If you use your Crestliner in big waters, you will want to reinforce your trolling motor mount on the underside of the rail because Crestliner will not stand behind there product when it fails. See the pictures below. I have a 2014 Raptor, purchased new in the fall of 2015. In July, I was trolling in about 2 ½’ to 3’ waves when the aluminum on the gunnel gave way. The aluminum gave way at the decorative grooves. The metal was about 1/16” in the grooves and about 3/32” thick total. You can see the washers on the underside also bent when the main aluminum gave way. The dealer had an 80# thrust motor on it at one time and I used the same holes to mount my 112# thrust trolling motor. To make matters worse the warranty claim was denied after waiting three months. So much for fishing most of the summer! During the manufacturing process, Crestliner removed a large portion of the bottom of the tubing right where the trolling motor bolts are to be mounted (see picture). If you have this type of boat with this type of gunnel, I would suggest that you reinforce the underside of the tubing with a large aluminum plate to cover the opening and bolt through the new plate. I would hate to see others have the same problem that I have. If you are considering buying a new boat and plan to use it in big waters, I would recommend purchasing a fiberglass boat where they mold plywood in the fiberglass for the trolling motor. When I was deciding between this boat and a fiberglass boat, I decided to go aluminum because it was lighter to trailer. I sure wish I would have purchased the fiberglass boat. It has been a very emotional summer and I would not wish this on anyone. I mainly bought this boat, because I enjoy fishing walleyes on the Bay of Green Bay. May all your fishing trips be successful, safe and problem free.
A suggestion for Crestliner owners
Tuffy2, Yes it does have a trolling motor head/shaft support. After this has happened to mine, I have looked at several other similar installations and they used spacer washers also. It comes back to, if they would have not cut away the bottom of the tubing this would have never happened. The ribs in the top portion of the tubing also weakens the aluminum. It will have 1/4" solid aluminum plates on top of the tubing and below the tubing when it is repaired.
It looks like they built up the mounting with washers to level the mounting. This put all of the flexing on the bolts. The bolts in the wood could take it, but the ones in the thin aluminum would not. Whoever mounted your trolling motor is responsible, not the factory.
Do you have a head/shaft support mounted on the boat to stop the head from bouncing when in the stowed position? If not, that probably added to the poor installation too.
I did talk to the dealer several times. They said it did not look like I did anything wrong. Yes, the cut-out were done by the factory and are on both sides. The boat was pre-wired for a 36-volt trolling motor and has three trays for the trolling motor batteries. I take a lot of pride to keep my equipment in excellent shape. My previous boat was a year 2000, 1750 Fish Hawk that I bought new and used for 15 years. It was a very good boat and was well built. I cannot say the same for my 2014 Crestliner. My 1750 Fish Hawk did not have a scratch on it and when I sold it, I even got what I paid for it. Of course the new boat are much more expensive. My boats are always stored in a garage when not in use, in fact a heated garage. Thanks for your support.
That is what I was thinking. With those four holes in line it must be a different motor then what you have. And why would you drill holes right in that Groove that is the weakest part of the aluminum and it doesn't even look like a flat mounting surface. You can tell that's right where the problem started on that first hole once the seemed started cracking that was it.
Long story short I would definitely fight that. Whoever put that motor on just jury-rigged it.
Might actually be something to talk to your dealer about if there was one previously mounted, I've looked at a ton of pictures after seeing your post and didn't see a single other trolling motor mounted the way yours appears to have been done. If fact it looks like that cut out may have actually been done in the factory for the front two mounts on a motor installed the other direction. Very seldom do you ever see a trolling motor that folds back to the starboard side. Again, this is if I'm looking at the picture correctly.
Picture is from the factory.
Seems like an odd place for material removal, was it done at the factory or at the dealer? Looks to me like it may have been removed in rigging the boat to access the bolts. Hard to tell from the picture but they may have been to far to the edge to make it through the bottom of the channel. Certainly should have had a backing plate installed, I use 1/2" Starboard because it's easier to work with than aluminum plates.
You mention it had a 80# thrust on the boat, was it wired pre-wired for a 36 volt system or did you add the wiring?