It still isn't officially complete, I just blasted some paint on it this spring because it was time to fish, I plan to make it look a little nicer.

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    Okay I have a little more time to answer your question
    -
    It is not hard to do, but it is work. If you enjoy working on your boat like I do you will be fine. It does allow you to set it up how you want it. I will say mine will never fish as nice as a new boat designed for fishing, but it does fish fine. I also added smart tabs pro-trollers with the pro-trollers down I slow down to 2.3mph at idle, I have 2 drift socks that will slow me down to 1.0mph. The 36 volt terrova will troll fine in most conditions up to 2 mph. So between the pro-trollers and the electric I can troll about any speed.
    -
    I added a front casting platform that is actually sectional. I can remove the center section where the seat mounts and put the bow cushions right over the carpeted plywood if I so choose, and I still have access to the bow storage. My wife was very clear about permanent changes to the boat. The only thing permanent that I have changed is the 4 holes in the bow for the trolling motor mount. The front casting platform is all removable and it can be put right back to prior condition. I also added 4 rod holders, I will add 2 more this winter with a total of 8 mounting locations.

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    Thanks, that's EXACTLY what I'm talking about... a "family" boat that can also double as a fishing boat. It's even BETTER that you've made it "convertible"... in that the seat platforms are removable.

    From the look of your bow, I'm guessing that the mount you fabricated was due to the design (not flat) of the mounting surface. HOPEFULLY - if this ever comes to fruition, I will find a boat with a FLAT surface to mount the motor.

    I'd be VERY interested in seeing more pictures of what (and how) you made the removable platform. I've seen it done before, but the materials used in the fabrication were ahh... a little suspect! I'd like to see how you did yours.

    Are you building a platform for the rear pedestal, or are you mounting the seat directly to the floor?

    Not trying to invite myself, but maybe when you're done (or close), maybe I could drop by to see it? I'd like to see your troll-motor mount, how you ran the wiring, your platforms, etc. (I have no clue what the pro-troller smart tabs are... )

    Is your boat an outboard or inboard style?

    Thanks!

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    My front bow area was 3 removable cushions over the top of storage compartments. I just cut 3 sections of 5/8 treated plywood and used indoor/outdoor carpet. I then cut a 4th section that spans the gap in between. This 4th section has a seat pedestal mount in it. I am going to need to reinforce that center section it is sagging a little. I will probably use a 2x4 across the bottom. I will post some photos later on exactly how it was done. I have seen alot of one piece bow platforms I chose not to do that to make mine to be easier "convert" back.
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    The rear will be a platform with a pedestal not on the floor. I actually lost the sundeck one daying pulling my boat (blew off!!!), I am going to replace it with carpeted plywood and maybe have removable cushions made so I can still have a sun deck. I am still not 100% sure of my design on the rear yet, I will do it this winter.
    -
    ProTroller Series
    -
    Mine is an i/o, there are advantages to both, they is a completely different argument. I/O do require more maintenance, not that expensive if you have the time and knowledge to do it yourself, otherwise you will pay more in yearly maintenance with an I/O. You do NOT want to skip out on the maintenance.
    Last edited by xtreme76; 09-10-2009 at 01:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xtreme76 View Post
    My front bow area was 3 removable cushions over the top of storage compartments. I just cut 3 sections of 5/8 treated plywood and used indoor/outdoor carpet. I then cut a 4th section that spans the gap in between. This 4th section has a seat pedestal mount in it. I am going to need to reinforce that center section it is sagging a little. I will probably use a 2x4 across the bottom. I will post some photos later on exactly how it was done. I have seen alot of one piece bow platforms I chose not to do that to make mine to be easier "convert" back.
    That sounds similar to what I've seen before. The "sag" (support) was always my concern too. At 240lbs. nekid , I'd need all the support I could get!

    I've used a piece of angle-iron for bracing before. It works pretty good. You could cut out a piece from each end - making just a "tab" - that would allow a full-width bracing. Either way, I'll be curious on what you do and how it turns out.

