If you are trying to buy a new trolling motor for your boat, you are probably aware that some are designed to be mounted on the front of the bow of the boat while others are designed to be mounted on the transom or the back of the boat or the stern.
Each of these designs has a different application, as well as pros and cons, and is very essential to understand these things before you can buy a trolling motor for your boat. And in this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know vis-à-vis how to mount a trolling motor on an aluminum boat, so stay tuned!
Bow Mount VS Transom Mount Trolling Motors for Aluminum Boat
Bow mount trolling motors are ideal for experienced fishermen boat enthusiasts with medium to a large vessel.
One of their top-selling points is that they can offer incredibly better control compared to their counterpart – a transom mount trolling. The reason for this is, a bow mount is designed to pull the vessel through the water, unlike a transom mount trolling motor, which pushes it from the rear.
If precision and maneuverability are what you are after, then a bow mount trolling motor could be an ideal option for your boat.
Moreover, bow mount motors tend to have a variety of control options including foot, hand, and wireless remote as well as an extensive set of features compared to transom mount trolling motors.
Despite that, bow mount trolling motors are a little pricier than their counterpart – transom mount. Also, they can be more technical when it comes to installing and taking up more space on the deck.
But we will talk about installation later in this article.
While bow mount trolling motors are suitable for medium to large vessels, transom mount trolling motors are more suitable for smaller boats.
They don’t have to be mounted to the vessel with a plate, like bow-mounted motors, rather, they are attached onto the transom using a simple clamp.
Additionally, transom mount trolling motors are a lot easier to install compared to bow mount motors. They are don’t take up too much space on your deck with foot pedals and wires as bow mount trolling motors.
Transom-mounted motors don’t provide a variety of control and tend to have limited feature options.
In case you are looking to do some simple trolling and you just want to get your vessel in position before you get into some serious business, then consider a transom mount trolling motor.
They are ideal for small vessels such as canoes, dinghies, kayaks, and so on.
Some people will choose a transom mount trolling motor because they are extremely comfortable reclining on the rear of the vessel. With a transom mount trolling motor, you don’t need to stand up in order to use it.
Transom mount trolling motors often come with hand controls, although they can also be fitted with foot controls. But these do not come with the boat, you have to buy the accessories, such as Minn Kota Legacy Terrova and Riptide Corded Replacement Trolling Motor Foot Pedal, and fix it. Read this article to know can you add a foot pedal to your trolling motor.
Transom-mounted trolling motors may not have as many features as bow mount trolling motors, and most do not come with spot-lock, because they are not able to work on a precise level.
If you like to use back trolling during fishing, you should consider a transom mount motor because they tend to do this technique easily and enable you to catch more fish.
How To Mount A Trolling Motor On An Aluminum Boat
These next sections covers everything you need to know about mounting a trolling motor on an aluminum boat – whether small or large.
How to mount a trolling motor on a small aluminum boat
Whether you are an experienced fisherman or a beginner, maneuvering an aluminum vessel can be very exhausting, particularly if you spend long hours in the water.
And if you don’t like paddling, then you have no choice but to get a trolling motor. Whichever one you choose, a trolling motor will help you save a lot of energy and enjoy your time fishing or boating.
But, how do you mount a trolling motor on a small aluminum boat?
We have three main approaches for mounting the motor on an aluminum boat – one, it can be mounted on the bow; two on the stern; and three, on the engine.
Whatever location you choose, you will need to drill holes and bolt the base of the trolling motor or mount it to the vessel using an aluminum boat bow plate.
Mounting the motor on a transom is suitable for small aluminum vessels. You can simply attach the motor to the stern using a boat clamp, which will make the entire process easier and more straightforward compared to bow-mounted that requires some drilling.
Here is a step-by-step guideline on how to mount a trolling motor on a small aluminum boat:
- Find the right location to mount the motor, preferably a smooth and level surface and in the middle
- Turn the clamp counterclockwise to remove the clamp from the bracket.
- Carefully fit the trolling motor in the transom so that you do not interfere with other components in the stern.
- Once you have adjusted the base for secure motor fitting, turn the clamp clockwise and tighten the bolts until the base is sturdy.
When it comes to mounting the motor in the engine, it means that the particular motor connects to the engine, which lunges as you control the boat.
Engine-mount motor can be an ideal choice if you are working with a small space, especially in the stern or bow for installing a motor.
When the engine is at rest, the motor dips inside the water and it floats when the engine is running.
How to mount a trolling motor on a large aluminum boat
This largely depends on the size of the vessel – for medium or large boats, consider mounting the trolling motor on the bow – in the front of the boat. This way, the motor will pull the vessel in the water, offering better control and in turn, allowing you to enjoy your boating with precession steering.
You may need a set of tools to help you in this operation, including terminal mount fuse blocks, trolling motor battery cable extension kit, and some deep cycle 12V 120Ah battery.
Follow these steps to mount a trolling motor on a large aluminum boat:
- Begin by disassembling your boat’s motor
- Choose the spot in the bow to mount the motor
- Put the trolling motor on top of the boat, precisely where it will be installed and drill holes on the marks
- Thread the screws on the top of the holes
- Place rubber washers between the base and each bolt
- Put the base of the motor on the top so that it aligns to the holes
- Connect the trolling motor.
How To Install A Bow Mount Trolling Motor On A Jon Boat
If you don’t know them, Jon boats are lightweight, multipurpose vessels known for fishing as well as hard padding.
But you can make them even more versatile by adding a trolling motor.
Although these boats are light enough to pole or paddle, adding a motor will take your vessel to a whole new level. You will be able to whisk around water quickly without the need to pole or paddle.
That sounds great!
But it will not be so if you don’t mount the trolling motor properly.
Thankfully, Jon boats are extremely versatile in that they are one of the easiest vessels to mount a trolling motor.
They often feature a straight transom for easy mounting of a trolling motor. So if you prefer a bow mount trolling motor, you will have to build a platform to attach the motor to the bow of the boat. But even so, this is still an easy process.
Here is an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide on how to install a bow mount trolling motor on a Jon Boat:
- Start by determining your boat’s thrust size as well as shaft length needs
- Decide a spot where you will attach your bow mounted trolling motor
- Attach the mount to the bow using screws
In terms of the size of the motor, it depends squarely on the size of your Jon boat.
Before starting, make sure you determine the shaft length and thrust size for your boat. You also want to decide where to mount the motor, although it should it is recommended that it is attached as near the middle of the transom as possible.
Yes, usually, a trolling motor is enough to propel a Jon boat, but remember that this requires using a trolling motor depending on the size of the boat.
The best place to mount a trolling motor is on the transom, especially near the center of the transom.
Yes, but this will require a lot of technical work that can increase the overall cost.
Absolutely, you can mount a trolling motor on the side of your vessel, but this will depend on the power of the motor and the size of the boat.
Preferably for stern, especially the middle of the stern for maximum efforts.
Now that you understand how to mount a trolling motor on an aluminum boat and their differences, you can choose the one that is suitable for you. But ensure that the trolling motor you get meets specific needs for your boat so that you can get the most out of it.