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Thread: Trolling motor on canoe, what size?

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    Default Trolling motor on canoe, what size?

    So I am looking at getting a trolling motor for my canoe but I am stuck. I was looking at the 55 for the power, but then the 30 is cheaper and uses less power. I figured I would ask you guys and see what size trolling motor you guys are using and why. The canoe I am using is a 17 foot Coleman.

    I am leaning towards the 30 lb thrust because 1. Cheaper and 2. less power usage for longer trips out on the lake. I am looking to use it on mellow streams and lakes locally. But I am also planning on using it when out camping for 2-4 days at a time, so If battery life is an issue as well. Does a 30 lb thrust use that much less than a 55 lb thrust?

    At Sportsmans Warehouse they have 30lb thrust Minn Kota's for $110 but then jump up to $175 for the 45 lb thrust.

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    I used a Minn Kota 30 lb. unit on a 17' Scanoe - one of the heavier models. It worked fine in most situations. You won't be going anywhere fast, but you will get there. The only reason I would have seen to move up to the 55 is for hauling near max - weight loads. Even that 30 will drain a deep cycle battery in less than a day if you're using it for trolling or long trips, so plan to bring a spare battery or do some paddling in those situations. If you are running solo, a spare battery in the bow is extra power when needed and is a nice way to add ballast.

    Just an example - on a trip out to Nancy Lake looking for Pike, I had myself, my son and father in law. Figure about 600 lbs. total people and gear. This was our first time on Nancy, so we spent most of our time buzzing around under power looking for promising holes. The battery was fully charged in the morning. After about 8 hours on the water, it was done. I wound up paddling about the last mile and a half back to the boat launch.

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    I'd say nay to a trolling motor/battery. It's going to cost you a few hundred. when it gets cold out, the battery will drain insanely fast. watch craigs for a used two stroke single cylinder. You'll have much more to work with, but still be in your price range. Go around your house, find 3 items that you don't need.....post em up for sale to help curb the cost.

    here's a little four horse mariner for 400:
    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/3714670991.html

    here's a merc same price:
    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/bar/3692071109.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    I'd say nay to a trolling motor/battery. It's going to cost you a few hundred. when it gets cold out, the battery will drain insanely fast. watch craigs for a used two stroke single cylinder. You'll have much more to work with, but still be in your price range. Go around your house, find 3 items that you don't need.....post em up for sale to help curb the cost.

    here's a little four horse mariner for 400:
    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/3714670991.html

    here's a merc same price:
    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/bar/3692071109.html
    That firtst one says 600 and I didn't see a price on the other one. I have a few things for sale but nothing has sold for sure yet.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    With your funds this is a better way to go to my thinking Know it can be done for less than a hundred bucks.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...VWUmilcA4&NR=1
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    I just bought two trolling motors for my some new kayaks I got my wife and I. While only 12' long, the boats are 41" wide, so they would compare pretty well to power requirements as your canoe. The new Minn Kota Endura Max has the digital maximizer to extend battery life. Gander Mountain has these motors and you can buy them online of course. Not to be confused with the Endura C2, the new model says 'Max' and that is the digital maximizer feature that extends battery life. They claim up to 5x longer battery life, but that is BS. But even if it doubled battery life, that is huge. Most folks will suggest a group 24 marine battery, but for your application I would get a group 29 or 31.

    For the money, the Walmart Everstart Marine Maxx seems to be a very good battery. Made by Johnson, the makers of many higher end (brand) batteries, these batteries are only $85-95. I got a 24 for my wife's boat and a 29 for mine to offset our 100 lb weight difference and give us comparable run times for longer trips. The 29 will have lots more juice and last longer, but weight 60 lbs where the group 24 weighs 46 lbs. Along with the Endura Max, this set up should run the boat a long while.

    We got 40 lb thrust motors. 30 is not enough power to me and 55 will drain the battery faster but not give a big difference in speed. Remember, these are displacement hulls and not meant to plane, so it would take a lot more power to move appreciably faster. Talked to two guys with the same kayaks we have, NuCanoe Frontiers, and one ran a 30 lb motor and the other ran a 55 lb motor. They said at full throttle they ran side by side for the most part. Point being, depending on the design of the boat, the 55 may not go much faster, but will surely drain the battery faster.

    If you are looking at 2-4 day trips, I would buy a Suzuki 2.5 hp outboard. They have a great reputation, run quiet, and start easy. Talked to several guys running them recently as I am in the market myself. I found them online from an authorized dealer for $707 shipped and tax free from a place in Tennessee. We will be putting them on our kayaks and using the trolling motors at other times. Using the outboards on larger lakes and saltwater fishing trips. Will use the trolling motors for some freshwater lake fishing. The NuCanoe Frontier has a square stern to accept motors, namely why we bought them.

