Thinking about buying a electric trolling motor, mount, and battery for my 14’ Old Town. I go about 220lbs and often have a second passenger. How big (lbs of thrust, size of battery) do I need? Stupid question, but why doesn’t the canoe turn right or left depending on which side the motor is located? I’ve seen plentry of used items on craig’s, ebay, ect. but how much $$ are we talking for the appropriate size battery. Thanks in advance for suggestions
I have an old Shakespeare…
...Wondertroll that I used on an old aluminum canoe I had with a Die Hard deep cycle battery. It would push two people and fishing gear along at a pretty good clip and it was only 12 lbs of thrust. A newer trolling motor with 30 lbs of thrust should be more than enough. The Bass Pro Shops Prowler T30/30 is only $100, the 45 lbs of thrust model is only $70 more, but it will go through a charge faster. They're heavy but get the biggest deep cycle battery you can heft and a trickle charger. The bigger the battery the longer you can go.
The canoe will not turn significantly if the propeller axis is parallel with the axis of the canoe even with the slight offset of these axes.
Answering the least-important question
Why doesn’t the canoe turn due to the motor’s off-center mounting? Actually, if you aligned the motor perfectly with the boat’s longitudinal axis and left it there, the boat WOULD turn in a very gradual circle. However, since you are at the helm and watching your course, you simply compensate for that. The boat is actually side-skidding VERY SLIGHTLY when you steer a straight-ahead course, but not enough that you are ever likely to notice it. You could mount the motor in progressively “worse” locations, as far as inducing such a turning action goes, and eventually you could clearly see the boat sideslipping while going on a “straight ahead” bearing, and thus deduce that some this effect must also occur to a progressivly lesser degree as the motor is moved toward the boat’s centerline.
A solo canoe actually side-skids a very tiny amount when it is paddled from just one side too (and it can be a two-part, two-direction skid with something like a C-stroke), though it’s very difficult to detect, and it doesn’t seem to worry anybody.