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bjager
senior member (72)senior membersenior member
 
06/29/2020 06:27PM
A friend and I are planning a trip soon and we’re tossing around the idea of using an electric trolling motor and battery on our canoe to make the trip in and out easier. Has anyone here ever tried this? Would it be legal (BWCA only on US side)? If so, what was your set up and how far did you make it?
 
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jhb8426
distinguished member(1063)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/30/2020 12:18AM
You're kidding, right? Don't even think it...
 
shock
distinguished member(3753)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/30/2020 05:47AM
Electric or gas. Both motorized, so you'll be limited. And with no way to recharge at night it then become a very heavy anchor.
 
KarlBAndersen1
distinguished member(1219)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/30/2020 06:11AM
Read some regulations. Lakes or portions of lakes within the BWCAW are paddle-only. Motors may not be used or be in possession on any paddle-only lake. No other motorized or mechanized equipment (including pontoon boats, paddle boats, sailboats and sailboards) is allowed.
 
AmarilloJim
distinguished member(2104)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/30/2020 07:26AM
Why would you take a motor into the greatest canoe park in the country?
 
sedges
distinguished member(577)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/30/2020 07:47AM
Lets be fair here. Many on this site have used motorized tows within the BWCAW to do exactly what the poster is suggesting, A much lower cost if you already have the trolling motor. You understand by now that your trolling motor would not be allowed in the non-motorized part of the BWCAW.

I would not be interested in portaging batteries, so if you are staying on an entry point motors allowed lake it would work fine. Saganaga comes to mind just because I love the lake and paddle through it on many of my trips. There are certainly others.

You ought to be able to get quite a few miles on a healthy, fully charged battery. I would suggest experimenting on a lake close to home to figure out how far it will take you. If you are not portaging, several batteries would be feasible if your canoe can handle the extra weight. I saw a 14 foot woodstrip canoe with a permanent electric drive unit do 13 miles on a charge. Always be prepared to paddle, ya just never know when mechaical stuff is going to break down.
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(1673)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/30/2020 08:17AM
Rules are meant to be broken. I was on upper Pauness Lake off the Little Indian Souix river some time back and there was a guy fishing with a trolling motor. I'm not the type of person who can keep his trap shut so I paddled up to him to talk about it.

Tom
 
bjager
senior member (72)senior membersenior member
 
06/30/2020 08:25AM
Yeah we’re not going to try it, to much extra weight and to few motorized lakes. Didn’t realize it was illegal on most lakes, always thought it was only gas engines that were outlawed. Thanks for the replies
 
06/30/2020 12:50PM
bjager: "Yeah we’re not going to try it, to much extra weight and to few motorized lakes. Didn’t realize it was illegal on most lakes, always thought it was only gas engines that were outlawed. Thanks for the replies "
No problem with asking...some of the rules are pretty simple and vague. Now you know.

 
brp
distinguished member (114)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/30/2020 11:20PM
There is a product called the, "Drill Paddle." It turns an electric drill into a trolling motor, it is only about $50. If you already own a drill/impact with some lithium batteries it allows for a very light, cheap, portable motor. It could be really nice in certain applications....so much lighter than a regular trolling motor and a lead acid battery.

I could see using a lead acid battery to get across a big motorized lake to start and finish your trip, charging it with a small solar panel over a few days/week stashed in the woods. Never carrying the motor/battery/panel across a portage.


 
06/30/2020 11:38PM
Even if your on a motor friendly lake within the boundary waters, you’d have to have a motor permit. Most permits are paddle only... tows are your riding on someone else’s permit.
 
mychurchmyhome
member (15)member
 
07/02/2020 01:40PM
Only specific lakes are authorized for motor boats. It does not matter if it is a gas or electric. Make sure you know your rules and regulations before you go.
 
07/02/2020 02:09PM
nctry: "Even if your on a motor friendly lake within the boundary waters, you’d have to have a motor permit. Most permits are paddle only... tows are your riding on someone else’s permit."


and.....you'd probably have to re-register your canoe as "motorized craft" with the DNR?...even with just a trolling motor??
 
analyzer
distinguished member(1713)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2020 06:52PM
As well, in MN, if your canoe has a motor, you must put the license number on the side of the canoe in 3" letters/numbers. See boating reg's for instructions.
 
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