Jeff Little evaluates performance of a Cruise 4.0 electric outboard motor on a strip mine lake in central Illinois
It’s Getting Easier to be ‘Green’ Part II
By: Mike Pehanich
Credit innovative design, advanced technology and angler ingenuity for the emergence of a pioneering generation of fishing craft propelled solely by electricity. In “It’s getting easier to be ‘green’ – Part I,” we outlined the reasons anglers have summoned electric propulsion technologies, old and new, to safe, quiet and efficient angler duty. Part II unveils examples of “all-electric” boat/motor combinations – and a a glimpse of the future, too!
Small waters fishing opportunities abound around Torqeedo’s U.S. office in Crystal Lake, Ill. Much of the best fishing in Illinois takes place on waters off the beaten track — quarries, strip mines, draw pits, farm ponds and housing development lakes… river backwaters, small reservoirs and forgotten glacial lakes.
Some years ago, I purchased a Freedom Electric Marine Twin Troller X-10 to tap the potential of some of these very special small waters. Among the alluring features of this lightweight 10-foot craft made with Surpass resin is boat control. Twin pedals operate two 28-pound thrust MotorGuide electric motors recessed right and left at hull mid-point, They make it easy to move the craft forward, backward, right or left, with uncommon stealth. The learning curve for boat control mastery is minimal.
Note: This spring, Torqeedo will deliver a new Travel motor design, the Travel 1103 with angler-friendly improvements that include a propeller designed to navigate through grass and strikingly quiet performance.
The Travel 1003 was initially designed for sailboats, so it was no surprise to me that neither of its two available shaft lengths (24.6- and 29.5-inches) matched up well with the Twin Troller X-10. I elevated my transom with a board mount that lifted the motor 6.5 inches. That was enough to get the efficiency I was after. It also gave the motor sufficient “tilt” clearance over the battery compartment for the 12-volt that operated the Twin Troller’s two recessed MotorGuide motors.
Outfitting a rowboat for electric-only waters
My fishing partners and I had special motivation to add Torqeedo propulsion to this craft. Several restored backwater lakes along Mississippi River tributaries offer outstanding fishing, but they restrict access to craft powered by paddle, pedal or electric motor.
Enough testing. It’s time to catch a fish!
About Mike Pehanich:
Mike Pehanich is a professional writer, photographer, and videographer for BASS publications: Bassmaster, Bass Times, Fishing Tackle Retailer, Cabela’s Outdoor Journal, Wired2Fish, and Fishhound. He is an industry expert in the sport and business of fishing, outdoor travel, conservation, and fisheries management. Mike is also the founder and owner of Small Waters Outdoors and Mike Pehanich’s Small Waters Fishing.