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SissySticks

trolling motor as primary propulsion?

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I have a 16', 59" beam v-hull fishing boat that I converted with a flat floor and front deck.  I have been powering it this season with a 1950s 5hp Sea King I bought for $80.  However, the motor has been unreliable at the best of times and when a month ago it ruined a great smallmouth trip (I caught 10 smallies and a 16" largemouth in 1 hour before the motor died) I just can't take it anymore.  It also has an internal tank and leaks fuel slowly, which is both wasteful and scary.  Frankly, its not worth the money to get fixed, since I only paid $80 for it and I DO NOT LIKE the internal tank.  

Unfortunately, the boat is also probably not worth putting a more expensive outboard on.  Its a short transom and so the motor wouldn't be able to transfer over to any other boat I'm ever likely to own, and I'll surely take a loss on the motor if I sell it with the boat.  I only plan to own the boat 2-3 more seasons before I upgrade to a Lund Pro-V 1700.  

I've considered getting an 80 lb. thrust Minn Kota Vector to use as primary propulsion.  The lakes I fish range from 25-460 acres.  Would this be feasible?  The Vector could then be moved over to the transom of the Pro-V for backtrolling duties, so it seems to be the most financially smart choice.  Having never used a 24v troller for primary propulsion ( I also have a 36lb. all-terrain up front) I'm unsure how worthwhile this would be, or how reliable it will be on the larger waters.  The other option is to sell the boat and get a coleman crawdad which I can keep and use even after I get a bigger boat.  Thanks.

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You want believe how a 24V motor will pull that rig around. I have one on my Skeeter and don't kick it sideways on high without something to hang on to. It actually caused me to walk over the side last year when I hit a stump. It was 19* too and 7:30 in the morning.

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When you say it ruined a smile trip, did it get you away from the ramp but not back tot he ramp?  Would you have made it to that fishing hole if you were using electric only?  

My point being that once you are accustomed to being on plane it might feel like you are crawling if you switch to electric only.  I could not go back to electric only unless i was strapped for cash.  You could get a very reliable 5 hp for the price of the trolling motor you are looking at.

But if the lakes you fish are under 500 then you should be able to cross any one of them in less than 15 minutes with that 80lb trolling motor.

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The 5hp wouldn't plane my boat anyway.  The trip was ruined because I was drifting live bait and using the OB to correct, and while we were fishing, it died and would not start.  My front trolling motor only had enough power (30 lb. thrust), to troll into the 25mph wind for 1 hour and we had to row back to the ramp.  It was awful.  I can count on 2 fingers the number of decent lakes around here over 500 acres.  I'm mostly concerned about battery life, rather than speed.

P.S. you can get a 80lb. 3x motor for less than $350 used, and I have had poor luck find a reliable, newer 5hp for that.  Even if I did, I'd want a rear TM because I drift fish and backtroll a lot.

When you say it ruined a smile trip, did it get you away from the ramp but not back tot he ramp? Would you have made it to that fishing hole if you were using electric only?

My point being that once you are accustomed to being on plane it might feel like you are crawling if you switch to electric only. I could not go back to electric only unless i was strapped for cash. You could get a very reliable 5 hp for the price of the trolling motor you are looking at.

But if the lakes you fish are under 500 then you should be able to cross any one of them in less than 15 minutes with that 80lb trolling motor.

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Yes, it will be fine.

I fish in NJ.  95% of the lakes I fish are electric only and range from 25-700 acres (most around 100 acres).  I have a 101 on the front that lasts all day.

BUT, I also have 2 "kicker" TM's on the back.  Nice to have "just in case".  I use them to get to my spots and then back to the ramp.  You might want to consider getting a cheapo for the back of the boat.

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according to the twin trollerboats website, 36 lbs thrust is equal to 1 hp. that being said, i have seen people put 2 trolling motors on back and lock them pointing strait, and then use the trolling motor up front for more power and to steer with.  if you get three motors that equal 180 lbs thrust, that should be close to the performance of your gas motor.

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according to the twin trollerboats website, 36 lbs thrust is equal to 1 hp. that being said, i have seen people put 2 trolling motors on back and lock them pointing strait, and then use the trolling motor up front for more power and to steer with. if you get three motors that equal 180 lbs thrust, that should be close to the performance of your gas motor.

http://www.minnkotamotors.com/support/faq.asp?pg=general&pt=11

http://www.minnkotamotors.com/support/faq.asp?pg=general&pt=12

http://www.minnkotamotors.com/support/faq.asp?pg=general&pt=13

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according to the twin trollerboats website, 36 lbs thrust is equal to 1 hp. that being said, i have seen people put 2 trolling motors on back and lock them pointing strait, and then use the trolling motor up front for more power and to steer with. if you get three motors that equal 180 lbs thrust, that should be close to the performance of your gas motor.

http://www.minnkotamotors.com/support/faq.asp?pg=general&pt=11

http://www.minnkotamotors.com/support/faq.asp?pg=general&pt=12

http://www.minnkotamotors.com/support/faq.asp?pg=general&pt=13

Thanks. Thats good info. Its been too long since algebra. I cant get the formula for speed to work.

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Remember - you can almost double your runtime by switching to 6V golf cart battery cells. A bit more weight, but the time is worth it.

2 x 6V cells will run a 12V motor almost twice as long as one 12V cell.

Also, 4 x 6V cells will run a 24V motor almost twice as long as two 12V.

The size lakes you fish are almost identical to what my brother and I do. You'll be fine. I would consider going with a high-voltage setup (either a Ray or something home made) down the road if you really want the ultimate in green, reliable freshwater fishing ;)

--Andy

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