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How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

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Pioneer180

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How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

PostMon Mar 30, 2015 1:26 pm

This is the 2nd trolling motor (TM) that I install in a Pioneer boat. After having it on my 180SF I fell in love with it (specially GPS anchor feature) and was not going to live without one on my new boat so I kept it when I sold the 180. I used it a lot mostly for bottom reef fishing and after I installed it I never again used the anchor. It is a MinnKota (MK) Riptide iPilot with 80lbs of thrust and 60" shaft. This model worked super on my 180SF and I thought I could try it on my 197SF. If for whatever reason I felt it was not enough power or shaft height then I could always upgrade to the new MK 112lbs with the 72". I really hope it does work as I prefer to have two batteries to keep the extra helm space. As of today I tested it on a very strong wind/current at Bahia Honda channel with a nice chop (FL Keys) and the anchor feature worked perfectly and held the loaded boat. I still need to test it on a good swell in deep water here at my Palm Beach waters to see if the shaft length works ok and if it holds on the strong gulf current/wind I use to fish. So here I will show my installation and hope it helps other people out there.
The key item for the install was that at the end the TM is aligned with the gunnels in a way that it won't protrude outside the boat creating clearance issues anchoring at a dock and also not to protrude inside the boat taking seating space on the bow. In order to accomplish that the best way is to build a custom plate to hold the MK quick release bracket and put the TM at the right place at the front of the bow. This pate is not too difficult to build. Just to make it pretty it will take some time to round it up. Once you have the plate the rest is easier than I thought on the 197SF. The wiring went very easy. And once you create a access hole in the anchor locker the plate is a breeze to install. So here will show you the steps I took.

1. For the wiring I used 6ga duplex wiring and a Battery Tender connector (very nice unit). You will need to remove the coming pad (shown later) to reach two access holes on the sides and also remove the round access plate inside the instrument console to access the pipe that goes from the CC to the top of the gunnel. This is how the inside of the gunnels look. This is looking forward from the gas cap area. That little tank/hose is new for I think 2014+ models to meet emissions or something like that.
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2. This view is inside the CC access hole looking to the port side. That pipe with the arrow is where the wiring will go from inside the CC to the top of the gunnel. I found it easier to start from here and push the wire to the top and then feel when it comes out as it will probably will be covered with foam.
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3. This is the view after removing the coaming pad. This is very easy. It has two ring holes under it, one at the rear and one all the way to the front. Through that you will insert a phillips screw driver to remove two screws (front & back) that hold the pad from moving up. The arrow shows where the rear one screws in the wall. It may be covered with foam or cloth so feel for it. Once removed you can pull up the pad. You can see here the tabs that hold it attached to the walls. Just behind the 1st tab is the big gunnel access hole. This is the 1st place where you will pull the wire up.
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4. Forward as seen here you will find this smaller access hole. From here you will insert your fish tape and pull the wiring from the rear access hole to this one. On 2nd picture you can see both access holes.
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5. Net step is to bring the wiring to the anchor locker area. I think this is the best place as you can install the battery port very easily at the front of the bow compartment as seen later. For this I drilled a small hole as high as I could on the port side towards the back. Insert fish tape and bring the wiring to this area.
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6. The next four pictures shows the final battery connector install. Drill the hole to the size of whatever connector you will use, install and then connect power wires to the back of it. This is how it looks on mine. As you can see the wire runs very high out of the way of everything in the anchor locker area.
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7. From the CC access hole you then run the wiring to the boat wiring access hole on the corner and then to your batteries. This is how I installed mines. This completes the TM wiring.
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8. For the plate you can build it in many ways. I suggest a 5/8" aluminum plate as I used on my 180SF install. It was rock solid. On this one I used 1/2" to gain depth (reduce height). It works great and is solid but it has a very tiny bit of flex. I am 100% is not going to be an issue but I am picky about it. If you will use the 72" shaft 112lbs thrust then go with 5/8" or 3/4". Good thing is I can easily upgrade mine as I can copy it quickly. For this you start working with a cartoon template and measure 500 times and play with it until you have the shape/location you want. If you like mine probably I can provide a copy as I still have my templates (180 & 197). Then transfer it to the aluminum plate and cut it and shape it. I think this is where you will save the most $$. For mounting the pad you drill holes and tap them. Easy on aluminum. This picture is when we were finishing it.
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9. Once you have the plate done the next thing is mounting it. The best way is to use thru-hole bolts. For that you will need to access the bottom of the anchor area surface. The good thing is that Pioneer uses these flat wall areas inside the anchor locker that makes it very easy to mount an access plate. I recommend a 4" plate (to be able to stick hand in) and I used this one that has a screw on lid for easy access at any time. I was lucky to have a hole drill bit about the size needed so the job was just to drill the hole. Next three pictures show the lid, drill bit, alignment and how it ended up.
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10. Once you have the access hole then you can easily install the plate. You can choose how many and where to drill for the screws. I decided that four were plenty to hold this one. This is how the plate ended up. I shaped it to follow the anchor lid door lines and a little of the curve of the hull on the outside. If you want you can make it a little but shorter and narrower and it will work too. The missing pad screw was because I needed to re-tap that one. Was installed later.
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11. So this is how it looks with the TM installed. As you can see it is aligned perfectly along the gunnel without protruding to any side. Also you can see that the 60" shaft goes deep enough for most bay conditions.
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As I said above, per my first test I am very happy with it. I will post later updates when I use it in the rough. Hope you find this helpful. :wink:
2015 197SF - Suzuki DF150
2012 180SF - Suzuki DF115 Sold
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Deano

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Re: How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

PostTue Mar 31, 2015 5:49 am

Thanks for the details about your install Pioneer180. I will be installing the same motor on my 197 soon and am sure your post will come in handy. I have sent you a PM about the template.
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marshwabbit

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Re: How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

PostTue Mar 31, 2015 8:41 am

Nice install job.

