Electric Power?

I’ve been struggling with this question for years.

Years ago I canoed and kayaked most of the rivers in the Southeast. Some of the pictures you see in magazines from the 70’s may show my sliding off ledges and running flood stage. Now, with broken ribs and back problems, I have explored the many possibilites of power on small boats.

Gas power is noisy, messy and the “Green” guys have banned it from where you want to go.

Electric trolling motors are an easy temptation. Wilderness Systems tried this 10 years ago with the Pamlico. They mounted a MinKota on the stern and used cables to the foot pads for rudder control. If the motor was positioned sideways(in turn direction) when you turned on power, the depth of the prop created enough thrust to roll the kayak and dump you in the water. Production soon ceased.

A bracket can easily be created and attached across the gunnels of a canoe or attached to a crate in a kayak. The trolling motor is attached and hangs off one side . . . creating an instant turning tendancy that must be overcome with counter steering. The efficient depth of a 10" trolling motor prop is 20". Most fishermen want to go more shallow, so they raise the motor which now makes more noise than thrust and cuts up the side of the hull.

So what’s the answer?

I’ve been working on it for 4 years I think I have come up with it. In fact, it won first place in the Concept Boat Design Competition at the London Boat Show last January.

Take a look at www.streamdancer.com

Your comments would be appreciated,

John Zimmerlee

Stream Dancer


Looks interresting

– Last Updated: Jan-26-09 10:44 AM EST –

I know folks who might be interrested in one . do you mind posting a ball park figure on cost. Is it in production or is that just a prototype?

ought to be a good market for …
… something like that . I’ve seen many kinds of one person electric powered crafts , with real people in them going fishing .

The worm type props looks interesting . I was wondering what they are made of ??

Can the props be changed out quickly if broken or damaged while out there ??

I did take a look at the site and noticed the weight . It stated 65 lbs. . That seems incredibly low … I’m guessing that doesn’t include the batt . , but still a boat and twin elect. motors !!

Something doesn’t seem to add up here … could you explain further ??

Electric powered Stream Dancer
The design concept for Stream Dancer is a car-toppable boat that can be assembled in 2 minutes and rolled to remote launching sites on narrow shallow streams and be controlled soley by your feet while providing electric power even in shallows.

Stream Dancer is 65 lbs naked. The motor/augers, seat, and battery are attached once the boat is off the roof rack.

She uses MinnKota trolling motors and plastic augers from another industry. Foot controls are comprised of linear potentiometers and robotics styled speed controls. She will maintain 5 mph for 2 1/4 hours or about 4 hours at normal fishing speeds on one battery.

Though 4 major kayak manufacturers have expressed strong interest, none of them could start a new project this year.

I don’t have the kayak manufacturing experience or deep pockets to continue. I need someone to take over the project.

my thoughts John …
… I think the concept and design are a good one , but it “needs” more power , more speed , more range , more endurace .

10 mph. min. top speed x 5 hrs endurance , 5 mph. x 10 hrs. endurance .

That looks really cool. I don’t know what to say other than awesome work and I hope someone picks it up for a good price to you.

Hope you make this work
Cuz I would love it!

Electronic s
Are you using electronic controllers on the motors? When I had a power boat I used to troll with the electric motor with an electronic speed control. It gave me considerably more run time at slower speeds.

marys1000 , I was watching your other …

– Last Updated: Jan-28-09 2:56 PM EST –

...... post . I understand you haven't the strength to lift alot of weight , are a senior citizen (age ??) and don't know how durable you'd be .

A marine batt. weighs aprox. 50-65 lbs. and you really don't want to be dealing with one , putting it in a boat , taking it out , maintaining it on a charger , etc. .

The boat here weighs 65 lb. empty , you rig up the seat , motors and batt. at the shore side . Too much hassle and weight for you to deal with , I think . Motors aren't light either !!!

If you are considering getting an electric powered craft , you are going to have a lot of weight and work to deal with to "go out in it" .

Like the others who want you to enjoy the water , the enviroment and all that goes with it , in a personal craft , I agree you should get a "nice" very light boat , I say you will want a nice 12'-13' canoe , that's 30" wide or more , weighs 30 lbs. and will be a pleasure for you to use and enjoy !!! ... and know this , you won't have to hold more than half that 30 lbs. up to your hip height at one time ... that's 15 lbs. there mary , the other end is on the trailer or you just set it on the ground already ... they have little wheel things to tote it the rest of the way , sort of like a luggade cart if you want one !!!

For you , I would like to see you have a nice light trailer to keep it on . Get a light paddle somewhere around the 21 oz. or ligther range .

You can do this and will become more confident as you get out there more and more ... make sure you have a good PFD and some other minimal safty gear ... make sure you got a rope tied to it when you put it in the water ...

Some classes are a good thing I guess , that is if you are bit timid about the whole idea as it's probably a new thing to you ...

but if you just get the "canoe" (not a kayak or SOT) in the water and go sit in it with your paddle in hand ... there ya go , your off ang having a blast just 50' from shore "on a nice calm day" ... the rest will fall in line as you paddle around ... next go ahead and cross the pond and back , it really isn't any big deal ... just do it , I know you can !!!

"Sit" (that's right , I said sit , forget all that kneeling crap right now) , in it and paddle around , stretch your wings as you feel more comfortable ... that's the way it has always been done and you don't need to be any thing more than what you are , you are enough , I'm certain !!!

They already posted the links to the "canoe" and "trailer" I think is perfect for you on the other post , it has some tumblehome and is very light , not cheap but it's for you !!

leave it on the trailer when you get home and put a cover over it ... it's waiting for you the next time .

get a fiend who wants to be a litlle crazy (ah , adventurest) also and buy twin canoes and wear bright flashy colors and laugh your hearts out till the sun goes down ... really !!!

oh , did I say you can float and drift around all day till your hearts content , only paddle when you feel like it ... 10 light strokes on the paddle and you are on your way ... go on a see what's over there were only a little canoe will take you .

if you were 90 and asking this same question , I'd give you the same advise ... because you asked , I know you can !!!

As an avid stream angler…
Your concept is the best I’ve seen for an electric motor powered craft for streams. However, I agree with the others that you need more endurance. The battery should last 8-10 hours on one charge.

I fish from canoes. I’d like to see the design be a bit more canoe-like, with higher sides and with a seat like a canoe seat. The photos on your website of the guy sitting in it look pretty awkward to me.

Other than that, it looks impressive.


– Last Updated: Jan-31-09 8:21 AM EST –

Here is a Picasa photo album that has a pic or two of the Marauder that I have mounted an electric motor on.
The boat goes faster than I can paddle. I haven't checked out how long the batteries (two 33 amp-hour sealed gel batteries) will last but they last longer on fishing day than I do. Steering and speed is operated with a small radio remote controller. I modified the motor to ride up and over shallow rocks and bars.