Outboard Motor or Paddle?

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Just got our 14.2 in the water today and had a fantastic sail on Lake Pleasant in Arizona. We got fairly far from the launch ramp and the wind started to die. If the wind had completely died, we would have had a LONG paddle back so I am considering a Minkota electric trolling motor. Hate to add the weight of a car battery to the boat...any suggestions?
Someone mentioned something about making ore-locks out of old jib-cars. I thought that was a great idea and would like to see some pics or try something like that myself.
I got the 1003L . Should be no problem to hit hull speed (for about 30 minutes) or putter around at a couple knots all day long.

I like not having to lug around the marine batteries. I was actually wavering between this and an air cooled honda outboard (2HP). The torqeedo and air cooled honda are both significantly lighter than a standard trolling motor and battery.

The problem is the torqeedo is 2x the price of the outboard :eek:

For me its worth it, especially if the wife is out on the boat with the kids. No need to fuss around getting an outboard started. A little off topic, but I chartered a boat with a 2hp honda (J/24) and it was a difficult to start engine. not sure if it was that one, or all of them.
They look really nice. Great idea. I was in the same boat with not wanting to deal with gas. Do they swing up and out of the way when sailing? Again let me know how it goes.
I definitely wouldn't trade my 27-pound Honda 2HP 4-stroke motor for a lead acid battery, electric motor, cables, and necessity to charge. WAY too much clutter/weight/modification/and work.
according to the OP, if the only issue is weight, the honda 2HP is about the lightest option out there, and of course no worries about range, the internal gas tak holds plenty of fuel.

They are, however, pretty loud with quite a bit of vibration (I assume because of a lack of damping provided by the water jacket?). Doesn't take long to remember why my primary propulsion is wind.

I have a friend with a Rebel 16 and a trolling motor. On his, the battery (deep cycle marine) is up at the front of the boat with cables run to the back, helps with weight distribution, but I don't think that those copper cables are cheap. All the cabiling is hidden below deck and he has a couple brass bolts poking through near the transom to act as terminals to connect the motor. Nice thing about that setup is he doesn't have to hump around the battery for charging, just connect to the terminals once its back in the garage.

I'd recommend a trolling motor with the "digital" control (I forget Minkota's marketing term for this). If you don't have that, it uses the same amount of juice at quarter throttle as it does at full.

You can also buy litium batteries instead for lead acid that are basically the same size as car batteries. They have about the same capacity. I just bought one for a project at work building a portable data acquisition system. It weighs ~15 lbs and cost around $700 for 40 Ah. Helps to take care of the weight issue (lighter battery and lighter the wallet).

Used some "L" brackets that use the same holes as the rubber mount and then moounted the bottom of the battery holder to the "L" bracket. Its easy to take on and off and works great. Stays completely ou of the way and there's no long wirring runs to the front of the boat.
Oarlocks on old jib cars

To answer Kdub's rqst (2nd in this thread) for pics and details on using an old jib car to set oars on:

It was cheap and easy and it works pretty well, having proved stout enough to row C14 (even swamped) straight into a 12 kt wind with a large passenger.

It's just a block of marine grade tropical wood (type unknown, I scrouged it from a marine lumber yard in Ft. Lauderdale) centered on the jib car facing and secured with 4 #10 and 1 #8 screws. I was quite glad that I had a cheapo drill press on this project since there are alot of perpendicular holes to be drilled at certain depth.

The oarlocks were a closeout item at West, and they had inserts which have since abandoned ship and I'll have to finagle some replacement for. I had 'em glued in but they were made of one of those plastics that nothing sticks to...

The downside: Although this places the oarlock in a good spot midway on the boat, reversing the cars outward means they are now at an ideal angle to snag lines, and they need to be that way to get the fulcrum suitably outboard. My one and only capsize was the result of a snag on one, which is now bent to a slightly upward angle (first pic). Bad bulu, but I got lucky and didn't rip out the jib track or otherwise damage things.

Also, as you can tell from the pic, my 8'4" length oars sometimes make contact and have left some ruff on the gunwale. Longer oars could be rowed on gentler angle, but mine collapse into two sections that are as long as will possibly fit in the front cuddy of my Mod One. Good collapsible oars are not cheap, and the freeboard on the C14 means that oars of 9'6" would be about ideal if I remember my figuring right.

One of my goals in working this up was to avoid additional holes in the boat, but now that I know that rowing works I think I will remove this and replace with the kind of oarlocks that are inserted right into the deck -- maybe with a removable block so that I can get some elevation right at the edge. I found rowing to be enjoyable and not particularly tiring.

The third pic is of my Florida volunteer pest control patrol who was hunting under the tarp when I lifted it for the pics -- ain't she a cutey?? :p


Thanks for posting the pics. I'll bet that the boat moves nicely with two paddles working. I have had to row mine quite a long way (with passengers) with just one paddle by sitting out on the bow and alternating sides, clumsy work for me, but work with a surprisingly efficient result. This is the method that I used to get out of the harbor before I bought my old Evinrude Lightwin. With the oarlocks I would imagine that the boat can move quite swiftly, one last question, where do you post yourself up at while rowing?
Electric trolling motor

I bought the smallest/cheapest Minkota electric trolling motor. I sail on Ga lakes and along the Gulf Coast of Florida. I always keep a small paddle in the boat to get in/out of the marina on the lake, I used to keep my longer kayak paddle in the boat but would get in the way. Now I use a telescoping paddle that hide away easily when not in use.

I've done some racing on the lakes and used a small lawn tractor battery for the trolling motor. It worked fine for about 45 minutes or so. I only used the motor/battery once. I don't have a motor mount, so the mainsheet tangled around the motor once and slowed me down during the race. Otherwise it worked fine. It was not very fast with the small motor/battery combination, but it worked for what I needed.

I always trailer my boat, so I sail off from boat ramps. Only once I was out when the wind died completely. I was about 1 mile out and paddled in, it was pretty easy to paddle in. It was a whole lot better than sitting on the sofa watching TV at home.

1989 Catalina Capri 14.2
1984 Catalina 22
I definitely wouldn't trade my 27-pound Honda 2HP 4-stroke motor for a lead acid battery, electric motor, cables, and necessity to charge. WAY too much clutter/weight/modification/and work.
It's night and day the difference. Less weight, cables, no battery charging or storing and It moves boat at idle faster than a Minn Kota 55# thrust. BTDT. It also does not die on you half way there. Just make sure to stabilize fuel and crank it at least once every 3 mos.

To get any kinda range on the Minn Kota you need the series 29 180/200 reserve capacity battery at 55#. Add the 30# from motor and the cables and it's a pita.

I have the 3.5 Nissan 4 stroke. Love it. I do wish I had the 2stroke version it ran a heck of a lot smoother.

I have the Minn Kota in garage.

You can't fight reality with wishful thinking.
It's night and day the difference...


You can't fight reality with wishful thinking.
I love my Minn Kota. It's almost as quiet as sailing, doesn't stink up the air with foul oil and gas fumes, and more importantly, doesn't pour money into the pockets of crazy people we have to be nice to for their fossil fuels. With the up-front savings between electric and gas, you can essentially travel for free. And talk about reliability, how many of you guys have spent hours trying to get a recalcitrant small gas engine to start. Groan....

Hands down, there simply isn't any comparison. ;)