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Old 24-08-2019, 10:16   #16
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

We also use(d) the white Minn Kota, but instead of a battery we use a 12v digital lithium ion pack a la

Not fast but light!

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Old 24-08-2019, 10:33   #17
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

For sure. I used a 40 pound Minnkota with an 80 ah AGM on a Walker Bay 8.

5 knots is unrealistic because that would be planing, but you could do close to 3 knots, which is likely faster than you can row. The big plus is, if you bring your oars, you have reliable back up propulsion.

I found even a 2hp outboard to be a bit over powered on mine.

You could also get the sail kit. The boats sail surprisingly well.

I used to be able to make 20 mile days on mine sailing in a decent wind (leave the mothership anchored and spend the day exploring under sail).
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Old 24-08-2019, 11:04   #18
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

In Europe the Torqueedo and ePropulsion have gained a lot of ground, some charter companies fit them. They are a real alternative to small outboards with speed and endurance. Not cheap but quiet and no starting problems. Cannot wait for my air-cooled Honda to die.
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Old 24-08-2019, 14:20   #19
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

one of my friends used one with a heavy deep cycle lead battery providing power. I thought it was a poor idea--hugely heavy to be lifted out and replaced for and after charging--and of limited range even when fully charged.

That is--until the advent of the lithium battery--and brushless low speed high torque electric motors. Then using a more powerful and silent electric outboard became a viable option.

Now I would certainly consider it. Mind you--it would need to have the equivalent to 2 horsepower. That is what a small air-cooled four stroke Honda puts out--and that is a tough call to beat. They seem to go on forever as long as they are started up and given a run now and again.

I use a Yamaha 3.5 horsepower, a good enough engine--easy to start--but prone to all of the needless problems of small water-cooled 2-stroke engines.
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Old 24-08-2019, 14:40   #20
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

The maximum hp on a WB 8 is 2 hp. And they can get squirlly at full throttle even at that. I tried a Honda 2.3 on mine and a gentle touch was required.

The boats don't need much power. They row nicely and sail well with their 34 square foot rigs.

The 40 pound Minnkota provides a nice amount of power for one in my opinion.
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Old 24-08-2019, 14:50   #21
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

I have been using a Newport 55 lb thrust with a 35 Ah lead acid battery for a couple years. Works great back and forth to the mooring on an eight foot Eli hard dink. I added 45 watts of solar, always have a full charge. I keep the dink in the water at a dink dock. Added an automatic bilge pump and all around white light. Plenty of battery power for much more than I use it for. When cruising I have a Torqeedo with a greater range on a high pressure floor inflatable
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Old 24-08-2019, 18:57   #22
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

I have a carvel shaped 7 ft dinghy and a 70 lb thrust electric outboard.
I used to use two 30 amp wheel chair batteries. (one for journey the other for return journey) I could easily get an hour on each at 3.5 knotts.
Noe I have a 120 amp lithium ion battery which weighs less than the motor.
I charge it with a 250 amp solar array via inverter.(the battery has built in charging regulator). No petrol on board.
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Old 24-08-2019, 20:20   #23
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

I use a 40 lb thrust saltwater version Minn Kota with a Automotive size battery and I have a 40 watt solar panel which I plug into the battery with a small controller. I run the dog to several times a day and we'd take some short excursions to go hiking and I have never run out of power. Mostly on sunny days in the Pacific Northwest my battery is pretty well charged up after sitting at the end of a tow rope. I have not tried to measure the speed but I think probably 2 or 3 knots is about what I get in 4th out of five gears or rather speed settings on the motor. I leave the battery in a plastic battery box mounted in the back of the dinghy where a fuel tank would normally be tied down. I usually tip the motor out of the water and leave it in the back of the dinghy for Towing or when not in use. My dinghy is a Costco 9 foot inflatable with aluminum floors and a inflated her hull. if I am worried about security or about rough weather while Towing the dinghy I bring the motor on Deck but leave the battery tied in to the dinghy. I think it actually reduces the likelihood that the wind will flip the dinghy as the weight is well and low centered in the back of the boat. This is my second season doing this.
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Old 24-08-2019, 22:27   #24
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

I have a MinnKota 30lb thrust trolling motor on my Cal 20 for daysailing.
At highest setting it would push the boat at 2.3kt in flat water. That’s at about 3000lb displacement.

The wiring at the time I did this test left a bit to be desired. I have installed much better wiring but have not rerun the tests yet.

Rule of thumb is 1 amp per pound of thrust.
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Old 24-08-2019, 22:40   #25
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

I’ve used the cheapest 30 pound thrust trolling motor I could find to power an inflatable, a 15’ aluminum canoe and a 12 ft paddle board like boat. It moved all of these faster than I could paddle or row. I just traveled short distances in the inflatable but I traveled a few miles in the canoe and board boat.

I decided to carry two small batteries instead of one big one. That way when the first battery started to get weak, I knew it was time to head home. I also kept in mind that if the return trip was going to be into waves and wind, I better turn back sooner.

I’m careful to rinse the motor with fresh water after each use and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well the fresh water motor has held up in salt water use.

I also powered the inflatable with a 2.5 hp Lehr propane outboard. It was significantly faster than the trolling motor.
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Old 26-08-2019, 08:28   #26
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

Yes, I have used a MinnKota 45 lb thrust saltwater trolling motor on a similar 8" fiberglass dinghy for a few years now.

The shaft of the trolling motor was too long so removed the head and cut it down about 6". If you do this you have to be very careful to not cut the wires in the tube. I used a Dremel cutoff wheel to start and finished with a hacksaw for control.
I mounted a battery tray under the middle seat and use a Odyssey blue top marine battery. I had to replace the wires from the trolling motor to the battery with longer ones.
This motor pushes the dinghy along at a strong pace against wind and waves and the battery lasts a long day. I either take the battery out and charge it on board or hook a small portable solar panel up to it in the dinghy.

It is very easy to mount the lightweight motor on the transom with one hand. The battery is lifted out/in with a length of rope from the side deck. You won't fly across the anchorage but you will enjoy the quiet cruise across the anchorage. Much easier to meet people on other boats as you can have a conversation without having to turn off the motor.
Edit: forgot to add that I have a small Rule automatic bilge pump mounted in the stern and i don't have to bail the dinghy anymore!
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Old 26-08-2019, 12:20   #27
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

I have a Walker Bay 8 RID with which I use a 68 lb pull Bison trolling motor. Works well and gives me around 4 Its a econimal (3/4 throttle) power setting. I use two lithium golf cart batteries which weigh less than a kilo each, each one gives me about 35~40 minutes of run time. They were the most expensive item, costing around £220 each as compared to £160 for the trolling motor, but they seem to have come down in price now.(£119). I cut the (GRP) shaft down so that it wasn't sticking up in the air and also made the top hinge down so it packs away nice and neatly. here's the link to the motor:
and the battery packs:
These are UK prices and items but I'm sure you would have similar in your neck of the woods.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:36   #28
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

55lb thrust with the "New" Minn kota that uses much less battery.
Extension on tiller so you can sit forward. (As you already know.)
Imho, get rid of walker bay or you will end up in water like everyone else.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:39   #29
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

Like Volkeno I used a 2.5 hp propane outboard (Lehr). Didn't go fast but also didn't have gas on the boat. Only one thing to put on and take off.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:53   #30
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Re: trolling motor on dinghy

We took a small trolling motor on one of our cruises, but we ended up not using it that much. Moving the battery back and forth is just about as much trouble as moving our small 3.5 outboard back and forth.
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