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Trolling-Motor-Powered Sunfish


New Member
Last summer, I got stuck 8 miles from home when the wind died—REALLY died—fortunately, the weather held. I've since been storing a cheap, two-part, plastic paddle that fits inside the 6" ports I installed. But eight miles by paddle is still a hike.

I have this working trolling motor that I've disassembled for a different (and defunct) boating project. They make sealed, small, 12V batteries for motorcycles that would also fit inside those ports, with the motor. I'm thinking I could make a bracket to snap on (say, the tiller) and motor on home next time. Any thoughts or suggestions?

(You wouldn't want me as a racing opponent :p )


I've used a trolling motor on a sunfish. You just leave the daggerboard down and make a bracket that will hold the motor. When I did it, it was with my older style fish with the bronze hardware.
The problem is trolling motors take a lot of amps. A motorcycle battery sized MIGHT get you a mile or two, but 8 miles you'd be lucky to get that far with a full size 40-60 pound deep cycle battery.
With batteries lead/weight equals power/amps.


New Member
I've seen trolling electric motors used on Canoes mounted from a board along the side of the boat , but I agree with Mike, it would probably die on you at that distance. I would try two piece Kayak paddles or snorkel fins and lay over the stern like a surf board? I haven't tried it but been thinking about it. LOL.


New Member
You might also have to obtain state registration for your boat if you add a motor. In NY, Any boat with any type of motor must be registered, regardless of size. Just something else to consider.


New Member
I suspect you're both right about the motorcycle battery being not good for 1 mile. I can go 2 miles in a canoe on an auto battery in light winds. (Winds I can exploit in a Sunfish anyway). I might very well link those two cheap Sevylor oars I already have together with PVC pipe.

New Hampshire requires Sunfish registration (since 1991). I have to buy an annual decal. "Powered" (even electric) is a few bucks more.

Like in the movie "The Spanish Prisoner", I'm so like that unnoticed "Japanese tourist" to the Marine Patrol. 'Think I'll just leave the sail up and sit on the wires!