Sunday, September 2, 2012

Our Motor Boat

In response to our post about Lakes and Rivers, Daryl said he saw a motor in our future. He was right.

I checked Craig's list for several days, looking for a used trolling motor. Most were too small, too old, or not set up for stern mounting. One showed up on the list last weekend in Medford, about 100 miles south of us. It was just what we were looking for so I made the trip down and back on the scooter. I'm sure it looked funny with the motor lashed on to the back. It stuck straight out, not down, but still it had to get a laugh or two from other motorists.

It turned out that the motor was about 3 years old but had never even been in the water. The guy I bought it from had taken it in payment for money he was owed. I only paid about 1/3 of what a new one would have cost.

Rather than purchase the motor mounting kit for our boat from Sea Eagle, I made my own after studying their design. It cost about $20 instead of well over $100, and it looks basically identical. I also had to purchase a battery. While I would love to have picked up an AGM battery, which does not off gas and can be stored just about anywhere, I could not justify the cost. I ended up with a regular Group 24 deep cycle trolling battery from Costco.

We tried out the setup on Wednesday. The boat fits in the trunk of the car and we can set it up or take it down in about 15 minutes. Out on the lake the motor pushes us along at 4-5 miles per hour at half throttle. It appears that the battery would last about 3 hours or so at that speed. That's plenty. I tried it wide open for a bit. We probably moved along at 8-10 miles per hour, but the battery would not last more than an hour at that speed.. We motored from one end of the little lake near us to the other and back, exploring each cove and beaching the boat for a while in one nicely shaded spot.

The nice thing about our setup is that we can still paddle when we want to. We did some paddling, especially when we got into some shallow areas, but when we got tired or when we turned into a headwind, it was really nice to just twist the throttle and let the scenery slide by. I think we're going to enjoy it.


  1. That is really great. Are you planning to do any fishing or just motoring around the lakes?

    Wish you had taken a picture of the motor on the scooter. That must have looked quite funny.

  2. We need some photos of you and the boat!

  3. Sounds like fun! Do you just charge the battery with a battery charger? Can you use your solar panels when you are in the boonies?