How to Mount a Trolling Motor on an Aluminum Boat
Last Updated on July 31st, 2020
Based on the shape, size, and construction of a fishing boat, the trolling motor can be either mounted on the front (bow) or rear (transom). Generally, an aluminum boat has low load-bearing capacity.
If you are going to install an accessory such as a trolling motor, you will need a 24 or 36-volt battery to power it, which will add some extra weight on the aluminum boat.
Furthermore, if you have a 14-20 feet Jon boat, you probably won’t have to worry about installing trolling motor mounters. However, some aluminum boats do not come with mounters, and installing brand new ones means more weight on the aluminum boat.
Apart from the boat’s load-bearing capacity, you must be clear about the thrust you are expecting from the trolling motor. A 55 lbs trolling motor powered by 24-36 volt will move a 14-15 feet a Jon boat at about 2.5 mph.
In this post, I have shared some easy ways to install a trolling motor on an aluminum fishing boat. I have also touched on the biggest problem anglers encounter with a transom mount trolling motor.
Also Read: How To Put Trolling Motors On Kayak
How to Transom-Mount a Trolling Motor on an Aluminum Boat
The first step in installing a trolling motor on an aluminum boat is to find the right spot. When mounting a trolling motor on a transom, you need to make sure whether the surface is flat and smooth. The spot doesn’t have to be in the center, it could be on either side of the transom.
Assuming the rear surface is not smooth, you must make some adjustments. Trolling motors operate at high speeds, and they have sharp blades. You don’t want the motor to come flying off the transom onto the passengers in the middle of a fishing trip. Also, you want to protect your investment.
Hence, make the best use of wooden wedges (depicted in the above image) to even out the mounting surface. Place the mounter on the transom and tighten the screws. Fill up the gaps with custom-cut wooden wedges.
If you don’t have a garage at home, make sure the mounter is detachable. That way, you won’t have to leave the trolling motor out in the open. Some boat owners keep their boats in the backyard or porch.
Some trolling motors come with a mount attached to them. If this is the case with the one you purchased, you won’t have to screw in the motor on the mount. On the other hand, the shaft of the trolling motor has a mechanism that allows you to securely attach it on the mount.
After mounting the trolling motor onto the mount, make sure the shaft is movable. The mechanism allows you to swing the rod in and out of the boat. You want this feature to function correctly.
Next, insert the hand controller (also known as tiller) into the shaft. Push it in until you hear a click. Pull it out to ensure that it has fit in properly.
Lastly, join the connecting cable of the trolling motor to the terminals of a battery. Connect the positive terminal of the motor to the positive terminal of the battery. Also, join the negative end of the motor to the negative terminal of the battery. Needless to say, keep the battery switched off during installation.
The Biggest Problem Encounter With a Transom-Mount Trolling Motor
Worn-out batteries are the biggest cause of the “trolling motors not working” problem. Deep cycle marine batteries typically last for 4-5 years (when well-maintained). A drained out battery could affect the efficiency of trolling motors. Usually, fishermen blame the manufacturer of the trolling motor without realizing the root cause of the issue.
Replacing the battery is the only solution here. Although, before you touch the battery or the connecting cable, make sure you are wearing latex gloves and safety goggles. Next, if you have a spare battery on board, simply switch it with the one connected to the trolling motor. It should give you an accurate reflection of the heath of both batteries.
The transom-mount arrangement can also be used for mounting the trolling motor on the bow. Some anglers prefer two trolling motors (on the transom and bow). It gives them greater maneuverability in water with dense plantations. However, open water fishing, it is always a good idea to mount it on the transform.