The Garmin force trolling motor has maintained its reputation as one of today’s best Force Trolling motors in the boating industry. It is very easy to use, highly efficient, and operates both above and below the waterline, fast and quietly.
Although the Garmin force trolling motor is powerful and of good quality, it also has a few downsides. If you’re looking to purchase or already have one, this article will guide you through everything you need to know about the Garmin Force Trolling Motor.
What Is a Force Trolling Motor, and what does it do?
Before going in deep, let’s first clarify what a trolling motor is!
If you’ve ever been on a fishing boat, you’ll notice there’s a unit or a device installed at the front of the boat, especially when there is strong wind or current, that is, a trolling motor. It allows the boat to maintain a stable position, especially against currents and winds. It also helps move and maneuver your boat quietly with the outboard engines turned off.
A trolling motor includes an electric motor, a propeller, and controls. It is usually attached to the bow or stern of an angler’s boat. The outboard of a trolling boat is powered by gasoline; however, it is not the primary power source of the device’s mobility.
If the boat’s engine turns back on and the trolling motor is still in the water, it will cause drag, preventing the bolt from moving. Therefore, it has to be turned off and removed quickly.
How Do Garmin trolling motors work?
The Garmin trolling motor might have a few unique features, but it works like any other one. Once your trolling motor has been set and launched into the water, the propeller will start to turn very quickly. As the propeller turns, it creates a force that helps enhance the stability and maneuvering of your boat. The propeller also helps cut through weeds and dirt easier.
Features of The Garmin Trolling Motor and What They Do
Garmin is an American technology brand specializing in GPS technology for various devices. The Garmin trolling motor comes with a lot of exciting and modernized features.
Here are the features you should expect in the Garmin force trolling motor, what they do, and how they work.
One of the main attractions of the Garmin force trolling motor is its brushless motor. Brushless motors are highly efficient, have good power density, outstanding speed torque, and low maintenance.
So, it basically runs faster, uses less battery power for twice the work, and does not require any major maintenance procedures.
Having a brushless motor comes with a couple of benefits, and we will discuss them below.
- Efficiency – With actual proof, the Garmin force trolling motor has the longest run time on the market. The batteries are stronger and can last you up to more than 10 hours on the water before a recharge is needed. Not only does it buy you more time on the water, but it also means the batteries do not need to be charged constantly. Batteries are damaged faster than you realize when they are overcharged.
- Quiet Operation – Because brushless motors have no moving parts, they operate very quietly. Above the water, the robust steering design of the motor allows it to function comfortably without noise. And below the water, the brushless system eliminates every source of sonar noise.
- Sonar Integration – The Garmin force is trolling motor also comes with the ClearVu & SideVu sonar scanners and wide CHIRP sonar, all from Garmin. The ClearVu and SideVu sonar scanners use a beam to provide clear images of anything below the water, such as objects, structures, and fish. And the CHIRP means “Compressed High-Intensity Radar Pulse.” What this does is it shows fish that the ClearVü and SideVü cannot.
If you’ve been in the boating industry for a long time, you’ll know that many trolling motors don’t come with a display. Because there are no displays, you will constantly have to look around to see what the motor is doing, such as your battery level, whether or not your anchor lock is on, what speed you are on, and all that can be a little exhausting.
However, the Garmin force trolling motor provided a solution to that problem. It comes with a screen that displays your boat’s speed and mode. It’s a rectangular-shaped screen with various keys and buttons.
On top of the display screen, there are three light indicators.
- Battery indicator – On the display screen, the first thing you will see from your top left corner is the battery indicator. It tells you what battery level your motor is on. The light turns green when your charge is complete, and it turns yellow when it’s fifty percent, and then it turns red when it’s at ten percent and below. Once the indicator turns red, you have less than an hour to recharge or replace the battery before it goes off completely.
- GPS Indicator – The center light is the GPS indicator. When the light turns green, the GPS is connected to the device.
- Motor and Pedal Paring – The last light by the right on top of the display screen is the motor and pedal paring indicator. When the trolling motor is on, and the light turns green, you know that the motor and the pedal are successfully paired.
Moving further down on the display screen, there are four buttons with an indicator light between them.
