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Can You Shorten the Shaft on a Minn Kota Trolling Motor?

So you bought a trolling motor, and the shaft is too long. It stands too tall and gets in the way of your boating and fishing activities. Can you shorten the shaft of a Minn Kota Trolling motor? Or will you have to purchase a new trolling motor? Could shorten the shaft void the warranty?

By the end of this article, you will know the answer to all these questions and more! Let’s get started.

shorten the shaft on a minn kota trolling motor
Air up an inflatable boat using a foot pump and an electric pump

Can You Shorten the Shaft of a Minn Kota Trolling Motor?


Yes, you can shorten the shaft of some Minn Kota trolling motors. However, Minn Kota recommends taking it to an Authorized Minn Kota Repair Center. Doing so will ensure you do not void the warranty of your trolling motor.

Not all Minn Kota trolling motor shafts can be shortened, only specific models. When you call an authorized dealer, they should be able to tell you upfront whether or not the shaft can be shortened.

If the trolling motor warranty is already expired and you have a model that the shaft can be shortened, you can shorten the shaft yourself. We will discover exactly how to shorten the shaft next.

How Do You Shorten the Shaft on a Minn Kota Trolling Motor?

how to shorten a trolling motor shaft
Shortening the shaft of a Minn Kota trolling motor is not as difficult as it may first appear. The steps below might vary slightly depending on the model, but most models should be very similar. This process should take about an hour to complete:

Step 1

Unplug your trolling motor from the power source. Doing so will protect you and your trolling motor in the instance an accident was to occur.

Step 2

Remove the head unit. You will find screws holding the cover in place and a bolt connecting the head to the shaft. Once the head is free of the shaft, you are ready to disconnect the wires.

Step 3

Take a picture of the wiring and then disconnect the wiring from the switch in the head unit. You should now be able to remove the head unit entirely.

Step 4

Slide a piece of pipe small enough to fit inside the shaft over the wires to protect the wires while cutting the shaft.

Step 5

Mark where you want to cut and begin cutting. You can use a fine-tooth hacksaw or pipe cutters. DO NOT cut the wires in the shaft. After you have made the cut, use a file to smooth the inside and outside edge.

Pro Tip: Cut the shaft while it is upside down to keep the shavings from getting into your motor and causing problems later.

Step 6

You will now need to drill a hole through the shaft for the bolt that held the head unit to the shaft. Before drilling, make sure your wires are out of the way, and your head unit will be facing the correct direction!

Step 7

Run the wiring back through the head unit and connect it all back. The excess wiring should fit back into the shaft without causing any problems.

Step 8

Connect the head unit and cover back to the shaft by inserting the bolt and screws. Plug your trolling motor back in and ensure everything is functioning correctly.

Step 9

Enjoy your shortened trolling motor!

The video below will give you a great video demonstration of the steps above:

DIY Shortened and Modified Trolling Motor Shaft for Kayak

How Short Should Your Minn Kota Trolling Motor Shaft Be?


The length of your trolling motor shaft will depend on the boat and location (bow or transom) you are mounting the trolling motor.

Making your trolling motor too short will cause the prop and motor to come out of the water when you encounter rough water. Not only does this scare off fish, but it also detracts from your trolling motor’s efficiency.

Avoiding this problem is simple. Ensure that your trolling motor will sit 6”-12” below the surface of the water. You will still be able to run your trolling motor in shallow water without worrying too much about getting it snagged, and you will have the ability to face rough water without it coming up out of the water.

Conclusion

Before shortening your Minn Kota trolling motor shaft, call an authorized Minn Kota repair center to ensure the model you have can be shortened, and you are not voiding the warranty. While you are shortening the shaft, be as careful as possible.

Re-reading this article and watching a couple of different videos will help keep the steps fresh in your mind and give you a few tips and ideas you might not otherwise have discovered. It will also help keep you from making costly mistakes while shortening your Minn Kota trolling motor shaft.


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