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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I hope I'm not being repetitive with this question, if I am please feel free to ignore.

I'm thinking about buying a small trolling motor (55lb thrust) for docking, putting up the sails, and non-wind situations for my 15' Challenger. One of the questions I had was: although I would be in freshwater 99% of the time, I was hoping to maybe take the boat to the beach on vacation and try sailing on the sound. Would this be grossly detrimental to the health of my freshwater trolling motor even with a rinse after use?

Secondly, I was trying to figuring out some wiring schemes and know that I will have to run wire from the motor to the battery as I will be placing the battery near the "cabin" at the bow. I heard of a low cost solution to expensive wiring would be to modify an extension cord. Additionally, I heard a self-resetting circuit would be wise to incorporate. Finally, I was also wondering if using a motorcycle battery tender would be sufficient for cycling the batter when not in use.

Any thoughts, comments, suggestions, advise, or berating would be appreciated as I am very green and new to sailing.

Chad
 

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Hi , what kind of motor are you talking about ? First the motor will be fine in salt water , but need to flush it and maintain zinks . I assume the motor you are talking about has a alternator . What electrics are you running ? I forget but aren't motor cycle batts. 6 volt ? Don't skimp on wiring . Also I would not go the trickle charge . Check out Guest chargers .
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi , what kind of motor are you talking about ? First the motor will be fine in salt water , but need to flush it and maintain zinks . I assume the motor you are talking about has a alternator . What electrics are you running ? I forget but aren't motor cycle batts. 6 volt ? Don't skimp on wiring . Also I would not go the trickle charge . Check out Guest chargers .
Thanks for the quick response! This is the motor I was thinking about: Minn Kota Endura C2 55-lb Thrust Trolling Motor - Walmart.com

Hmm, I have no idea what a zink is, but I won't be running any electronics off the battery other than the trolling motor. It's a day sailboat (15' and only 300lbs or so). I do not believe there is any alternator on this motor either. The motorcycle battery I have is 12V.

Thanks again for the quick feedback!
 

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Well I have often wondered if there really is any difference between "salt water trolling motors" and fresh besides a couple of hundred dollars. I think for occasional use it should be fine, just be sure to rinse it off with fresh water when you get out.

I don't know about wiring, but extension cords does not really sound very long lasting. As far as a motorcycle tender, I think it would take weeks to charge the battery as they are like 1/2 amp and not really meant for continuous use to charge a battery. You are going to want to get the biggest deep cycle battery you can to give you range. Remember you don't want to run down past a 50% charge or you will have very short battery life. So figure a battery at least twice as big as you think you will ever use. Assuming you are going to be charging on the trailer or off the boat then any real charger is going to work, does not need to be "marine" but I would suggest at least a 10 amp charger. I have had good luck with Schumacher chargers for an inexpensive one off a boat.
 

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I know you are talking about an Electric trolling motor like used on Bass fishing boats.
You need a heavy duty wire so you don't have a lot of Voltage Loss. You could use 6 gage
flexible wire. If you want the complete tech details go here Minn Kota - Minn Kota questions service and charts
Yes you can use a trickle charger but it may take long time if you have a large Deep Cycle
battery that is used with electric trolling motors...It would be better for the battery health to have a "Deep Cycle battery charger".
....You have opened a whole can of needed technical information for Gage of wire needed, amps used, type of battery, type of charger,connections, and how long you want to run the 55lb thrust.
 

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We have used a Minn Kota Endura C2 40 for the last two summers on our Hunter 170. I recommend you use an AGM battery in case of a knockdown. We have used a Werker battery (WKA12-12F2) for the last two summers. There may be two dozen recharges on it so far. It is advertised to handle a couple/few hundred recharges. We use a 2A automotive trickle charger.

This is only a 12Ah battery but we only use it to quickly move from(to) the (typically crowded) ramp to(from) the dock. It's been used sometimes to point us into the wind to set sails. This small size battery had enough power to propel us about a mile a couple of times when the wind was becalmed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Tolling motor care

Well I have often wondered if there really is any difference between "salt water trolling motors" and fresh besides a couple of hundred dollars. I think for occasional use it should be fine, just be sure to rinse it off with fresh water when you get out.