- Power Button – The power button is on the top left corner. It is used to power the trolling motor on and off and pairs it with the pedal. When you turn the button on, the indicator comes on.
- Heading Hold – The heading hold button is on the bottom left corner. The heading hold feature is an autopilot function that sets and maintains the current heading of the boat.
- Current operational mode – The current operating mode is on the top right corner. It has a light that tells you what current mode your motor is on.
- Anchor Lock – On the bottom right corner is the anchor lock. It also includes a light on top indicating whether your anchor lock is engaged or disengaged.
- Power indicator – The power indicator tells you what speed you are going, and it’s at the middle of the four buttons and big.
Robust And Reliable Design
The Garmin force trolling motor was designed to have a robust and reliable mount. With competing trolling motors brands, you lose balance on the boat, and the motor tends to fall off very quickly if you hit a barrier such as rock or stump. However, the Garmin force trolling motor will not break away.
Also, because the joints are designed to flex, the Force trolling motor can withstand pressure.
Below are a few unique design aspects of the Force trolling motor.
- Two Gas assist springs and One-handed stow/deploy – The two gas helper springs and the one-handed stow/deploy help when stowing the Garmin force motor.
- Cable Management – The cable management feature on the Garmin trolling motor protects your transducer. When deploying your motor, it removes the risk of your cables being pinched or cut by falling between your trolling motor base.
- Park Feature – Normally with other trolling motors, you must use the foot pedal to turn the propeller off when you bring the motor up to settle on the boat. The park feature of the Garmin force trolling motor, on the other hand, allows you to schedule the propeller to turn off from inside or outside the boat. Once you lift the motor out of the water, it automatically turns the propeller off and parks itself.
The waterproof foot pedal is another way to control the Garmin force trolling motor. It comes already pre-programmed and paired with the motor, so you do not have to pair anything. When you take your foot off the pedal, it will go to sleep mode.
Below are the valuable features of the foot pedal.
- Instant Control and responsiveness – It is very easy to use, and it feels and steers just like the cable-steered pedal. So, if you are familiar with the cable-steered pedal, then you are good to go! Lastly, the pedal is designed to fit the comfortably standard human foot.
- Foot actuated buttons come with four different foot-actuated buttons: Speed adjustment, heading lock, anchor lock, and momentary/continuous buttons.
- Wireless or wire power installation – The foot pedal is powered by two AA batteries, which can last you up to a year. If, however, you want to hardwire the foot pedal to your battery, you can; it comes with a hardwire.
The Garmin force trolling water also comes with remote Control. Like the foot pedal, it controls the motor, paired and programmed to the motor already.
Below are the notable features of the remote Control.
- Full color, readable sunlight transflective display – Makes the screen easy to read under bright sunny weather. The screen display of the remote gets brighter as the sun does, so you do not have to strain your eyes at all.
- Main Screen Shows Trolling Motor status – All functions of the Garmin force trolling motor are shown on the main screen of the remote Control; they include battery status, operating mode, GPS signal strength, propeller, speed, etc. This makes it easier to use because you will not have to worry about exploring the buttons to find a specific command – it is all in front of you.
- Point and go with gesture steering allows you to control the boat with a hand gesture.
- Wireless data transmission – Enables you to transfer data wirelessly through the remote Control.
- Chartplotter (User Programmable Keys) – There are four user-programmable keys below the remote Control’s main screen. The keys enable you to create a custom combination screen. Each of the four keys is like a station, and you can save any of your favorite features in them. Whenever you want to view any of your features, press the particular key you saved, and the screen will come on.
- Rugged Floating Design – The remote is designed to be rocky, waterproof, and floats, which means you don’t have to worry about it getting lost or sinking.
- Replaceable Batteries – It uses AA replaceable batteries with an expected life of 1 entire fishing season.
Precise Boat Control
The Garmin force trolling motor comes with precise boat control. The precise boat control feature includes a series of auto-pilot functions that allows you to control the boat remotely, so you don’t have to do them manually.
These functions are:
- Heading/COG Hold – This allows you to take any particular course or heading like to take. Once you point your boat in that direction and then press the button on the remote, it takes you there.
