I've wanted to get out to the inlets of some of the local reservoirs, which are 2 to 5 miles from the boat ramps. So, I cobbled together a quick and dirty prototype of a motor mount for an electric trolling motor just to give it a try. I like some of the designs I’ve seen on this site, but I wanted a quick, cheap, and easy means to try an electric motor before going to a lot of trouble to do a more complicated mod, such as extending the wiring for the motor speed control or drilling holes in my PA.
I wanted a design that would bring the motor and battery within reach. I focused on utilizing the rod holder holes behind the seat. You can see from the pics that I built a simple mount out of 2x4 that anchors in the rod holders and is secured to the middle handle bars via bungee cords. This is enough to handle the weight of my 32# thrust Minnkota.
It worked out pretty well. On the plus slide, it’s quick and easy to implement with no drilling or rewiring. Also, I can raise, lower, and tilt the motor from my seat w/o a bunch of pullies and cables.
This design has a few negatives. As expected, the motor tiller has little effect at low to moderate speed. So I stuck to using the PA rudder with the motor in a fixed, forward position. At low speed, I found that a few pump on the Mirage drive help get her back on course. At full speed, about 4 mph, the PA became more responsive – a little too responsive in fact. So, I held the Mirage pedals side by side so that the fins were straight down to form a keel of sorts. This seemed to help.
The other disadvantage is that the motor is hanging off one side. I counter balanced this by shifting the battery to the other side to even things out, but it could make th boat more susceptible to rocking. Also, the main 2x4 made storage of my 9-foot fly rods difficult
All in all it was a worthwhile experiment. I have some ideas for refinements and I will try it again in a week or two.