    Something else to consider is weight. The 2.5 Suzuki weighs 29 lbs. The trolling motor and battery weighs about 75 lbs. All depends on what you want to do with it of course. But if powering a canoe around on multi day trips, I would have to go with Mainer on this one for sure. A gallon of gas would push that 2.5 hp Suzuki a long ways. Even a group 29 battery and a digital maximized trolling motor will have it's limitations. I ran mine pretty hard last week for 4-5 hours and it was losing some juice. No way a trolling motor will be of much use on 2-4 day trips, not if you are running it very often at least. If you are puttering around a lake for 3-6 hours, a trolling motor would be perfect. I think the 40 lb thrust is a good compromise on power and battery life.

    Either way, look at the Helmsmate U joint tiller extender. This is quite handy and allows you to better balance the boat as you don't have to be back in the boat where the motor, battery, etc.. is. Too much weight in the back will have the bow up too much. Weight, balance, battery life, etc.. all must be considered of course.


    http://www.newoutboards.com/Suzuki-2-5-hp-outboard.html



    Dan

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    One reason I was looking at Electric is some of the lakes I like to fish are "No gas engines allowed" Also I can get a brand new #30 Trolling motor for $110 and a battery for under $100. Price is part of the big appeal to me.

    I have seen the weed eaters set up as motors on youtube before, I just wonder how powerful they really are. I may have to look into them a little more and see if they are feasible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllAlaskan View Post
    One reason I was looking at Electric is some of the lakes I like to fish are "No gas engines allowed" Also I can get a brand new #30 Trolling motor for $110 and a battery for under $100. Price is part of the big appeal to me.

    I have seen the weed eaters set up as motors on youtube before, I just wonder how powerful they really are. I may have to look into them a little more and see if they are feasible.
    I would lean to the 30.. I had a 50 and a brand new group 29 and running up stream it would be done in 45 minutes.. A friend with a 30 had no issues making the trip.. I sold the set up after two trips.. Paddling these days! If you save for a motor, I would seriously consider a 4 stroke. The trend is slowly taking place on streams, rivers and lakes to 4 stroke or injected only. Save some green and paddle for a bit, then get a great motor!
    I do dig the weed wacker idea! That's something!!

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    Default bring a battery tester and a spare bat.

    I have used electric only on my 19 foot Scott canoe. It scooted pretty well on a glassy lake.

    I brought two batteries plus a digital battery tester that shows % of charge; its good to test both the battery in use and occasionally check the extra battery to make sure I know how much "gas" is in the tanks. My canoe paddles not so well; need mo' power.

    I think I only paid about 10 bucks for my tester at an auto parts store; it wanted to plug into my cig. lighter which I don't have so I put an adapter there to convert that ending into two large battery clips; works great.

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    Regardless of which size trolling motor you get, one of the things you need to look at is how the trolling motor controls its speed. IN the old days, all trolling motors used a simple resistor bank to change speeds. Today, a lot of the cheaper motors still do. What this means is the motor changes speeds (say from 1 through 5) by simply adding resistance into the circuit; this results in the same amount of current (amps) being used whether you are on low or high speed. The reistor bank set-up drains batteries pretty quickly no matter how you use them.

    The other option, found on newer and more expensive motors, uses circuit boards and electronic to control the motor speed, which results in less current draw at slower speeds and higher current draw at higher speeds-as one would expect. This gives you the ability to really be able to plan your current consumption for the day(s) ahead.

    Whatever size you go with, try to get the best or near best of the line in that category. The other advice given here (smaller motors not good for heavier loads, etc) is good advice. Don't go out with a trolling motor on even a slow current (2-3mph) and think you're going to go upstream very far/long. I did it, and I walked 5 miles to the truck while my friend went 10 miles down river to the next bridge/boat ramp on the river. Never again.

    BTW: for my money, I totally agree with Mainer. Get the antiquated 2 stroke; they run forever, are reliable to the absolute bitter end, light weight, simply and easy to repair/maintain, and will carry you up river for days. Take the left over change, buy a smaller electric motor/battery for those "no gas motor" lakes.

    PS: I'm in the process of building a duck hunting/fishing boat, and there is nothing electric on it. (Well maybe a fish finder.)

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    i got the 55 for my 14 footer last summer and was not pleased with the performance

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    Default mo' info?

    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    IN the old days, all trolling motors used a simple resistor bank to change speeds. Today, a lot of the cheaper motors still do. What this means is the motor changes speeds (say from 1 through 5) by simply adding resistance into the circuit; this results in the same amount of current (amps) being used whether you are on low or high speed. The reistor bank set-up drains batteries pretty quickly no matter how you use them.
    FL,

    Thanks for bringing this up; that's important to the OP of course, but to me too, I think. I have one of those old ones. The only control is twisting the handle to go faster/slower.

