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Thread: Mounting electric trolling motor pod into skeg on a navigator

  1. #1
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    Default Mounting electric trolling motor pod into skeg on a navigator

    So I'm working on my Navigator Inconceivable project, and the time is approaching to attach the skeg. I'm wanting to go with electric power for auxiliary propulsion. I've acquired a 28# thrust trolling motor that ought to do the job. I'm thinking about just making the skeg a bit bigger and fairing the motor pod into the skeg. This makes it easy to use and protects it when beaching and trailering. It also makes it difficult to remove, if ever needed. The alternative is a mount on the transom, which is ugly and requires deploying and retrieving.

    I'm looking for thoughts and opinions. Have at it!
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

    15' Welsford Navigator Inconceivable
    16' W. Simmons Mattinicus double ender ​Matty

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mounting electric trolling motor pod into skeg on a navigator

    There is another alternative. Mount it like a daggerboard, with a plug for the, "slot," when its not in use.


    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mounting electric trolling motor pod into skeg on a navigator

    Just because it is faired into the skeg does not mean it has to be permanent. Build a faired cavity in the skeg. Figure out a way to quickly detach it when necessary.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mounting electric trolling motor pod into skeg on a navigator

    Somewhere on this Forum are threads and photos of trolling motors built into kickup rudders. I've seen one in action and it is amazing! You can pull the rudder up horizontal to eliminate the drag from the bulb & prop, or just sail with it down. Run the wires up through the rudder body and then out to a plug for power -- all you need is an ON/OFF switch and/or power rheostat.

    From what I've read you want to leave the motor bulb exposed as that's how the motor is cooled. If you build it into the rudder / skeg it can overheat if covered.

    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mounting electric trolling motor pod into skeg on a navigator

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Somewhere on this Forum are threads and photos of trolling motors built into kickup rudders. I've seen one in action and it is amazing! You can pull the rudder up horizontal to eliminate the drag from the bulb & prop, or just sail with it down. Run the wires up through the rudder body and then out to a plug for power -- all you need is an ON/OFF switch and/or power rheostat.

    From what I've read you want to leave the motor bulb exposed as that's how the motor is cooled. If you build it into the rudder / skeg it can overheat if covered.

    Oh I really like that...Redwing is probably a bit big for one though.
    The definition of stupid has got to be the belief that more guns will negate the bloodshed done with guns.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mounting electric trolling motor pod into skeg on a navigator

    Just looking at this, I wonder how much extra force would go into the gudgeons and pintles when under power. Since it's a trolling motor on a light boat, it's probably not a problem, but I can't help but think the attachment to the transom might be affected.

    Am I way off base on this one? Regardless, it sure looks like a neat installation.

    Harvey

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    Default Re: Mounting electric trolling motor pod into skeg on a navigator

    A 28# trolling motor is pretty minimal power-wise for a Navigator in any but very calm conditions. Don't think it would have much impact on the gudgeons and transom if everything was properly built, but you could go up a size or two on the hardware if that's a concern.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mounting electric trolling motor pod into skeg on a navigator

    I'm also a little concerned that the motor might not be enough Oomph. I'm going to bypass the existing controller and replace it with a modern power modulation unit. I'm going to try to see if I can hack it to be a 24V instead of 12v, and increase the output. A different prop might help, too. It was free, so if I fry it I'm not out anything. My father is a Ham operator and like tinkering with electrickery stuff. In any case, I'm looking for "get to the next landing when the wind dies" power instead of "I'm tired of tacking into the wind and have 20 miles to go" power. The need to buck a tidal current in the San Juans is a consideration, however.


    I've seen electric pods faired into rudders, but I dislike the extra weight that has to be lifted every time, as well as being removed from the water right when you might need the propulsion for a landing. Also, I relish the idea of a stealthy install that others might not be aware of (Hey, how did Sebens get so fast?) The pod-in-a-well idea would work but its a less elegant solution.


    I suppose I could create a mount that the pod could be removed from. A set of hose clamps or some such thing comes to mind. More to ponder.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

    15' Welsford Navigator Inconceivable
    16' W. Simmons Mattinicus double ender ​Matty

  9. #9
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    Default

    I like the idea of fitting into a skeg. But it is always there. In a rudder, you could have a second one for motorless sailing.

    I use a 45lb thrust trolling motor on my 9ft nutshell (light) and it pushes it just fine. No speed records mind you, and into a blow and a chop, it can be slow going.

    I saw someone fit a remote control airplane propeller to one and the increase in speed was astonishing. But very fragile blades.



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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mounting electric trolling motor pod into skeg on a navigator

    The top photo I posted is from the TSCA Delta Gunkholing trip in 2008, and with the rudder down the stealth factor is ASTOUNDING. I watched this sailing dinghy sail up to near the dock with the rudder down, where he dropped sails....and MAGICALLY moved up to the dock! Very strange and quite the conversation starter.

    Another good thing about using the rudder blade is that you can swap them out, using a stock blade when you don't want the power option, or upgrading later to a more powerful saltwater model trolling motor.

    Quote Originally Posted by BBSebens View Post
    Also, I relish the idea of a stealthy install that others might not be aware of (Hey, how did Sebens get so fast?) The pod-in-a-well idea would work but its a less elegant solution.
    Last edited by Thorne; 12-06-2018 at 11:50 AM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Mounting electric trolling motor pod into skeg on a navigator

    Quote Originally Posted by capnharv View Post
    Just looking at this, I wonder how much extra force would go into the gudgeons and pintles when under power. Since it's a trolling motor on a light boat, it's probably not a problem, but I can't help but think the attachment to the transom might be affected.

    Am I way off base on this one? Regardless, it sure looks like a neat installation.

    Harvey
    It will be a steady push, so probably a lot less force than hitting a rock. You could look at it like a simple lever. The 28# load at the motor has to be balanced by a load in the same direction at the lower pintle and a load in the opposite direction at the upper pintle. The highest loads will be where the prop is well below the pintle and the two pintles are close together as in the picture below.
    One more thread: Link #29
    Capture2.JPG
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