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motors: 2.5hp gas or electric...

well, i've tried fishing from my canoe and sea kayaks, and made modifications, rod holders, etc, but i've found that i want to spend more time and energy devoted just to fishing instead of gear management and boat control. the wife and i are thinking of the previously unthinkable. a square backed canoe! Esquif makes a model called the Heron that looks like it would be a good paddling canoe and good for mild white water, which we're both skilled at. the touring canoe is just not great for fishing or for rivers, so the new canoe idea. now i'm all obsessing about how to power it when not paddling. it would see mostly fresh water, but also some salt as i'm right on the ocean, and salmon fishing on calm days would be awesome. anyhow for electric, you need a specific motor, the Minn kota Riptide, then a big battery and charger. 55lbs thrust model looks good. OR, do i get a 2.5 4 stroker? can you troll very slow with the gas motor? i have no experience at all with either or powered boats. i read some old threads here that were good, but if you have any insight, i'd love to hear it. thanks.


  • Any time
    you add a motor, electric or gas in NC you must register the boat, canoe or kayak and get a hull number.Don't know how it is in your state. That being said I'd go electric no messy gas cans or fumes.
  • Esquif Cargo
    I have an Esquif Cargo, which is a 17' version of the Heron. I have both a 55ft/lb thrust electric trolling motor and a 2.5HP gas engine for it.

    I **STRONGLY** prefer the gas motor. First, while it may be roughly the same horsepower as the electric motor, the boat moves much, much more quickly and effectively upcurrent with the gas engine. Second, it is much lighter than a trolling motor and battery. Third, the batteries run VERY hot when operated for a long period. I have burned myself on the battery several times using the trolling motor. Fourth, it is easier to carry a little gas to refill the tank for a second burst of energy than it is to recharge a battery or carry a second battery on board.

    I have rigged my Esquif with oars. I primarily use it for fishing a largish river (Potomac River between Harper's Ferry and Riverbend) to run upriver then float back down, allowing me to go solo and avoid having to work out a shuttle or to get a shuttle bunny.

    Now, I have both because the gas motor is not welcome at some lakes. For those lakes, I use the electric trolling motor and it is OK. Best uses are for slowly cruising the shoreline or making long passages where rowing would be too slow.

    You pay your money and you make your choice, but having used for three years the big brother of the same boat you are considering, my advice would be gas if you have to choose one or the other.

    - Big D
  • gas or electric motor
    I have a 15.4 ft sportsman canoe w a coleman 2.4 stroke and it is great for fishing .. I also have a 15ft coleman canoe that i put a 35 thrust trolling motor on it.. It worked great fishing in the Niagara Falls NY . above the falls by Grand Island.. worked great.
    Ive since upgraded to a bigger trolling motor.. However I dont know about riptides and such. all my fishing is freshwater
  • Options
    I use an old 1.5 hp Cruise N' Carry from way back on my Grumman 17. It's not a squareback. The rangers on the Allagash used to prefer Grumman 20' double-end canoes to squarebacks because it was more comfortable with an outboard. They didn't have to twist sideways to reach the steering handle.
  • Options
    gas, unless
    Electrics are nice if you don't need excessive power against current/tides. Smooth and quiet. Downside is batteries are a royal PIA, heavy, painful to move around, no easy/quick way to recharge. If you are making the jump to a square stern i'd go gas, if you are trying out power add an electric to your current canoe. FYI I found my small gas outboard 2.5 hp/27 lbs was too much weight/power on a offset mount canoe is a MRC Freedom. Sure it works fine on bigger boats.
  • i like the electric
    I have not tried a gas motor but on my 14 foot kayak I like the electric because I enjoy the other benefits of having the battery such as charging my phone if it dies or powering something if I am camping out.

    I have no doubt the gas is more effective at sheer power, I am just usually in a leisurely pace and alternate with some paddling off and on.
  • Options
    I went electric...
    I have a 14' Coleman Scanoe with a Watersnake 54lb thrust trolling motor on it running off a group 29DC Everstart battery (Wal-Mart). This combination works great for me and my two sons. The canoe has a motor mount on the stern, but the stern is still tapered to a point like the front, so it makes for easy paddling and motoring even in reverse, which is something to consider over a traditional square stern canoe. I put the battery up front behind the front seat, and spliced in a jumper cable wire to reach the motor. Neither the battery nor the cable gets hot, even under prolonged use. I did shorten the motor shaft from 42" down to a more canoe-sized 22" to avoid the gorilla arm posture.

