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#12248921 - 05/16/17 08:37 PM Trolling Motor Help for a Nucane Frontier 12
GLRedmanII Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 03/25/17
Posts: 2
I have a 55lbs MinnK that I'm returning because is seeks to drain the battery very quick and have little power.

Would anyone recommend a gas engine over electric? Which is the best for my kayak?

#12249005 - 05/16/17 09:04 PM Re: Trolling Motor Help for a Nucane Frontier 12 [Re: GLRedmanII]
Searsay Offline

Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 240
Loc: Lewisville TX
So.. Here's my thoughts

1) weight to power to price - internal combustion still wins. when you add the fact that you usually have multiple fuel source options it is a winner for sheer usability - but it is noisy... And really destroys what i enjoy about kayaking

2) drop the price factor and considering noise - electric is getting really, really good finally. That said there are some tricks to electric - and most revolve around make sure you understand and get the right battery.

For the setup you mentioned - I would blame your battery more than the motor.
with a fully charged battery were you getting the speed you wanted? If so - then your not setting realistic expectations for the specific battery you were using. It is possible to get a better electric motor to - but in my experience battery all the way. If you go electric get the lightest and biggest battery you can. Lead acid is out.. Adds to much weight for power. Go lithum and go as big as you can afford. Also watch for the differences - a lithium does not act like a lead acid.

For a porta-bote I saw someone run 9+hours with 600+lbs on full speed with a 40lb minnkota with 3 type 27 lithium and still have charge to spare. Batteries only added about ~40lbs total to load. Your pushing a lot less weight.

#12249525 - 05/17/17 09:19 AM Re: Trolling Motor Help for a Nucane Frontier 12 [Re: GLRedmanII]
Brad R Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1752
Loc: Texas
I agree with most of Searsay's points, certainly the one about destroying what most of us enjoy about kayaking.

I have a 55 lbs. MinnKota TM, too, and I have what I think is the best "traditional" battery, an Optima Blue Top. This is for my Meyers Sportspal S-15 canoe. I can go about a half day on a full charge, less than I expected, and this may be what you are finding, too.

A 2.5 Suzuki Outboard weighs around 37 to 39 lbs. as I recall, requires no separate battery, so it is much lighter than a 55 lbs. Optima AND a 55 lbs. TM.

Speed? I really wouldn't expect a whole lot more. Hull speed will still limit its upside potential. You might gain some extra speed but doing so will likely make the vessel less stable.

If Lehr ever gets its act together, or someone else follows its lead with the propane-sourced fuel, this would be the best of all possibilities, I think. The motors tend to be a little lighter, in general, and you can run them off of the little green camping propane bottles . . . or if you are going out for several days, you can use a larger propane tank. So cool.

Alas, they aren't built to the standards of a Suzuki or a Honda and others in the 2.5 HP range.

I plan to get a Suzuki 2.5 for my canoe in a few months. I want to be able to cross an 1800 lake on occasion where I might not want to pedal or paddle the distance. A Meyers Sportspal is likely as stable or more so than most small jon boats. So, it should work fine.


#12249703 - 05/17/17 10:55 AM Re: Trolling Motor Help for a Nucane Frontier 12 [Re: GLRedmanII]
Searsay Offline

Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 240
Loc: Lewisville TX
so.. here is a battery that could probably run you for 'all day' (6+hrs full on) on a 55lbs MinKota for a fronteir-

100AH @ 28lbs

at $1200 though... you are paying for it smile

compare to a traditional lead acid type 31 (blue top) at @ $350'ish
75AH @ 60lbs

Another alternative if you want something more "packaged"

Edited by Searsay (05/17/17 11:01 AM)

#12249905 - 05/17/17 12:30 PM Re: Trolling Motor Help for a Nucane Frontier 12 [Re: GLRedmanII]
Brad R Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1752
Loc: Texas
Lithium batteries will be a great step forward once the prices drop. I hope we see this!

I'd actually go toward the gas engine, I think, at these Lithium-Ion prices. But, it depends on how you use them. If you need to cross miles of water, then turn it off and fish "manually," the gas engine option might be best. If you plan to cover less water, then troll banks at slow speeds, the TM would be better.

This lithium-ion battery mentioned above would net you 2 hours at 50 amps. That is, by the way, the stated maximum for the 55 TM, so running a full throttle: 50 amps.

At a slower speed burning 20 amps, you'd get 300 minutes, so 5 hours. That is not a bad statistic as it is doubtful that you'd be running all the time you are on the lake fishing if you were out longer than that.

