Your #1 source for kayaking and canoeing information.               FREE Newsletter!
my Profile
 





 
Advice, Suggestions and General Help New Topic Printer Friendly Version

  Canoe trolling motor mount plans?
  Posted by: Reefmonkey on Aug-11-10 1:52 PM (EST)
   Category: Canoes 

-- Last Updated: Feb-10-11 3:15 PM EST --

Alright, before anyone starts in with "this is a paddling site, so why don't you just paddle?", let me say I do a lot of paddling, but there are some situations in fishing where a trolling motor comes in handy, and I know some of you out there have to have done this. So, can anyone provide me with really simple plans using wood and fasteners to make a canoe transom mount for a traditional canoe, that doesn't require drilling holes in the canoe? The mount is for a 30 lb thrust electric trolling motor.




UPDATE:
I forgot to update everyone on what I finally did (also good for anyone searching the archives for a similar solution).

I copied ll bean's design for a motor mount for a traditional canoe, with the two pieces of wood that clamped on by "sandwiching" the tops and bottoms of the gunwales. But as I was preparing to test the bottom piece of wood for fit, it just seemed to me such a clumsy way to do things. So I said "screw it," tossed the lower piece of wood, bought a 6" piece of 90 degree aluminum angle iron. I cut 2 1" pieces off, and drilled a hole through each face of each piece. Then I drilled holes in the side of my boat (in the aluminum stripping that the gunwales attach to) and attached the angle iron pieces (facing inside). So now when I want to mount the motor, I put the wooden mount athwart the gunwales behind the aftmost seat, stick the bolts through the holes in it and the holes in the angle iron pieces, and fasten with wingnuts (though I actually go from the bottom up so the wingnuts are easier to turn). Works great and I wouldn't recommend any other way to do it.


 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:

Adventure Sailrigs

Kayak Deck Gear Bags

Gear Bags

Pro Coolers

Women's PFD's

Table of Contents




Messages in this Topic

 

  Old Town wooden motor mount
  Posted by: plaidpaddler on Aug-11-10 4:52 PM (EST)
Old Town had a wooden motor mount in their catalog for years. Very simple design that clamped to the gunwales on each side and was adjustable for different width canoe and different thickness gunwales. Easy to duplicate if you have woodworking skills and tools. There may be other websites with photos of wooden motor mounts that will give you an idea of what they look like.
I will check my catalog archives tonight and maybe i can scan one and send you the image.
Bill
 
 
  Thanks man, I appreciate it!
  Posted by: Reefmonkey on Aug-11-10 6:10 PM (EST)
 
 
  Found it
  Posted by: Reefmonkey on Aug-13-10 5:13 PM (EST)
llbean still sells it, and the picture gave me enough information to know that I can make one myself just like it in about 30 minutes, for a lot less than $50, so that's what I am going to do.

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/32626?from=SR&feat=sr

I do appreciate the advice, especially yours and pilotwingz, I know pilotwinz is probably right on what is best, but I think this design will work well enough for me on my canoe and the 30# thrust motor I am going to buy.

 
 
  wing nuts
  Posted by: plaidpaddler on Aug-13-10 9:41 PM (EST)
Great you found the wooden mount in a photo. What does not show are the two big wing nuts that apply the clamping force. These were brass and more of a lever nut than a wing nut since there was only one wing. Think i would mount the carriage bolts from the bottom up so the nuts would be above the gunwales were there would be more room to swing them than in the narrow stern under the gunwales. If you don't mind carrying a wrench, nylock nuts would elminate loosening from vibration and might be easier to find at a hardware store than wing nuts with large enough wings to really tighten up the mount.
Bill
 
 
  Thanks, that sounds like good advice
  Posted by: Reefmonkey on Aug-16-10 4:39 PM (EST)
Yeah, I was thinking that having the wingnuts on the top might make it easier to tighten than on the bottom. I wasn't sure if that would have any effect on the hold of the mount onto the gunwales, though.
 
 
  for a side mount ......
  Posted by: pilotwingz on Aug-11-10 9:36 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Aug-11-10 10:28 PM EST --

...... you can build/install a special thwart that will allow for variuos mounting bracket options .

