How Deep Should Trolling Motor Be in Water?

How Deep Should Trolling Motor Be in Water?When it comes to boating exercise, having the trolling motor set at the ideal depth is crucial. But what is the ideal depth for a trolling motor? Let’s explore the factors that determine the perfect depth and ensure you have the best boating experience.

The depth at which a trolling motor should be submerged can vary depending on various factors, such as the type of boat, whether it is a bow mount or transom mount, and the water conditions. The top part of the trolling motor head should generally be around 12 inches below the surface of the water.

However, it is important to consider the part of the shaft that may stick out above the boat and the motor head that needs to be submerged. To determine the proper shaft length, measure from the mounting area to the waterline and add 20 inches.

Keep in mind that adjustments may need to be made for rough waters or if the motor has controls that are operated from a standing position. By ensuring the trolling motor is at the correct depth, you can enhance your boating exercise and make the most out of your time on the water.

What is the Best Depth for a Trolling Motor?

The best depth for a trolling motor depends on the specific boat and water conditions. Generally, the top part of the trolling motor head should be submerged at least 12 inches below the surface of the water. This ensures that the motor head is at the correct depth for optimal performance. To determine the proper shaft length, measure from the mounting area to the waterline and add 20 inches. This measurement takes into account the part of the shaft that may stick out above the boat and ensures that the motor head is at the correct depth.

If you plan on boating in rough waters, it is advisable to add an additional 5 inches to the shaft length. This extra length helps to keep the motor head submerged even when facing rough waves or currents. Additionally, if your trolling motor has controls operated from a standing position, it is recommended to add an extra 12 inches to the shaft length. This ensures that the controls are easily accessible and that you can operate the motor comfortably.

By setting your trolling motor at the appropriate depth, you can ensure optimal performance and maneuverability on the water. It is important to consider the type of boat, the water conditions, and any specific requirements of your motor when determining the best depth. Taking these factors into account will help you achieve a smooth and enjoyable boating experience.

Table: Recommended Shaft Length for Trolling Motor

Boat Type Water Conditions Recommended Shaft Length (inches)
Bow Mount Normal Mounting area to waterline + 20
Bow Mount Rough Mounting area to waterline + 25
Bow Mount Controls operated from standing position Mounting area to waterline + 32
Transom Mount Normal Mounting area to waterline + 20
Transom Mount Rough Mounting area to waterline + 25
Transom Mount Controls operated from standing position Mounting area to waterline + 32

Can You Run a Trolling Motor Out of Water?

While it is technically possible to run a trolling motor out of water, it is not recommended for several reasons. Running a trolling motor out of water can have negative effects on both the motor itself and the overall boating experience.

One of the main reasons to avoid running a trolling motor out of water is the potential damage it can cause to the motor. Trolling motors rely on water for cooling, and running them out of water can cause them to overheat. Overheating can lead to motor malfunctions, reduced performance, and even permanent damage.

Another issue with running a trolling motor out of water is the phenomenon known as cavitation. Cavitation occurs when the propeller spins in air instead of water, resulting in a decrease in performance and efficiency. This not only reduces the effectiveness of the motor but can also scare away fish, impacting the success of your fishing endeavors.

Additionally, running a trolling motor out of water can waste battery life. Trolling motors require a significant amount of power to function, and when operated out of water, they consume unnecessary energy. This can quickly drain the battery and lead to decreased runtime on the water.

In conclusion, it is best to keep the trolling motor in the water when in use. Running a trolling motor out of water can not only damage the motor and decrease its performance but also waste battery life. To enjoy a smooth and efficient boating experience, it is essential to operate the trolling motor at the appropriate depth and ensure that it remains submerged in water.

Pros Cons
  • None
  • Potential motor damage
  • Decreased performance
  • Fish scare
  • Wasted battery life

Can I Shorten the Shaft on my Trolling Motor?

Shortening the shaft on a trolling motor is a possibility, but it should be approached with caution to avoid any damage to the motor. Before proceeding, it is important to understand the process and consider whether it is the best option for your specific needs.

To begin shortening the shaft, you will need to remove the motorhead and control head. Make sure to disconnect any wires or move them further up the shaft if possible. Once the motorhead and control head are detached, you can determine the desired length for the shaft before making any cuts.

After cutting the shaft to the desired length, you may need to drill new screw holes to reattach the motorhead or control head. This step is crucial for ensuring a secure and stable connection. However, it is important to note that not all trolling motor shafts are easily shortened, and attempting to do so without proper knowledge or experience can result in damage to the motor or voiding the warranty.

In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to consider purchasing a trolling motor with the desired shaft length instead of attempting to modify an existing one. This ensures that the motor is designed to operate optimally at the desired length and reduces the risk of any potential damage or warranty issues.

Overall, shortening the shaft on a trolling motor is possible, but it should be approached carefully to avoid any unintended consequences. It is recommended to consult with a professional or reach out to the manufacturer for guidance before attempting any modifications to ensure the longevity and performance of your trolling motor.

Conclusion

Setting the trolling motor at the appropriate depth is crucial for an optimal boating experience. The general rule is to keep the motor submerged at least 12 inches below the waterline. This ensures proper functionality and reduces the risk of damage.

The best depth for a trolling motor depends on various factors such as the type of boat, water conditions, and whether the motor is bow-mounted or transom-mounted. It is important to measure from the mounting area to the waterline and add the appropriate length to determine the correct shaft length.

Running a trolling motor out of water should be avoided as it can waste battery life and potentially damage the motor. Trolling motors rely on water for cooling, and running them out of water can cause them to overheat. Additionally, running a trolling motor out of water can result in cavitation, decreasing performance and potentially scaring away fish.

While it is possible to shorten the shaft on a trolling motor, it should be done carefully to avoid damaging the motor or voiding the warranty. Not all trolling motor shafts can be easily shortened, and attempting to do so without proper knowledge or experience can result in irreversible damage. In such cases, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a trolling motor with the desired shaft length.

Richard Dodds
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