    I've only taken it out twice now on local rivers/creeks (NE Florida), but I've already encountered several situations where I wouldn't have wanted a gas engine, just from the noise. On my second time out I encountered a group of four kayaks who were also fishing. I just dropped the trolling motor down to the lowest speed and passed them silently with no more wake than if paddling. I was warned by a marine patrol on a decent sized creek about my wake (no wake zone) when going full speed with this motor, so I would have to say it has plenty of power. Can't vouch for a lesser thrust motor, though.

    Each time I went out I was motoring around fairly constantly for about 4 hours (mainly testing the boat/motor rather than fishing), and the battery never went below 85% charge either trip. The battery is rather heavy at around 65lbs, but the battery I chose is probably overkill and you could get by on a smaller, lighter battery. My attitude was that if I'm going to go to all the trouble of having a motor on my canoe, I'm going to use it rather than paddle around the extra weight. For toting the battery around (including portaging), I use a folding wheeled luggage dolly that's rated for 150lbs. Don't worry about looking for a heavy duty one -- even the typical tiny wire one is rated for that much weight and is what I'm suing. Even with a bad back, I can carry the trolling motor and cable in one hand, and pull the battery on the luggage dolly without too much, if any, issue.

    Personally, I don't see me buying a gas outboard for my canoe unless I start frequenting larger rivers and lakes, which I don't see me doing in a canoe. I bought the canoe because I wanted to fish smaller waterways, and this combo seems to be doing that perfectly. If I'm going to go to bigger, deeper water, I'm going to get a bigger boat, and probably have both an outboard and trolling motor.
  • Options
    motor for canoe
    just bought a water quest squareback 14' and a Water snake 54lb thrust you said you shortened the shaft. is this easy to do. I havent recieved it yet just ordered last week. also i got nervous about the motor being too big for the canoe when i read on Cabelas site that the canoe was rated for 30lb thrust with 15 in. shaft
  • Two questions
    Dear pilot,

    What gauge wire did you use for your jumper from the battery. Reading on the internet everyone seems to suggest 6 or 8 gauge but I'm only running a 40# thrust motor. You could build a suspension bridge with 6 gauge wire.

    I'd like to know more about shortening the shaft on your motor. I have a 40 inch shaft on mine I spent today fishing a local lake. I run my motor on a 15' Grumman Sport boat. I didn't even know I could get my arm into the postion I used today to run the motor. I'd rather not do it again though!


    Goobs AKA Tim Murphy
  • Shorten TM shaft
    Check this site for complete instructions
  • Thanks, I think?????
    Dear 3bearnight,

    Those are great instructions and they appear to be modifying the very trolling motor that I own.

    The problem is I'm not all that confident in my mechanical skills? I'm sure I could do it but I lack some of the tools needed to do the work.

    Fortunately, I have an authorized MinnKota warranty shop just down the road from me. I think I'll take my motor to them and ask them what they will charge for the modification?

    If it's reasonable, they will get the business and we'll both win.

    If it's pricey, I'll probably ruin a perfectly good trolling motor trying to save a couple of bucks! :-)

    Thanks for your help.


    Goobs AKA Tim Murphy
  • Trolling Motor
    I checked with a MinnKota warranty shop in my area and was given a price of $35.00, not bad and he has the parts, seals and tools to do the job. If your TM is still under warranty shorting the shaft may void it. Check with your shop.
  • Options
    Short Shaft trolling Motor
    Found this trolling motor and ordered it and returned the watersnake,
  • Oars
    Are not tiring. It is as easy as walking and you can row all day.

    They rarely get stolen.

    Some models require no maintenance.

    They are lighter than motors and gas.

    They do no pollute.

    They can be very quiet.

    They can last longer than a motor.
  • My arms argue against you.
    Rowing against the wind all day for two days is not as easy as walking. But oars are good. I like rowing.

    - Big D
  • Options
    Go with gas
    I have had a trolling motor for my canoe for about two years now, and I am pretty dissatisfied with how quickly it runs down a deep cycle marine battery. I could get a bigger batty, but that would mean even more weight. I am looking to sell or trade the endura and get the smallest outboard I can find.
  • Test your battery first
    Dear reefmonkey,

    A group 24 or 27 battery in good condition should easily push a canoe with two anglers around for two 8 hours days on lake before needing a recharge.

    I'm not talking about trolling for 8 hours, that's a different story but you should get one day out of a good battery. I'm talking about moving you to a spot for drift or anchor fishing, and then moving you back numerous times in a day.