If you want to mount the motor just behind the stern seat (as in a side mount) to "push" the canoe , this extra thwart design makes for a very strong mounting base and eliminates the standard gunnel clamps .

One can also do the same mount up near the bow for a "pull" the canoe system .

You can mount tandem motors , one each side behind stern seat with special linkage to connect and control tillers (special set up for special reasons) .

You can also mount a motor at the very center just behind tip of deck plate , bow or stern . This can be an uncomfortable position for a stern mount but great for a bow mount ... for a center stern mount you will have to be cocked sideways and reaching behind you to handle the tiller , but center bow mount is a very comfortable tiller control (especially w/tiller extension) . Off to the side is most standard (it's comfortable to handle the tiller either bow-pull or stern-push) .

To build/install the special thwart design you will have to permenantly install this special thwart , but it will be worth it because the "bar" and "wooden motor mount" that gets mounted to it (which is portable/removable) , will be solid and not vibrate loose , nor do you have to concern with the standard gunnel clamps .

Just about anything you want to do can be accomplished . Some motors have remote control (wireless) in which you hold the small control pad in your hand and manuver the motor movements and speeds with your thumb .

 
 
  Don't do it!
  Posted by: FrankNC on Aug-11-10 9:48 PM (EST)
Just get some rubber blocks and mount it on the side of the gunwale. It is more balanced that a rear mount and easier to reach. Having a stern mount won't keep you from flipping the boat if you try to apply too much power in a turn so I'd get and outrigger float built for the same side as the motor.

Too bad you can't find a paddling partner, they are better for fishing than a trolling motor. Find someone who like to paddle but doesn't care to fish and you are all set.

After a while I gave up on trolling motors and added oars. Those guideboat guys knew how to catch fish.
 
 
  Just adds versatility
  Posted by: Reefmonkey on Aug-16-10 5:01 PM (EST)
I used to have a 14 aluminum jonboat with a 5 horse outboard, until it was lost in Ike. Fact is, that allowed me to cruise out to fishing spots in the bay much more easily than my wife or stepson and I paddling the canoe could. I had more range, could get out quicker, move from spot to spot quicker, get in quicker if caught in an unexpected shower. I miss that. I know the trolling motor won't have the range of an outboard, but it will be enough for my purposes. That jonboat used to be fun for leisurly cruises as well, through the canals and the little cove that our bay house is on. The trolling motor will be better for that than the outboard was, because it's quieter. It won't scare my 3 yo daughter. When we take her out in the canoe, paddling upwind through our canal to get to the main cove can take enough time that she gets bored. Being able to putter out faster will give us more time in the cove.
 
 
  Motor Mount hinged !
  Posted by: mphelps3 on Aug-17-10 7:50 AM (EST)
Your mount should be hinged so the motor can kick back if you hit something. If not you will damage the gunwales.
 
 
  The motor itself comes on a hinged
  Posted by: Reefmonkey on Aug-17-10 8:34 AM (EST)
bracket that allows it to swing up out of the water.
 
 
  Followup question:
  Posted by: Reefmonkey on Aug-18-10 12:14 PM (EST)
I am going to make a mount along the lines of this one:

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/32626?from=SR&feat=sr

I will make the horizontal pieces out of solid wood, but I was wondering about the actual piece where the motor will clamp on - should I make that from a piece of solid wood, or would a piece of plywood of the same thickness be better?
 
 
  either way .......
  Posted by: pilotwingz on Aug-18-10 10:25 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Aug-19-10 10:19 PM EST --

...... you can laminate ply together with epoxy if you need to get a special thickness ... like multi layers of 1/2" etc. .

If you are going to use ply , use a good grade (cabinet grade) with higher count veneers as opposed to C/D sheathing grade . Make sure you seal it up well .

