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By CAS
#2298582
So I have been looking into getting a 14 foot jon boat to fish with my girlfriend and her younger brother in marshes/calm bays and I was wondering if a trolling motor would be enough to push us along?

I never plan on going any further than a mile or two. Our combined weight should be around 400 pounds. I am not too worried about traveling super fast but maybe around the same pace as paddling a normal kayak?

I eventually want to get an outboard but until my budget allows it I was hoping this would be enough to get us all on the water together.

Thanks for any input/info!!
#2298594
I would think you would get a day worth out of a battery, especially if you're not running wide open all day. We run a 24V system on our by boat and go the weekend without having to charge them. Obviously, our 24 volts is more than what you're going to need, but our boat is significantly more weight.

Get a trolling motor with variable speed and as much thrust you can run on 12 volt battery. You'll want a deep cycle battery.

Remember, you'll have to register your jon boat with TPWD and you'll have to have additional safety items than what is required for kayakers.
#2298596
I used to run our 14' semi-vee with just the trolling motor at Lake Georgetown (coves) and Lemmon's Camp below Bend.
It was easy to car-top the boat that way on a Yakima rack.
The places I wouldn't take it without the outboard (and trailer) are big reservoirs where the wind can take over, or e.g., top of Lake Austin where Travis power turbine discharge can become huge all at once.
Many people bring their jon boats with trolling motor to Boerne City Lake, which doesn't allow powerboats.
#2298599
I actually already have a 24V deep cycle battery and was planning on using it if I did get a jon boat. Is there any downside to using a larger battery other than the added weight?

Yes I also plan on doing all of the above but thank you for the reminder and info this is exactly what I was wanting to hear!

Neumie wrote:I would think you would get a day worth out of a battery, especially if you're not running wide open all day. We run a 24V system on our by boat and go the weekend without having to charge them. Obviously, our 24 volts is more than what you're going to need, but our boat is significantly more weight.

Get a trolling motor with variable speed and as much thrust you can run on 12 volt battery. You'll want a deep cycle battery.

Remember, you'll have to register your jon boat with TPWD and you'll have to have additional safety items than what is required for kayakers.
#2298600
I actually have a kayak trailer right now with a truck rack on it and I was planning on just throwing it on the crossbars kind of like you mentioned. I do most of my fishing in Surfside and Galveston but I was mainly planning on fishing protected waters/marshes.

If you happen to remember how many pounds of thrust did your trolling motor have? Did it move you around at a decent speed?

Ron Mc wrote:I used to run our 14' semi-vee with just the trolling motor at Lake Georgetown (coves) and Lemmon's Camp below Bend.
It was easy to car-top the boat that way on a Yakima rack.
The places I wouldn't take it without the outboard (and trailer) are big reservoirs where the wind can take over, or e.g., top of Lake Austin where Travis power turbine discharge can become huge all at once.
Many people bring their jon boats with trolling motor to Boerne City Lake, which doesn't allow powerboats.
#2298603
Yaboii wrote:I actually already have a 24V deep cycle battery and was planning on using it if I did get a jon boat. Is there any downside to using a larger battery other than the added weight?

Yes I also plan on doing all of the above but thank you for the reminder and info this is exactly what I was wanting to hear!

Only downside is the added cost of buying a 24 V trolling motor; running a 12 V motor on 24 V is no bueno.

I don't know how big of a jon boat you're planning on using, but a big battery, trolling motor, 2 adults, 1 child, fishing gear, cooler, drinks, etc, seems like your estimated 400 lbs is a little light. I would crunch the numbers and compare it to your jon boat's listed weight capacity and stay below by 25-30% (as I recommend for those kayaking too). You'll also want to make sure you evenly distribute the weight while on the water.
#2298606
Yeah, I think you are right with the weight capacity thing I may end up having to go a bit bigger with the size of the boat. I'm just afraid a trolling motor wouldn't be able to move around a 15 or 16 foot boat as easily. I may end up trying it with a 16 footer and biting the bullet when I have to buy an outboard.
#2298666
Just remember that even with an electric trolling motor, a jon boat requires registration and a TX number. So does a powered canoe or a kayak. Any boat, with any motor- operated on public waters.

So resist the temptation to buy a cheap second hand boat without a title if you're planning on powering it. Unless you're a glutton for punishment or have a relative that solves title problems for a living.
#2298677
impulse wrote:Just remember that even with an electric trolling motor, a jon boat requires registration and a TX number. So does a powered canoe or a kayak. Any boat, with any motor- operated on public waters.

So resist the temptation to buy a cheap second hand boat without a title if you're planning on powering it. Unless you're a glutton for punishment or have a relative that solves title problems for a living.

This is very good advice. Do not buy any boat you intend to power in Texas that does not have a current title signed by the seller.
#2298768
But if you do, call Counselor Shoffer. He'll uncloud your title and set your keel straight. He's my lawyer when he ain't fishing. Ask him about his new trolling motor on a dune Hobie Outback...

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