Jump to content
Trout Unlimited Canada - Northern Lights Fly Fishers
Sign in to follow this  
Morph1

Electric Trolling Motor

Recommended Posts

Hey Guys, :drinked:

can somone help me make my selection right, I don't want to buy a unit that I will be dissapointed with.

 

I am planing to buy Minn Kota Maxxam 40LBS thrust for a 11Ft inflatable.

Is this a good choice? this will serve as primary motor, just for pothole lakes,

Is it good to buy it with maximizer or are the specs for maximizer slightly exaggerated, I mean the description

explains the with maximizer my battery will last up to 5 times the time as if I was using same motor without maximizer.

Is there someone here that has a good experience with those electric motors??

My second question would be a battery choice, is a 85 amps battery good enough?? ,

I am planing on buying a set this weekend and would like to hear your opinion.

 

:cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have that exact motor and am quite pleased with it.

Mine is intended for my new 10 foot 4" Zodiak and was used on an older one of similar size.

More thrust doesn't mean more speed, just the ability to handle a larger boat with more drag.

And of course a higher thrust motor will use more juice, shortening battery time.

At 40 lbs, unless you load your inflatable to the gunnels and drive into a stiff wind, it will be plenty.

That was the advice of the guys at the Minn Kota booth at the Fishing Hole show three years ago.

At full output, the maximizer doesn't help much with battery time.

But at slow troll it will extend battery time, maybe not 5 x but noticeable.

I have an older 15 lb thrust motor for my canoe and the 40 lb at slow troll does better for battery time.

Buy the largest Deep Cycle RV battery you can reasonbly carry.

I got mine from Rocky's battery. It ran about $100. In fact, I bought two for those long weekends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have that exact motor and am quite pleased with it.

Thank you Dave for your reply, now I am quite sure that this setup will work for me fine.

I am trying to compare it to a 2.5 hp gas motor, I hate noise so most likely I will go with that unit.

and one more thing , would you remember how many amps is your battery and what does it weigh ??

I was wondering if you would know how much horse power is that Minn-kota capable of generating.

 

Dave, one more question, while going at an average speed can one battery last lets say 10 hours of constant run??

 

 

 

thanks for your reply,

:cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Maxxim 33lbs, I run it with a big Deep Cycle battery from walmart, Energizer brand.

 

The maxxims have fully variable speed in forward and reverse, built in maximizer and tilt tiller. All those features are well worh it.

 

I have used it on my 17 foot cannoe with excellent results, I also use it on my 12 foot aluminum again with excellent results.

 

My battery will last almost 2 days worth of fishing, Trolling for the most part. If it is really windy I might not get 2 days but I usually do, Thats with 3 big guys in my boat. I have 3 Batteries which I take for my extended trips.

 

I wish I had a bit more power (40lbs) for those really windy days, not for speed but it would be easier to keep the boat from being pushed from side to side. My 33lbs does the job though and I do get good battery life.

 

I have had this motor now for close to 10 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I purchased a 30 # electric for my 15' canoe this winter (actually a christmas gift). I set it up with the largest deep cycle battery from Costco, I belive it's 115 amp hour for about $80. I shopped around and it was the cheapest and biggest deep cycle battery I could find.

 

From my research the Kirkland batteries are made by Johnson Controls and are the same as the Sears Die Hard batteries.

 

I've been out twice with my canoe with the electric motor set up. The first day I was out for about 4-5 hours and only used 15% of the battery. The second day I was out for about 7 hours, it was really windy so I used alot more power to keep my canoe on course, and didn't drain the battery.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Adam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think my batteries are 100 amp hours, but I'll check when I get home.

Weight? Heavy! I'll check that too later in the day.

The ones from Costco mentioned by Adam sound pretty good.

Candian Tire sells a 105 amp hour Nautilus for $120

 

 

As for Horsepower, I think the 44 pound is well under 1.0.

It definitey won't have the same push as a 2.5HP gas.

Wtih a gas motor you can pick a prop with a pitch that works for troling at idle

and it will lower the top speed of the motor, but that would still be better than the electric.

You coudl proabably get better speed with a coarser pitch prop for the Minn Kota, but

for some reason Minn Kota don't sell props with different pitch.

