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Get it low enough in the water to where it can grab without splashing much and pull you forward. Simple enough.

45lbs thrust? How big is your boat? After using 24 volts I'd never go back to 12 volts and the guys who use 36 volts swear by them.

Sorry to hear you didn't like the autopilot. Going in a straight line is what I use mine for. Kicker motor in back for a slow steady forward push and then you use the autopilot bow mounted motor to steer. 8)
 

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The boat is a 16 ft Northwood with a 40 hp motor, I do have a 4.5 kicker I could put on but this boat is very heavy in the rear. I was thinking about moving the batteries to the front to bring the bow down a bit. Maybe sand bags?
My starter boat was similar. I used to put my spare trailer tire and rim up front when I went out by myself to balance the weight forward. :) 12 volt i-pilot motor up front along with a 24 volt kicker in back worked out pretty well for me.
 
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