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Rent A Trolling Motor?


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Does anyone know an outfitter or marina around here where you can rent a transom mounted trolling motor? I would like to try it out on my Pack. It's got a homemade motor mount that I took off. I would just have to mount it again. I'm curious about it, but not curious enough to go out and spend $200+ on a trolling motor, battery, and charger. Mostly, I would love to see how it performs on lakes so I could putter around Fellows, Lake Springfield, or maybe even Pomme.

"Thanks to Mother Mercy, Thanks to Brother Wine, Another night is over and we're walking down the line" - David Mallett

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While I don't know about renting opportunities I do know a lot about trolling motors in the event you decide to buy.

First of all they are very low maintainence and if taken care of will last decades at the least.

Second, forget about a $200 setup. If you get what you really need you can easily find yourself spending more than that on one battery alone. Any motor over 40 lb you are looking from $200 to the sky's the limit on the motor, while a cheap used motor can sometimes be had for pocket money you are likely to get more than you bargined for, typically something wrong with it that is dangerous, will cost more than buying brand new to properly repair, or both. These bargins are often worth exactly their weight in high grade aluminum.

The motor need not be fancy or an especially large model, but you will need the right kind of battery, a good one and it has to be big.

A good universal small boat motor is a 30 lb thrust minn kota. They share the same motor as the 35 and the continuous variable 40 and the earlier 50 lb models but are far cheaper. Wont plane anything, not even a small squareback canoe but it'l push a heavy runabout with 4 people and 120 pounds of batteries around faster than anyone can comfortably row until the cows' grandchildren come home.

The heart of any electric vehicle (from a design standpoint these count) is not the motor but the battery. Small boats use deep cycle flooded lead acid batteries. They look like the battery in a truck but are different on the inside. Car batteries, known in the industry as starting batteries are good for starting engines and nothing else. They will give a brief burst of enormous power just fine but try to pull 20 to 50 amps from them for a solid hour or more and you will kill them in no time.

Not all deep cycles are the same, a few brands are especially made to last.

The big names for heavy duty batteries are Trojan and Deka.

Trojans are very tough and are very friendly to deep discharge but need very frequent watering as they mostly don't have recombiners and have a lot of additives in the lead.

Deka batteries will last 7 to 10 years in deep discharge service without pampering, don't need as frequent electrolyte maintence as Trojans, are so good at pumping out amps that they are pressed into service as starter batteries for large cars, and are made in the US of american mined metal. The main drawback is they are very heavy and need to be recharged without being used occasionally as they will self discharge as bad as a car battery. Neither of these should ever be a problem. Look for fine print saying "East Penn Battery company" These are the real ones. They tend to cause sticker shock but you get what you pay for.

Life may be too short to drink cheap whine but life is too long to risk cheap boat batteries.

Buy the biggest battery your boat can safely take the weight of and still cary its expected payload even if you do not use it for long distances.

Firstly the further you drain a battery the fewer times you can recharge it. For deep cycle lead acid batteries if you draw 50% of its capacity each time you use it you get to use it roughly 800 times before it dies, for drawing until 85% empty it can be less than 300 times.

Secondly due to a phenomenon called peukert losses a 100 amp hour battery will give not twice but almost three times the energy of a 50 amp hour battery when subject to a 30 amp load (about what a moderate size trolling motor uses)

My personal reccomendation for trolling motors is get a 30 or 50 lb transom mount minn kota and invest in a group 31 size (group 27s hold just as much nowadays but sacrifices are made to cram that much energy in that little space) east penn build Deka deep cycle battery or better yet two of them to wire in parallel, and get the best charger you can get. Buy new, people tend to sell boat batteries when they are trying to evade the hazmat disposal fee on 50 pounds of useless lead with a gallon of sulfuric acid soaked into every crevice. Cheap chargers are just a transformer and a rectifier and will beat the living daylights out of even the best batteries, cutting their useful life by years. they also have a habit of making defective/damaged batteries explode. Get an industrial charger or a coast guard and UL or lloyds saltwater certified marine charger. For the cost of all this you can buy a gas outboard in good enough condition to start on half a pull without sputtering but you will get a safe, trouble free, comfortable, simple long lasting means of powering pretty much any small boat.

Besides, if one were to write a comprehensive list of worse ways to blow one grand it wouldn't fit in a library.

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My goodness, the amount of information in that post is beyond belief. Good Heavens, I love this forum.

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Okay.. it's clear I'm not going to be spending $200 or more on a battery. The set up I was thinking was Minn Kota 30# Endura. Maybe even a Bass Pro Prowler. What is the formula for determining how long the battery will last on the water before needing to be charged so I don't stay out too long and have it die on me? I've looked it up, but haven't found something simple enough to calculate it with.

"Thanks to Mother Mercy, Thanks to Brother Wine, Another night is over and we're walking down the line" - David Mallett

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I have a prowler 30/30 and it scoots a 12' jon pretty well.. i matched it with a $55 deep cycle from wally...already had a charger though...That battery lasts me well over 5-6 hours with moderate use...never actually drained it on a single day trip...

-- Jim

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles. -- Doug Larson

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Thank you MOGuy. That's what I was looking for. I figure that my Pack weighs less than the jon, possibly by half. As long as I can get a good three to four hours out of it I'm happy. Sounds like I better start saving for that set up.

"Thanks to Mother Mercy, Thanks to Brother Wine, Another night is over and we're walking down the line" - David Mallett

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Thanks guide. I'll look into it.

"Thanks to Mother Mercy, Thanks to Brother Wine, Another night is over and we're walking down the line" - David Mallett

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