Home » The HMS Terror Gets A Propulsion Upgrade: Cold Start

The HMS Terror Gets A Propulsion Upgrade: Cold Start

Cs Terror Okuda

Ever since I first got my shitty canoe in the middle of the pandemic to give my kid Otto and me something to do, Otto has wanted it to be motorized. We’d be on the lake, paddling like. a couple of filthy animals, and someone would whiz by in some sort of motorized watercraft like a fishing boat or jetski or paddlewheel steamboat, and Otto would fix me with a gaze of mild disgust. As a dad, I’m used to those looks, but it doesn’t take much to convince me to stick a motor on, well, pretty much anything. So I finally did.

After an abortive attempt to convert a two-stroke weed whacker, I found that you can get electric trolling motors for small boats like canoes really cheap. I found one for about $110 and ordered it. I grabbed a battery from one of the too-many non-running cars I currently have, and installed it in our canoe, the HMS Terror.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Cs Hmsterror 2

Holy crap, this thing works great! I don’t know how aware you are of the state of cheap-ass boat trolling motors in modern America, but I’m happy to report that they’re surprisingly good. The 30-pound-thrust motor will get the canoe moving at a good clip, and even though I was stupid and kept the battery connected while I had the canoe in the back of my truck, accidentally turning it on and draining about half the battery, it still managed to let us tool around for a couple hours and still have about 30% battery left.

Why didn’t I get one of these sooner? They’re great! Oh, and in that picture you can see how compromised the backup propulsion system is, since my paddle broke and I had to do a whatever-I-had-in-the-back-of-the-truck repair.


Oh, and to commemorate the fact that the HMS Terror finally has a propulsion system, I made a nice, technical-looking Star Trek-style Okudagram/Master System Display of the crappy canoe.

Also, I’m up way too late and need to pack because David, Matt and I are meeting this week to discuss Business Matters. Wish us luck!

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1 year ago

Jordan Lake? I was sailing there yesterday on my San Juan 21, but I have also up-powered my canoe… to sail. Built a leeboard, rudder and outriggers. Used an optimist pram sail. Made everything but the sail and fiberglass hull by hand. It sails surprisingly well. https://ibb.co/W6t47HH

1 year ago

Wow,someone else in the planet also tried a weed whacker? Did you also make a cheap ass propeller from sheet metal as i did?

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