Consider what may happen when the motor torpedo pod or shaft hits an object like a rock , stump , etc. ... that will be a lot of force applied to the mount system , motors have hit hard enough to jack the clamp type brackets right off the gunnels , so beware especially at speed . An example : imagine moving down current and you are getting along at a quick pace , your motor snags a rock , etc. ... that's enough to jack the clamp type brackets right off the gunnels , and also the time when you need to have a motor that can kick-up on it's own (disengaged notch lock) .

It was mentioned earlier by another poster but I'm not sure you got it ... the talk was about hinging the motor and you said it already has a hinge .

If the hinge mechanism you were speaking about is the factory designed "pivot" that allows the motor to swing up to horizontal (or various notch positions inbetween) ... those position notches still lock the motor to a ridged postion , my advice is to defeat (disengage) that design when running rocky rivers and such . That way if the pod strikes an object , it has a better chance of raising/kicking up and bouncing off , instead of remaing ridgidly locked vertical . (a kicking motor can cause a wrist sprain if you are unlucky or not aware of that potential in advance) .

In some cases running current (especially down stream) if the motor "catches" a rock (or shallow bottom) and it's locked rigid ... the canoe may spin on a dime and capsize , the motor can actually get caught on things as well , so just beware . When going forward a disengaged tilt/pivot mechanism is not a problem , the motor stays down by itself ... when going reverse , with enough thrust tillered in the motor tries to raise (reverse is the time to re-lock it) .

For me , I'd need to know the motor will not rip the mounting system off the gunnels if it hits hard or catches something . That motor bracket system will have to stay in place when it finds itself being subjected to the intire load of the canoe (in pounds)being wracked at speed in currents , it's a big deal , so keep that in mind .

 
 
  Well, fortunately for me
  Posted by: Reefmonkey on Aug-23-10 4:39 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Aug-23-10 5:06 PM EST --

West Galveston Bay, where I will be running it has no currents and a soft mud bottom - no rocks of any kind, no stumps. We do have occasional oyster reefs, but generally you know where they are, and they rise gradually, not like a sudden jump in topography. I used to run a 14' aluminum jonboat with a 5 hp engine all through the area I'll be using the trolling motor, and in all the years I did, never once ran into anything hard.

 
 
  I know you said...
  Posted by: Al_A on Aug-18-10 11:07 PM (EST)
that you didn't want to drill holes in the canoe, but if you can stand just two vertical holes in the gunwales, the absolute simplest mount is to take a 2X4 that is long enough to go from one side to the other where you want the motor to mount, with a couple inches sticking out the off-side and about 8 inches or so sticking out on the side you want the motor to mount the motor to. Cut out notches in the 2X4 where the gunwales are so that it fits pretty snugly onto both gunwales. The notches should go about 2/3s of the way through the 2X4. Drill holes in the remaining wood at those notches that match with the holes you'll drill in the gunwales. Then with two carriage bolts and wingnuts you attach the board. Solid, simple, and it won't go anywhere.

The biggest problem with a trolling motor on a canoe is that you have to mount it so that it's within reach to be able to lift it and run it. But that means it's also going to be at least somewhat in the way if you want to paddle. I used a trolling motor for a while on Ozark streams, but I was constantly having to lift it up and out of the way when I wanted to paddle through a shallow riffle, and finally decided it was a lot more trouble than it was worth.
 
 
  I envision an "either or" situation
  Posted by: Reefmonkey on Aug-23-10 5:04 PM (EST)
When I go out in the canoe, I will either be going on a solely motorized trip (in which case the paddles will be in the boat for backup if the battery dies) or will be going on a paddling trip (in which case I will leave the trolling motor at home).

Here is the situation. I have a house on a canal on West Galveston Bay, right next to Galveston Island State Park, which has a lot of little coves and sloughs in the marsh that can be paddled through, and close to several other coves and such. A short run across the bay, there are a bunch of other coves near the ICW. In the middle of the bay are various little islands, all a short motor, or semi-long paddle away. For years, I had a 14' jonboat with a 5 horse engine that I'd take fishing and exploring through all that. Then, about 10+ years ago, I got into paddling. On some outings I would go paddling, and on others, particularly where I was fishing, I'd still pull out the jonboat and motor. Then, 7 years ago, when I started dating my now wife, I bought a tandem kayak, which gave us three seats total, enough for us all to go out. My daughter was born in 2007, and for a while, we weren't doing any family paddling, because she was too little to come along.

