Off-Center Motor Installations
Off-Center Trolling Motor Installations
If at all possible, you'll want to mount your bow mount trolling motor so the shaft is positioned a close to the centerline of the boat as possible. This will ensure your steering isn't offset and that your boat doesn't drift to one side or the other. Mounting the shaft to the left or the right will result in directional pull, causing the boat to veer left or right when you're pointed straight ahead.
That being said, sometimes it's difficult to or impossible to mount the motor in the center. If you're off center by a few inches, you likely shouldn't worry as you won't be able to notice much of a difference. But if you're being forced to mount off-center by a foot or more, you'll likely notice steering veer. Apart from removing the mounting obstacle or picking a different motor, there are two options to consider:
i-Pilot or AutoPilot: The AutoPilot feature on standard Minn Kota AutoPilot or i-Pilot allows you to set and keep a bearing automatically. So even if your boat veers to one side or the other based on the mounting location, the motor will automatically compensate to keep you heading in a straight line. If you're mounting off-center by a significant margin, you'll want to strongly consider a motor with standard AutoPilot or i-Pilot.
Compensating Manually: While it will take some getting use to, you can manually adjust to the off-set steering and boat veer when controlling the motor. You'll have to over-compensate while steering in one direction - and undercompensate in another. But after a few times on the water, you likely will forget you're even doing it. This is definitely an option as well.
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