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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year I bought a 2000 Scout 162 Sportfish. This small center console is laid out something like a cross between a bass boat and a flats boat. For a small boat, it has decent-sized decks front and rear with pedestal seats. The boat has an outlet near the front for a trolling motor.

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I have never had a good trolling motor on my vessels (I did have one very light weight motor on my Gheenoe). I can see certain fishing locations and techniques where a trolling motor would be quite helpful. If I do buy one, I want to get one made for saltwater and something without a large foot pedal that will take up deck space. I doubt that I would use it often, so I would like the option of easily removing the motor unit from the mounting base.

Today I looked at trolling motors at Bass Pro Shops. They had several Minnkota and several Motorguide saltwater units with various features and price tags. I am not planning to rush out and but one right away, but will continue asking questions and doing homework for part of the summer.

I am requesting any feedback that any of you have from your own experience with bow-mounted trolling motors. I liked several of the Minnkota models that have a tiller for steering (Riptide SE and SM series) plus the Riptide SP model that has a remote control for both steering and speed.

I look forward to your comments.
 

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I've used both tiller control and foot controlled. If you can learn to drive tiller with your knee, it's fine. Otherwise you are taking your hand off your rod constantly to make adjustments. Foot control is good also, but in chop it can get a little tricky. They make all kinds or remote control units now. I'd look at those if I were getting a new one.

Mike
 

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John, good looking scout you have there. I had a Motorguide great white saltwater 50pnd thrust on my old 17 foot pro line cc. it worked great for working piers and staying close to pilings and birds. I find myself missing the ability of an electric motor sometimes. a few things to think about. Depending on your placement you may need to move, separate or elevate you bow light. I had a issue with storing 2 extra batteries to power the 24v system. space was limited on the pro line and it took a bit of placement to get it trimmed just rite with the extra weight. I did charge the batteries at home and never had heavy enough use to kill it in a day but on board charging would make life a lot easier if you plan heavy use. I found a good deal on Craigslist for mine but if I where to buy one now I would go with something that has remote steering and optional foot pedal. Measure the distance from the bow to the water line and ample distance for pitching of the boat when deciding on the length. Good luck.
 

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I have a Scout 175 with a Motorguide all bought new in 1999. Still works great. It is foot controlled. Two batteries with onboard charger stored under center console. Best fishing with this boat near Cristfield MD and Janes Island areas. I have it mounted with release plates (2 round disks on gunnel). Quick release mounts at BassPro:

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/s...&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&CMID=TOP_SEARCH_GO

 

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I got a Minn Kota riptide with the i-pilot system last season. I'm very happy with it so far. I've been able to use all of it's features to enhance fishing and boat positioning

record a track - hit the record button and the i-pilot will record your track like a gps trail, when done you can tell the motor to follow the trail back to the beginning or go to the beginning and follow the track to the end. You don't have to touch the remote to keep it on the recorded track. I've used this when fishing productive shoreline and when running crab traps.

Anchor/Spot Lock - once you've found a productive spot, hit the spot-lock on the remote and the trolling motor will adjust speed and steering to keep the boat in a set spot. I've been down current of pilings in ripping water and howling wind, the boat barely moves. This comes in handy when locating a productive piling or spot on a hump or ledge. This winter a buddy and I found a very small portion of a deep oyster bed that was loaded with big perch. The spot lock kept the boat in exact position we needed to drop and jig these fish up.

Auto Pilot - two modes, one will maintiain a compass heading, the other will draw a track in the direction the motor is pointed and keep the boat on that track. I've used this again when fishing a shoreline, just point the motor and it will keep the boat in a straight line.

Cruise control - I use this in conjuction with auto-pilot and record a track to maintain a constant boat speed

You can get a corded footpedal for the system which I'll be getting this year. For me, it's easier to steer by foot when needed in calmer water than it is to reach for a remote. Then again, I don't have to reach for the remote that often.

Previous versions of minn-kota autopilot and co-pilot had reports of remote, motor and head failures. I have yet to have any issues with mine.

TIGHT LINES!!
 

