electric trolling motors for small sailboats?
The sailing school I went to allowed you to charter their school boats, Tanzer 22s, for day sails. They had 12 boats or so, but only three outboards. If you didn''t get there early, you had to get towed out and back. So I pulled a trolling motor off of my small aluminum fishing boat (35-pounds of thrust) and brought it with me for the Tanzer. Got me out away from the dock and out on the water, and back with no problem. In later years I used it on a Catalina 22 with similar results. You didn''t move fast, but even in a blow you could make forward progress.
They make 55-pound thrust saltwater motors and I was considering one of those to replace an old Johnson 9.9 that was a bit finicky. Was motoring out next to a J-24 that had one of them, and the guy was moving along very smartly, much faster than I did with the smaller motor.
The 55-pound thrust motor is used with a 12-volt deep cycle battery. If you rig up a 24-volt system, you can get electric motors that have much higher thrust. These would be more than enough for a small sailboat.