How do you choose the right trolling motor mount?
When it comes to inflatable boat motors, trolling motors are very popular. They’re fast, quiet, and easy to steer, making them one of the best around.
To install a trolling motor though, you’ll need a boat mount. But as you look for one, you’ll find that there are several types.
The big question now is: how do you choose the right one?
Here at Anchor Travel, we know that choosing the right motor mount is so important. That’s why today, we’re going to give you the ultimate guide to these. And by the end of this article, you’ll know all there is to know about trolling motor mounts.
So let’s begin!
Table of Contents
- What is a Trolling Motor?
- What is a Trolling Motor Mount?
- What is the Best Trolling Motor Mount for Inflatable Boats?
- How to Build a DIY Trolling Motor Mount
What is a Trolling Motor?
Before we get to the mounts, it’s important to look at trolling motors first.
As we’ve already said, trolling motors are one of the best options for propelling your boat. Their build makes them unmatched for inflatable boats.
Parts of Trolling Motors
Trolling motors have three main parts: the motor, the shaft, and the controls.
The motor is the powerhouse of the whole thing. Most of these are electrically powered. They are completely waterproof and go underwater when in use. They have a propeller attached to them, which drives the boat forward.
Also attached to the motor is the shaft. The shaft rises out of the water and connects the motor to the controls. One very important thing to look at is the shaft length. You want a shaft that isn’t too short, you need the motor to be submerged. But you don’t want that to be too long either since it will be difficult to use.
Finally, we get to the controls. Some trolling motors have hand controls with tillers, while others have foot controls. Whatever the case, this is what allows you to steer the boat around.
Advantages of Trolling Motors
The reason why we recommend trolling motors for inflatable boats is because of their advantages. Compared to other motors, trolling motors do better in several areas.
For one, they are very quiet. Whenever you hear loud motorboats, you know that these aren’t using trolling motors. Trolling motors are so quiet, the fish underneath the surface won’t be disturbed at all.
Trolling motors are also very easy to navigate. With their control, shaft, and motor design, you’ll find it super easy to move around. You can even perform sharp turns in the water with this.
Weight is another thing that makes trolling motors special. Since it is electrically powered, you won’t have to bring any gas along. This cuts a lot of weight and allows you to go faster on the water.
What is a Trolling Motor Mount?
A lot of inflatable boats don’t come with pre-installed motors, you’ll have to do that yourself. As you’re about to do this though, you’ll find you need something to attach the motor to the boat. This is where mounts come in.
Mounts are what allow you to attach your trolling motor onto your boat. They’re responsible for holding the motor in place as you glide through the water.
Why You Need a Good Trolling Motor Mount
A good motor mount is super important. All people know they need one, but most don’t see how important a quality one is. So they don’t put a lot of thought into this and get the cheapest mount they can find.
This is a big mistake.
Cheap motor mounts are weak, and they don’t hold the trolling motor properly. When the ride gets rough, there’s a very real possibility the motor will just fall off into the water.
A good trolling motor is not cheap. With a weak mount, you could be throwing hundreds of dollars into the bottom of the sea. That’s why when it comes to mounts, it’s so important to choose the right one.
Types of Trolling Motor Mounts
There are three types of trolling motor mounts you can choose from: bow mounts, stern mounts, and engine mounts. Each type is unique and has some advantages. Knowing the differences between these three will help you decide.
Bow mounts are installed on the front of the boat. Since they’re in front, this makes steering the boat a lot easier. The problem with this is that they are more expensive and difficult to install. You’ll need a flat surface to install these, something that a lot of inflatable boats don’t have.
Stern mounts, on the other hand, are a lot easier to install. All you have to do is strap it unto the back of your boat and you’re ready to go. They’re not as maneuverable as bow mounts, but this is the mount of choice for small boats.
Finally, engine mounts. Engine mounts are for people who want to install a trolling motor onto their outboard motor. This allows them to switch from their loud outboard motor to their silent trolling one.
