Routing trolling motor wiring

Any suggestions on routing wiring for a trolling motor (I know at least a few of the folks here use them)? The most likely fix seems to be to drill a small hole at the aft end of the stern deck, right in front of the motor mount, and wire an inline connector to the outside. Thoughts?

Also, any suggestions on sealing the deck to avoid future problems?


I did something similar to what you describe. I found a heavy-duty waterproof plug and installed the female end on the afterdeck in the hole I drilled about four inches from the transom and lined up with the motor mount. The plug has a little cap that keeps water from collecting in it when not in use. Before doing that I wired it with, I think, #10 wire so I wouldn't need to crawl in there and do it later. I ran those wires to the proximity of the battery holder. I clipped the red and black wires on the trolling motor leaving about two feet of slack and attached those wires to the male plug.
Fasten the trolling motor to the bracket, plug it in, and go. It looks professional and is very simple to use.
If you were feeling ambitious you could wire one of the male plugs to your charger and plug it in to charge your battery without removing it from the boat.
Many of the parts I used were made by the MinnKota company so you should be able to find them where they sell the motors. I'm pretty sure that West Marine or BoatUS could fix you up.

I did approxiametly the same as Bob did, but it sounds like Bob may have hard wired his cables to the underside of the transom. I have the hole, but the trolling motor had the wires attached so they could not be removed (at least by my non-electrical skills). I wanted the engine easily removable. I mostly wanted it to get me out to and back from the race course faster, but I wanted to remove the engine while racing. It also had to come off whenever I was at mooring because the harbor is too tight to leave it on (very tight harbor).

So, I drilled my hole farther toward the cockpit and father off the center so that(1) I was sure that the tiller would never be stopped by the cap; and (2) when I inserted the wires, I didn't have to crawl under the cockpit to get them and attach them to the battery. I wanted them within easy reach.

I leave the engine attach to the removable part of bracket at all times, which means that I just drop it in the fixed bracket with a couple quick turns to tighten it when I want to use it. I drop the wires through the hole and I'm set. When not in use, I store it under the transom on one side of the boat balanced by the battery on the other side (although closer to the centerline). It can be set up for use or removal in about 60-90 seconds.

I have a solution that (I think) is fairly elegant for my boat, though some might disagree: Motor mount on port side of transom; female power plug with waterproof cap slightly to starboard of the mount on the transom (Allows for easy power connection). The female plug is hard-wired to #10 red/black wires led under the port seats to the fo'c'sle (plastic wire ties glued strategically hold this wiring in place). Under the foredeck, foreward of the mast stepping box, I have JB-Welded a battery plate longitudinally along the keelsom. This beast of a battery I own now acts as forward ballast, placed at the waterline, to better balance the boat when the motor is attached to the transom. As a bonus, it also helps the fat Scot bow section plow through the chop more efficiently, or at least it seems that way to me. BTW, I am "only" 56 and relatively fit, yet I still struggle with motor swapout every time we "troll" out of the cove. Seems like I am playing high-wire walker every time I move out to the aft deck and heave the motor out of its bracket and into the boat before serious "sailing" can begin. I am dying to find out if anyone has tried the mid-boom mainsheet rig suggested by the factory. This looks to me like a good way to keep the motor in place (with some minimal drag, natch) and yet still take the ladies out for an evening glass of wine on the lake. Thoughts?

If you don't know where you are going you gotta be careful, because you might not get there.
--Yogi Berra

I posted a photo of my plug-in trolling motor to Once there, the file name is Bob41 and anyone can view it.
Hope this is helpful.