Then, in 2008, Hurricane Ike came, blew out the walls on my ground floor garage, swept away the jonboat and tandem kayak. So last year, when I went to make replacements, I did some thinking. Just getting the tandem wouldn't work, because now my daughter is old enough to come along, so three seats wouldn't be enough. Therefore, a three-man canoe made more sense. Getting another jonboat seemed a little redundant, but I have been missing the engine in some applications. That's why I decided to go ahead and get the trolling motor. It's hard to convey in a short post like this, you'd have to be me to know, but the long and short is, based on plenty of experience I know the trolling motor will be right for me.
 
 
  If you haven't bought a canoe yet
  Posted by: Kayak_Ken on Aug-23-10 7:00 PM (EST)
then I would suggest getting a square stern canoe that way you don't have to mess with a rig to hold the motor and the canoe is balanced better with the motor hanging off the stern than hanging off one of the sides.
 
 
  I already have a standard canoe, thanks
  Posted by: Reefmonkey on Aug-24-10 10:08 AM (EST)
 
 
  UPDATE
  Posted by: Reefmonkey on Feb-10-11 3:15 PM (EST)
I forgot to update everyone on what I finally did (also good for anyone searching the archives for a similar solution).

I copied ll bean's design for a motor mount for a traditional canoe, with the two pieces of wood that clamped on by "sandwiching" the tops and bottoms of the gunwales. But as I was preparing to test the bottom piece of wood for fit, it just seemed to me such a clumsy way to do things. So I said "screw it," tossed the lower piece of wood, bought a 6" piece of 90 degree aluminum angle iron. I cut 2 1" pieces off, and drilled a hole through each face of each piece. Then I drilled holes in the side of my boat (in the aluminum stripping that the gunwales attach to) and attached the angle iron pieces (facing inside). So now when I want to mount the motor, I put the wooden mount athwart the gunwales behind the aftmost seat, stick the bolts through the holes in it and the holes in the angle iron pieces, and fasten with wingnuts (though I actually go from the bottom up so the wingnuts are easier to turn). Works great and I wouldn't recommend any other way to do it.
 
 
  Update - center of gravity & others
  Posted by: Reefmonkey on Jul-27-11 10:33 AM (EST)
After using the trolling motor with my homemade mount for a while, I found a couple of problems.

The first one was that the motor seemed to slip on the mounting board quite a lot during use, even though I had it fully clamped down. I think the main problem was the board was not quite thick enough, as the clamps screwed as far down as they were designed to go. Therefore, I doubled the board, and I think that will solve that problem. If not, I may route indentations in the board for the clamps to rest in.

The second issue is that the motor feels like it has a high center of gravity, making for unstable turns. I trimmed the mounting board as far down as I could, but wonder if anyone has other suggestions for dealing with this? I know this will never be a perfect system, and I will have to deal with it, but if anyone has any suggestions that would improve it, I am all ears.

This weekend will be my first chance to use the mount with the adjustments above, I'll report back on the performance.
 
 
  Reef
  Posted by: old_user on Aug-08-11 11:45 PM (EST)
Reef... Can you snag some pictures of your mount that you made? I'm curious to try something like this as well, but i've got an old 70s Red Coleman HDPE canoe, but at the moment i dont believe my gunwales are even close to the needed width to be able to attach the wood in that fashion.

As for the center of gravity issue, all I can think of is to either balance it out on the other side with say 5-10lbs... or whatever your trolling moter + mounting block weighs =/

That.... Or get crazy with your mount and add an piece of wood, or pieces, to form a T at the stern of the canoe in the middle. The top of the "T" would hang off the back and would be where the motor clamps... only problem with that is your motor handle is directly behind you and you would need an extension for the throttle :x
 

Google
 
Web Paddling.net


Follow us on:
Free Newsletter | About Us | Site Map | Advertising Info | Contact Us

©2014 Paddling.net Inc.
Sweepstakes Banjo Shirt