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Old 09-03-2014   #1
nicho's Avatar
North Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 442
Electric Trolling Motor on Raft

Has anyone ever ran an electric trolling motor on their raft? Or any boat, are they worth using? I have a 16' boat and am thinking of ways to get out on water more with small kids like 1-2 years old. I'd like to use the motor to get around on some high mountain lakes while car camping. I don't mind rowing but the electric is kinda quiet, clean and the motor would allow more lake coverage and if weather gets bad quick we could get to shore faster. Or I could probably row faster than the motor? Just thinking about it thanks.

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Old 09-03-2014   #2
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 471
i Have. Upper C, Westwater. It is an old Minn Kota with only 17 lb thrust, retail is only about $120.
It is about equal to (1) person rowing a 14' cat. Of course the battery is heavy as hell, but yeah it would work. I would buy something with 30lbs thrust though, as the motor is minimal weight compared to the battery.

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Old 09-03-2014   #3
Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 382
I took a trolling motor on a really low water Cataract trip to push a 12' raft a few winters ago. I brought two old deep cycle batteries. It definitely was better and faster than floating and rowing although it wasn't enough power for the whole trip. We rowed the lower bit after the rapids. Not 100% sure I would do it again, but it was a fun experiment...
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Old 09-03-2014   #4
nicho's Avatar
North Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 442
Thanks for the info, electric are pretty cheap the battery is half as much as the motor lol. Did you guys use a traditional motor mount like you would for a gas motor?
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Old 09-03-2014   #5
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,362
I've used em a bunch for fishing- never on a raft. I'd think the application you have in mind would work just fine. A battery's "reserve minutes" is the rating you want to pay attention to- more is better/longer lasting

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Old 09-03-2014   #6
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 883

Over the years I saw a modest number of trolling motors launching at WW, and the folks I talked to after their run seemed to think that was a decent way to go for that push-out.


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Old 09-03-2014   #7
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
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I have used a 30 lb thrust minikota with my 16' cat. I am able to push two boats of that size at a speed faster than I could row. The bigger issue is the batteries. We used up two deep cycle 12 volt car batteries for about 6 hours travel.

Gasoline packs a whole lot more power per weight. The energy in a lead acid car battery is about the same as a shot glass worth of gasoline. So a pint of gas will get you further than ten car batteries and weigh about 200 lbs less!
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Old 09-04-2014   #8
nicho's Avatar
North Denver, Colorado
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 442
Thanks good to know about the electric. Now I may make a motor mount over the winter.

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