My dad left me his 3 hp gas, and I remember it's performance.

But it hasn't been run for more than 10 years so I'm reluctant to give it a try.

Besides, I like it quiet too.

 

As for time :

Two days sounds about right, depending on how much high speed cruising you do.

 

A couple of cautions on batteries and chargers. (This is the electrcial engineer speaking)

1. Make sure you get a deep cycle RV battery, preferrably a marine style.

Typical car batteries are not designed to be fully discharged and recharged repeatedly.

It has to do with plate design and how they handle sulfate.

Also, marine batteries wont spill if tipped over.

2. Even with deep cycle bateries, to not discharge until dead flat.

That will reduce plate life as even a deep cycle battery plates will sulphate up

to the point where you need to use a very high chrage rate to blast it off

and that can kill the plates more quickly.

3. Use a high quality charger with automatic polarity protection

and a setting for deep cycle batteries with a float cycle at the end of charge.

The charge curve for deep cycle is different from typical automotive batteries

and if you use a standard charger they won't reach full charge.

Also, fixed rate chargers can continue charging at that rate after the battery is fully charged.

If left long enough, that can cause the battery to boil dry and explode!

4. You don't need a really big charger

A 12 amp charger will recharge the battery overnight.

I bought the Canadia Tire "Intelligent" charger ($79) as it has all the features noted above

as well as a cycle for gell cells, which are even trickier to charge than RV batteries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Guys :cheers: beers for everyone .....

Hey Adam are you the guy with that medium size yellow canoe that I seen at Star Lake last Sunday ???

If so hey I am the guy that came by and was asking questions regarding your setup. LOL, :D

somehow I think that's you cause at the lake dude was also talking about getting his motor as a present.

 

Well I decided I am getting this motor, battery and charger today, :clap:

 

Thanks again, and of course

beers for everyone :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, that was me. Pretty hard to miss actually...lol...

 

There's not many folks floating our local lakes with a bright yellow canoe.

 

Feel free to say hello if you see me around. Glad I could help out with some info.

 

See ya

Adam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adam:

You'd be surprised at how many bright yellow canoes are out there.

For several years, that was the standard Clipper color.

I have a 17 1/2 ft Clipper Tripper that is canary yellow.

I named in Chiquita for obvious reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys;

 

I'm certain its a moot point now being as how I've missed the bulk of the conversation, but mark me up as another satisfied Maxxum-40 user. It don't push like that 9.9 gas, but I'm thinking it would help if I shortened the shaft a little bit. Its a 30", and I only need 22" to put the prop in 6" of water. Short transomed flat-bottomed.

 

andy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, that was me. Pretty hard to miss actually...lol...

 

There's not many folks floating our local lakes with a bright yellow canoe.

 

Feel free to say hello if you see me around. Glad I could help out with some info.

 

See ya

Adam

LOL, man this pothole thing is a small world :laugh: nice to meet you Adam,

Well guys thanks again, I bought the motor, very nice unit with 3 years warranty- haven't tried it yet, also bought a nautilus 2/10 amp charger with auto shut off - 70 bucks, now I am doing some small research for a battery, I think I'll get the 105 amps, but my question is,

In my inflatable I got a high pressure air floor, do I just chuck the battery right on it or would you recommand some kind of substrate to rest the battery over, I just want to avoid applying large pressure onto a small area, just want to avoid any damage.

 

Any pointers here Dave, you said you got a Zodiak, is the boat with a rigid floor or air floor??

I was wondering how you set the battery up.

 

Well thanks and cheers guys :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Zodiak has the rigid floor.

For yours, I'd tempted to put a piece of plywood under it big enough so no danger of it tipping over..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Zodiak has the rigid floor.

For yours, I'd tempted to put a piece of plywood under it big enough so no danger of it tipping over..

Hey Guys,

Finally got my boat out, with the new motor and the new 115 amps battery, I was very pleased with the results,

I was out on the water for about 3 hours, I had been maxing the motor going 75 and 100% thrust fighting against the waves (it was windy) I was quite surprised when I got home I had used only 15% of the battery charge :laugh:

I thought I had some what used a lot more charge cause of the windy weather and having it going at 100% thrust,

what a great deal, I love it.

