Picking the right trolling motor

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Halen
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Picking the right trolling motor

Post by Halen »

Just picked up my new Bonafide SS127 and am in the process of sourcing gear to get it rigged out. The biggest challenge I'm having is finding a trolling motor. My preference is the MotorGuide Xi3-55SW 36" Kayak Motor - 12V - GPS - FOB which is the perfect one for my kayak. Yesterday I went through numerous dealers across the US and everyone is out.

I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to track one down and it would be a bonus to find one in Texas.
SWFinatic
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

Post by SWFinatic »

Waiting has become the new norm. I would get on a waiting list and wait it out if that's what you truly want. I don't know of another option for a kayak with GPS at least that's not 3 grand.
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Halen
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

Post by Halen »

SWFinatic wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:58 am Waiting has become the new norm. I would get on a waiting list and wait it out if that's what you truly want. I don't know of another option for a kayak with GPS at least that's not 3 grand.
I appreciate the response and will get on a list and wait. The upside is that it will force me to get into better shape as I paddle around the water searching for fish.
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motoyak
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

Post by motoyak »

I've built several motoyaks using #30-#55 Minn Kota endura motors. I ditch the power coils by cutting the wires and just run the 2 heavy wires to the motor then control the speed with a PWM. This does 2 things, decreases the amperage draw considerably and allows for prop speed from just a few RPM to WOT (wide open throttle). I also ditch the stock prop and run an airplane propeller which also decreases amperage draw AND increases speed by about 1/2 MPH! I've done a lot of experimentation with props using an amprobe to measure amperage and phone GPS for speed and hit upon a happy medium for my boat and me.
One thing I've found to be true is that bigger does not mean better or faster on trolling motor size. Kayaks, can only go so fast due to their design. A longer kayak is always faster than a shorter one period. On my 14'x36" wide catamaran type hull kayak, a #30 troller is much more efficient (ie-uses less power) as compared to a #55 thrust motor and the max speed stayed the same!
My friend has an Boni like your with a motor made for his boat. Dunno exactly what his thrust is but Ill ask and get back on this thread with that info.
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motoyak
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

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Ok, he has a Boni ss127 with a factory installed troller motor. He told me it a Newport Vessels NK180 which is 1.8 HP using 24 volts DC. The dealer told him it was about #60 thrust which is probably true. Now he weighs about #160 and I come in at #240. Of course he has 2 batteries which are lithium and his kayak is about 1.5 ft shorter and same width as mine.
Now he has over $2K in just his motor and batteries, whereas I have $550 in my motor, PWM, prop and battery. Both of us can fish all day on a charge easily.
Last edited by motoyak on Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Halen
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

Post by Halen »

motoyak wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:32 pm I've built several motoyaks using #30-#55 Minn Kota endura motors. I ditch the power coils by cutting the wires and just run the 2 heavy wires to the motor then control the speed with a PWM. This does 2 things, decreases the amperage draw considerably and allows for prop speed from just a few RPM to WOT (wide open throttle). I also ditch the stock prop and run an airplane propeller which also decreases amperage draw AND increases speed by about 1/2 MPH! I've done a lot of experimentation with props using an amprobe to measure amperage and phone GPS for speed and hit upon a happy medium for my boat and me.
One thing I've found to be true is that bigger does not mean better or faster on trolling motor size. Kayaks, can only go so fast due to their design. A longer kayak is always faster than a shorter one period. On my 14'x36" wide catamaran type hull kayak, a #30 troller is much more efficient (ie-uses less power) as compared to a #55 thrust motor and the max speed stayed the same!
My friend has an Boni like your with a motor made for his boat. Dunno exactly what his thrust is but Ill ask and get back on this thread with that info.
Motoyak,

This is awesome insight into how best to design the trolling motor for optimum use, thank you very much for sharing it with me. With tis being my first kayak I am in a constant learning mode as I'm coming up to speed. The 1/2 MPG gain is significant for such a small craft. Do you have a recommendation on what size airplane propeller I should get and where it can be sourced?
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Halen
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

Post by Halen »

motoyak wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:02 pm Ok, he has a Boni ss127 with a factory installed troller motor. He told me it a Newport Vessels NK180 which is 1.8 HP using 24 volts DC. The dealer told him it was about #60 thrust which is probably true. Now he weighs about #160 and I come in at #240. Of course he has 2 batteries which are lithium and his kayak is about 1.5 ft shorter and same width as mine. When we "raced" them, he pulled me about 2 boat lengths in 100 yards over my #30 thrust 12VDC modified prop motoyak.
Now he has over $2K in just his motor and batteries, whereas I have $550 in my motor, PWM, prop and battery. Both of us can fish all day on a charge easily.
I just checked out the Newport rig and this might just be the ticket and it's much lower than the trolling motor I am looking at. The battery is a bit more robust (12v vs 24v), but that is not a problem.
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motoyak
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

