5 Ways to Make a Trolling Motor Last

Posted by  Friday, August 08 2014 3:00 pm

TrollingMotorMaintenance blogA trolling motor is an integral part of an anglers boating set up. Designed to make time on the water easier and more efficient, as with anything electronic, regular inspection and maintenance will ensure they provide years of trouble-free use.

Add the following tips to your boating checklist and give yourself some peace of mind.

Prop Inspection

I like to inspect the prop on a bi-weekly basis. Look closely for cracks, dings or bends. Serious damage, usually from hitting underwater obstacles, will have an adverse affect on the operation. Props should be replaced when this happens.

Removing the prop itself to inspect for tangled weeds and line around the shaft is also an important step. If left unchecked, line will cut into the prop seal, leading to damage. Most tangles can be removed with your fingers. A pair of needle nose pliers will work best for the rest. Take careful note when removing the prop in order to put it back together correctly.

Ensure that the bolt is adequately tightened and secured when putting the prop back on. Do not over tighten.

Wires and Cables

Do a visual inspection of all cables and wires. Frays, cuts or kinks will require immediate action.

Now is also a good time to inspect battery terminal and wire connections. Corrosion should be remedied with a battery wire brush.


Many bow-mount motor have an affixed fish finder transducer. If this is the case, inspect for dirt or damage and ensure clamps are tight and secure. I like to give mine a clean with a mild water and soap solution using a soft sponge.

Clean it Up

The exterior of your unit should be fully cleaned regularly, as weeds and grime can easily build up. Use a mild water and soap solution.

Once dry, apply a fine coating of silicon spray to the shaft, wiping dry with a cloth afterwards. This will ensure the unit will move freely up and down.

Tighten it Down

Applicable only to bow mount units, the bolts that secure your motor to the bow of your boat should be checked for tightness. Over time, the constant pounding of waves can loosen nuts. Side plates may need to be removed for this step.

I try to do this step a couple of times throughout the season for added peace of mind.


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Last modified on Wednesday, August 13 2014 10:11 am
Justin Hoffman

Justin Hoffman is a freelance outdoor writer and photographer, with a fishing specialty, based in Ottawa Ontario, Canada. A graduate of the North American School of Outdoor Writing and currently a field editor with Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine, outdoor pursuits with a journalistic approach keep him returning to the field week after week. A well-established freelance writer since 1999, Justin has publishing credits in many North American magazines and web sites. His photographic stock work also appears regularly. In addition to his writing and photography work, Justin is also a Pro Staffer for TUFF-Line and National Pro Staff. For more information visit www.JustinHoffmanOutdoors.com.

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