Front mounted motors

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by up2nogood, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Would like to mount my electric motor on the front of my pontoon boat ( Sportsman 9 ), have seen a couple that way, never close enough to see how they were mounted.Anyone here that has done that, and could post some pictures or ideas. I have some idea how on want to do it, but other ideas are always nice . Thanks.
  2. Curious why you would want to do that as they totally get in the way. Mine is in back and you steer with your fins. It works great.

    My challenge early this year was to mount a transom motor on the front of my skiff. The mounts I saw weren't very substantial, so I made my own that clamps on. I can repost some pics if you like. I drew it up, ordered the aluminum online and used parts from an old portable transducer mount and it works great.

    If you have a frame it should be very easy. If not, a challenge but doable even though the thrust will definitely require you to constantly tighten the mount. On my 55# the thrust flexes the entire bow when I start up. It's more than you might think.
  3. Another option is to mount the motor astern and bring the head up to the front, sealing the open shaft to prevent water intrusion. Re-wiring is not difficult. This is very common on kayaks. You won't have the steering control but you will have the speed control at your fingertips and the thrust and weight remains behind you. Steering is easy with fins or oars.
  4. Probably having access closer, but you have a point, it does seem that it would be in the road. Have had a couple conversations with ones that have them in the front, and that does not seem to be an issue, just never paid enough attention to how they mounted them. To me the biggest issue is it is in the road when getting in ,and out of the boat. It is obvious that that it would not take much to get your line or whatever in the prop. Would have to pay attention. May scrap the idea, and rig or buy some kind of extended control. I have no issues when just fishing, I use my fins to steer, but when I want to go forward to get to shore or wherever, it gets a little awkward steering.
  5. I owned a Kingfisher All Around model (10'3" 19" diameter tubes) cataraft for a number of years, that was made by Ray Pelland when he was still located in Sandpoint, Idaho. I sold my boat the summer before last, and I no longer have pictures of it, but as far as I know, Ray is still around on the OP, and selling custom boats, and he had a website,, the last I looked.

    I had one of his front mounts for an electric trolling motor for my boat, and although it worked just fine, I rarely used it. (I used my boat mostly on rivers anyway where I didn't need a motor). His boats were superbly designed and built, and had a frame consisting of both aluminum and cedar.

    It is a bit hard to describe without pictures, but basically the motor mount was made out of cedar with aluminum on one end to hold the motor, it bolted onto the aluminum frame, and extended perhaps an extra foot and a half or so farther to the front than the rest of the frame, on the inside the tubes and in front of the rowers seat. The motor was therefore far enough in front of the seat that it didn't interfere with your legs and fins, and there was still enough epace for an easy entry and exit from the boat.

    To make the boat easier to track when using the motor, Ray recommended strapping one oar on the outside one of the tubes to use as a keel, and that's what I did when using the motor.

    If I had used my boat more in lakes, I may have used the trolling motor more, but I did find that with all of the other things I loaded on my boat, the motor and (heavy) battery were basically extra things that I didn't really need. Maybe if I wasn't such a strong rower anyway, I would have appreciated using a motor more (smile)!

    If you're really serious about doing this, perhaps Ray Pelland has pictures of his setup he'd send you.

  6. Here's a solution that works pretty well. Cut the head off the motor and extend the wires so that the head is up front and easy to use. I mounted the motor locked in the dead straight ahead position. I let the oars trail in the water and with just a small push, the pontoon steers and steer very well. If I need just a small correction I just drag one foot or the other. Pretty much a hands free operation.
  7. I can't imagine a front mounted trolling motor being anything but a major pain in the ass. Kind of like using a hula hoop while riding a bicycle. The rear mount keeps all the wires and controls out of the way. You lock the motor in the straight ahead position and steer with your fins. Of course if you are not fishing the front mount might be a good idea but fly lines and props are not a match made in heaven.

  8. The only advantage of moving the head and wiring to the front is speed control. In my boat, I'm constantly varying speed on my variable control due to tides and current, but in the pontoon I really don't and turning around and adjusting it infrequently isn't that hard anyway. The other consideration is deployment and retrieval of the motor. Removing the head could make it more difficult than it already is on a 'toon. Fingertip speed control would be cool, especially if you're cheating (motor trolling), but consider the downsides of which there are several.
  9. I leave the head on my pontoon full time as it connects to the motor in the back with just a 2 terminal trailer connector. I'm an older fisherman so turning around to adjust the speed etc. is somewhat difficult. Removing the motor is pretty effortless. I have done it other ways such as a linkage for steering etc. but this beats all that I have seen and tried so far.
    Cheating? The only difference between trolling with your feet or with a motor is speed. And of course the time it takes to get to the shore if you need to pee!
  10. I have a 60MM M19 mounted on the front and an 81MM M252 on the back. No.. wait... you said motors.


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