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slow speed trolling with twin motors

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  • slow speed trolling with twin motors


    how do most of you with twin engines slow speed troll for fish like rockfish, etc.???

    in gear both engines I go 4-6 knots.

    today I started trolling in one gear for about 10 minutes and then switching in and out between port and star every 10 got me down to 1-3 knots

    I have been told this is bad for the transmissions as they need to be in gear to cool and in neutral the gears are still spinning while in gear on the other engine

    any help would be great

    I do not have trolling valves

  • #2
    Do a search on "trolling bags". Very common on the great lakes for slowing boats (and reduces the side to side motion while trolling as well). Many twin engine charters use them. I use them on my 25.
    2004 Carolina Classic 25 - Little Dandy
    Volvo 8.1 DuoProp


    • #3
      trolling bags

      I just received my set of trolling bags from amish outfitters today. They are the beefy bags. Very easy to use, just have to get the rope length set and throw them over the side (after connecting to boat).


      • #4
        I do believe that you can troll with one engine as long as you keep the other engine running to pump water through the drippless and to keep oil pumping through the gear for lubrication. Trolling with the engine off and the shaft spinning is not good. No fluid flowing in the gear. My mechanic told me that if you ever loose an engine and are using one to come home with to make sure you tie the shaft from turning because of lack of lubrication.

        I troll with one engine all the time for bass. I can get down to 2.5 kts depending on wind and direction.. I can put the engines on slow idle which gets me down to 550 rpm from 600. 50 rpm's is a lot.
        Life is to short for an ugly boat

        2015 Enclosed Helm 35


        • #5
          we have the pipe wrench for the day we have to come in offshore on one engine

          I, was thinking what you said. as long as the engine is on, the coolant still flows

          I keep the engines on, I just switch which one is in gear about every 10 minutes

          I am not going to tow bags/buckets/pieces of my dock behind the boat while trolling

          I have a hard enough time keeping all my rigs in order, don't want to throw another thing to get hung on

          thanks for the replies

          we have no low trolling valves either

          I don't know if the cost.maintenance of the trolling valves make it worth switching in and out of gear


          • #6
            running on one motor

            Wanted to offer some advice on this topic... having received some unwanted practical experience in this last summer.

            I don't have a CC -- have a 29 Blackfin, however, the experience is likely to be relevant. I lost one of my Cummins 6Bs 55 NM off last July on our way home from a day trip to the canyons. Like what many of you have posted here, my boat handles fine on one motor. I can troll, or slug along at 7-8 knots without causing the one motor to labor. She'll even steer on AP just fine like that. I often move the boat on one motor when resetting a drift for fluke, etc, and troll on one motor for bass.

            Well, when we lost the motor, we knew that it was going to be deadly for the ZF gear if we let the shaft free wheel for 8 or 9 hours. So we locked up the shaft.

            I put the other motor in gear, and pushed her up to about 7 knots, and we made this huge circle. Turns out when you lock up that second wheel, the drag caused by a frozen prop is huge compared to free-wheeling, and I had lost my ability to steer. We found that we could steer if we kept it below 6 knots, with the sweet spot being about 5.6 or 5.7 knots. We were steering basically at about 90-95% of the way to the lock, so we couldn't use the autopilot. Needless to say, was a long, long ride home hanging on to the wheel all night long. Fortunately, sea conditions were excellent, and we were inconvenienced, getting home the next morning, but nothing worse.

            So you may want to do yourself a favor, and lock up a wheel, and take the boat for a ride to see what actually happens. I would have given anything for a prop puller... would have been worth the effort to remove the wheel underwater.

            BTW, instead of putting a pipe wrench on the shaft (which I was prepared to do), one of my crew had a simple, but brilliant suggestion. We took a piece of 1/4" briaded line, and tied a loop on the end, which we hooked on the coupling lock screw; took a couple turns around the coupling, then tied it to the motor mount. Best of all, no damage to the shaft.

            Another idea for those of you with dripless shaft logs... pipe the water from the two motors together so either motor can feed both logs. You could put a shut-off that you could open if one shaft is going to freewheel for a while.

            Finally, if conditions had been ugly, and I needed the manuverability, I would have sacrificed the gear, and let the prop freewheel, since getting home safely was more important than damaging the trans. That type of collateral damage would likely have been covered by insurance.

            Last edited by algillen; 12-12-2006, 03:27 PM.


            • #7
              I was under the impression that not being able to drag a prop was old news. I don't know if its right or wrong but I have a 2001 that I've been trolling on one motor in spring and fall for 6 seasons and I do not see any adverse affects. Hopefully I am not mistaking. Any other info would be great.


              • #8
                No problem as long as you keep the engine running for lubrication in the gear.
                Life is to short for an ugly boat

                2015 Enclosed Helm 35