    I appreciate you bringing this up but frankly don't understand how that's possible - do you know?

    A million years ago in school one of the things they tried to teach me was about the Conservation of Energy. Having nothing to do with saving energy because its in short supply, no. Instead it means (I think?) that energy cannot just [poof] go away - it must be absorbed/used by something. My (partial) understanding is that the rheostat could not chew up energy itself unless it created heat, light, or some other way to bleed off power.

    Should I go back to school and try to learn that right? Any info is appreciated.

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    FL,
    Should I go back to school and try to learn that right? Any info is appreciated.

    Thanks.
    LOL. You did learn that right, in a way. Energy is transferred from one form to another. In the case of an electric trolling motor, chemical energy in the battery is converted into rotational motion. I hope I can explain this properly, here goes.

    Your old "twist the handle to go faster" trolling motor, simply adds ohms to go slower. Basic electrical principles of ohm's law. Newer and/or more costly motors, use printed circuit boards containing solid state chips, capacitors, and transistors (used as power amplifiers) to more efficiently covert the chemical energy into rotational motion. Obviously, I don't know all of the design factors, but what I do know is that newer technologies regulate, amplify, and control voltage and current flow much better now than 20 years ago.

    One of the tell tale signs on this is, as you mentioned earlier, heat. The older design, rheostat, resistors, etc. simply dump energy into heat to slow the motor down, and, subsequently, those motors run hotter (at the point of control where the resistors are, not the motor windings themselves). The newer motors run cooler because they're using the available energy more efficiently.

    Minn Kota and Motorguide both have "varimax" or "enduramax" etc motors that are more costly and more efficient than their lower end motors.

    I'm not sure if the jury is in yet or not on reliability of these newer designs. A stack of wire wound resistors is FAAAAAR more durable and rugged than an electronic printed circuit board. (PCB) While solid state (and I'm using that term somewhat misleadingly-reistors are solid state as well as transistors etc-I use the term here to define circuit board, smaller components etc) While PCB's are quite reliable, espeically compared to electro-mechanical (relays and switches) they are highly susceptible to revers current/voltage and over current/voltage, as well as water intrusion. By comparison, the old wire wound resistors are like Timex watches-take a beating and keep on ticking. (I've got a73 yr old ham radio with wire wound resistors that still works!)

    I hope I've answered your question, and not added to your confusion. The bottom line is that both types of motors turn energy into heat, and there are of course losses in either system, but the newer ones just do it better.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    You could get the trolling motor for the lakes for today and when the dividend comes in get a gas motor. With the electric motor hooking up some kind of sail could help alot.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  15. #15

    Default E=IxR

    No FM, don't go back to shcool. You're pretty close.

    Rheostat works as a 'gate'. In a trolling motor the rheostat is is 'series' with the motor windings and the amperage is the 'same' in a 'series circiut' at all points of the circiut. When the rheostat is turned down it closes/chokes the 'gate' and less amperage will flow in the circiut. This action raises the voltage drop across the rheostat and lowers the voltage drop across the motor , (allowing less voltage and consequently less amperage to get to the motor). Yes, there is quite a large voltage drop across the rheostat but the power it disipates will be limited by it's own resistance, (more resistance, less amperage).

    Thats the old way of doing things. There's more effecient ways of regulating power these days. Pass transistors for instance. I believe some of the trolling motor manufacturers are using pole shading to regulate current flow. It all goes back to Ohms law.
    E= IxR. More voltage (push) will move more amps.

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    I may just hold out for a while. Maybe when summer gets closer I will get a trolling motor and like will said maybe get a gas motor when dividends come round. I just cant drop to much money on this project atm.

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    Hey, AllAK - I'm actually thinking about picking up one of those little four stroke Suzukis Dan was talking about. I have an older Johnson 5.5 horse two stroke as well, and you're more than welcome to use it until you can afford to buy one if I do wind up getting that Suzuki motor. I'll keep you posted.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Good folk here for sure
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    Hey, AllAK - I'm actually thinking about picking up one of those little four stroke Suzukis Dan was talking about. I have an older Johnson 5.5 horse two stroke as well, and you're more than welcome to use it until you can afford to buy one if I do wind up getting that Suzuki motor. I'll keep you posted.
    That would be awesome. let me know if things work out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Good folk here for sure
    Ya, one thing I like about this forum is for the most part it is "local" with the mass majority being right here in state. I joined a while back but never really got to involved till last fall.

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