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post #20 of Old 06-27-2013
ABH3 Boyer
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Buffalo, N.Y.
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Re: using a trolling motor for power

I'm sailing a 26 ' swing keel fractional sloop on lake Erie and installed a bracket for an electric trolling motor. I also have an 8hp outboard that always starts on 1 pull. My original intent was to use the 55# thrust electric motor to transit in and out of my marina. I found that I cant wait to get my sails up every time I go out and so I use the faster gas powered motor. Even though I don't use it for getting in and out of the marina that dose not mean I don't use it. I found another use for it. When the wind is light and I would usually drop the sails and either sit or motor I plop in the electric motor. Its not fast by anyone's standards but it takes a 1 knot cruse and escalates it to a 3 knot cruse. It extends my sailing time while making no noise like that stinky 2 cycle. I also like the fact that if my motor wont start I have a back up if the wind dies. It might take a while but I will get there. I figure I can get about 7 miles on one battery moving at approximately 2 knots(it will push faster but will also burn much more power reducing the range by about 1/3). The dedicated marine battery gets recharged by a solar panel when its not charging my main electrical system for the boat and that battery can also be used as extra power for the electric motor in a real pinch. With all that being said I wouldn't even bother dropping it in the water if the wind is over 15mph. It just isn't strong enough to push my boat through a strong wind or rough water. Good piece of mind purchase but spends more time stowed away than I had imagined when I was making the purchase.
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