Unless youre a genius, DIY electric outboard motors made from scratch probably wont work for you. That said, there are some ways to make a somewhat homemade one to put on your boat or canoe, which you can probably accomplish on your own, even if you dont have a degree in engineering. If you have the desire to build your own battery operated one, you have some options.
There are some forums dedicated to this type of work for fishermen and people just wanting to test their skills and abilities. In addition, there are some youtube videos of people with the do it yourself mentality putting together a worked electric trolling motor for their boats.
Supplies Youll Need
Listed below are some of the supplies youre going to need as you put together your own homemade boat trolling motor, so you can get a jumpstart on the process of building it.
Electric Motor: Youre going to need one that can run off a rechargeable battery. On a traditional, store bought one the power is measured as pounds of thrust. This measures its ability to push more than anything. Today, 30 pounds of thrust is pretty much the minimum youll find in the store. In the past, however, 17 pounds of thrust was pretty substantial and would still work well for a small rowboat or canoe.
Power Source: This will likely be a deep cycle rechargeable marine battery. They are specifically designed to be recharged, so they will last several seasons. Most stores carry them for $50 on up, depending on what you go with. 12 volt or 24 volt are the most common sizes, although others could be used successfully.
Propeller: You can buy parts, including a plastic propeller, at most sporting goods stores. If you want to fabricate your own, it will need to be precision made to push properly.
Piping: The engine shaft needs to be long enough to hit the water, below the bottom of the watercraft, so the propeller can properly push you through the water.
Wiring: To transfer the power from the battery to the engine. Select only quality grade electric wires for best results.
Miscellaneous: There are plenty of other parts youll need, but this will get you a good start. Gears, sprockets, nuts and bolts, and plenty of other building items are needed. Youll also need a toggle switch or something similar.
There are plenty of things to keep in mind with a DIY electric outboard motor, so get started and see what looks best to you.