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How's it goin everybody?

I was hoping to get some tips and advice from the esteemed members of this message board. :)

I've got a 14-foot jon boat that's basically skin and bones - ie no carpet or livewells, etc. I recently bought a bow-mounted trolling motor, so I set about building a small casting deck on which to mount it. The deck is now completed and bolted into the boat.

My main question is this: Where should I mount the trolling motor bracket. I've seen several different ways. Some people mount it parallel with the side of the boat so that the motor drops into the water on the front-right or front-left corner of the boat. I've also seen motors mounted that cross the deck diagonally, so that the motor drops in just to the left (or right) of center. Then recently I saw a motor mounted at the very front of the boat that ran perpendicular to the boat's length - ie it was mounted parallel with the front end of the boat, not parallel with the side of the boat.

I hope this makes sense. I don't know what the best method is. I should also mention that right now I've got an anchor that drops from the very front center of the boat. I really like it and would prefer to leave it (and the mounted hardware that holds it) there. I figure that I won't ever have the anchor dropped and the trolling motor going at the same time, so I'm hoping it won't be a problem.

If you guys can help me tackle this one, I'll come back and ask for help on my fish finders, plus how to create a livewell from scratch. (Using a cooler maybe??)

I'll be using the boat mainly for bass fishing on small lakes and ponds, though I have a couple friends that are itching to take it out for flounder inshore. As you might have guessed, I've never fixed up a boat before.

Thanks in advance! I really appreciate the help.
 

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Red X Angler
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Just to either side of center front. You want to be able to have easy control especially if your using a tiller (hand) steer unit, you need to be able to reach it quickly form anywhere on the bow. You can angle it off center(kind off off the corner) either way so dropping it down doesnt interfere with the anchor rope. Then you can drop the motor before you pull anchor. Just be sure to watch the drift of the boat as you pull anchor to keep rope clear of the prop.
As far as a livewell, I've seen a cooler epoxyied and bolted to the bottom of a jonboat with a hole drilled in the floor with a water cut off valve like used on home plumping and another 1' pvc pipe drilled through the side of the cooler and out of the boat almost at the top that would drain off the water just before it overflowed the cooler. The guy would open the valve inside just enough to keep a fresh inward flow and the overflow would run out of the pipe. Then he could close or open the inside valve as needed to drain the livewell ( almost, some water remains because the valve sticks up ) at the end of the day. His way used the flow of water in and out to keep it fresh rather than use a battery powered pump. I am going to make a similar one but I will use a garden hose on the top and start a siphon flow that overflows out of another hose so I don't have to drill holes in my boat and can take the cooler out if I want. (At least thats my theory)
 

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A lot of kayak fishermen build livewells with small coolers, often using aereators and pumps powered by either D-cells or a small gel-cell battery. I like Sundrop's ideas as well.
 

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In case dampeoples doesn't respond, here's a link to a thread where he posted a link to his fully-rigged jon: http://www.ncangler.com/forums/f42/my-jon-boat-3178.html

Ought to be able to get some ideas from him/that. Looks like he chose to mount his (front unit) dead perpendicular, I imagine to keep it from taking up deck space.

(sorry - the esteemed members must not be here, so we answered in their absence. I hope they don't get mad when they get back and see what we've been up to, but they've been gone so long that I can't even remember who they are! :D)
 

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Sundrop,

let us know how that works out for ya. That sounds like a really good idea.
 

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I have a 14' fiberglass boat. My troller is on the front left side and it is opposite my forward anchor and line. However, mine has a foot control that is in the floor so the person in front can guide it and still have his hands free to fish. You might want to get some rubber matting that links together and sits up about 3/4" to 1". Its quiet, soft on your feet and keeps any water below your shoes or boots. Just a thought. Live wells are great ideas. Thanks Sundrop!
 

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Red X Angler
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I see it, I see it!

yes, I chose to mount mine in the front for space, as opposed to the left or right, as I don't want to have to worry about tripping over it, or swatting at it with the rod all day, they're expensive to replace! The problem this creates is the cable is now sticking out, so when I drop the motor, I just kind of loop it towards the front, and everything lays perfectly, and nothing is in my way, no matter what side of the boat I fish from. Not sure how much space your anchor deal takes up, maybe you could move the whole TM mount back a bit to leave room if you choose to go this route? When you get your depthfinder....don't mount it anywhere close to the prop in the stow position!! Your screen will thank you for it :)

As far as a livewell, sundrops idea is good, but for quick and simple, a cooler with one of the suction cup aerators that Wal-mart sells for about $20 is the ticket, already has the spray bar, pump, riser, battery clips, etc, just add water!

I considered going th hatch route, but got a really good deal ($75) on a Toho Rig out of the Bass Pro catalog, one of the guys in my club bought it, and it was too small for his boat. He kept the spray bar for his troubles, but a quick trip to work (at the time I did construction), and picking up some scrap stuff, did the trick! I think those things are close to $200 now, too high!!
 
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