If you know how to make a motor mount for inflatable boat, you will not need to pay anyone to make one for you. Also, in cases of emergencies, you can create one with materials are your disposal to safeguard your motor. We want to show you how to make a motor mount using DIY methods. And we will also explain the different types of motor mounts.
Why do inflatable boats use motors?
Inflatables and small-sized boats use two paddles or motors for propulsion. While paddling is the old-school way of moving your boat, it is physically intense, and you cover less distance for your troubles. But when you use a motor, you can cover more distance, and you don’t have to exert any physical effort besides controlling the direction of the boat. This is why motors are highly recommended.
Many inflatable boats come with a platform on which to install a motor while others don’t. The former are more expensive than the latter and are not as common. So if you buy an inflatable boat without such a platform, you will have to create one yourself. Setting up the motor mount yourself will help you a great deal. You can enjoy your adventure anytime you are at sea and go further than you possibly could with a paddle.
You only need to dedicate some time to install the mount, and you will be good to go. Let us look at the different types of mounts first before we discuss the steps to take to install one.
Types of mounts
If you know the types of mounts, you will have a clear idea as to where to install your motor when it is time; mounts are of different types and come with different requirements. There are basically three types of mounts, namely transom, engine, and bow mounts. Let us explain them.
A transom mount is perhaps the most popular type of mount used by inflatable boats today. It is cheaper and very easy to install, that is why many boaters prefer it. Transoms are installed at the back of the boat for easy control with a clamp.
If your boat has designed space for it at the back, the better; otherwise, you will have to create space for it. This type is recommended for smaller boats because it makes it easy to operate the motor and navigate the boat effectively.
A bow mount is best used by anglers. Bow mounts are ideal for slightly larger leisure or fishing boats because they give precise control. This mount allows you to maneuver your boat much better than what a transom will allow you, and there are different bow mount sizes and specifications. However, it is not ideal for small inflatable boats, and it is more expensive to acquire.
You should also know that this mount does not work for all boats but those with flat and wide decks. The features your boat should have before it qualifies for a bow mount are
- Enough stow room
- Sufficient equipment space
- Flat surface
If your boat does not have these features, then it means it is not suited for a bow mount.
The third kind of mount is an engine mount. This one has a cavitation plate for an outboard setup. While engine mounts are excellent for larger boats, they are not ideal for inflatable boats. Since more inflatable boats don’t come with mounts or motors, installing this mount is not a good idea.
How to make a mount for your inflatable boat?
Now that you know the different types of mounts, you must have figured out that the best type of mount for your boat is a transom mount. So how do you fix it? Here are the tools you will need to get the job done.
- Mounting Kit
- Screw Driver
- Other tools depending on your setup
With all these tools and your trolling equipment in place, you can get to work. The first thing you need to do is check whether the boat has designed space for the mount.
We recommend that you take this into consideration when buying your inflatable boat. Suppose there is a space for it, all well and good. If there is none, you will have to create space for it. There is mount space equipment you can buy online or from boat shops. You busy install it in the space where you want the mount and glue it with a strong water-resistant adhesive.
With a strong adhesive, the kit will not fall off as you move. With your mounting space in place, you can then proceed to install the mount by following the steps below.
Decide on the mount you want
The first thing you should do before anything else is deciding the kind of motor mount you want. We recommend a transom for your inflatable boat but if you feel that a bow mount will work for you, then go ahead. With this decision made, you need to decide whether you want to install it on the left or the right side of the boat.
Let your steering preference influence your choice as there is no bad spot for it. Choose the starboard or the port side.
Assemble the motor
Now assemble the motor by following the manufacturer’s direction. If it is a new motor, you don’t have to assemble anything since all the parts are already in place. Once the motor is fully set, attach it to the kit. You may also need to secure it with the panels provided. If there are none, no problem, but make sure all screws are fitted tightly.
Set up the shaft
Set up the shaft in the middle, left, or right of the boat. Just pick a spot that is convenient for you.
Install the Stand Holder
Prepare the motor stand before anything else. This process, however, is not important if your inflatable boat already has a pre-designed space. If it does not have this space, you will need to attach the stand holder that comes with the mount kit. Just position the stand where you want it to be and lace it with glue to hold it in place. The best spot is where you want your trolling motor to be.
Position the mount on the bow tip
The next step is to position the mount on the top of the bow. This move should not affect your original setup, or it will create a problem when you install the motor.
Install the Motorhead
At this point, place the motor head on the spot you want it permanently installed and mark the spot. Make sure the motor is not hanging or placed in an awkward position. Once you are satisfied with the spot, remove it and drill holes on the mount itself. Ensure that the holes you drill are not too big or too small but just the right fit.
With your holes in place, attach the motor to the point and screw tightly. Recheck to be sure the screws are properly placed, and they will not come off if the boat tilts from one direction to the next.
Set the bottom
Set the bottom or base of the motor and ensure that it aligns with the motor. You can use additional screws to fasten it. With that sorted out, check your work for errors and fix them should you notice any.
Set the Motor wire
To conclude the installation, set the motor wire in place and free of obstruction. Make sure that nothing is resting in the wire. With that done, your work is complete
Things to consider when installing a motor mount
Here are some things to consider when installing a motor mount.
Ascertain the height
You need to be sure that the motor height is right for your boat. If it is too high or too low, you will have difficulty steering the motor while your boat is in motion. So do not let the height of the structure of your boat influence your motor positioning. Motors should be positioned at a proper angle for easy maneuvers.
Mind the tilt
Another thing to bear in mind is the tilt adjustment. When in motion, the motor should tilt inward, not forward. This position will help you achieve sufficient stability and support
How to make motor mount Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ideal motor horsepower for an inflatable boat?
The ideal motor horsepower for a standard inflatable boat is a 3 HP motor. This engine can go at a speed of 5 miles per hour at full speed. Furthermore, it can run for 10-12 hours with sufficient fuel.
Is it right to use a much more powerful engine or to run at maximum speed?
While a stronger engine may help you move at top speed, it creates problems as well. Firstly, you will have great difficulty steering the boat. Secondly, too much speed may cause your boat to capsize.
What is the best motor mount for inflatable boats?
The best motor mount for inflatable boats is a transom mount. You can also use a bow mount given certain favorable conditions.
Is an engine mount suitable for an inflatable boat?
No, engine mounts are not good for inflatable boats. They are best for bigger and heavier boats
Do I need to create a design outlet for my boat?
That will depend on your boat’s design. If your boat already has one, there will be no need for it. However, if it doesn’t have one, you will need to install a mount holder first before installing the mount.
Should I install the mount in the middle, left, or right of the boat?
Do not install your mount and motor in the middle of the stern side. Mounts and motor ls should be installed on the left or right side of the boat. The side you pick should be a thing of choice.
Why is a transom mount the better option for inflatable boats?
A transom mount allows you to maneuver your boat easily and quickly at top speeds. Other mounts will make this a difficult task.
Yes, height does matter. If the motor is too far down, steering will be difficult. If it is too far up, the propellers will not connect with the water enough, which will cause it to lose power and reduce your speed. Propellers should not be too far down or too high above the water.
Making a motor mount for your inflatable boat is not something that should take your time. If your boat already has a pre-designed outlet for a mount, you can go ahead to install the mount and the motor. But if it lacks one, you can create a space for it. After installing the motor on the mount, make sure you screw tightly, so it doesn’t fall off.