- Anchor Lock w/jog – The precise anchor lock lets you hold your boat in one location while you fish.
- Cruise control – The cruise control feature adjusts and maintains your boat overground. And it automatically adjusts for changes in wind and current.
- Follow a route or track – The Garmin force auto-pilot functions allows you to follow a particular route or track accurately. Most trolling motors on the market today can only take you 5 minutes through a route.
- Record a track – This allows you to record a track you are taking if you want to follow it later.
- Navigate to a waypoint – Using the buttons; you can navigate to any location. This is useful in instances where there are obstacles in your way, such as a large bass.
- Gesture Steering – You can control the boat with your hands with this feature. The boat will automatically follow your hand if you push and hold the button and then aim in whatever direction you choose.
The Chartplotter integration system gives you complete Control of the trolling motor from the Chartplotter. It will provide a menu bar on top of your screen that gives you full access to all functions and actions of the Garmin Force trolling motor.
Trolling Motor Arrival Mode
With the trolling motor arrival mode, you can do an entire route or waypoint, and when you get to your destination, the trolling motor will automatically go into anchor lock. However, you must do the latest software update to gain access to this feature. You can update your software through the Activecaptain app.
The majority of trolling motors available today can only be used in freshwater or saltwater. On the other hand, Garmin has incorporated the development into their Garmin force trolling motor. It can be used on freshwater, saltwater, and brackish water.
The Garmin Force Trolling Motor Parts
For any motor, it is very important to learn about its different parts, how they work and how to maintain them. This will help you diagnose the problem if one comes up.
The Garmin force trolling motor Parts are in three categories, and they are
- Shaft and Cable
- Propeller Drive Motor Parts
- Mount Parts
Shaft and Cable
The shaft and cable are the most important section of the trolling motor. The shaft is the long beam that connects the propeller motor and the other end of the motor. The power cable is the main power supply of the motor.
So, the shaft unites the motor while the cable powers it.
Below are the parts of the shaft and cable section:
- Power Cable
- Shaft Cap
- Coil Cable
- Depth Adjustment
- Pull cable and Handle
- 60 A circuit breaker
- Power Cable plug accessory
- Foot pedal cable replacement
Propeller Drive Motor Parts
The propeller drive motor is the other motor part that does the work.
- Propeller drive motor
- Nose cone
- Motor anode
- Lower nose cone
- Transducer pad
Here is a list of mount parts that you should find on your device.
- Lower gas spring arm and shaft stabilizer
- Lower gas spring
- Mount lower link
- Display panel
- Upper gas spring
- Mount base
How to install the Garmin Force Trolling Motor
The Garmin force trolling motor comes in six different parts, and they are:
- The base
- The foot pedal
Assembling and Installation
Before we begin the installation, here are the tools you’ll need:
- A drill with a 5/16 drill bit
- Phillip screwdrivers, 1 and 2
- 3 and 4 mm or 5/32 in hex bits or wrencher
- 14 mm socket, and a torque wrench
Motor Tool Kit
Now let’s take a look at the tool kit before installing it. The Garmin force trolling motor kit has six bags labeled A to F.
- Bag A contains parts for mounting the motor to the boat deck.
- Bag B has parts for securing the steering system to the lower section of the mount.
- Bag C contains the parts for connecting the upper and lower gas springs.
- Bag D includes parts for the upper portion of the mount’s steering system.
- Bag E consists of the part for the pull cable handle.
- And finally, Bag F is for securing the cables to the mount.
Here is how to install your Garmin force trolling motor.
First, choose where you want your motor to be installed. The boat’s motor must be mounted on the bow. It is suggested that you put your trolling motor on the boat’s port side, as close to the boat’s center as possible.
Mounting the base
- The next step is to mount the trolling motor to the boat deck, using tools from bag A.
- Take out the motor base and pivot the mount’s top part up and back to access the mounting holes.
- Select and mark the locations of the mounting holes on the boat deck; for accuracy, you can use the motor base as a template.
- Now, take out the base, and drill the pilot holes with a 5/16 drill bit. You must not drill the hole with the base on.
