Re: Fwd: wwpotter-d Digest V99 #29

Gordon (
Mon, 8 Feb 1999 18:06:26 -0800

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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>Subject: Re: wwpotter-d Digest V99 #29
>Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 19:07:15 EST
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>I am in the procces of setting up my boat for an electric trolling motor for
>propulsion. Purchased a Minn Kota 30lb thrust motor. Has any used a trolling
>motor for propulsion I would like to know any tips or pitfalls. Also I sail at
>Lake Mead and would like to Know if there are any Potters close by that would
>like to get together for a sail.
> I was at Harbor Freight and they have a small generator I think I might buy.
> -350w rated output, 400w max.
> -3.6 max amps AC
> -12 amps DC
> -1/2 hp 2cycle gas engine
> -weight is less than 14 pounds
> -cost 179.99
>They have a website at
>My initial plan is to use two six volt batteries and use the generator to
>charge the batteries when needed.
>P-15 #1044
>Las Vegas Nv.


A number of Potter sailors are using electric outboards. I recently bought
a 70 lbf thrust Minn Kota, with the idea that it would give me more reserve
thrust to cope with current and wind. It requires 24 volts and I have two
12-volt group 24 deep cycle batteries, one on each side of the centerboard
trunk (an extra 90 lb of ballast), connected in series. I've only had it
out a couple of times so have more testing to do. Look on the mail list
archives for my post entitled, "Manatee Rams a Destroyer," which describes
my first venture onto the Bay with the electric outboard. If you can't find
it I'll be glad to e-mail it to you. I love the quiet and the positive
control the electric outboard provides. Mine has the Maximizer pulse-width
modulation that is supposed to increase its range and gives infinite speed
control from about 10 or 20% to 100%. It uses 50 A at 100%, so I don't
expect to go far at full speed.

Your Minn Kota in combination with the generator should be well suited for
cruising Lake Mead unless you are in the habit of resorting to outboard
power when the wind and waves get to be too much. You'll have neither the
thrust nor the range to go far in choppy conditions IMHO. (I won't either,
probably.) But the Minn Kota should be great for getting in and out of
marinas, exploring coves, nature watching, etc. If the wind comes up too
much I would expect to just reef or drop the sails and run for shelter
under bare poles or jib.

For charging where power is available, I am pleased with the Sears DieHard
charger I bought. It has both 12 and 24 volt outputs so I can charge my two
batteries in series. It's a "smart" charger with modes for different types
of batteries including deep cycle and gel cel so I don't have to worry
about overcharging. It cost about $90.

Harry Gordon
P14 #234, Manatee
Mountain View, CA