    I routinely moved an 1685 jonboat with a 40hp jet on the back in the Susquehanna with three anglers and a dog plus gear and beer, well over 1200 pounds total weight, with a 43# thrust transom mounted Minnkota for a weekend's fishing before recharging the battery.

    I'll bet your battery is on it's last legs and it might be worth stopping by a boat dealer to get it load tested after a recharge to see if it is?

    One last thing. Deep cycle batteries require deep discharge and then recharge to function properly. Using your electric motor for a couple of hours and constantly recharging the battery will kill it quickly.


    Tim Murphy AKA Goobs
  • Options
    Nope, it's always been like that
    -- Last Updated: Jun-25-12 11:27 AM EST --

    since the day I bought the battery, and I do know how to maintain deep cycle marine batteries, though in this case the practicality of maintaining this battery is another downside, which is why the battery has gotten worse, to the point of where if I want to use it this summer, I am going to have to get a new battery. Part of the problem is the battery is kept down at a vacation house, in its garage here on the Texas coast. So fall through spring I may get down there once a month if I am lucky, and May through September it gets really hot in that garage. However, I just don't have a better place to store it. This situation makes another argument for me at least getting an outboard.

    However, again the battery just didn't give me the endurance I wanted even when new.

    Suppose I could get a bigger battery with more amper hours, but that means just a bulkier, heavier object in a small canoe, at which point it really just makes more sense to get a little outboard. It may be that I am operating on a bay, with more distance to croass and more wave action to fight than a lot of lakes, and no current to help me out like rivers.

  • Many pros and cons both ways, but based
    on your first sentence and being close to big water,
    I'd recommend square stern and gas outboard. Much more power to get going when you need it, and sometimes you will need it.
  • Options
    not satisfied
    -- Last Updated: Aug-17-12 11:46 PM EST --

    I am not satisfied with how fast it runs deep cycle marine batteries. Leather items are always destined to be a pleasant addition not only to the [url=http://www.cwmalls.com/men-s-simple-fashion-genuine-cowhide-leather-shoulder-messenger-bags-cw972101]Leather shoulder messenger bags[/url] of any person, but to the everyday life of a person.

  • I just bought a Honda 2.3 motor
    for my 17' aluminiun Grumann square stern canoe. It weighs 27 lbs empty and has a quart/liter gas tank on the motor. Haven't figured out the gas mileage yet but it seems to run quite a while on a tank of gas. It runs at a pretty good speed with my wife and I in it and can run at trolling motor speeds. While it is not real loud,it is not as quiet as I would like it to be going slow. I need to take it out with my GPS to see how fast it can go and what the gas mileage is. When I find out I will come back and post it here.
  • Options

  • Options
    i bought a pelican canoe in the spring for fishing along banks near the landings. i was gonna paddle for exercise. caught in a wind one day that caused more exercise than i wanted as a heart patient, i went with the minn kota. now i needed a transom, insurance, registration, battery but it was worth it. if...my transom wasn't off the side of the boat causing balance problems, i'd take the 2 horse any day. my day is limited due to battery power. the small motors have self contained fuel for about 30 miles. to carry a small amount makes for twice that and a little quicker. if i find a good one light enough and good enough i'll go with one.
  • Options
    Registering electric
    In the last few years (maybe 06 or 08) TN changed it where like NC any motor and you have to register. Prior to that electric didn't require registration.
  • Options
    Trolling with gas
    4 stroke motors idle well enough that I can say there is nothing wrong with trolling at idle with them.

    I wouldn't reccomend trolling at idle with a 2 stroke, they dont idle as well and the gas oil mix likes to foul spark plugs if they stall on you, then you are looking at paddling back unless you have your tools on you.
  • Options
    ELE vs Gas HP
    an electric with a like 2.5-3 hp rating is gonna have like 50-60 lbs of thrust a 2.5-3 hp gas is gonna have like 75-80 lbs of thrust because they are rated in a different manner, but lbs of thrust is the more accurate way to compare engines because lbs of thrust arent rated different on one vs the other.