 

Thanks for your help.

:cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Again, :drinked:

 

I guess I would most likely address my question to Mr. Dave again since he's got an electric motor and he is an electrical engineer,

well to my question, as I had been at a lake this weekend for the first time planning my trip for the whole day, I must say I was very pleased with the electric motor and the battery setup, however something strange happend that I just don't have a clue how to approach it. Well the thing is I used my motor from 6 am till 3:30 pm that is 9.5 hours, from all that time I figured I used my motor for a good 7 hours trawling, most of the time at 25% and very frequently at 50%, and some time I was going full throttle,

till about 1 oclock pm my battery level indicator switched to low that really scared me as I was about 1.5 km away from the boat launch, where my car was parked...

I just panicked, switched my thrust to 25% and slowly started heading towards the boat launch, after I've gone about 1 quater of the distance the indicator switched to RECHARGE,

now I seriously thought I was AFU :unsure: , I just agreed with myself that I am gonna have to paddle about .75 km.

Well after about 30 minutes of I reached the boat launch without any need of paddling the status of battery on the minn kota display was at RECHARGE indication,

I had been thinking and assumed gees my battery must be at like 10% or less, well I packed up, got back home and first thing I did was get the battery on the charger and examine the charge levels, I hooked up the battery read the indicator on my charger and it says 69% ????? , what the hell is happening?? :eek: , if I knew I had so much juice left I would've stayed at least few more hours, why would the minn-kota indicate the critical level at 69% and freak me out like that ?? :vikinjg:::curse:

 

Can anyone relate to this if possible and give me some idea of what is happening, could I buy some kind of device that would read the battery charge level ??

any replies would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks Guys,

:cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion, the only reliable way to determine the charge on a lead acid battery, is to use a hydrometer -- not too convenient when you're in a boat. The voltage drop that occurs from a fully charged state to an almost completely discharged state is only about 2 volts at most (out of nominally 12v). Therefore, using voltage as an indicator is dicy at best. I'm only a mechanical engineer, so Dave the electrical engineer may have a more erudite answer :):) . However, I've used trolling motors for many years, not to mention also dealing with RV batteries, and my comments above reflect my experience. BTW, I always took more than one battery, especially on large lakes -- I don't enjoy rowing. Terry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terry is pretty much right.

The only really accurate way to determine charge left on a lead acid battery is to test specific gravity.

And even then it won't tell the entire tale as remaining charge also has a bit to do with plate condition.

The better battery meters will use a very accurate voltmeter and give you charge condition based on voltage.

That has more limitations than SG but is easier.

Limitations are that you have to do the test when the load is off and it won't identify a week cell.

For the easy voltage test, you should wait about a minute after the load is off to see if voltage rebounds.

There is a way to do a test under load that is more accurate, but the meter would need the battery profile

(deep cycle or not, amp hours etc.) and the load would have to be a predetermined one.

What I suspect Minn Kota has done is use a very basic voltage test and based condition on the worst case battery - (standard lead acid, aged plates).

The low and recharge settings would be conservative so as to prevent lawsuits from a drained battery

causing someone to get stranded or causing the battery to die completely.

So what you need to do is get some experience with your own combination to know what the limits are.

Adn pack that spare battery if going any distance.

Oh yeah.

And make sure that you have a good setup for paddling or rowing.

The legal minimum is to have one paddle. However, that is a Minimum. It doesn't guaranted it will be very effective.

A canoe with a good paddle and balanced to prevent weathercocking or a dingy with a good pair of oars and oarlocks and a good rowing position will make a couple k paddling or rowing no sweat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Morph I have a Minn Kota Maxxam 55 on a 14ft aluminum. I carry two 100 amp hour batteries. The Maxxum charge indicator has seldom indicated a full charge even when the batteries were new and fully charged. I may get 2 minutes of use before it goes to "Good". Once it goes into the "Low" indication range this means I have used about 1/4 of what I can get out of the battery. (3/4 charge still left) As Dave touched on, wait until the motor has been off for a minute or two before you press the test button as you may see that the battery indicator gives a different measure as compared to if you pushed the button right after you stop the motor.

