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MetroMPG 12-01-2007 11:04 PM

bought another electric motor (trolling)

Someone was selling a used 17 lb thrust Minnkota like this for $30. Couldn't stop myself...

I don't fish, but there's no shortage of boats (& batteries) around here to play with this.

MetroMPG 12-01-2007 11:05 PM

Made a "tri-brid" with it (wind/gas/electric): lashed the Minnkota to the swim ladder of a sailboat

It's kind of funny seeing 17 lbs of thrust drive a 5000 lb boat. Mind you, it wasn't fast - a slow walking pace at max power. And that was in flat water with almost no breeze. Change either of those, and fuhgeddaboutit.

With only 17 lbs of thrust, it quickly becomes apparent how much force even the lightest breeze exerts on just the hull & rigging.

I was also thinking: I might be able to cannibalize this to make an e-assist bike kit. Motor cooling issues aside, it's is supposed to supply max power for 3.25 hrs from a 105 amp hour 12v source. That works out to about 32 amps or 384 watts, which is the rating of a med-low powered e-bike.

EDIT: I wonder if the electronics of the Minnkota can handle a stall (or low RPM, high current) situation though... boat motors don't see that, so it may not be designed in....

MetroMPG 12-01-2007 11:07 PM


Originally Posted by [B
SVOboy[/B]]How much do these usually cost?

Used? I checked a few eBay auctions and saw $30-$60 for this type of motor. Plus shipping.


Regular pedal boats with the paddle wheels seem really inefficient. If the generator had some gearing then you could adjust the pedaling speed and effort to whatever you wanted...
Yeah, like the series hybrid human-electric bike.

MetroMPG 12-01-2007 11:08 PM

[quote=[B]SW[/B]]How 'bout a for-canoe? Forken-ewe? {/quote]

Guess what I tried? It's perfect on flat water with no wind.

Cruised silently past 8 turtles sunning on a rock. When I ran out of juice and paddled by them on the way back to the cottage, they all dove into the water. Even turtles think electric drive is cool

I was using an old starting battery. It only seemed to have about 20 ah usable capacity. Next time I try it will be with a pair of surplus floodies from Project ForkenSwift (rated 240 ah, probably more like 120 ah now).

MetroMPG 12-01-2007 11:12 PM

1 Attachment(s)
May I present....

The Forkanoe (or whatever SW dubbed it :D).

Quiet fun on the lake.

So far I've used it as:

- sole mode of propulsion for just cruising around quietly

- as a "range extender" for my arms on a longer trip

- in parallel hybrid mode while paddling (I believe that with the motor turned slightly to one side improves the efficiency of paddling on the other - it's like having another person to paddle against, so you spend less energy steering)

- as "insurance" for longer journeys

MetroMPG 12-01-2007 11:13 PM

Someone asked how fast it'll go...

Not really sure. I'm kind of hypermiling it - I mostly leave it on the lowest power setting to maximize range.

On the low setting, I'd guess 4 km/h on motor power alone (in calm water). So add another km/h or 2 when I join in on the other side.

On the high setting, it goes faster than I could paddle! Doesn't quite get up on plane though.

MetroMPG 12-01-2007 11:15 PM

Forgot to mention that I did a rough calculation of top speed on flat water with no wind, and it was something around 8 km/h (5 mph).

MetroMPG 12-01-2007 11:16 PM

The gas motor on the 24 foot sailboat that I race on gave up the ghost at one point this summer, so I brought down the Minn Kota and the old starting batt from the ForkenSwift.

(Brought them in the ForkenSwift - it was a clean/quiet transportation evening all around).

Managed to get out of the harbour reasonably well (2000 lb boat, against a light wind).

But we still only placed 4th out of 7 boats in our fleet. :p

MetroMPG 12-01-2007 11:18 PM

And I brought the motor up to the Ottawa EV association meeting last week (Nov.) and put it on display. I stuck a piece of paper on it answering the most commonly asked EV questions:

How much?


How fast?

(8 km/h)

How far?

(About 25-40 km on a 105ah battery, depending on power setting.)

MetroMPG 07-01-2009 04:29 PM

See the evolution of this project:


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