- Bring the safety strap, and place it under the mount base, close to the center. Make sure the hook and loop fasteners are facing forward, and keep the ring close to the motor base, so it does not flap around when not in use.
- You must put the strap before mounting the base. Otherwise, it will not be possible to mount the base with the motor base bolted down.
- Now, place the base mount on the boat deck. Ensure it aligns with the mount holes.
- Using the included bolts, washers, and brass locking nuts from bag A, secure the mount to the boat deck.
Installing the Steering System
For this part, we will use parts from bag B.
- First, pivot the lower half of the mount forward until it locks into the base.
- Push the safety rod into the mount as far as possible.
- Now, insert the bushings into the lower holes on the steering system housing from the inside out. Try not to alter the bushings in any way.
- Next, take the pull cable up, and place the steering system housing onto the lower half of the mount. Make sure to align the lower holes on the housing with the holes on the mount.
- Push the pivot pin through the housing and mount to hold it in place. Do not hit the pin with any object.
- Lastly, route the pull cable through the steering housing.
Securing the upper gas spring
Parts from bag C will be used for the section.
- First, push the safety rod towards the steering system housing as far as possible. The safety pin will lock the lower pin into place.
- Grab the gas spring, align the single hole on the base with the safety rod, press down, and install the screws.
- Install the bushings in the upper holes on the steering system housing from the outside in.
- Now, pivot the top of the mount forward and push the top of the steering system housing inward, aligning the holes on the mount and housing.
- Push the pin through the holes on top of the mount and the steering system housing. Try not to hit the pin with a hammer or any object.
- Secure the pin using the 4 mm screws and washer on both sides.
- Next, route the cable from the steering system housing to the display panel on the top of the mount.
- Push it into the port on the display panel and turn the locking ring clockwise to secure the connector. The connector is keyed to go into the port only one way, and when aligned correctly, it will simply fit. Please do not force the connector into the port; this can bend the pins and cause damage.
Installing the handle on the pull cable
For this section, we will use parts from the bag E.
- First, insert the pull cable through the hole in the bottom half of the handle and washers.
- Then push the R-pin through the hole on the end of the pull cable.
- Pull the cable down until the washers and R-pin are in the handle’s bottom half.
- Secure the top of the handle to the bottom of the handle with screws and a #1 Phillips screwdriver.
Routing the power and the transducer cables
Bag F is required for this section.
- The first you need to know about the power and transducer cables is to route them through the right side of the mount to avoid damages.
- Measure 16 inches from the power line’s connection to the steering system housing on the power cord, mark the point on the cable for later.
- Route the transducer cable through the channel on the right side of the mount while the motor is in the deploy position.
- Then route the power cable through the channel above the transducer cable.
- Using a 3 mm hex bit or wrench, bring the two cables in where you marked 16 and secure them with a cable bracket with two screws. With the second and third brackets, repeat the process at the bottom of the mount where they exit the channel and at the plastic portion of the mount base near the boat deck.
- Now, install an additional plastic cable clip to secure the transducer cable to the power cable if and where needed. There are two plastic cables in the bag for that.
- If necessary, attach the transducer cable to the power cable with an additional plastic cable clip. Two plastic wires are included in the pack for this purpose.
Securing the lower gas spring
This section requires the remaining parts from bag C.
- First, align the hole on the base of the lower gas spring with the safety rod and press down.
- Use a #2 Phillips screwdriver to fasten the lower spring’s base to the mount using the provided screws.
Installing the propeller
Parts for this section can be found in the propeller box.
- First, insert the pin through the propeller motor shaft.
- Grab the propeller, align the channel with the pin and slide them onto the motor shaft.
- Place the anode, washer, lock washer, and nut on the end of the motor shaft.
- Tighten the lock nut to secure the propeller.
- A circuit breaker rated for constant 60 amps must also be attached to the power source. This is not included with the Force trolling motor, but it is available on the Garmin website.
- Congratulations! You have successfully installed your Garmin force trolling motor.
How to use the Garmin force trolling motor
When it comes to using the Garmin trolling motor, two things control the motor:
- The remote Control
- The foot pedal
How to Use the Remote Control
The first thing to master when controlling your Garmin Force trolling motor is the remote Control.