 

Remember this information is based on my usage and equipment and will not necessarily apply to your usage and equipment. (I don’t want to be blamed for stranding anyone.)

 

The moral of the story? Always carry two batteries and paddles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Guys for your quick replies,

 

Terry, regarding your answer , should I get a Voltage Meter?? and monitor the battery status ? , when the battery weakenss is the voltage going to read less than 12 volts ?? , you mention read out of 2 volts , is the motor still going to run if the read out is 4 volts??,

Dave, The battery I am using is brand new, I just bought it and used it only twice, I don't think I have to worry about the weak or damaged plates/cells, and also I think I was checking the status on the minn kota while the engine was on :curse: , maybe that is was caused the inaccurate reading... and yes I always load the paddles on just in case of a situation that I might have to use them,

I am just confused when the status switched from LOW to RECHARGE within 15 min time frame, when status GOOD to LOW to switch took the entire day....

 

Weedy you wrote "The Maxxum charge indicator has seldom indicated a full charge even when the batteries were new and fully charged. I may get 2 minutes of use before it goes to "Good"" The same thing happens with mine, after 2 min or os it changes to GOOD status, which I can understand, you also say that when it switches to low that means you got a 3/4 of charge left, that's crazy... I mean shouldn't the minn kota indicate LOW status let's say at least at 50% , LOW to me is LOW not a 75% of remaining charge, well looks to me like I am gonna have to experiment a lot more with my set up, but you must be right regardin the status of LOW readout because when I put the battery on charge after I got back home it indicated 70% of charge remaining.

My question would be how much more time would I have left on cruising at 50% thrust?? I would think probably another 4 hours? ??

 

However please guys advise if I should get a Voltage Meter and how would I use the damn thing :laugh:

I am scared of electricity :laugh: JK,

 

Well thanks again,

pleasure to chat with you,

 

Morph1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A voltmeter won't help a whole lot.

For accuracy with lead acid batteries, you need to measure cell by cell

and the meter has to be able to read to two decimal places.

You could measure overall voltage, but again you'd need to get to two decimal places.

You won't get that with a $15 radio shack meter.

You'll need one that gets 2% accuracy in the 12 volt range

and it would cost at least $100, which is about the price of a second battery.

Even then you'd need to stop the motor for about a minute to get a good measurement.

 

Also, the voltage to charge ratio won't be a straight line curve.

The battery will tend to hold voltage down to about 10 volts then crater fast.

Deep cycle batteries are able to sustain the voltage longer than standard ones due to plate size and design.

Again, it's likely that Minn Kota set up their "no brainer" indicator for a small regular battery,

so it's no surprise that "recharge" for a big RV battery would still leave 60% charge.

The actual voltage setpoints for each indicator position probably is based on worst case batteries

and most likely was decided by their lawyers, not their engineers.

 

Battery time is dependant on motor draw, and it isn't a straight line curve either.

The electronics in the Endura versions of Minn Kota motors work real well to extend battery time at low speed.

But when you crank it up over 50% the electronics don't do the same thing and the draw goes up dramatically.

At full power it's even worse and battery time shortens quite a bit.

 

The best way to get an idea of your specific battery time is to litteraly run it flat.

That is, take it fishing and use it until the motor just doesn't perform.

Of course, you then switch to your spare battery to get home and put the discharged one on the charger.

To completely recharge a fully discharged battery you do the regular recharge and leave it on trickle charge overnight.

 

Another tip for battery maintenace

Always store your batteries at full charge.

If storing for a long time, say over the winter, put them on trickle charge overnight once a month.

Check electrolyte level at least twice per year, more if you use it a lot

as each recharge will deplete electrolyte a bit, and top up with DISTILLED WATER.

 

As to how long in the end, it depends on how you use the motor.

I do know that the guides using freighter canoes on Maligne Lake have two deep cycle batteries

(I asked one of them once) and with that they can cruise all the way to Spirit Island and back

and still have at least a days trolling.

