Side-Mounted Trolling Motor Takes On Wind And Tide (Video)

Find out how much power it really draws in challenging conditions

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When you have a new toy the wait to try it out can be excruciating. That’s why Peter Ranieri II recently hit the water on a 42-degree day to test out his side-mounted Watersnake trolling motor. The avid angler shares real-world data on the motor’s amperage draw and speed in a variety of conditions. Watch along to see how it performs, plus calculations on battery size and a few pitfalls to avoid.


Testing the Watersnake T24 Trolling Motor

To start, Ranieri explains why a blustery, cold day in early March is “actually a good day to test this stuff out.” Packing 18-mile-per-hour winds and a 100 tidal coefficient, the conditions are more extreme than he is ever likely to fish. When Ranieri sees some “conservative values” it means the motor should perform fine in friendlier weather.

The trolling motor in question is a Watersnake T24 side-mounted on a 2021 Hobie Mirage Compass. In terms of amperage “it’s marketed that it draws nine at low and 20 on high,” Ranieri says, “but what I found was that it was taking less—and in pretty rough conditions.”

Pointing into a headwind and moving against the current, at low power the motor drew roughly eight amps; at high power it drew 15 to 17 amps. Pedalling helped to increase the kayak’s speed and reduce the draw slightly. When not pedalling, Ranieri found it helped to leave the fins in a vertical position.

Some Caveats to Consider

Ranieri says his setup is very light and he himself weighs in at 160 pounds, both factors that could boost the motor’s performance compared to a heavier boat. A couple of alert commenters note that the motor is not mounted quite deep enough in the water, reducing its efficiency. Ranieri also found that some bolts were loose on his mount after the long offseason, leading the motor to rattle and spin while underway.

“After looking at all these results,” Ranieri concludes, “you’re doubling amperage to get one mile an hour extra, and when you pedal you get an additional one mile an hour extra.” That adds up to a maximum speed of 4.5 miles per hour when not pointed into a headwind.

So, is the Watersnake T24 trolling motor worth it? For Ranieri, the answer is yes. He plans to install a 60Ah battery to provide power for at least four hours.

 

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