What is the Best Trolling Motor Mount for Inflatable Boats?
When it comes to inflatable boats, we recommend getting a stern mount. Yes, it won’t be as easy to maneuver as a bow mount, but it is very easy to install.
The problem with bow mounts is that you’ll have to get a flat surface first. For boats made of wood or metal, that is easy. But inflatable boats tend to have a cylindrical bow.
Stern mounts, on the other hand, only have to be strapped on. The difference in the steering isn’t that big either. And you can also save money with a stern mount.
The great thing about this mount is that it was designed for inflatable boats. There’s no hassle at all since it is super easy to attach and detach.
This mount is also made from high-quality materials. The base is marine plywood, while the support arms are made from aluminum. These make the mount both strong and durable.
The strength of these materials allows it to hold motors up to 3.5 horsepower. That’s why you can install some strong motors without worrying they’ll fall off.
Keep in mind though that this does not fit all inflatable boats. Make sure you have two rubber loops on the stern and two on top of the stern. These are what allow you to attach this mount on your boat.
How to Build a DIY Trolling Motor Mount
Buying a good trolling motor mount is always the best option. But if you want to go DIY, you can give it a go as well. Trolling motor mounts have simple designs, so making one isn’t going to be that difficult.
To do this, you’ll need marine plywood, 3 pipes, 2 L-connectors, 2 pipe straps, and some nuts and bolts.
Step 1: Build Base
The first step is to build a base that will hold the motor. The easiest way to do this is to attach a pipe to a piece of marine plywood.
This is a lot easier than you may think. To do this, all you have to do is take a pipe and attach it along the center of the plywood using pipe straps.
You’ll need to bore holes on the plywood using a drill. Once the holes are there, you can lock the pipe to the board using the pipe straps and nuts.
To prevent the plywood from moving around, you may also want to build a stabilizer. Take three other pipes and form a U-shape protruding from the bottom side of the plywood. Make sure to screw everything together so it holds strong.
When you set things up, the trolling motor will be attached to the top-side of the plywood. That’s why the weight of the motor will pull the plywood backward from the top. When this happens, the plywood won’t flip because the bottom of the U will push against the boat.
Step 2: Build Arms
The next step is to build the arms that attach the mount to the boat.
Before you do this, check your boat to see where you are going to connect these arms. Some boats have rubber loops on and on top of the stern, while others have theirs around the middle of the boat. This will affect how long the arms should be.
Once you’ve cut your pipes to the desired length, attach them to the base. Using L-connectors, connect the arms to the pipe attached to the base.
To strengthen your mount, add nuts and bolts to the L-connectors. You don’t want these detaching while you are in the water. It’s also a good idea to put duct tape over these nuts to prevent them from getting rusted.
Step 3: Attach Mount and Motor
With the base and arms ready, now it’s time to attach it to your inflatable boat. Find the loop, and use a long nut to lock the arms in place. The long nut shouldn’t be able to fit inside the loophole.
Then all there’s left to do is attach the motor.
Take your motor, and secure it to the top of the plywood. Most trolling motors will come with screws for attaching to mounts. This makes it super easy for you to lock the motor in.
After that, you’re ready to hit the water!
Why You Should Buy a Trolling Motor Mount
Building your own trolling motor mount is a great activity. It’s fulfilling, and if you do it right, you can save money.
However, we recommend buying a trolling motor mount instead.
This will ensure that nothing goes wrong. There are so many factors that come into play. You have to consider things like how heavy your mount can carry, how strong the arms are, how sturdy your plywood is, and more.
If any of these aren’t perfect, you’ll lose your trolling motor.
That’s why we recommend investing in a good trolling motor mount instead. Besides, they don’t cost that much. Good trolling motor mounts are very affordable.
With all this knowledge, you’ll never see trolling motor mounts as something that isn’t important again. You’ll never just get the first mount you see. You now know how important a good trolling motor mount is.
So go and get a good trolling motor mount. With this, you can enjoy your inflatable boat so much more.