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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SW Scotland
    Posts
    19,524

    Default Cutting down a trolling motor

    My crew has acquired a nice second hand Bison trolling motor. It has a very long shaft, but is destined to be used only on small dinghies, so a bit of trimming seems like a good idea - about a foot of shaft can usefully go. Has anyone done this? It looks as if it should be a matter of "Remove bolt holding top casing to leg, separate, cut leg, drill, re-assemble" with wires either shortened at the top or cut and rejoined at some stage in the process, but I wonder if I am missing any potential pitfalls.

    The borrowed Shakespeare trolling motor (rebadged Minn-Kota, I think) which inspired the purchase had been cut down, so I know similar things have been done before. Well, at least one similar thing, but I'd be very surprised if that was the only one ...
    "Seamen are always wanting to do things the proper way; and I like to do them my way."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Boat Orwell - Me Norwich
    Posts
    8,052

    Default Re: Cutting down a trolling motor

    Oops! Sorry - I thought this was going to be about raising the sanity/civility quotient of the lounge and Brexit forums.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    The Gareloch
    Posts
    3,809

    Default Re: Cutting down a trolling motor

    I did exactly as the OP described to a trolling motor.
    I cut it down to the same shaft length as my 2hp 2-stroke.
    When you cut the shaft mount it upside down in a vice to ensure any swarf falls clear rather than into the motor. Take care not to damage the wire insulation at the cut.
    I cut the crimps off the cable ends to make it easier to thread the wires through the tube, shortened them as well and put on new crimps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SW Scotland
    Posts
    19,524

    Default Re: Cutting down a trolling motor

    Quote Originally Posted by Porthandbuoy View Post
    I did exactly as the OP described to a trolling motor.
    I cut it down to the same shaft length as my 2hp 2-stroke.
    When you cut the shaft mount it upside down in a vice to ensure any swarf falls clear rather than into the motor. Take care not to damage the wire insulation at the cut.
    I cut the crimps off the cable ends to make it easier to thread the wires through the tube, shortened them as well and put on new crimps.
    Many thanks, particularly for the "do it upside down" idea, which hadn't occurred to me.
    "Seamen are always wanting to do things the proper way; and I like to do them my way."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Home UK Midlands / Boat Croatia
    Posts
    19,756

    Default Re: Cutting down a trolling motor

    Surely the biggest obstacle will the rejoining the two chopped sections of the drive shaft back together?

    Richard

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    998

    Default Re: Cutting down a trolling motor

    There is no drive shaft, just the wires going inside the tube.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia.
    Posts
    5,333

    Default Re: Cutting down a trolling motor

    I've never looked at one - We live and learn. What's in the box at the top of the shaft? I'd assumed, maybe wrongly, that the battery were a separate unit (or are they in the box?).

    Jonathan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    North from the Nab about 10 miles
    Posts
    8,839

    Default Re: Cutting down a trolling motor

    Quote Originally Posted by Neeves View Post
    I've never looked at one - We live and learn. What's in the box at the top of the shaft? I'd assumed, maybe wrongly, that the battery were a separate unit (or are they in the box?).

    Jonathan
    On the one I had, the switching and electronic speed control PCBs were in the top end, mounted well clear of the water. I wouldnt want to cut the height down, awkward though it is, as i found even that high up they are subject to spray and damp, which are instant death to the electronics. Isnt that why they are mounted so high? We all know seawaters' propensity for getting in where its not wanted!
    Is Conservation for wildlife or conservationists?
    http://boatownersresponse.org.uk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia.
    Posts
    5,333

    Default Re: Cutting down a trolling motor

    Not wanting to hi-jack your thread JD - I had wondered if it was possible to convert them to generate electricity - along the lines of a Watt N Sea. If, as Harry says. the electronics are prone to water damage there would be lot of legs floating around looking for a new lease on life.

    I had never got beyond wondering.

    Jonathan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    SoF
    Posts
    9,462

    Default Re: Cutting down a trolling motor

    I did it once, long ago. Just used a hacksaw, just an (aluminum?) tube with a wire going down the center. I put all the seals back in place and it worked fine was as waterproof
    Neither a Leaver or Remainer be

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