Below are the steps to follow on how to launch your remote Control:
STEP 1 – Installing the batteries
The remote Control operates on double AA batteries; I recommend using lithium batteries for the best result.
- First, Turn the D-ring on the remote anti-clockwise, then pull the cover to remove.
- Now, insert the two AA batteries, observe the terminals.
- Then place the cover and turn the D-ring clockwise to secure.
STEP 2 – Attaching a lanyard
Attaching the lanyard is entirely optional; however, it is very helpful. With the lanyard, you don’t have to worry about misplacing your remote Control, as you can hang it on your wrist, neck, or somewhere.
- Grab your lanyard and insert the loop through the slot from the back of the remote.
- Now, thread the other end of the lanyard through the loop and pull tightly.
- Again, place the lanyard around your neck or wrist if necessary, to keep it tethered while in use.
STEP 3 – Navigating the remote control keys
Before anything, let’s first learn and identify the different keys and indicators of the remote Control.
Below are the keys on the remote Control and what they do
- On and off key – There is a button on the top right side of your remote Control. It is used to power the remote Control on and off.
- The cruise control key – The first key on the remote Control is the cruise control key; with it, you can set and hold the cruise control at the current speed over ground or SOG.
- Propeller speed key – The propeller key is just to the right of the cruise control key. You can use the propeller key to adjust the speed of the propeller.
- Manual control key – You can use this key to control the motor manually. It allows you to hold and steer the motor with gestures. It is right below the cruise control key.
- Propeller on/off key – This key turns the propeller on and off.
- Menu navigating keys – Right below the first set of four keys above are menu navigating keys. Each one has a triangular sign on it that points in different directions. You can use the left and right keys in heading hold or manual Control to make a single-degree step turn or hold for rudder steering. Then, press the forward or backward keys in heading hold or manual Control to adjust speed or hold for continuous speed changes.
- Heading key – The first key below the menu navigating keys is the heading key. You can press the heading key to set and maintain the current heading or hold to set the heading hold by positioning the remote for gesture control. Make sure you calibrate the compass in your remote Control before using the gesture control feature.
- Anchor lock key – The anchor lock key is the left of the heading key. You can press to engage the anchor lock feature.
- Menu key – Use it to open and close the remote Control’s menu. It is right below the heading key.
- Waypoint keys – You can use this key to mark the waypoint when you’re connected to a compatible Garmin Chartplotter.
- Favorite keys – These are the last four keys on the Garmin force trolling motor. They are each labeled 1 to 4, and you can save your favorite screen on them for easy access.
STEP 4 – Using the remote control screen
- Battery icon – The trolling motor battery voltage is on the top left of the screen. Press the settings menu to view the battery level.
- Propeller icon – Next, the battery indicator is the propeller icon. The propeller icon shows the status of the propeller, it is only shown when the propeller motor is on, and it goes off when the propeller is not active.
- GSP signal icon – This icon shows the GPS signal status of the trolling motor.
- Operational status – Below the first three sets of icons on the screen in the field, which show the functional status of the trolling motor.
- Prop indicator – This shows the speed level of your propeller.
- SOG (Speed over ground) – Right beside the prop indicator is the SOG indicator. This shows the speed over the ground with the units specified.
STEP 5 – Pairing the remote Control with your Garmin motor
The motor should already paired with the remote Control; however, if yours isn’t, you’ll need to reconnect them, and that’s easy!
Here is how to do it:
- First, ensure your remote Control is powered off.
- Then, to enter pairing mode, hit the power button three times on the trolling motor display.
- The motor status indicator will flash blue as it searches for a connection.
- Now, bring the remote within at least 3 feet of the display panel of the trolling motor.
- Turn on the remote Control and select the MENU button.
- Navigate to the SETTINGS and select.
- Next, select remote Control, and under that, select pair and start.
- When the connection is successful, the motor indicator will turn green.
How to Use The Foot Pedal
The Garmin foot pedal can also operate the trolling motor, just like the remote.
Below are parts of the Garmin force foot pedal, and they are for:
- Momentary propeller control – A large button the size of a large toe on the top left corner of the foot pedal. The button is used to turn on and off the propeller at a set speed. Hold to turn on, and release to turn off.
