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Using a trolling motor on small boat

Aug 5, 2019
91
Macgregor 26 S NJ
I looked up the difference, it seems like it is the paint for the most part and a zinc prop nut that you should be able to order. Guys are using regular trollers in brackish & salt water. I would beef up the paint, grease cover the prop nut & shaft once in a while & fresh water Rinse it after use. For a $50-100 used one I wouldn't worry, a new $800-1000+ I'd be a little more particular about.
 

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WayneH

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Jan 22, 2008
854
Tartan 37 Pensacola Shipyard, FL
The difference between saltwater and freshwater trolling motors is that the saltwater models are sealed against water intrusion. A little saltwater in the control head and things get "interesting" :yikes: Don't ask me how I know this.
 
May 18, 2021
23
O'Day Javelin Barnegat Bay, LBI
Thanks very much George_NJ! Looked around for used but ended up having to buy a new one - at this point the most important thing is to get her in the water! Good idea re: a grippy pad, thanks!
 
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May 18, 2021
23
O'Day Javelin Barnegat Bay, LBI
Thanks WayneH - yeah, ended up with a saltwater one. The difference was like $100, figured it was worth it.
 
May 18, 2021
23
O'Day Javelin Barnegat Bay, LBI
Hey all, coming back to this topic - put the minnkota on to take a look.... now worrying that it will interfere with the traveler (even, or especially, when tipped out of the water, since I don't want to sail with the motor down). Anyone run into this? Doesn't look like much clearance.
 
Oct 11, 2020
4
oday javelin baltimore
New to the site, still a sailing newbie relatively as well, this is exactly the conversation I was looking for. I'm on a small, narrow inlet off Barnegat Bay in NJ, have sailed a sunfish for years but recently upgraded size-wise to a used but hardly-used Javelin. Depending on wind/current sometimes I can't tack in/out on the sunfish, so I kept a little paddle with me, but of course that's not an option for a larger boat so I have to figure out best solution. Electric trolling motor seems the best choice, but the range of options is a little overwhelming. I'm assuming I need one that's saltwater rated, but not sure about shaft length/how powerful. Cheapest seems Min-Kota, they are all on backorder for weeks (supply chain problems with the pandemic, apparently), so looking for a used one or I have to drive to a dealer. I see George's tip above on what battery to get - any tips on the battery storage/housing? Any other safety features needed with a battery on board??

i have a javelin myself and keep a battery in my boat for the fishfinder. i keep my battery in a box up against the transom on a piece of plywood (will probaby epoy it or use starboard at some point. i also use the hold down strap thru the holder for the mast crutch in the back. so far so good.
 
May 18, 2021
23
O'Day Javelin Barnegat Bay, LBI
Thanks, scottstef! I had to drill a couple of holes in the bench seating for the clamps for the strap and I just have the box resting on the clamps with the strap threaded through. Seems to work so far. Interesting about the mast crutch - you must have a newer model than I do - on mine the mast crutch fits into the gudgeons that are typically the property of the rudder. My bigger issue now seems to be battery life - I only run it for a few minutes to motor out of our tight space into an area where we can hoist the sails, then we sail, head back to that sheltered spot, kick on the motor, drop the sails and motor home. Ran the motor maybe 10-15 min total and the battery seemed to take a while to recharge after that.
 
Jul 25, 2021
2
Catalina C22 12360 Lake Mendota
Philly2DC2LBI, you may have solved your battery problem already, but run time is limited by the amp ratings of your motor and battery. I'm starting to compute how many amp hours a battery will need to get me home in case the wind dies on my 4 mile wide inland lake (Mendota, in WI). As you probably know, deep cycle batteries can utilize a greater proportion of their charge. Solar recharge is a good option for my rig.
 
May 18, 2021
23
O'Day Javelin Barnegat Bay, LBI
Thanks Norsail. Yeah, my endless issues with the motor has led me to the purchase of an actual outboard (2.5 hp). (Which means I now have to get a NJ safety certificate because I now have a motorized boat.) The trolling motor had enough oomph to get me in and out of the narrow channel but anything above say 8 knots of wind and it couldn't keep the bow pointed to the wind to allow me to raise the sails. The trolling motor will do for very gentle days but my crew (ie my wife) gave me a clear directive to get something stronger to allow us to get home if we face any sort of trouble on a day with any sort of current or wind that the trolling motor (which I guess if you do the math is just half a horsepower) can't handle.
 
Oct 10, 2019
98
Signet 20 107 Ithaca
I just got through a month running a 55 lbs thrust trolling motor to move my 20', 2400 lb displacement bilge keeled sailboat (outboard was getting fixed and damn it, I needed to go sailing!) and it was adequate for the job. Don't run it above 50% power, reverse is a joke, keep the (deep cycle marine) battery charged, you'll easily get several hours run time out of the day. But flipping over and immersing the battery was not a concern I had, so good luck with that ...
 
