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#265039 - 12/29/04 10:13 PM Electric Motors on Drift Boats
fish advocate Offline
Fry

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Bellevue
I'm thinking about aquiring an electric motor for my drift boat -mainly for when I'm side drifting for steelhead so I'll get a chance to fish instead of being chained to the ores.

I'm looking at the Minn Kota 55T and 74T models. The 55T has 55lbs of thrust and runs off 12volts (one battery). The 74T has 74lbs thrust and is a 24 volt motor which requires two 12 volt batterises to operate. Anyone have either of these motors or can offer an opinion of which would be better for use on a drift boat for river fishing?

I've looked at them at GI Joes and the 74T is sort of a monster and looks to be about 40lbs or around 10lbs heavier than the 55T. Is the extra thrust you get with the 74lb model worth the added hastle of horsing the heavy motor in and out of the water everytime you go through a shallow spot and having to pack 100 lbs of batteries into your boat?

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#265040 - 12/30/04 09:01 AM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
Backbouncer Offline
Alevin

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 10
I put the 101 on my 17' Willie. Go big, you will not be sorry. I got the electric for the same reason as you. Now that my fishing days are at a premium, I want to maximize my time on the water and not have to be stuck on the oars. If you want to have a shot at re-running drifts, and fish 2 or 3 people, you will need the 101. However, this set-up is not cheap. It requires a 36V system on board. IMHO, it is the best investment in fishing gear I have made, second only to buying my boat.

BB

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#265041 - 12/30/04 11:56 AM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
cully Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 29
Loc: willamette valley
I agree with the post above. Kind of. I just added the 74 to my boat and it's working out alright. The batteries are heavy, your right. With winter level water the weight should not be a major concern. The power of he 74 has the poop to do some good thing but lacks the poop to do some other things. Motoring back up runs in the side current works ok, if there is a soft side current. If your looking for doing reruns a lot I would go 101. If your mainly sidedrifting and not shooting back up much then the 74 is a good bet. Even the 55 at that is going to work. Do you plan on going in to salt water? If so then you'll need the rip tide model because it's salt water safe. Does minn kota 55 come in the rip tide
series? I think it does.

Another thing that has helped me a ton with electric motoring. A voltmeter. 16-20 bucks well spent so you can check what's going on with your charge level in your garage. Using a voltmeter is best done 24 hours after charging. That will give you a accurate reading. Most batteries will come down in charge somewhat after charging. Imedietly (sp) get a charge of over 13 volts. Something like 13.1. But If i wait the 24 hours and check it again with the voltmeter the batteries will show something like 12.9.

Can you turn the head on a 55? That's something I have not done on my motor yet. I've got a lot to learn. I do know that at full throtle the motor will last a couple of hours at full power then a couple of more at sputter speed. I almost got caught up in a tidel enfluenced creek last week with no power left. I motored up 2 hours and oh crap, there goes the power. My return to the main river was very concerning. So, if your going to be on the motor a lot try and stay away from running full throtle, you'll conserve power was my lesson. Better to get there a little slower then to get there fast and be out of juice.
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#265042 - 12/30/04 06:49 PM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
fish advocate Offline
Fry

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Bellevue
Backbouncer & Cully,
Thanks for the advice. I have a 16 ft. Willie and hardly ever fish with more than one passenger. I think I'm leaning toward the 74t Maxxum model since its considerably cheaper than the Riptide ($399 for the 74T Maxxum at Cabelas). I don't see using it in the salt since I have a 9 hp mecury for that.
I'm wondering where a good spot is to park two 55lb batteries inside the boat. I think the batteries would be too tall to fit inside the storage carpment seat. Also I'm currious with a 24 volt system if there's a way you can hook up a charger to charge both batteries at the same time?
I'm pretty sure you can reverse the head on most of the Minn Kota models.

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#265043 - 12/30/04 06:55 PM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
BW Offline
Spawner

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 763
Loc: LAKEWOOD,WA,USA
There was an article in Salmon Trout and Steelheader that did just that. I think it was last year
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#265044 - 12/30/04 07:00 PM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
Gary Johnson Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 07/08/04
Posts: 206
Loc: Fall City, WA
If I were going to install an electric motor on a drift boat I would get a Minn Kota "Bow Mount" model with the foot control. Since you can get extension cables for them you should have no trouble using it from the rowing seat. This would give you both hands to fight the fish while still giving you control over the boat. I've actually been thinking of putting one on the bow of my sled.

BTW: As with anything motorized... MORE POWER \:\)

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#265045 - 12/30/04 09:11 PM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
fish advocate Offline
Fry

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Bellevue
Interesting thought....
Has anyone tried a remote power steered Minn Kota motor in a river application?
Since the power steering feature is only available in the bow-mount versions you'd have to design some sort of bracket to mount in on the transom. The little experience I've had with using a small 27lb thrust motor on my driftboat makes me think it might be a little tricky to controll a boat in current with the power steer feature. The power steer feature would need to react pretty fast.

