Hi, My seat sits up on a 7" pedestal and my battery is mounted under it (this gives me good weight distribution, focusing my weight and the battery weight in the center of the boat and I can spin around 360) I had my motor mounted on the back in the "out-of-the box" configuration, and turned sideways to steer as the motor pushed me forward. This worked ok and the boat tracked OK but not great I wanted to face forward when motoring plus I read the forums that "pulling" with the motor was more efficient than "pushing" and this also improved tracking. I turned the head of my motor around so now it faces in the same direction as the tiller, mounted it in the middle of the "back" and took the basket off the back of my ColoradoXT. I thought I could just turn my seat around when motoring. Now, I have almost no control...the boat just wants to spin around in a circle it is very quick to shoot off in one direction or another, and very hard to correct, much worse at lower speeds, seems to be slightly better at higher speeds, BUT In the conventional config, the thrust pushes the flat part of the mounting bracket against the mount, so the more thrust, the tighter the bracket is against the mount. This way the thrust pushes the flat part of the mounting bracket away from the mount so as soon as I get to a higher thrust, it is ripping the motor off the mounting bracket, no matter how tightly you clamp it down. When you get done laughing over what must be some rookie mistake, please give me a hint about what's going on here. I posted a pix of my setup before the mod, but the changes are: took basket off the back, moved motor to the center and turned the head around. Thanks everyone! Toongirl
I broke my leg years ago, but still wanted to pontoon. I put a waterproof duffle bag over my cast and a fin on the other foot. As you are experiencing I would do circles. The slightest off center tracking can make a big difference. Try keeping everything in the middle of the pontoons. I am betting it is because your motor is not center.
Lovely picture. Let us know what you find that works best for you.
TD has very good info above, especially about the high seating. Short pontoons that have rocker can be very twitchy to steer at speed, is my experience. One pontoon can dig in more than the other, and it can switch back and forth to the other as the rider weight, thrust, and wind shifts the balance. Your first setup may be as good as it gets, unless you lower the seating so you can use fins to steer as TDC indicated. If you want to experiment, you can try different sizes of rudders at the rear for steering with the motor in a fixed position pushing forward. Hope this helps. PM
Hi, Thanks for the feedback. I does seem like the smallest changes have big unforeseen consequences. I do really like my boat. I love the serenity and quiet of being able to get out on the water to observe and photograph an otherwise unreachable world. But this craft has also activated my inner "Mcgyver" gene. I'll write back as the project evolves. I attached one of my favorite pix- Fishing shack on the Waccamaw River. I'm you can all relate to the feeling. Thanks! Toongirl
I would have to see it actually set up and operational to provide an accurate diagnosis...minus snickers and giggles. Not a laughing matter. I suspect that the problem is one of changed balance and positioning. Sometimes it requires some adjustments to get everything set up just right. And sometimes it takes some compromise. Changing the height of the motor mount...and positioning...changes the angle of thrust. That changes the "footprint" on the water...which changes the lift/thrust/drag ratios. In other words, if you want the maximum efficiency of unilinear thrust you should not turn around to face backward along with the motor. You have altered the "drag" of the rear (front) portion that helps you track in one direction. The pontoons can act like the fletchings on an arrow to regulate the flight path. It is also possible that raising the center of gravity by having the raised seat might be contributing to the imbalance. But it is probably a combination of factors. In short, your creativity and alteration of "standard" setups is not producing the easy rider you hoped for. So you might have to dial it back a couple of notches and see what a more "normal" setup will do. I have known quite a few happy owners of the Colorado...motorized. For the most part they love their craft and have no problems with them. Granted, your use is different than for fishing. Anglers often wear swim fins and sit in the original seats...trailing the fins in the water and using them for hands-free steering assistance when under power. Again, it is like having feathers on an arrow, with applied drag to stabilize the flight. Beyond that, I have no other ideas or suggestions. Keep us posted.
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