Trolling motor for 17 foot Hunter?

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Mar 21, 2013
1
Hunter 17 Benton, KY
We purchased a 17' Hunter at the end of last summer. We had difficulty hoisting the sails, as the wind kept pushing us back to the marina. We are considering a small trolling motor to get us away from the dock, so this action can be completed safely. My concern is: would the motor interfere with the rudder? Hunter does sell a motor mount, so this probably isn't an issue? Does anyone have any experience/advice? We sail Kentucky Lake. We used to sail Lake Michigan on a Catalina 22 with a trolling motor. We would sail out of the harbor prior to hoisting the sails. I truly appreciate any input or advise.
 
Jul 4, 2012
10
hunter 170 Shelbyville
Plenty of threads on this topic, but I've had the same experience. I sail on a small, narrow lake that has high bluffs all around, so sailing to and from the dock can be difficult as the wind changes direction and changes in intensity. I decided to get a motor right away, and purchased a low-hours but clean Honda 2 hp from a guy. Unfortunately it took me all season to get the motor mount; I didn't have it in my hands until a week after I put my boat in storage. I'm waiting for things to thaw before I attempt the installation - sure don't want to crack the hull! I'm really looking forward to being able to motor away from the dock. There are a couple launch sites on the lake that most days I can't use because they are so well protected from the wind that I can't make it out to the main body of the lake. I've also gotten stuck in some quiet bays because there's no wind in them. I'm also looking forward to trailering to either your lake or Carlyle Lake so I can have some bigger, open water to sail on instead of constantly tacking and gybing my way around.
 

lokiii

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Apr 12, 2010
30
Hunter 170 SLO
On the occasion I use my motor (2hp Honda short shaft) I lift the rudder with the rope pulls so that the end is still in the water but doesn't hit the prop. I usually just point the motor straight and steer with the rudder.
 

txjim

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Sep 4, 2007
154
Hunter 170 Grapevine Lake, TX
My 2.5hp mercury does not seem to interfer with the rudder on my 170. Most of the time the motor is locked and I steer with the rudder with the motor coming to play only at slow speeds. No slashes in the rudder thus far.
 
Oct 8, 2009
134
Hunter 170 Lake Sammamish WA
As noted, first you're going to need a motor mount. For my 2 cents, you should have it mounted by a dealer to make sure it is securely fastened to the hull. There is a bit of torque applied to the hull when the engine "goosed" and you don't want the motor mount coming loose. I've got the Honda 2HP air cooled engine that will push my 170 close to 6 MPH at full or nearly full throttle. These engines are pricy (around $1200 for a new one).

You might be able to find a decent used engine if price is a consideration. However, I highly recommend getting one with an idle feature. Slow the engine down to idle and the prop stops spinning. Since these small engines typically don't have a shift lever (forward, neutral and reverse), IMHO it's very important to have the "idle" feature. Otherwise, as soon as the engine is running, you're MOVING and you might not be ready for that.

I tried an older 2HP engine without the idle feature and I found myself bumping into other boats when I wasn't ready to move. This kind of engine works fine when you're OUT there, but starting from a dock and other congested areas, it's not the best thing to happen.

I use my engine to get off my mooring and when I get about maybe 300' out, I pop up my main and only then, shut off the engine. I then tilt the engine up to that I'm only using my ship's rudder.
 
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txjim

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Sep 4, 2007
154
Hunter 170 Grapevine Lake, TX
Motor mount is fastened with stainless wood screws using a block of plywood embedded in the upper deck foam. Beyond using normal precautions to keep water intrusion in check, it's not difficult. Your comment about proper torque is correct to the extent that one does not want to damage the wood.
 

JerryA

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Oct 17, 2004
547
Tanzer 29 Jeanneau Design Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie
36lb Thrust

I used a 36lb thrust Minkota when I had my H170. Worked well. I think the only time the plastic prop hit the rudder was if each were turned toward each other.

JerryA
 
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