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Hey all...I had a question that I'm hoping some of you with a boat could help me out with, as I don't have the slightest clue about that sort of stuff. I'm looking to throw a motor mount on my 13' self bailing raft this spring so I can cruise around the reservoirs in hopes of better shots at wiper, and maybe to make it a sweet little flats raft for carp sight fishing. I was wondering what kind of trolling motor I would need to throw on it, what kind of batteries, etc. NRS makes a mount specifically for the frame on my raft and they suggest a 3 HP motor. I don't want to buy anything gas or break the bank..just a trolling motor that will be enough to move me around. My raft is 13' long by 6' wide and is extremely light, the frame is aluminum. I can drag the raft off my trailer by myself and move it around by myself. Thanks for all your help!
 

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The question is as simple as how many batteries you can float and how much you are willing to spend. You say you dont want to break the bank but that can stretch a number of ways. Guessing that you cannot float three batteries so you are maxed out at 24volts. I dont shop transom mounts but I'm sure it's not far off from bow mounts. With 24 volts you are looking at 70-85lbs of thrust. Buy the most thrust you can afford and do the same when you consider batteries. Invest the $$$ up front or it will cost you guaranteed down the road over and over until you invest right. If you don't want 2 batteries in the raft, then buy the best battery you can afford and the highest thrust 12 volt you can afford. Either way, you will end up springing for a 24 volt, or selling your raft because you are too pissed off from rowing or swimming.

Bottom line: buy the most/best you can afford.
 

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You might want some sealed type of AGM battery so they dont spill in your raft...battery acid all over might not be a good thing...they are more expensive...
 

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Go with a small gas motor and use a push pole for stealth when stalking the carp!

I inherited a 12ft. aluminum boat and use a 12v/45lb. electric set up on it. I would say that is the minimum requirement for power and I'm thinkin' my bare hull is lighter than your raft/frame.

Getting much more electric power than that gets expensive, and I think it would be a lot easier to deal with a fuel can and line than to be charging batteries all the time. The acid could also be a factor as Z mentioned.

I really wish I could move A LOT faster to chase boils. Go GAS!!!

An extending painter's pole makes a pretty good ghetto push pole. ;)
 

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Gas is the best answer for all the reasons above, its easier to gauge gas than electricity and a decent motor will out last several sets of good batteries over time. Getting stranded out on a lake sucks and while gas motors will fail I think they are more reliable as a primary means of propulsion.
 

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Typical self-bailer rafts are as aero/hydrodynamic on stillwater as a red and white bobber. They get pushed around a lot by the wind, don't track straight, stick to the water like a suction cup, and take more than you think to push them along. The electric will work... but after a couple of trips and the frustration that ensues you will quit trying and the electric motor and battery will end up just sitting. Look around for a decent little gasser, it'll cost you about the same once you figure a decent battery, elec motor , and charger. The gas isn't as reliable but it has so much more torque and you can always carry more gas.

My buddies 14' Hyside with an electric (50lb thrust) on it is almost worthless in anything but the flattest/calmest water.
 
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