I've never been a proponent of a motor on a drift boat, but....  After a few times down the local rivers here in Michigan I am thinking it might be better to drop in at a location and then fish the river either Upstream or downstream then motor back to the drop-in point (Increases time fishing vs. rowing).  I end up fishing just a small portion of the rivers.  The spotting fees here are reasonable, money isn't the primary issue, it's the time spent rowing Frog Water to the take out point is what I don't like.

So has anyone looked into an Electric Trolling Motor?  If so what kind of thrust (40, 55 or 80 lBS.) might required for a 16 ft DB?  One of the rivers I regularly fish has a Mean average of 1750 cubic feet per second with an all time max of 2320 CFS.  It is probably representative of most Michigan Rivers.

Or would a 3.5 HP Four Stroke do it?  I read Mark Heskett's post of 2013 regarding a 9.9 HP Merc,  way too much for me.

Am I going to resent this.....


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Comment by dreu patterson on January 26, 2016 at 6:29pm

here is a pic of the quick remove adapter plate for the motor bracket I was talking about

Comment by Mike Thomas on January 25, 2016 at 3:46pm

Ya, the Sec of State wants registration money if you use a motor, and then theres having to put numbers on the hull ( the numbers are the part I dont like) but I might still do it. And maybe make a number plate that will just clamp onto my sheer rail that I can take off (dont tell anyone, I think they are suppose to be fixed in place) but I dont have a motor for it anyway. I`m keeping the option open. No one is talking for planing down the river, just not having to row up stream to get to a launch at the end of a long day is nice. With all the logs and stuff in the rivers its a snails pace anyway.

Comment by dreu patterson on January 25, 2016 at 11:58am

I will be putting an adapter plate to hang an outboard motor bracket on a rapid robert when it's done.It can be removed and will give me more floor space where a cowell would be.It will be shared between my power boat and the drifter.Hopefully it will also compensate for my engine being a short shaft-it can raise or lower.I welcome any comment or advice on this

Comment by Phillip Westendorf on December 17, 2015 at 7:35pm

Decided to scrap this idea.  I really don't want to mess with the State of Michigan's Sec. of State Dept. to get the Hull registered to add any type of motor.  It's more fun to just drift, fish and enjoy the outdoors.


Comment by Marc Tittle on November 18, 2015 at 6:46pm

I own a 6hp 4 stroke ultra long shaft tohatsu with a rock hopper. The ultra long shaft hangs at a perfect length off my dory's tombstone, my cataract boat, and raft. We do a lot of multiday western river trips. I place bumpers on my dory's hull barging up with up to four rafts, kayaks, and 20 people. I normally maintain 5 to 6 mph quite easily.

Comment by chris towles on November 14, 2015 at 2:23am
Ehhh. Not trying to hate on motors in general but, quite frankly a drift boat sucks with a motor. Just not designed for it, especially a full rocker Mckenzie style boat. Anything above putting along washes out the boat and you are limited in how fast you can go. If you want to motor there are probably much better designs out there than the standard mckenzie. Even a few nice ones here on Wednesday. Some jet sleds and flat bottoms with no tail rocker and wide transom. Heck a rapid Robert would probably even do quite a bit better. But the standard Mckenzie just don't perform well with a motor. It's a flat bottomed rowboat designed to be super easy to turn. At speed up on plane this is not the behavior you want.
Comment by Mike Thomas on November 13, 2015 at 7:40pm

I`m planning on doing just what you are talking about. I`m gonna look for a around a 3 hp long shaft with the built in tank. I floated the Pere Marquette with a jon boat and a 4 hp and it was way more than enough, the guys I fished with (2 good sized guys and gear) were in a 14 glass drift boat with a 2 3/4 Merc and it did just fine to get back to the launch. Ive got a 8 hp Mariner and it would be crazy to use that much motor, and heavy too. 4 stroke would be even heavier

The guy down the road here that has a place on the Manistee has used gas and electric, but he went to Florida now for the winter so I cant ask him. I might try to get a hold of him though to get his opinion.

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