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Almost any hobby shop has model airplane props but I ordered mine online. They have to be modified to fit the TMs shaft accurately with the proper sized drill bit. Also, they have a cavity that needs to be filled in with epoxy glue. After hardening, a groove needs to be cut to accommodate a shear pin. It also needs a spacer which I made out of a teflon cutting board.
Factory shear pins are kinda pricey so I use 1/8 brazing rod and knock the flux off and cut them to length. I keep a couple taped to the inside lid of a hatch because they will shear along with an extra spacer and prop nut.
You'll need a meter that clamps around one wire of the circuit that is rated for DC voltage and can be easily read while motoring. I tried 2, 3 and 4 blade props ranging from 8-10" in diameter and 6-10 degree pitch. I would mount up a prop, run into the wind, at an angle into the wind and back to the launch all the time watching speed settings and my phones GPS setting. Upon landing, Id write that info down ASAP so as to not forget. The worst thing I did was over prop the motor and the wiring was scorching hot when I touched it. Of course both amps and speed were up there. Now this particular prop MIGHT work had the water been glass with no wind but that's not realistic.
I ended up settling on a 10" x 8 pitch 2 blade prop that pulled well, gave good speed, less than 24 amps draw at WOT into the wind (stock prop would pull 30 amps WOT consistently).
That may be a good starting point for you if you want to experiment. The props themselves are very cheap like under $5 each. I can get a season or 2 of rough usage out of a prop b4 it get all nicked up
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motoyak
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

Post by motoyak »

BTW-all this info is for MK motors, not MG which I despise (had one leave me stranded and I said "never again".
TG outfitters in San Marcos hooked up my buddy and he's overjoyed with his set up. I like it too!
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motoyak
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

Post by motoyak »

https://ampedoutdoors.com/collections/lifepo4-battery
I got my lithium battery from these guys cause they had the best prices. I carry mine in a insulated soft side cooler which is a lot less that their batter bags. I got the 60 AH one weighing in at sub #14 and its been great for past 2 seasons. Do recharge ASAP when done and store in a air conditioned space (ie-not a hot garage). These batteries are pricey but will last 10 years if taken care of.
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motoyak
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

Post by motoyak »

PWM controllers can be had off ebay or Amazon for cheap. I run one rated for 60 amps on my #30 thrust motor (30 amp max draw) because they generate so much heat and I've burnt up lesser rated PWMs.
They have to be mounted in a waterproof box but that box HAS to be ventilated thus making it not so waterproof LOL.
I accomplished this by drilling 1/2" holes in the box bottom then mounting it raised just a 1/4" on my left hand gunnel (Im right handed). I then mounted the PWM about 1/2" higher than the bottom directly over the holes. Finally, I used a computer cooling fan that exhausted though a 1/2" x 2" slot on the top inside of the box. It blows kinda on my hip if you can imagine that. It is wired to run constantly when the battery is hooked up.
The control knob and fwd/rev switch are mounted through the top of the box. It is very natural to lay my hand on the control and steer with the feet. BTW-ALWAYS have some sort of kill switch attached to you in case of going overboard! Trust me on this one LOL
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Halen
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

Post by Halen »

You are a wealth of knowledge Motoyak, thank you. I've ordered the Newport rig and Amped Outdoors battery. I'll also source the gear you suggested from Amazon. My hope is that it all arrives next week so I can install it after I return from when my business trip.
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motoyak
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

Post by motoyak »

Doesn't the controller come with that Newport motor? it should... My buddy said his cost was about a grand for the motor and bracket. all he had to add was batteries. Better check before getting a PWM and going through the hassle of making a vented box. His throttle control is pretty trick, it has a key which is just a magnet that doubles as a kill switch. I'll PM you his number and you chat with him.
BTW-24 volt= 2 batterys needed, I think he bought (2) 50s
PS-just looked at website, they have a 24volt 50 ah single battery for $700
bing
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

Post by bing »

PWM controllers can be had off ebay or Amazon for cheap
can you link to the item? tia
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DumpTruck
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

Post by DumpTruck »

Oddly enough, last year when I was trying to find the kayak xi3 and they seemed sold out everywhere, I found them and ordered one from Home Depot.
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impulse
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Re: Picking the right trolling motor

Post by impulse »

motoyak wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:32 pm
One thing I've found to be true is that bigger does not mean better or faster on trolling motor size. Kayaks, can only go so fast due to their design. A longer kayak is always faster than a shorter one period. On my 14'x36" wide catamaran type hull kayak, a #30 troller is much more efficient (ie-uses less power) as compared to a #55 thrust motor and the max speed stayed the same!t info.
I found the same thing with my motorized kayak in Thailand. Over 6 MPH, the bow wave came over the sides and tried to swamp me out of the cockpit. My little 2HP Yamaha 2 stroke (weighed about 21 pounds) had to run at about 2/3 throttle max. Any more and I was soaked. 1/3 full throttle seemed about perfect for cruising at 4-5 MPH. I didn't even bother trying my 5HP Yamaha on it. The beauty of the gas engine was unlimited range and a lot less weight than a TM and deep cycle.
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