And, burning at 20 amps versus 50 amps, so 40% of maximum power will net you a speed way more than 40% of speed at 50 amps. I'd guess you'd get 2/3s of the speed at 20 that you would at 50, if not more. That might be enough and it would greatly prolong your battery charge.

For the Blue Top, you'd get 140 minutes at 25 amps. That sounds just about right to me based on experience.


#12250027 - 05/17/17 01:47 PM Re: Trolling Motor Help for a Nucane Frontier 12 [Re: GLRedmanII]
Searsay Offline

Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 240
Loc: Lewisville TX
i'm actually looking forward to the lithium glass batteries we should start seeing in about 3 years (and price wise probably 5 years). 3x the power density at same weight as LiPo batteries, safer for environment and in practical usage (they can't blow up on you... by design/methodology). Supposedly in initial reports they will be able to mass manufacture at same cost as lead acid due to not needing the specialized setups that LiPo needs smile. Oh also - all testing so far there is almost NO memory in the battery due to it being solid state.

It is exactly what electric needed - and if it comes through it will push Gas out of a lot of consumer applications. Gas still has the advantage of power density/weight - but due to re-usability and safety Li-glass could be trans-formative.

Same guy who invented LiPo - so he's already an old hand at getting his research from the lab and into licensing/production

Edited by Searsay (05/17/17 01:50 PM)

#12250081 - 05/17/17 02:22 PM Re: Trolling Motor Help for a Nucane Frontier 12 [Re: GLRedmanII]
PowerLizard Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 2106
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
I think the posts above are going overboard in another direction without properly diagnosing your problem. The issue is most likely with the battery and not the trolling motor.

1. Are you using a deep cycle battery as opposed to a starting battery?
2. Is the battery in good condition? Has it been tested?
3. Are you running the trolling motor on the highest speed a lot?

I have a Pelican Bass Raider with a 36 lb trolling motor which has 5 forward speeds. I run it most of the time on the lower 3 settings. Occasionally I will run it on 4. If I run it on 5, it doesn't go much faster than 4 but the battery life drops in half. I typically only run it on 5 at the end of the day when I don't care how much battery life is left because I am going to put it on the charger as soon as I get home.

If you want your current issue to be solved, please provide more info on your battery and charger. If you want a outboard recommendation, get a 3 HP 4 stroke outboard. Use Stabil in the gas mixture. Top off the tank when you get back from fishing. Don't fill it up just before fishing as the gas fumes will get on your hands and be transferred to your fishing lures and/or bait.

#12250252 - 05/17/17 04:14 PM Re: Trolling Motor Help for a Nucane Frontier 12 [Re: GLRedmanII]
Fisherman13 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/13/13
Posts: 1983
Loc: Lake Lavon
My question is do you need a 55 lb thrust trolling motor or will say a 30 get you up to the same speed. I think the 30 would take longer to get you up to speed but at 2-3 miles per hour which is about max paddling speed how long will either one take? I ask cause have no idea about any of this and had considered getting a small cheap trolling motor for days when I didn't want to paddle in the wind or against some current to get to a spot. If a 30 will do the same job just slower it shoukd also use less battery power as well I would think. I'm never in a race when I'm out fishing so I don't I would need a big thrust power trolling motor. My kayak is 11.5 ft and weighs like 70-75 lbs empty. I weigh about 155 lbs and with gear my yak is probably close to 100. So were puchkng 255 lbs across the water give or take. Add the weight of a battery and the trolling motor and say 355? How much thrust would be needed for a day of average use 5-6 hours out? Lol sorry for the long post but this has me questioning the whole idea of spending the money.

#12250366 - 05/17/17 05:25 PM Re: Trolling Motor Help for a Nucane Frontier 12 [Re: GLRedmanII]
pelican Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/27/11
Posts: 2486
Loc: Grapevine
For what it's worth,
I'm running a Minn Kota Endura Max (Digital) 40 lb TM with a 125 amp Hr LiPo on my Native Propel 13.5.
I normally run it at 10- 30% when fishing and 50% when crossing. At 50% I'm running 2.9 mph.
I've run over 12 hrs on windy days, which keeps the TM is running most of the time.
According to the battery condition indicator on the TM (which I don't really trust) I still have plenty of power
left at the end of 12+ hrs. I can never remember to check voltage when I get back home.

I've never been good, But I've been Lucky!
I don't Lie or Exaggerate, but sometimes I remember BIG!


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