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I put a 55lb thrust MinnKota with I Pilot on my 17 ft AquaSport last year. I've been very impressed with the I Pilot capabilities as Dirty Frank detailed above. I chose the 12 volt version for battery space considerations and running on a group 27 deep cycle I have plenty of power. Even in "simple mode" , put it on a heading and the internal GPS will track - even in wind and "bumpy" water - I've been very impressed with this unit - no failures. I used the quick mount that MinnKota offers. Works great. Use the proper guage wires and a breaker as your shut off, and you're good to go. If you want somr pics of my installation, send me your Email and I will forward ([email protected])
Mike Z
 

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This is the mounting plate you will want, trust me. I had the aluminum one and it's loose and noisy. I have an minn kota off my boat ( 2005) but put a new one on mine and never got around to selling it. Only one year use but never waxed it and it turn yellow other wise in perfect shape. I think it's 70 Lbs and 55" shaft. Let me know if your interested? BTW It comes with the aluminum mounting bracket but you should get the other one. lol


Minn Kota RTA 17 Riptide Composite Quick Release Bracket Mount


$57 online
3 reviews
Features Locking Quick Release design for smooth and easy disconnect. Solid anodized aluminum, easy to install MKA-42, MKA-52/62 Ideal for Minn Kota Maxxum & Riptide motors - fresh or saltwater MKA-16-02 Convenient, quick removal of any PowerDrive or AutoPilot trolling motor
A
 

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Hand controlled will have less issue's since there are no fancy electonics.
Long shafts help when the boat is rocking, which we have in the bay. They also prevent you from having to bend over while fishing.
24 volts sytems will provide longer run times with more access to power when needed.
I've never wished I had my foot controlled back since I put my 62" 80lb 24 Minn Kota on.
Definately go with the Dog Bone mounting system. Way better than the others
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
BTW Whats the story with your rods, looks like you went under a pier and snapped them off?
Sunman -

That was one of my earlier trips last year. Until recently, I bought only 2-piece rods and stored them at home in the broken-down mode. For some reason, I had not gotten around to opening up the rods yet that day.
 

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I bought an 80# thrust Minn Kota Riptide SP w/ remote control about 6 yrs ago. Had to do some creative installation w/ the motor and two batteries, but it works well on my old 17' Whaler. I like the remote control, have had no problems except that I dropped one of the controllers into the drink once and had to replace it. It's very strong, and can move my boat pretty well against a current. Also, with the remote control and the precise speed and steering it is perfect for setting and running a trotline. (Saves wear and tear on the 2-stroke outboard which gets very grumpy at crabbing speed.)
 

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Hey John, I couldn't function without one in my world. It boils down to what type of fishing you enjoy. I couldn't be without one on the Tracker.
 

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I have the 80lb thrust Minn Kota with remote I wear on my wrist. 2 x batteries and charger in the console and 6 guage wire to the motor. Minn Kota makes a nice plug with 6 guage adapter. They also make a nice breaker.

remote is nice as you can stand anywhere in the boat and contoll the motor. Nice when its rockin and rolling you dont want to be in the bow.. also has pedal option.

Fished with a friend with new motorguide. very similar. He thought the steering motor was loud. we had a loose connection inside the motor first time out..

I Pilot sounds like a nice feature.

Remember if you have quick release, it is easier to steal..maybe there is a way to add a lock.. Minn Kota webiste has info on how to choose the right motor thrust and shaft length..
 

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As noted above, the Minn Kota ST with iPilot is an awesome piece of gear. I currently own 3 trolling motors, and have had a few Motor Guides and other Minn Kotas in the past. Minn Kota is a superior motor, and iPilot is worth twice the price. No matter what you choose, factor in the cost of batteries and a good charger. You will also want the Minn Kota quick release bracket, RTA-17.
 

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John,
I have that same boat (1999) with a 72 lb Motorguide on it.
I had to mount it with aluminum backing plates to keep it on the bow.
I did quite a bit of work to figure it out. I have pictures.
Get in touch with me with an e-mail and I'll share what I learned.
Too much to post here, and I'm not sure how to do the pictures.
nw
 

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You will also want the Minn Kota quick release bracket, RTA-17.
Concur. I put one on my new boat this spring. It took a couple hours of fiddling to get it just right on the contour of my bow, but now it's very simple to use.

The fancy autopilot stuff is great when it works, but I've had 2 die within a few years. I went with a tiller this time.
 

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To add onto the question, I'm thinking of getting one for my small boat for working pilings, crabbing, etc. How does a bow mount work with a rail up at the bow? Never used one before. Anyone know a good installer too?
Thanks
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the many excellent suggestions. I appreciate your willingness to share your own experiences. Now that I have the trolling motor bug, I will either research it to death or find a used one at a price too good to pass up, then jump on it quickly.
 
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