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I had a 15' aluminum runabout with a 70hp Mariner years ago. I installed a Happy Troller and it stopped the boat. I added a notch to deploy it at 45 degrees down and added a hole to let some of the flow through the plate. So, yes it worked. Not exactly as planned.

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I had a happy troller a few years back. It worked fine but on my new boat I don't have one and won't be putting one on. The happy troller I had was a pain at times and wouldn't "catch". Then I forgot to put it up one time and bent the heck out of it. I use buckets with holes drilled in them now instead of trolling bags and they work well. Plus, it makes the boat a little more stable in waves.

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I had a happy troller on my previous boat. It trolled it down almost to a stop and I always had to give it additional throttle just to then get back up to trolling speed. Worked great in terms of trolling. What it really did bad was make my boat not plane properly at high speed. It always wanted to porpoise and I could never get up to full speed. Although my new boat has a kicker which I use most of the time in calmer seas, in rough water I still use the main engine and trolling bags. I have a set from Omish Outfitters that have performed very well for me plus they really help stabilize your speed and control in the rough stuff where the happy troller will not. Get the bags!!!

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I used an auto-trolling plate on my old boat, and it worked well. It brought the speeds down to low 2's. Sometimes much slower depending on current/waves.

Chris

I should have mentioned I now use bags with the new boat and am much happier with the bags.

Chris

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i guess im the odd man out. i,ve used the bags and they do slow you down, but i just didnt like putting them out. i,ve used the happy troller myself and liked it. didnt have any problems putting it down or back up. just kick the boat into neutral and pull the cord, then put the boat in reverse to lock the plate down. then troll. then just do it the other way when your done. put the boat in neutral pull the cord and hold it then put it in forward gear, then give it alittle gas and let go of the cord, then give it more gas to raise it up and lock.

but now i did forget to raise it and took off, it bent the crap out of it. so i found a better mouse trap. the easy troller is about the same thing, but the bottom half is hinged and spring loaded, so if you forget and take off with the plate down it will swing up and not bend the whole plate up. the easy troller is a much better plate. if you decide to go with the easy troller there is one on ebay right now for 65.00 plus 20.00 shipping.

i dont really know just how slow my easy troller will go, but i have trolled many times at 1.5 which is slow enough to cover most trolling. but it goes even alittle slower than the 1.5. i had to idle the motor up just alittle to run the 1.5.

dont get me wrong, im not telling you not to try the trolling bags. they do slow you down and help with boat control in rough water. but myself i liked the easy troller much better than the happy troller or the bags. now its up to you.

sherman

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i also forgot to tell you if your interested in getting an easy troller, which i still think is the best trolling plate, you can get them brand new at boatersoutlet.com for 99.99 plus shipping. just make sure and dont get the small one. they are the same price as the full size plate.

sherman

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I have a brand new never used Cabela's Hydro-troll. This is a combination hydro foil and trolling plate. The hydro foil will help a boat get up on a plane faster. Has a flip down trolling plate with shear pins. Been sitting in the basement for many years. I got it but then found some bags at a garage sale and went with them since I didn't want to drill holes in my outdrive to mount it. $45 bucks if your interested.

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I talked to a few guys who had bent manually deployed trolling while I was shopping for my trolling plate. Seems as if guys were forgetting to put them up before taking off and either bent the plate or broke the shear pin. I ended up buying a Trol-A-Matic and have been very happy.

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Bags Bags Bags forget the trolling plate. Since you said you were gonna do buckets I will donate my secret bucket method first throw the handles away. Now cut the top of the bucket at a angle to form a scoop put a 3in hole in the center of the bottom 2in if you really want to slow down. now drill a 1/2 hole on the side of the bottom you cut down to form the scoop. Pass the rope thru the 1/2 hole and thru a large flat washer and leave enough rope to reach back into your boat once they are deployed probably 6 to 8 ft put a large knot behind the washer and a guide on the short side of the bucket above the rope hole. Now when you deploy them they will plane away and down so they won't be banging on your hull all day. The knot and washer will keep the rope from pulling thru, take the rope from the back of the bucket and tie it to a rear cleat, to pull them just grab the rear rope and pull them in. That is the best I can give you for free LOL.

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I've used them on a couple of different boats. Currently on a 19ft aluminum with a 150. They work well, the only trouble i've found is trying to find a good place for the cord. I picked the current one up off of craigslist for 35.

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just thought i might mention they have a easy troller which is the better one on ebay right now for 55.00 plus 20.00 for shipping. they also have a happy troller for 50.00 plus 15.77 for shipping. i,ve been using the easy troller for awhile now and have no complaints.

sherman

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I have a happy troller on my boat. It was cracked in the weak spot. I had a buddy weld some reinforcements on the plate so it will not bend there again. Is it a bad thing for doing that? Will I brake something if I forget to put it up? Please I'm not hijacking this thread!!!

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