Jon Boat ArduBoat first project/What you wish you had known to start

Hey all, I’m about to embark on my first ArduBoat, This will be a manned 12 foot Jon boat with a Trolling motor controlled by a DC pwm module, The steering of that trolling motor will be handled by the communities recommendation I’m thinking this D845WP servo. I’m going to use this steering triangle connected to some rods for steering.

my question for the community is before you started your first project what is something you wish you had known? and hearing my project do you have any recommendations for me?

Usually users wish they had read the documentation before they started purchasing and building.


I wish I hadn’t bought cheap components.
If I had started with high quality conponent from the beginning I not only would have saved myself a lot of time and probably cut the build time in half.
I also would have saved money on the long run.

On the other hand: I wouldn’t have learned so much from tinkering around.

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great advice guys, Who would you recommend getting components from?

after i read this last night I have immersed myself in the literature but im sure im still going to have plenty to learn

How is your jon boat project going? I ask because I am planning a similar project with a 10 foot jon boat using 2x T500s. Curious your experiences using skid steering.

I want to use it for lake mapping projects and to have a large open platform for testing other sensors;

10 foot (90lbs) Jon Boat
ArduRover (boat) hardware setup
2x (24v) Battleborn 100 amp batts (70 lbs total)
Lowrance sonar (going to use ReefMaster for Bathy and sidescan mapping)

My desire is to use 2x T500 thrusters mounted on the aft (approx 50 inches apart) and to use skid steering for maneuvering.

My question is whether the available thrust will be enough for the turns on the mow-the-lawn style courses (without needed to max the thrusters at 100% during the entire turn). Ideally I would like them to average in the 50% or lower during these turns and be capable of successfully making the turn.

High speeds are not needed.
When there is a body onboard, I estimate the max overall weight will be 350 lbs.

I am only familiar with the rule-of-thumb for trolling motors (2 lbs of thrust needed for every 100lbs). So for forward propulsion, I feel confident two T500s will be great. However, I am unsure how to calculate differential (skid) thrust needs based on weight and displacement values.

Any guidance you can point me towards will be greatly appreciated.