I'd go foot controlled over hand controlled as long as you have deck space for a foot pedal. Motor guides typically run just a little cheaper than Minnkotas. They're both great though, can't go wrong with either. I'd say... 70 pounds of thrust should do it. No one ever was upset with going too big though. I think the Minnkota edge or the Motorguide x3 are their more budget minded foot pedal models, and they both run around 600 for the 70 pounds I believe. Hope you find good deal.