I missed the part about using the biggest fender washers available in lieu of a backing plate.
186 cape island, carolina blue hull, 150 VMax, & my golden retriever
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Pioneer180

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Re: How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

PostTue Mar 31, 2015 8:53 am

marshwabbit wrote:Nice install job.

I missed the part about using the biggest fender washers available in lieu of a backing plate.


Thanks. If you are brave to tackle this I think that is obvious I guess. I used double big washers. The glass is nicely thick in that area.
2015 197SF - Suzuki DF150
2012 180SF - Suzuki DF115 Sold
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pioneeratsea

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Re: How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

PostWed Apr 01, 2015 12:17 pm

Fantastic job on that plate! I have a TM on my 197 but did not use a plate and am not happy with how the TM lies on the bow. PM'd you for the template; thank you so much for sharing this!!!!!

Dan
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Pioneer180

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Re: How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

PostWed Apr 01, 2015 12:53 pm

pioneeratsea wrote:Fantastic job on that plate! I have a TM on my 197 but did not use a plate and am not happy with how the TM lies on the bow. PM'd you for the template; thank you so much for sharing this!!!!!

Dan


Thanks. I managed to create a PDf file where you can print the template and it will be an exact copy. Please email me so I can send. I have the same for the 180 but need to create the PDF for that one.
2015 197SF - Suzuki DF150
2012 180SF - Suzuki DF115 Sold
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Henry Sikes

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Re: How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

PostWed Apr 01, 2015 3:03 pm

Nice job 180! :idea:


We have also added a "how to" video to the Pioneerboats.com website.

http://pioneerboats.com/video.asp?vn=7&p=1
Thanks for your support!
Henry
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Pioneer180

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Re: How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

PostWed Apr 01, 2015 6:59 pm

Henry Sikes wrote:Nice job 180! :idea:


We have also added a "how to" video to the Pioneerboats.com website.

http://pioneerboats.com/video.asp?vn=7&p=1


Thanks. Nice video for the 220. But do you realize that it shows the RTA-17 bracket being installed incorrectly at the beginning of the video, yes? It even shows when it is lowered and it interferes with the shaft. I did the same mistake on my fist one. :wink:
2015 197SF - Suzuki DF150
2012 180SF - Suzuki DF115 Sold
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wmflyfisher

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Re: How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

PostMon Apr 13, 2015 10:24 pm

Now that's jam up! Would you consider making another bracket to sell? I think you would be onto something and may have your first buyer being myself!
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Pioneer180

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Re: How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

PostTue Apr 14, 2015 6:51 pm

wmflyfisher wrote:Now that's jam up! Would you consider making another bracket to sell? I think you would be onto something and may have your first buyer being myself!


If I had more free time maybe I would. But being realistic I don't think there is a big market (if any!) for this. When you decide to do it you can get the template and take it somewhere to be built.
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Re: How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

PostTue Apr 14, 2015 11:10 pm

Any way I can get you to send me a copy of the template you made for the 197?
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Pioneer180

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Re: How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

PostThu Apr 16, 2015 8:46 am

ttkarl wrote:Any way I can get you to send me a copy of the template you made for the 197?

Done.
2015 197SF - Suzuki DF150
2012 180SF - Suzuki DF115 Sold
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Pioneer180

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Video of it running!

PostTue Apr 21, 2015 8:38 pm

So this weekend I gave a good beating to my setup on conditions that I am pretty sure were not in MinnKota's mind when they were thinking about this anchor feature and I wanted to share the video of it. I wouldn't be fishing in these conditions unless it was because my nephew, who is an avid angler, was visiting and I wanted to go out too. So as I suspected at least under these conditions the 80lbs would not hold anchor position alone with the strong wind (15-20mph) and current plus the waves. But, if I put the OB at idle speed to help with a little thrust I was very happy to find that it would hold perfectly in place even with the prop coming out of the water pretty often. We fished for about 2-3hrs each day and both days were the same. So for now if I want to go bottom fishing under these crazy conditions I know I could use it but later on I think I will look for the bigger 36v / 72" unit.

You can see the video here: https://vimeo.com/125625580
You can see the throttle position, remote and GPS screen noodle where it was holding.
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Re: How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

PostTue May 19, 2015 9:03 am

Pioneer180,
Good morning from Currituck, NC. My new SF197 just arrived at the marina and one of the accessories to be installed is a Minn Kota Riptide 112. My dealer was going to install it directly to the gunnel but after looking at your posting your approach looks much stronger along with easier deploy/retrieve (and my dealer after seeing your pics also agreed). Could you possibly get me a copy of your template for my install? Since I'm anxious to get my new boat in the water but also want things done right I sent a PM and email making this request as well. Please forgive my impatience and thanks for your help!!
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Pioneer180

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Re: How to install a trolling motor on a 197SF

PostTue May 19, 2015 10:24 am

vinceg wrote:Pioneer180,
Good morning from Currituck, NC. My new SF197 just arrived at the marina and one of the accessories to be installed is a Minn Kota Riptide 112. My dealer was going to install it directly to the gunnel but after looking at your posting your approach looks much stronger along with easier deploy/retrieve (and my dealer after seeing your pics also agreed). Could you possibly get me a copy of your template for my install? Since I'm anxious to get my new boat in the water but also want things done right I sent a PM and email making this request as well. Please forgive my impatience and thanks for your help!!


That is a great TM. You will love it. Nice to see your dealer liked it. Just sent you the template.
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