Edited by dave robinson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terry, regarding your answer , should I get a Voltage Meter?? and monitor the battery status ? , when the battery weakenss is the voltage going to read less than 12 volts ?? , you mention read out of 2 volts , is the motor still going to run if the read out is 4 volts??,

Morph1,

 

What I meant was that when a battery is fully charged, you'll likely get a voltage reading of say 13.5v. When it's run down to the point that it's not going to move your boat, the voltage will probably be around 11.5v. Therefore, your whole range of interest spans about 2 volts. A 2 volt range on a nominal reading of 12v, means a small change (in relative terms) in voltage has a big change in batttery behaviour. Hence, voltage is a lousy way to assess battery charge.

 

Also, in addition to Dave's comments on battery maintenance, get yourself an hydrometer. They're cheap and it will allow you to assess the health of individual cells. Also, I strongly second Dave's comment about keeping the battery charged over the winter. I've lost too many batteries over the years by not getting around to doing this.

 

 

Dave,

 

My son guided on Maligne Lake for a number of years, and I'm not sure you got the story right on the freighter canoes. Many of the guys with freighters use Cat batteries -- not something you want to be lugging around. I very much doubt they would make it to Spirit Island and back on two regular batteries, with juice to spare. When I fished the lake in my 12ft. boat, I normally didn't go much past Five Mile Point, which is still a long way from Spirit Island. Normally it was one battery to get there and fish, one battery to get back, and battery #3 was my safety factor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terry:

You may be right about the CAT battery.

I didn't enquire as to amphours.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Guys, thanks for the replies,

 

I went to the Lake Isle again just trolling, pike and wallay action - non-stop, this time I took my kid and wife along,

we had a fun day together catching over 30 fish varing in sizes...

I tried to run my battery down, so this time I trolled the entire time from 6:00 am till about 3:00 pm, I stopped here and there for maybe 5 minutes.

Well this time, every time I was checking the battery status on the minn-kota I waited about 2 minutes and procceded to check the readout,

after 6 hours it switched to low and remained there for the rest of the day, after 7 hours of trolling I headed back towards the boat launch,

I was giving it 100% thrust all the way, checked the readout - again indicates at low, from there I decided to try to run down the battery, this way I would figure out approximately how much I can actually get out of this set up, so I started trolling for the next 2 hours non-stop on full blast along the opposite shore line, checked the readout - set at low...

When I goot back home I headed straight for the charger, I hooked up the battery and amazingly it still read out 50% of usage left.

 

I must admit that after this weekend I feel very safe in my unit having the electric motor setup,

2 more trips and for sure the battery expense will pay off compare to fuel prices :D , I feel like I also contribute to the safe and friendly environment using electric oppose to using gas motor poluting the waters ....

 

Thanks Guys,

 

:cheers:Cheers ! :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to hear your battery capacity is working out for you

 

Just a side note:

An electric motor helps local pollution only,

in that it keeps gas and oil from spills or fugitive leaks out of the lake you are using it on.

However, in the big pciture, it's not that great.

 

The efficiency of small gasoline powered motors historically is very low.

While not quite as good as the efficiency of an electric motor, the newer ones are getting better.

However, you need to look at the overall energy chain to assess pollution of the two.

Production of gasoline requires oil input to extract, refine and ship.

The ratio is about 2 barrels of oil to end up with 1 barrel of refined oil.

That works out to 50% efficiency just to get the gas in the tank.

 

To produce your electricity requries extraction of coal (or natural gas),

then combustion in a power plant, then transmission to your home,

then conversion to chemical energy in your battery,

then reconversion to electrical energy as you run the motor.

That entire supply chain is way less than 50% efficient in terms of initial fossil fuel.

Then there's the environmental and energy cost to produce and eventually dipose of the lead acid battery.

 

This applies to all those electric cars as well.

So if you want to think about electrically driven vehicles, be they boats or cars,

what happens is relocation of the pollution, not less pollution.

Electric motors may be benficial for cities where air pollution from burned hydorcarbons causes smog

or for the fish in the lake who don't like hydrocarbons much either

since the pollution gets moved to the power and battery plants.

But for the overall environment, it may not be a net gain in pollution reduction.

 

Now if Alberta got a couple of nukes to produce electricity the equation would change.

 

In the mean time, if you really want to be environmentally friendly,

Row, Row, Row Your Boat....

Dave

Edited by dave robinson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...