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Thread: 2.5hp gas outboard vs electric trolling

  1. #1
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    Default 2.5hp gas outboard vs electric trolling

    Hi Everyone,

    I recently purchased a 14' Sportspal pointed canoe and a side motor mount. I've been reading up for a few months on how to power the canoe with a motor. This is my first canoe, and I plan on using it to fish primarily on small lakes. I went with the lightweight canoe to avoid having to trailer a boat and to get into shallow areas. I see a lot of deals right now for small 2.5 hp Mercury outboard motors but not seeing very many positive reviews on this motor.

    The alternative to the gas setup was a Minn Kota 45lb thrust with a deep cycle battery. I was just looking to see what everyone's thoughts were on each. I like the thought of not having to fiddle with a gas motor as I've seen people spend half hour trying to start them if things go wrong. It's nice to just connect a battery and go. However, a battery setup has it's own issues with being heavy and the costs add up eg. group 27 battery, motor, battery box, charger, cables.

    Is there a lot of maintenance for a small hp gas outboard? An oil change maybe once a season? I'm looking for low maintenance and reliable. Is there such a thing?

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  3. #2
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    Annual maintenance would be, change the lower gear oil, change the plug, and draining the gas, carb and fog the motor. Not hard to do but without prevention, next spring can be a royal pain. On the other hand, a Gp27 battery alone can weigh more than the motor.

  4. #3
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    Personally the only advantage to the electric for me is the nice quiet power, but that's where it ends. A couple gallons of gas can last many days if you go on a back road trip. Plus, specially with a Sportspal and it's thin aluminum you better have some sort of long box for the battery to spread out the weight across the ribs.
    I don't know anything about those Mercs so I can't comment on that. I've got an older 1.5 hp Johnson for my 12ft Sportspal, which is a great fit.

    Cheers
    Smitty

    Straight shooter

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bringit View Post
    Is there a lot of maintenance for a small hp gas outboard? An oil change maybe once a season? I'm looking for low maintenance and reliable. Is there such a thing?
    You mention an oil change, so I am guessing you are talking about 4 strokes. Yes, at minimum, the engine and lower gear oil should by changed yearly. I have used both two and four stroke small displacement engines and prefer the two stroke. To me they are more robust and lighter, given the same HP. This is important, especially if you are going to be carting them through the bush.
    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy." Ernest Benn

  6. #5
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    My vote ...go electric .
    Glen

  7. #6
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    Thanks for the info so far.. The only experience I have with a two stroke is with my old weed wacker. I didn't like having to mix oil/gas and that thing always gave me a hard time starting. I've disassembled and cleaned the carbs, changed the plugs and throttle plate and still never wants to start. I ended up replacing it this year with an electric.

    The last thing I want is engine trouble while on the lake and have to paddle back. I don't mind simple oil changes and plug replacements if that's all that's required. What I like about the electric is that all I need to do is ensure the battery is in in good shape and holds charge. My primary objective on the water is fishing, and just want something reliable to get me to and from my spots.

  8. #7
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    While I have been up the river with a dead battery a few times, rowing (oars, not paddles) my Sportspal is no problem. I have 3 electrics now and use them all on various craft....

  9. #8
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    Some advantages of an electric motor vs gas.
    1. Quieter.
    2. Allowed in some area's gas motor are not.
    3. Better stability on a side motor mount. Motor is lighter & battery in bottom of canoe will be far less tipsy.




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    Living proof that "beer builds better bellies".

  10. #9
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    There are advantages to both. I run an electric on my sportspal, because I have it. I've been toying with the idea of a 2.5 Honda, because they are air cooled, and my fishing boat could use a small kicker for emergencies as well. So the batteries are heavy, but I already had a transom mount minn Kota and several deep cycles so it just made sense. You will get way more range out of a gas motor, but the electric is excellent for quietly trolling along as well as instant power, no pulling a cord when your actually fishing, so control is better. I guess it depends how long you want to be out for. I can get 6 hours out of a 27 series and 50lb thrust if used at moderate speeds and intermittently for fishing. Dial up the speed for travel and time of use drops significantly.

  11. #10
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    The Honda 2.3 was the motor that I wanted based on what I read it was air cooled and low maintenance but they cost a pretty penny. They're on special for $999 which is $200 off msrp. I keep thinking there must be a reason why the 2.5 Merc is selling for so cheap at 700-750 on sale. But, after reading all the posts, I think I'm leaning towards electric, as it seems the only thing I have to worry about is the battery.

    If I'm out fishing, I want to relax, rather not have to worry about the mechanics. Just the thought of trying to start that weed wacker for half hour and almost throwing out my shoulder has gotten me thinking.. don't need that stress. At the moment, I have no overnight hauls, only short 5-6 hours on the water so I want to maximize my enjoyment out there. Speed isn't a concern either as I'm just on the water for some fun.

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