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Author Topic:   180 Dauntless trolling motor
RcharlesS posted 02-12-2004 08:48 AM ET (US)   Profile for RcharlesS  
I'm looking for ideas on mounting a trolling motor on the bow of a 180 Dauntless. Not the "fishing package" model.

If you use a transom mount trolling motor with a Birdsall mount, how do you stow the trolling motor when running to and from fishing locations?

Id you have a standard bow mount motor, did you have to relocate the navigation light fixture?

If you have a link to pictures of any year 180 Dauntless with trolling motors mounted, I'd like to see.

JohnJ80 posted 02-12-2004 10:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
I have a Dauntless 15 with a bow mount Minnkota 55AP autopilot trolling motor (no fishing package either).

What I did was to mount the motor on the bow. I bought a set of battery charger cables (heavy duty rubber covered) cut off the clamps and put one of the Marinco connectors on the end. I spliced the other end of this to the minnkota wire tails that come on the motor.

I then mounted a blue see switch/breaker in the side of the console, just above the hand rail. I also installed a breaker for the charging system alongside of this. Then I mounted the mating outlet to the Marinco connector along side of this. In this way, I can turn on/off the motor and it is protected, I can turn the charger on/off.

Inside the console I mounted the extra battery in its own box.

Then I installed a stealth charging charger ( that charges my battery off of the engine alternator after first charging the cranking battery. I mounted this on a piece of King Starboard with a barrier strip so that i have a nice clean connection to both batteries (stealth charger isolates the two batteries). All my accessories and my trolling motor are connected to the house battery. I really, really like this setup, works great!

Also in the console I mounted a voltmeter for each battery.

Some keep their batteries on deck, but I didn't want to have to carry the batteries up and down the 54 steps on our 50' high bank. I wanted to put the battery in the boat for the season and leave it there. I have the stealth charger since I do not have AC down on the dock. I have never even come close to having a run down battery and I have never had to connect my boat to a charger all season long.

So, to connect the trolling motor, I have to run the cable over the deck to the outlet. But since it is near the handrail, I can wrap the cable once around the hand rail for strain relief. There really isn't any way around the power cable over the deck unless I wanted to try and fish the electrical through the foam below deck (NOT!). But I mimimized the wire underfoot by removing the foot pedal control with the RF remote that minnkota offers - so it is no worse than having a foot pedal with a cable.

You have a bigger console so you could easily go to a 24V system with the battery underneath. The autopilot bow mount motors are ideal for fishing. You set them on a course and forget it. For reference, the 55lb thrust my motor puts out is more than enough on my boat. I have no problem with wind and current and rarely run it over about 40% of full speed, most often, like at 10-20%.

A guy at our marina told me that Minnkota has a new motor out this year for transom mount that electrically raises and lowers itself up and down. This might be a good choice for transom mount (which I don't like for control reasons) because it would be awkward to manipulate a manual version over the transom of a Dauntless.

I also think a bow mount motor is probably better for a Dauntless since they want to swing quickly bow downwind when not powered. So, if you are pulling from the bow you would have better control than pushing from the back.

Mount wise, that was the most difficult. I originally had the slide removable mount from Minnkota ($39 from Cabelas) but it doesn't fit well. I am replacing that with the $59 telescoping mount from Cabelas this year. This will allow me to have a much better installation with the motor stowed along the port side of the boat instead of more into the center of the boat. The problem comes in the very rounded bow of the Dauntless instead of the pointier bows of most other fishing boats.

What I did for nav lights was replace the factor perko light with a perko light on a short mast (about 10"). I actually like this light better since it has a little work light that you can turn on for some low level light at night (knot tying etc...). It is also brighter than the factory installed light and therefore more visible (more lens area i think). The other thing I like is that when it is removed there is a watertight cover that covers up the socket. I think this keeps the electrical contacts in better shape than in the factory light so there is less corrosion. The removable light also looks to me like it seals up better.

I installed the rubber clips to the console on the front where I stow it when not in use.

Hope this helps.


RcharlesS posted 02-12-2004 11:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for RcharlesS    
"I am replacing that with the $59 telescoping mount from Cabelas this year."

"What I did for nav lights was replace the factor perko light with a perko light on a short mast (about 10"). I "

These two hints may solve my problem. I gather with the telescoping mount, the power drive bow mount motor extends far enough to clear the bow [u]and[/u] swings in under your bow rail?

