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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 12ft alum flatbottom jon boat and am in need of a new motor. This is my first boat and it came w/ a Sears ted williams series 20 spd electric trolling motor (no idea what kind of thrust it gave)...well i had my first outing on a small 100acre lake and that trolling motor simply wasn't enough. There was some medium to high winds which were causing us to drift uncontrollably.

I guess my question is... first, do I need a high powered trolling motor to get through those conditions or should i go to an outboard motor? I just dont want to drift uncontrollably anymore. Id prefer a trolling motor if I could get by with it but i'm just not sure if I could get by w/ one. I'll mostly be on lakes around 1000acres or less and rivers of various sizes (including Missouri). I want to be able to get out of any situations if I need to. What do you suggest?
 

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both:big_smile: on my jon boat that i use in lakes i use an outboard and a trolling motor comes in handy. The outboard gets you to where you have to go quickly and the trolling motor is good for quick maneuvering.
 

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i had an 8hp yamaha outboard on a small 14ft boat and that motor was great. it would plane out with 2 people in the boat. this was in 1985 and i gave something like $800 for this motor brand new. it was the lightest motor on the market for this horsepower class also.
 

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if you get up in to a 43 lbs thrust or higher you should have no problems with wind. if you want to add a gass motor I wouldnt go any higher than a 3 to 6 horse two stroke motor. but keeping with an electric motor a 43 lbs thrust will pull that little boat all over the water no matter what wind your in.
 

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Rule of thumb. If the the boat is 12' x 43" and you carry 2 people 3 h.p. is about as big as you want to put on the boat.
 

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I ran a 6hp Evinrude on my 12 foot aluminum flat bottomed boat, but I'd say a 9.9 would be better.

Bill in SC
 

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Discussion Starter #8
wow lots of varying answers.... which is right?

Get both
43 and above thrust trolling motor
3 hp outboard
6 hp outboard
9.9 hp outboard?
 

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I used to run a 12' "foldable" boat. It was an old portaboat that a company didn't want to use anymore as it was just not safe, lol. I did very well running a 5 hp Briggs and Stratton. It will be cheaper than buying a brand new 2-5 hp. I believe they run about 700-800 brand new. 4-stroke makes it around 55 pounds, about the weight of the battery that you'll have to keep onboard with a big trolling motor. If I remember right it got around 15-20 mpg. Another plus is it's air-cooled, so if you get into some skinny water its kinda like a mud motor, but not really, just no water pump to have to worry about.

Like AwShucks said though, check the max HP on your USCG plate. It should be on or near the transom, stuff like max capacity and such.
 

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<Like AwShucks said though, check the max HP on your USCG plate.>

That's probably sound advice, but it is perfectly legal (in most states) to run any hp you want regardless of what the plate says. I ran a 9.9 on my 12 foot long, 36 inch wide flat bottomed aluminum jon for many years quite successfully. (I think it was rated for a 5 hp engine) I only downsized to the 6hp to fish a certain lake with hp restrictions. The boat I am currently running is rated for a 115 hp engine, but I have a 200 on it! (with special transom bracing, of course) Bottom line is, run whatever you are comfortable with as long as the motor doesn't sink the boat. :wink::smile2::wink: Bigger IS better when you are trying to outrun a storm!

Bill in SC
 

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i have a 12 ft flatbottom and put a 15hp on it for a few min i thought i was in speed boat racin until it about through me out i have a 15ft flatbottom with a 60hp mariner it will haul tail but wont turn the perfect motor the the 12ft is about 10 hp thats what my tag calls for in the boat 10hp max get u a about a 54lb thrust trollin motor and u will be all set
 

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<i have a 12 ft flatbottom and put a 15hp on it for a few min i thought i was in speed boat racin until it about through me out>

Hence... racinrodes!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!! Reps to ya, Russell!

BB
 

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I've had two or three of those little narrow 12' Jon's as well as the V bottoms.
A 9.9 or 9.5 OMC is pretty normal but I think that's way too much motor.
I had a light colored Aluminum 12' with a 30" bottom. The 9.5 Evinrude made it scoot along at nearly 17 Mph (GPS)
I have a 6 Hp Johnson I use on my 12' occasionally.
Try rowing!
You might like it a whole lot more than you think you might.
 

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That small of a boat you don't need much for any water you should be out on with that size boat. I wouldn't try any fast rivers, or windy lakes but for anything else you might try a Tanaka 3.2hp motor. I have one that pushes my 1436 faster than any trolling motor I have tried, and it only weighs 20lbs. It is a simple little 2 stroke design, kinda like a weedeater with a prop. It has no reverse but for getting a little boat around without weighing it down it is nice. I think you can still find them for around $300 so they aren't much more than a good trolling motor and battery. They have a built in gas tank, take a gallon can to refill and it will run them for a very long time.
 

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Bill has a good point.
I tried outrunning a storm with a 25 on a 15x48 and had a terrible experience.
Another time my 12' Jon split on me. I started taking on water, out in the middle of the lake.
I wrapped it up tight and hoped for a closer shoreline. Fortunately the 9.5 had the power to keep the boat moving as it filled with water. I hit the shore going six or seven Mph with a boat full of water.

If it had been a Three or so, the boat might not have split, but if it had of split, rowing or paddling would have been your only option.
 

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Look around ebay for a 3-9 hp motor with a built in fuel tank so that you can save the room for other needs than an auxlilery tank,, they sell for arround $100 all the time,, I just sold a 3.6 mercury for $71
just my $0.02 worth
 

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A 3 is a JOKE, unless fishin' in a SMALL pond. Get a 6 to a 9.9 and a three gallon auxilary tank and you are set.

BB in SC
 

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swamprat has a 2 man creek boat with a 4hp on the back and trollin on front so a 9hp or 10 is excellant for the 12ft boat like i said the boat i have now is a 15ft flatbottom aluminum little boat i have a 60hp on it
 

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my 14 foot little john is only rated for 285 lbs so its big troling motor or little gas motor for me. the little gas motors are not any stronger than a good troling motor but you dont have to worry about batteries going dead on you half way from the boat ramp/truck
 
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