    Also a large electric has a prop pitched for moving a MUCH larger boat at trolling speeds rather than moving a tiny boat at a reasonable speed.
  • Options
    keeping a battery in good shape
    There are little battery conditioners that keep a 12 volt battery charged up for only a few dollars at Harbor Freight and other stores. I have kept a used battery on one for over a year and it was ready to go when I needed it. It does not charge a battery, but keeps a trickle of electricity on it to compensate for losses and it works.
  • Modern two-stokes do quite well
    Actually, Mercury two-stroke outboards way back in the 70s could be used for trolling at idle all day long with no problems whatsoever, and I suspect Johnson/Evinrude were the same but I didn't hear much about people trolling with them. I guess by "modern" two-stroke motors, I'm referring to everything but the primitive old models that burned 25:1 mixtures. The "really modern" ones of today with electronically controlled oil proportioning should be even better. I would still expect four-stroke motors to be the best for trolling, even though the days of two-stroke motors performing poorly after long periods of idle have been gone for a long time.
  • Options
    Esquif Cargo
    Off Topic :
    I'm considering to buying a Esquif Cargo Canoe : let me ask you a question :
    Could Esquif Cargo accomodates 2 person side by side in one of the central seats? Or the longitudinal stability of the canoe is at risk?

    Thanks for the answer.
  • Yes.
    If the two people have narrow enough backsides to fit, and if the two people have a clue about needing to keep their combined center of gravity over the center line of the boat, then they could fit. You would not be able to fit two large Bubbas on one of the center seats.

    The boat's initial stability is good. Standing to paddle, scope, cast, spot fish, etc. is no problem. I have even been able to stand and motor with the boat using an extension handle. Further, unlike a lot of other squarebacks, the Cargo actually has some secondary stability. The water I paddle doesn't require my to get into the secondary stability, but it handles mild rapids quite nicely. I think the most I've done with it is a straight ahead class 2 shoals type rapid that's about 200 yards long. I row the canoe rather than paddle it through things like that. I like being able to brace on either or both sides if necessary. Thus far, it hasn't been necessary.

    - Big D
  • Options
    Esquif Cargo
    Thanks Big_D you for your answer.

    2 person are 2 girls weight about 50/52 kg and height about 1.65./1.70 : I think the backsides are quite ok for this duty.

    Let me ask you another question : it is possible to carry the Cargo by one man? or the canoe is hard to carry for a one-man only, from a top of a machine to the shore of a lake 200 meters away ?
  • It's quite heavy.
    I use wheels. I can load and unload the boat from my truck, but for moving it I use wheels. I would never want to do an overhead portage with an Esquif, and certainly not alone.

    For loading, I pick up the stern of the boat and swivel it up onto the tailgate extender of the truck. Then I go to the front and pick it up and slide the boat into the bed. To unload, I do the reverse. When I had a roof rack on my old truck instead of a tailgate extender, I did a similar maneuver, but that required me to bend over underneath the boat and use my back and legs for most fo the lifting, then a shoulder press to push and slide. With practice, it was fairly simple, and I was usually able to do it more easily by myself than with assistance. It helps that I'm a bit 'bulky' of an individual, and a little taller than average.

    For moving, I have a set of wheels that I put under the stern. Then I only have to lift the front and pull the rest of the boat along.

    I find this to be a convenient way to "carry" the boat, because with the wheels, I can put the paddles, PFD's, the days lunch, some fishing tackle, and what-have-you into the boat. I put the motor on the transom or if trolling motor I put the battery over the axle of the wheels. Then with the wheels its comparatively easy to wheel the boat and contents to the launch. This method doesn't work very well at primitive launches, though I'm sure with some ingenuity it would all work out.

    - Big D
  • Options
    2.5 motor
    -- Last Updated: Jul-22-13 3:55 PM EST --

    I bought a Wenonah backwater canoe for fishing small lakes
    I went back and forth about gas motor or electric.
    I went with the traxxis 55 electric motor and a 70LB 105 amp hr battery.
    My son sat in front-He weighs 320 lbs-I weigh 213 plus the 70 lb battery and the trolling motor.
    It was pretty good for the first few runs on the highest setting but you could tell it slows a little and then you have to charge the battery right away when you go home. Running the battery down to 10 volts can really hurt it. I didn't care for it-even though it was pretty good but I looked and looked and bought the 2.5 Suzuki outboard and let me tell you.
    Super quiet and much,much faster and more power.
    This is for me-I loved it and so did my son-Now he wants to go to the adirondacks.
    Do yourself a favor and get the gas engine. about 60LBs lighter than the electric setup.

  • power and speed
    exactly the answer i was looking for. I have a flat back canoe with and electric motor and it is just too slow for my tastes. Planning a 2 or 2.5 gas engine
  • GAS
    Electric motors don't have the power and torque of gas and require big heavy batteries which when dead leave you stranded. A 3.5 tohatsu 4 stroke gets 45 mpg and will drive my 14.5 foot sol skiff at 12 mph. There is no electric that gets that kind of performance. An extra gallon or two of gas onboard and your good for a whole weekend.
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