    The rear will be a platform with a pedestal not on the floor... I am still not 100% sure of my design on the rear yet, I will do it this winter.
    Hmmm... I'd like to see that!

    Hmmm... thanks. But having never owned a speedboat, I'm not clear on how they work. I understand the CONCEPT of creating additional drag, but don't grasp the mounting, engagement/activation/lowering of them. Are they manual or electric? Oh well, I'll take your word for it.

    Mine is an i/o, there are advantages to both, they is a completely different argument. I/O do require more maintenance, not that expensive if you have the time and knowledge to do it yourself, otherwise you will pay more in yearly maintenance with an I/O. You do NOT want to skip out on the maintenance.
    Well, that is good to know... if only just that it makes BOTH options available.

    JUST FOR FUN, here's a guy that did something similar to what I originally asked (and we've been discussing): 78 Mark Twain. No, I'm NOT interested in his "needs work" boat, but it DOES illustrate the concept of adapting a runabout or a "fish-n-ski" boat to make dual-purpose.

    Thanks again for your input! If you wouldn't mind, please post any of your pedestal, trolling-motor, etc. mods to this thread. It would be a great reference for me... and anyone else considering the same thing.

    (And I'd STILL like to see your boat some day! )

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    I will post more pictures in a album once done.
    -
    Thank you for the angle iron idea, that is going to solve more than one problem, I am going to use several sections of angle on 3 of the peices and actually notch them to fit together. This will keep everything from sliding and also providing support underneath. I am thinking it will work great. Once again when it is done I will update pictures. I got a couple other projects that trump this one for priority at the moment.
    Last edited by xtreme76; 09-15-2009 at 10:09 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by xtreme76 View Post
    I will post more pictures in a album once done.
    -
    Thank you for the angle iron idea, that is going to solve more than one problem, I am going to use several sections of angle on 3 of the peices and actually notch them to fit together. This will keep everything from sliding and also providing support underneath. I am thinking it will work great. Once again when it is done I will update pictures. I got a couple other projects that trump this one for priority at the moment.
    Looking forward to seeing the results!!

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    There are very effective fish and ski's out there. I own a nitro 288 that work's great for fishing and tubing/skiing. They are all going to compromise in both worlds. Nitro makes the 189 Sport, 288 sport and the 290. However, if you are looking to go older to save some money, you can search for the 185 sport which was discontinued when they made the 189.

    For a little more money you can go with a Ranger Reatta(sp?) Rangers hold their value a little better so finding an affordable one may be difficult.


    Here are a couple threads related to this.

    http://www.nefga.org/forum/boating/2...-fish-ski.html

    http://www.nefga.org/forum/nebraska-...tml#post208311
    dave

    Tell a man there are 100 billion stars in the universe and he will believe you. Tell a man a bench has wet paint and he'll have to touch it to be sure.

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    Thanks Dave!

    I'm unemployed right now, so ANY boat upgrade is currently out of the question. The reason for starting this thread was because I was looking at bass(specific)-boats AND boats like you mentioned. There are even some for sale on this forum:

    http://www.nefga.org/forum/outdoors-...or-4900-a.html

    But wanted to also - if practical - open it up to more of the runabout style. Just more to choose from that way...

    And yeah, I might save some money... but by the time I add a bow-mount trolling motor and any electronics, I'm sure I'll have surpassed the equivalent boat that would already be so equipped.

    Again, it was more that I was just wondering about the practicality of it...

    Thanks again for you input!

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    Hey, I have the same boat as you. That is a Bayline Capri right? I'm from Utah, I'm trying to duplicate this mount but unsure how you did it. Any info you have for me is greatly appreciated. I came accross your post on a search engine trying to come up with ideas. What is that mount made out of? What's the best way to go about making it? How is it bolted on? And last question is how does it work, is it sturdy? Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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