May 18, 2021
23
O'Day Javelin Barnegat Bay, LBI
thanks, Mr. Dave. Yeah, I bit the bullet and just bought a 2.5 hp outboard. I should have started with that!
 
Dec 28, 2020
42
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
I might have had the opposite experience. The great thing about an electric motor is that you have very little weight on the transom, and you can put the battery up where it functions as ballast.

I have a Lido 14, powered by a 46-lb-thrust Newport Vessels motor. I run it in saltwater (off the coast of Los Angeles) and it's plenty of power for a 310-lb boat. It cost me $179. I put a battery in a box up ahead of the centerboard trunk and ran power lines up along the inside edge of the gunwale. A little 20w solar panel or a plug-in trickle charger keeps it charged.

Cheap and effective.

Motor.png
 
May 18, 2021
23
O'Day Javelin Barnegat Bay, LBI
wow, JackOlsen. My experience couldn't have been more opposite. I think mistake one might have been getting a 35 lb thrust motor, it just never had enough power to keep the bow pointed into the wind in our shallow bay when the wind picked up and I raised the sail. Plus I bought it new - so pricier - and I had problems keeping the battery box dry. All told, the javelin is rated for a 3-6 hp outboard and this is 2.5, and a lot of people in our bay use that for similar length boats. The weight of outboard is still, I think, less than the weight of the trolling motor plus battery.
 
Dec 28, 2020
42
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
I'm adding it as a data point for future readers. It sounds like you've got the outboard that works best for you.

There are a lot of benefits to a gas engine -- I've got one on my 19' boat. But with the electric motor it's nice not to have to wonder about whether it's going to start, how the carb jets are doing, or whether I've got enough gas onboard.

When I got the 19-foot boat, I initially powered it with the Newport Vessels motor (it's $179, brand new) and it did a great job on the 1400-pound boat as well. I replaced it with an outboard out of concern for ocean currents, storm winds, and overall cruising range. The downside of electric, for me, is that gasoline packs more range in a lighter fuel package.
 
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May 18, 2021
23
O'Day Javelin Barnegat Bay, LBI
Wow..... well, lesson learned. I paid a lot more for a MinnKota plus battery plus charger.

In terms of power, well, the other day we went out in ~10 knot winds and they kicked up to about 20 while we were out there, my crew (wife) was getting a little nervous and we couldn't make much headway tacking across the wind, plus kept getting blown toward the shallows with the current and wind working against us. Was able to pull up the centerboard and limp across the shallows into a little cove near our house where other boats tie up to mooring balls - tried to motor out of there with the trolling motor straight into the wind and current and went nowhere, actually went backwards, ended up tying up and walking home until the wind died down the next day. That's when the outboard conversation happened :)
 
Dec 28, 2015
1,327
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
I built a outboard from a gas powered weed eater. Worked great for my rat boat (duckhunting). A little loud being air cooled but super light.
 
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Jul 21, 2021
22
Helsen HMS 23 Bloomington
Hi, all. After years of sailing medium-sized Hunters (sold my last of those after a move a few years ago), I'm starting in with a Classic Lido 14, as a boat I can trailer and use to teach my grandsons to handle a sail. I'll be taking the boat out on Lake Buchanan in the Texas hills. There aren't any good choices for a permanent slip for a little boat like this, so I'm going to be launching her new each time out. Here's the issue: The ramp near my property on the lake has an available dock for loading, etc., but it's in close enough quarters that it's not an option to move from the trailer to the ramp under sail. I'd like to add a small electric trolling motor just to move the boat around in the inlet where we'll be launching. I've read some advice that a small gas outboard is a better choice, but in Texas that means registering and all the paperwork for being a power boat. My plan would be to just use the trolling motor to move the boat the 50 or so feet to the dock, and then offload it before I head out on the lake. Wondering how much thrust I'd need on a trolling motor to move a roughly 350 lb. (fully rigged) boat around in those limited circumstances. Thoughts? Thanks in advance for any help.-PK
A 55# thrust will push my 1800+# Potter 19 to at least 3 knots. It is the biggest you can get that is 12V, they go to 24 after that.
 
Feb 13, 2014
2
Compac Eclipse Claytor Lake
Years ago, at St Simons Island, GA, I had a 12’ Bolger Bobcat that I launched on the intracoastal in very strong tidal currents. I used a Sears trolling motor (not sure of thrust power but it was cheap) and the least expensive battery I could find. It always got me to and from the launch area without a problem. It would not have been possible to have paddled against the current.
Eddie C
 
Sep 24, 2018
1,424
O'Day 25 Chicago
You're just looking to move 50' or so I'd go with a small sealed gel battery. I use a 10 amp for my dinghy and it usually lasts about six trips. I have a 12v 36lbs motor and it moved a 1300lbs 19' boat faster than expected
 
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