Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Buffalo, NY
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Gas Outboard Recommendations or should I keep the Trolling Motor
Hopefully this is the right board to post a question like this, if not feel free to move it.
We have a classic 18' Annapolis Columbia which is a centerboard boat that displaces around 800-900 lb fully loaded. The previous owner fitted it with a 75Ah deep cycle battery and 55ft-lb Minn Kota trolling motor. The trolling motor pushes the boat around 3-4 knots at full throttle in relatively calm water. This worked fine in the small lake the PO used it on, but we live in Buffalo and wind up sailing on either Lake Erie or Lake Ontario and I'm concerned about only having one hour of thrust if the wind dies.
I'm looking at two options now:
1) buy another battery, perhaps a larger one, and get another 1-2 hours of battery life out of the trolling motor.
2) Buy a new or used outboard and keep the trolling motor in the cabin as a third backup propulsion source.
If we go the outboard route, would you recommend a brand new one or trying to find a decent used one? Are we likely to have major reliability issues with a used outboard?
Beyond that, I think a 4HP motor is more than sufficient (probably overkill) for our little boat. Given that, would you recommend going with a 3.5hp motor that does not have external fuel tank connectors or reverse in order to save around 20lb of motor weight, or is it worth the extra weight and money for the full 4HP motor with external tank and a reverse gear?
I like the idea of going pure electric on the boat from an environmental perspective, but I'm not sure I trust the batteries to get us home when the wind dies, especially on the bigger lakes.
Thanks in advance for your advice.
18' Annapolis Columbia "Clockwork"