Thanks, JohnJ80

RcharlesS posted 02-12-2004 11:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for RcharlesS    
Is this the product?

JohnJ80 posted 02-16-2004 11:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
That is the mount that I just bought. Apparently it will telescope out something like 12-13".

How I would guess that you would have to tilt your motor is to make sure you tilt it before you start pulling it up (will be a little awkward since the weight in in the motor at the prop - a leverage issue), then slide it under the railing and lock it.

What would work better is to make that piece of the railing over the motor a swing up or out gate. Then you could pull the pin, flip the railing out of the way, stow or deploy the motor and re-pin the gate. I think that would make a very nice installation and preserve your railings.

I don't have railings so I can't comment on how it is actually done. I know that others have done it with railings on a dauntless. But, if I were to approach that problem, that is how I would do it.

For navigation lights, look at the perko catalog at

and look for item #1421. This would work great and you should be able to get this at any marine dealer. This will put the light pretty much over the top of your motor when installed since the light is on a 10" mast. I like this much better than the OEM light installed (without or without the motor). I also think it fits the same foot print as the current light.

I'm sure you can make this work. Sometimes with stuff like this, it pays to get all the parts together and see what you can make work.


RcharlesS posted 02-28-2004 10:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for RcharlesS    
Well, dang, it won't work.

That 180 Dauntless bow is just too round and the deck surface is too far from the edge of the rub rail.

lakeman posted 02-29-2004 08:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for lakeman  Send Email to lakeman     
I have look for mounts also for my 18 dauntless with bow rail, wife wont let me take it off. I have decided on a transom mount, I do not need the motor that much so it would not be used a lot. I cannot find or see anything to mount it on in the transom would like it removable. The lenco trolling tabs I have seen are suppose to work well but I think they are only 24 volt. I do not need that much power to justify extra expense in batteries and do not like leaving the motors in the water for extended period of time, to each his own opinion. I have posted this befor and recieved an e-mail from some one in Michigan and said he was having a transom mount put on which was removeable, had a computer distruct event and lost e-mail. I had asked him to post pics of the device which he described, if memory hasn't failed me, as similar to a rail mount for the barbcue cookers.

PS I may have a marine welder fabricate me one if it's not toooooo expensive.

GMPSteve posted 02-29-2004 11:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for GMPSteve  Send Email to GMPSteve     
I am also looking for info on the trolling motor. I have seen various boats with a Motorguide hand control with a shaft length of 60-inches. I will be removing the rail and having a custom unit fabricated. Has anybody already done this work?
JohnJ80 posted 02-29-2004 08:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
It ought to work just fine. You may have to have the motor be slightly off center when in the water or have it stow in space slightly into the boat interior area instead of just along the side of the bow. If you make the gate in the bow rail (I've seen this seen these before, they open by pulling a pin), I think it would work pretty slick.

I guess I'm not seeing why it wouldn't work.


RcharlesS posted 04-13-2004 10:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for RcharlesS    
OK, after 6 months of piddling around, I finally have a trolling motor on my 180 Dauntless.

The transom mount motor on a Birdsall mount wouldn't allow retraction under the bow rail. The dealer ended up removing the bow rail and mounting the MinnKota 65 AT on the standard quick dismount bracket. It's ugly, but it'll work. I guess I'll have a bow rail hanging from the garagge ceiling for the next 9 years.

And, I have a Cabela's extendable mount if anyone wants to buy it at a discount.

JohnJ80 posted 04-14-2004 08:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
I don't have a bow rail on mine and I actually like it better. There isn't a security issue at all (and I thought there would be).


jimh posted 04-14-2004 09:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I love the way a thread becomes impossible to read when someone adds a URL that contains 256 characters.

With a URL that long you can describe at least

52^256 (52 raised to the 256th power) different web resources on a single website.

I think that a number like 52^256 is larger than the estimated total number of molecules in the universe.

In general, it is my experience, that any URL longer than about 32 characters is not worth a damn, anyways.

RcharlesS posted 04-16-2004 11:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for RcharlesS    
I'm sorry, jimh. I'd like to edit it into a more readable hotlink, but I don't see an edit option. Would you just delete i for me please?

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