Motorized Northeaster Dory initial observations

We've acquired a 55 lb thrust Newport electric trolling motor and lead acid marine batteries. A fully charged 95 Ah battery can take two crew about  6 nautical miles at the top speed of around 3.6 knots.  We have a second 120 Ah battery and together I've never used them up on a day trip, so far. It does seem that the boat could go much further at lower speeds, i.e. it's more efficient, but I haven't measured that.

The outboard has a lot of tilt range and can be mounted on the transom. I usually run it mounted on the starboard gunnel next to the aft thwart, which is possible because the motor rotates 360 degrees on its mount. Compared to the aft mounting, the speed difference appears negligbile, it's easier to steer, and it leaves space for the rudder. In both cases I simply clamp it to the boat, with scrap shims. No fancy mounts.

With the motor we can go further, and we can use the boat more often. It's a game changer to motor across a large body of water in the early morning calm and run back with the prevailing wind. The motor's easy to raise with its telescoping shaft, so we can adjust the prop by depth, and yank it out of the water for rowing around the shallows.

The first summer after we built the dory, we rowed her. The following summer we got the sailing rig. This year it's the outboard. How about an inboard diesel for 2022?

6 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: Motorized Northeaster Dory initial observations

   I am also thinking of the Newport electric trolling motor as a backup when I am sailing out of a congested harbor.  Do you keep the motor on when sailing?  I assume that it will retract up to the horizontal position.

RE: Motorized Northeaster Dory initial observations

Attached to the thwart it can be hinged right out of the water. Push one of the batteries over to the opposite side to counterbalance. On the transom it can't be hinged out completely because of the rake of the transom.

RE: Motorized Northeaster Dory initial observations

   Can you tell me why you got the 55 pound thrust motor? Does that seem the right power to you? 

RE: Motorized Northeaster Dory initial observations

Hi. The 55 seemed to be at a sweet spot for price / performance. It's not too heavy. With the bigger motors you're getting into 24V and then you have to wire two 12V batteries in series. I watched a few YouTube videos of people putting 55s on jon boats and whatnot and it seemed powerful enough. The power's about right. I think if you wanted more power you'd go for one of those small gasoline outboards. But those are atrociously noisy and a lot more expensive.

RE: Motorized Northeaster Dory initial observations

   I also am thinking of putting a motor on a NE dory (I have chronic elbow tendinitis).  Do you have any pictures of your motor support?



RE: Motorized Northeaster Dory initial observations

   I attached a 50 pound thrust Minnkota electric motor on the starboard side of my Northeaster Dory, much as the original poster described above. It worked fine, though I'm not sure we went any faster than when I was rowing.  I have a small 2 hp gas motor that I'd like to try next.

« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.