New member from Oregon

I just joined the forums and have been browsing. One thing I’ve noticed is the lack of pictures. I see that posting pictures is in the testing phase. I don’t see a provision for links either.

I have a 16’ Old Town FG built in 1971. We decided to motorize it because of a recent bad experience. I bought a Minn Kota Traxxis 45 and have designed a custom mount for it. I want to post my progress photos of this mount, as I build it, or a link to my web page that will document this project. Are these forums a good place for this type of post? Can links to other sites be posted?

Pictures and links
To post pictures you have to join paddling perks. Links can just be pasted into a post, no privileges needed.

Pictures & motors versus paddling
The usual procedure is to post your photos on a host site such as Flickr or Picasa, then include a link to your photos when you talk about them here.

Sometimes the discussion comes up about the format of this site being “old-fashioned”, but it is also very compact, clear and uncluttered, and hasn’t followed the trend to become gawdy, and a good number of us “old farts” seem to appreciate that. Anyway, many photo sites provide much better options for viewing photos than what is possible on a message board (for example, a paid account on Flickr imposes no limits on photo dimensions or file sizes).

What was the “bad experience” that prompted you to put such a big electric motor on a canoe? You could propel a huge bass boat with a motor that size. Motors have their place, but you’ll find that most of the people here are paddlers first and foremost (there’s seldom much interest in motors here).

Our not so fun adventure.
On Waldo Lake last Summer the wife and I were about 3/4 mile from camp when the wind came up. The lake, very quicly, was whipped to white caps and we were directly down wind. We’re in our 70’s and giving it all we had, we were going nowhere. Then my paddle broke and we were pushed into the rocks (lava). We lifted the canoe up on the rocks and hiked back to camp (no trail). I was in my house slippers and the trip through the brush and swamps was not a picnic.

Getting back to camp, we waited awhile for our son (out on the lake in a kayak), but he didn’t show and it was getting late. Turns out he was also stuck in the wind. We hiked back to the canoe (carrying our spare paddle),…or where we thought it should be, but couldn’t see it from shore. Stumbling around for 1/2 hour, or so, we finally located it. The wind had died down some, but it was still strong enough to make our arms ache. It took a long time to get back and we could hardly move our arms.

Lessons were learned that day…always carry a spare paddle and always bring along the GPS. The motor would have saved us a lot of work and worry that day.

I chose the Traxxis 45 for it’s power and the battery miser feature. The one hand stow is nice, too. Fishing with the motor will make things more relaxing. Paddling while holding a fly rod is a real nuisance.

And a ditch bag
Just to add to what you want to carry - ditch bag with more robust and/or dry change of clothing.

Glad you got out of that one!

Me too

– Last Updated: Mar-03-13 4:29 PM EST –

That was an adventure that could have gone South in a hurry. But it turned into a class in preparedness. The wind almost always comes up in the afternoon on the Cascade high lakes. We do take that into account and we did on that day. Trouble came from the opposite direction from "normal" on that day.

For what it's worth, here is the mount I'm building for my 1971 Old Town FG

Standard cautionary stuff for motor use

– Last Updated: Mar-03-13 3:26 PM EST –

Well, you describe a situation of getting out of the comfort zone for you and your boat. It sounds like it was more a consideration of paddling power than boat capability, since a motor won't make the boat any more capable in waves. It sounds like you are more interested in ease of travel while fishing than the experience of paddling, which of course is okay.

Anyway, here's some stuff you might want to consider when fixing yourself up with an electric motor. First, nearly every state (perhaps every state) has boating rules which exactly follow the Coast Guard regulations. In that case, the battery must be covered, which is easy to do (get a plastic battery box). Also, you must secure the battery so that it can't tip over or slide around, and that's usually not so easy to do. Anyway, the combined weight of the motor and battery will likely be close to 150 pounds, and unlike virtually every OTHER kind of heavy item commonly carried in canoes, this stuff sinks like a stone. Many canoes have just enough floatation to keep them from sinking, and if that describes your boat, you might lose it if it ever tips over or gets swamped in big waves, because the battery and motor might take it to the bottom. For some boats (maybe most), you'd definitely be wise to add additional flotation. Most people don't do this of course, and though there's not exactly an epidemic of canoes being lost this way, it's something to think about.

group paddling in Oregon
Hi, if you are interested in lots of fun free group paddles in and around Portland, with plenty of trips to coast / Cascade Lakes etc, check out:

Kayak Portland

Plus, there’s pool practices and in summer rescue classes and paddling instruction, increased safety with well trained group. Also good for discussing alternative gear / rigging etc.

not so fun adventure
At 68, I am getting back into paddling and I considered your adventure a success story, although an informative one. You are to be congatulated for your tenacity and courage.