Modification #1 – Electric Trolling Motor

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Auxiliary Propulsion, Decisions, Modifications

From all accounts, the Skerry is an excellent sailer and a decent rowboat, but I want to add a little something extra that will make my Skerry a standout.  I am going to add auxiliary electric propulsion in the form of a modified trolling motor.  This will be no easy task as the Skerry has no transom.  My plan is to hack the motor apart and somehow fiberglass it into the rudder.  I hope to locate the electronics under the rear breasthook and the battery aft of the center frame.  Even more ambitious is that I want to install the twist grip throttle mechanism in the wooden tiller.  My intent is to keep the wooden boat look.  Other vessels should not be able to tell I have a motor.

This has been done before, but to my knowledge, not to a Skerry.  Because a trolling motor in the rudder would increase drag considerably during sailing, I can take one of two routes to prevent this.  The first method is to build a second, sailing only rudder.  The second method is to build the rudder with a shape that allows it to be half kicked up, motor part out of the water, steering part in the water.  And example of an “always submerged motor” and a “half kick-up” sailing rudder are attached.

I am not sure which method I will use, but I do know which motor.  I bought a Minn-Kota Endura C2 on Amazon.com and it should be here in a couple days.  I purchased the 40 pound thrust model after looking at the manual online and visiting bass pro to look at other similar models.  From what I can tell in the manual, I shouldn’t have too much difficulty tearing it apart and relocating electronics.  We shall see…

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