I see on their website that Minn Kota now makes a co-pilot remote control steering gadget that allows you to steer the motor from anywhere in the boat with a hand held remote.

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#265046 - 12/30/04 10:35 PM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
cully Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 29
Loc: willamette valley
ok guys, your getting way to advanced for me. Auto Pilot and foot controls for a drift boat going down a river side drifting. Crap I can barely get er done for the front seater with oars. The 74 is where I'm drawing my line


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if u can't stand the heat then get out of the kitchen

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#265047 - 12/30/04 10:37 PM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
sparrnone Offline
Eyed Egg

Registered: 12/18/03
Posts: 6
Loc: Ca.
I use a minn. kota bow mount auto pilot on my drift boat and I also have a transom mount 55t. I use both of the electric motors, both ways have different benifits. I had a couple of brackets made that work real good for the bow mount auto pilot. I mounted the bracket on the stern.The cheap way to go is buy a transom mount but it depends how you like to fish. When pulling plugs or divers in fast water the auto pilot will not help you. It does not react fast enough. It does allow you to fish fast water without wearing yourself out as fast. It takes a little getting use to, control the motor without looking at the direction the head is facing but it is nice to sit in the rowers seat without bouncing back to the transom to steer.I perfer the transom mount when I'm drifting roe or boon-dogging. Either way the electic motor is a big asset.
Bob
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bob sparre

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#265048 - 12/30/04 10:47 PM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
cully Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 29
Loc: willamette valley
Fish Advocate,

Sorry I got off track. I placed my 2 batteries in my bow storage area. I extended the wires from the minn kota around the inside bottom of the boat and up to the batteries. As someone mentioned earlier, this whole conversion from begining to end in STS magazine, issue Oct-Nov. 2003. It helped me a ton is doing the project. Good luck to you and feel free keep asking questions. That's what got me through it.
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if u can't stand the heat then get out of the kitchen

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#265049 - 12/30/04 11:49 PM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
fish advocate Offline
Fry

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Bellevue
OK thanks for all the input guys.. I'll get a copy of the STS article.
Bob its sounds like if the bowmount power steer motor (mounted on the transom or stern) is not much use for holding a straight line while pulling plugs and you prefer your transom mount 55T for drifting eggs I'm not hearing a big reason to invest the extra money in a bow mount (power steer) motor. I'm curious when the power steer feature does come in handy ... trolling plugs for coho in soft water? If I do end up with a bowmount minn Kota, I'd be curious to see your bracket design.

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#265050 - 12/31/04 01:05 AM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
Fish Stalker Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 12/14/00
Posts: 1236
Loc: S.W. Washington
get a 74 or bigger and mount it in the back...turn the head 180 degrees and you are golden...no need for auto pilot or any of that.

check out http://www.steelheaduniversity.com for more info on this topic and more related links.

Good luck

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#265051 - 12/31/04 12:02 PM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
Fishsavvy Offline
Eyed Egg

Registered: 12/18/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Marysville
I have been side difting with a electric for years and all you need is a 55t with a high quality deep cycle battery also make sure you special order your motor with a metal mounting bracket as all the plastic ones will not hold up to the constant ups and downs of side drifting you can call Johnson Outdoors in Minnesota and they will tell you how to go about getting a m55t with a metal bracket.

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#265052 - 12/31/04 12:49 PM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
cully Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 29
Loc: willamette valley
another place to shop is where ever in your area that is a reccomended minn kota repair shop. You can find the nearest repair dealer near you by going to minn kota website.

I went to Ollie Damons in Portland. They're the closest reccomended repair shop to me. They referbish minn kotas and I saved a ton buying my used referbished 74 there.
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if u can't stand the heat then get out of the kitchen

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#265053 - 12/31/04 01:01 PM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
jimh Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 11/08/02
Posts: 459
Loc: Area 8-1 to 13, WA
The STS article is here .
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Wear a PFD if you want to live.

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#265054 - 12/31/04 01:58 PM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
fish advocate Offline
Fry

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Bellevue
Any recommendations on motor shaft length?

Also I'm curious with a 24 volt system if there's a way you can hook up a charger to charge both batteries at the same time?

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#265055 - 12/31/04 11:32 PM Re: Electric Motors on Drift Boats
cully Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 29
Loc: willamette valley
I charge one battery at a time, charging at the lowest possible setting. It takes longer but that's whats reccommended. I've seen someone with two chargers charging two batteries and he seemed to know what he was doing.

Saft length is 42" on my kota and It is plenty. I don't now if they come in 36 but I think that would be to short.
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if u can't stand the heat then get out of the kitchen

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