- Speed wheel – A wheel is located on the far-right corner of the foot pedal. The propeller speed can be adjusted by rotating the wheel both ways. To increase, rotate away from you, and to decrease, rotate towards you.
- Steering pedal – There are two keys in the foot pedal area where you place your foot. One for your toes and one for your heel. The motor can be navigated using the keys. To turn the motor clockwise, push the pedal with your toes, and to turn the motor anti-clockwise, push the pedal with your heels.
- Status LED – The Status LED indicates the status of your foot pedal. It is located at the bottom-left corner of the foot pedal.
- Continuous propeller control – Used to power the propeller on and off.
- Heading hold – This key is used to keep the current heading. Turn heading hold off, stop the propeller, and return to manual Control. It is located just below the status LED.
- Anchor lock – The last key on the foot pedal is the anchor lock key, which is located at the bottom right corner of the foot pedal. Anchor lock uses the trolling motor to maintain your position. Press to turn on and off.
Pros and Cons of the Garmin Force Trolling Motor
Here are the pros and cons of buying the Garmin Force trolling motor.
- Easy cable management – The Garmin Force trolling motor has an excellent cable management system.
- Easy to lift – Although it is huge, the Garmin Force has an easy assist feature that makes it very easy to lift with one hand.
- Brushless motor – The Garmin Force trolling is one of the first and highest quality brushless motors on the market.
- Quiet operation – The Garmin Force trolling motor is brushless and operates without noise.
- Wireless cable pad – It has a wireless Foot pedal with foot-actuated buttons. So, you can move the pedal to any part of the boat you want and still control the motor from there.
- Versatile volt usage – You can run the Garmin Force on 24volts or 36volts.
- Large size – The Garmin Force trolling is generally bigger than an average trolling motor. It could be inconvenient for you if you don’t want it taking up so much space on your boat. It also limits the portability of the motor.
- Unstable pairing – Although the devices such as the remote and wireless foot pedal come already paired to the motor, some users complain about the remote and the foot pedal not working with the motor. Nevertheless, this can be fixed easily. See the troubleshooting section above for more guidance on this problem.
How Much Does Garmin Force Trolling Motor Cost?
In general, the price of the Garmin force trolling motor depends on the supplier or distributor. However, there is an average cost.
There are two types of Garmin force trolling motor and they are:
- Garmin Force Trolling Motor 50 in
- Garmin Force Trolling Motor 57 in
The average price of the Garmin Force trolling Motor
- 50 in is about $3,549.99, and,
- 57 in is about $3,649.99
There is only a $100 price difference between the two.
Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQS)
Answer: Yes, The Garmin force trolling motor can be used in freshwater, saltwater, and brackish water.
Answer: Yes, it does. The Garmin Force trolling motor uses wireless Chartplotter connectivity for navigation, autopilot, and anchor lock features to keep your boat in the same spot while you fish.
Answer: The Garmin force trolling motor comes with a GT54UHD transducer, a high-frequency transducer that operates at the ClearVu Chirp 800kHz (760-880kHz,) and SideVu 1200kHz frequencies (1020-1230 kHz).
Answer: On select Garmin versions, the Force additionally has a cable management system for Garmin’s Panoptix and Panoptix LiveScope sonars (e.g., ECHOMAP Ultra).
Answer: The item weighs about 109.07 pounds, and the voltage is 24 volts.
Without a doubt, the Garmin Force trolling motor is the best trolling motor on the market today. It is strong, easy to use, and has various valuable and fascinating features. My personal favorite of the features is the point-and-go gesture. By just hitting a button on the remote control, you can navigate your boat by moving your hand in any direction, and it follows. Although the motor is very big, it comes with an easy assist that enables you to lift it out onto the boats easily.
The foot pedal is wireless, has foot-actuated buttons, and is powered by AA batteries. Also, the remote Control and pedal are already paired with the motor. I could go on and on about the Garmin Force trolling motor, and there will still be more; it is excellent.
If you are looking to get the Garmin trolling motor or already have one, this article has everything you need to know as a new owner.
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