I don't know about wiring, but extension cords does not really sound very long lasting. As far as a motorcycle tender, I think it would take weeks to charge the battery as they are like 1/2 amp and not really meant for continuous use to charge a battery. You are going to want to get the biggest deep cycle battery you can to give you range. Remember you don't want to run down past a 50% charge or you will have very short battery life. So figure a battery at least twice as big as you think you will ever use. Assuming you are going to be charging on the trailer or off the boat then any real charger is going to work, does not need to be "marine" but I would suggest at least a 10 amp charger. I have had good luck with Schumacher chargers for an inexpensive one off a boat.
Thanks for the quick reply and good advice! I do think I will be going with a deep cycle battery for sure! Also, thanks for the charger suggestion too, I might just grab one of those up with the motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I know you are talking about an Electric trolling motor like used on Bass fishing boats.
You need a heavy duty wire so you don't have a lot of Voltage Loss. You could use 6 gage
flexible wire. If you want the complete tech details go here Minn Kota - Minn Kota questions service and charts
Yes you can use a trickle charger but it may take long time if you have a large Deep Cycle
battery that is used with electric trolling motors...It would be better for the battery health to have a "Deep Cycle battery charger".
....You have opened a whole can of needed technical information for Gage of wire needed, amps used, type of battery, type of charger,connections, and how long you want to run the 55lb thrust.
Thanks for the link sidney777! Yes, I will probably have even more questions questions when I actually get to buying the materials but the link will certainly assist. Thanks again.

Chad
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We have used a Minn Kota Endura C2 40 for the last two summers on our Hunter 170. I recommend you use an AGM battery in case of a knockdown. We have used a Werker battery (WKA12-12F2) for the last two summers. There may be two dozen recharges on it so far. It is advertised to handle a couple/few hundred recharges. We use a 2A automotive trickle charger.

This is only a 12Ah battery but we only use it to quickly move from(to) the (typically crowded) ramp to(from) the dock. It's been used sometimes to point us into the wind to set sails. This small size battery had enough power to propel us about a mile a couple of times when the wind was becalmed.
Thanks for the battery recommendation Ded reckoner. Your use sounds just like mine. I will look into those AGM batteries.
 

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The trolling motor you proposed will draw about 50 Amps at full thrust. Even though the circuit won't be very long (say 10' one way) the amperage required calls for 4-AWG cabling. Figure $2.00 per foot, therefore, $40.00. See the voltage drop calculator at Genuinedealz.com. The American Boat and Yacht Council standard for voltage drop is 3% or less.

I'd suggest that you consider keeping it simple. You'll probably be able to scull your boat in. If not, think paddle.

It looks like a great little boat. Have fun
 

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HA,HA , my bad. I should have known you meant electric motor . I see people using those motors on dingys all the time in salt water . A zink is a sacrificial piece of material that you bolt on to the motor below the water, it will corrode before before the motor does .
 

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I use a Minn Kota 55 lb thrust Riptide for my 8' inflatable dinghy. Hudsonian is correct, about 50 amps at max. I have measured this with my clamp meter. The Riptide is a salt water engine but doing it again I would not bother paying the extra. Both lower units are sealed - either fresh or salt water inside would probably destroy the motor. The Riptide is white and has a zinc on the lower unit but other than that I can't tell the difference. If it isn't in use it is tipped out of the water - not the same issues as something in the water all the time.

I use an AGM battery of 76 AH. I currently charge it with a portable charger rated at 25 amps, purchased for about $79. I have used it for as long as 6 hours or so continuously in the summer with power to spare, often at full throttle. For in and out of harbor use the battery could be much smaller. The main reason I use an AGM battery is that I am installing a solar panel (50 watts) on the dinghy to recharge with the solar controller (Morningstar) installed inside the battery box lid and a flooded battery would destroy it quickly due to corrosion. Picture of a friend's dinghy I got the idea from below.

The extension cord idea is not a good one. Best bet is to place a small battery aft and use the factory leads which are 6 gauge I think. For a run to the bow heavier cables will be needed.




I think electric motors are a great idea - they are not as expensive as gas or propane outboards and require zero maintenance except for a fresh water wash. Beats carrying gas on a boat with a diesel as well.
 
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