Join Date: Feb 2004
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I use a riptide 58 to power our inflateable. Gets us on and off the mooring wonderfully.
A good AGM battery is pretty much a must. I created a "kit" which has the battery, an emergency little battery (small motorcycle). the inflator for the dinghy, a couple of patches and some glowsticks and things as one shoulder-strapped plastic box that fits under the seat of one dinghy and IS the seat of the other one)
The motor is a Riptide 48. It is not that much lighter then a 2hp outboard, but the weight is concentrated in the motor bulb, so it is easier to carry.
Its major advantage is that the car does not stink of fuel when we transport it, it does not leave that two-stroke flavour on everything and there is no smoke, virtually no noise and the ride is very sturdy (it does not just churn the water the way a small outboard seems to, the prop seems to be a much more efficient design and you can feel it pushing at every turn, so there is hardly a stern wake and no froth).
We have used it when it has gotten a little choppy and rough (20 knots) to get to and from the boat. it managed it with all of us on board....but I am not sure I would have been happy in anything rougher or if the boat was anchored in more open water.
We get really good life out of our battery-pack. About 1 and a bit hours on full throttle with the main AGM and then about 40minutes on half throttle with the little motorbike battery (we did a full test in water so we knew, before we got to FIND OUT the hard way). So basically it will get you into and out of trouble...sort of nicely.
Excellent for fishing, and I once attached it to the bow roller of the yacht for a joke. It actually moved us around quite smartly in calm water. Who knows, it may be a technique for parking in an incredibly conoluted and tight marina, sort of a detachaeble bow-thruster arrangement. (our boat is 26 feet and under three tons).
We plug the pack into the recharge outlet on our boat as soon as we are on board and it lives in its own little fiddled shelf (the outlet I built has two settings, a quick charge which takes form the battery bank and the motor running and a slow charge that just trickle feeds from the solar panel, so the thing stays plugged in till we need it).
I do recommend spending the extra money on the salt water rated motor rather then the freshwater trolling motors. The freshies work, but you are for ever trying rinse them and stuff and it gets kind of dull and pointless.