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Berto Aussems of Maastricht, the Netherlands, built a trolling motor powered by a drill.

Anyone with a cordless drill can make this trolling motor, just from wood. This is a fun project; making it, in a couple of hours, and to navigate on still waters. OK, you have to buy a propellor, a square drillhead, a strip aluminium, a trottle handle, a threated rod, screws and a plank of impregnated wood. This video speaks for itself; all is visible. The project is Open-Source Hardware. Now, make one for yourself and one for your best friend. Enjoy!

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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Comments

  1. Dave Brunker says:

    Hmm… well I can’t stay it would be much more economical or equally durable than just buying a trolling motor for $100 but if you want to DIY it seems to work.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I doubt the drill’s battery would last very long.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I doubt the drill’s battery would last very long.

    1. Especially since that looks to be a harbor freight style drill (or whatever it’s sold as in the netherlands), and those usually are rated optimistically at 1300mah. The right-angle chuck looks to be from the same supplier too since HF sells one that looks identical, so it’d be a good idea to open it up and pack it full of grease to help it survive submerged better. Not sure how a drill’s motor will do with continuous use like that since it’s not really a huge load, but they’re not normally designed for continuous use either…. Still a cool project and if you were just sneaking around a  little in the pond it’s probably practical.

      1. Berto Aussems says:

        I have to admit, this is a cheap style 12 V drill, but still usable for this purpose. The battery is an other story. Expensive cordless drills have much better battery’s, no doubt. They have also a  switch for the gearbox with low/high speed. Great for getting the right thrust on the prop. To expand the range I made an adaptor plug on the battery. Now I can use an external battery of 12V and 12Ah. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuDDXnU4uA0  from 2.30 min. on. The right-angle chuck I was filling up with grease for a smoother drive and it keeps the water out. Good to mention that after a 20 minute continuous use the drill was warm, not hot. Look to the holes I made in the plank for ventilation! Thank’s for your remarks and appreciation. 

        1. Very cool. I rebuild drill packs at work all the time and I’ve seen that particular pack built anywhere from 12v to 18v. I agree that 12v is most practical since it’s easy to hook up to a larger battery and it’s nice to hear that the motor even on a modest drill doesn’t get too hot.

      2. You hack it to run off a deep cycle battery like a regular trolling motor.

      3. You hack it to run off a deep cycle battery like a regular trolling motor.

    2. Especially since that looks to be a harbor freight style drill (or whatever it’s sold as in the netherlands), and those usually are rated optimistically at 1300mah. The right-angle chuck looks to be from the same supplier too since HF sells one that looks identical, so it’d be a good idea to open it up and pack it full of grease to help it survive submerged better. Not sure how a drill’s motor will do with continuous use like that since it’s not really a huge load, but they’re not normally designed for continuous use either…. Still a cool project and if you were just sneaking around a  little in the pond it’s probably practical.

  4. Paul Procure says:

    This is close to being the most ridiculous “green” thing I’ve ever seen!  Powering a canoe with batteries just so you can travel at about a quarter of the speed a single stroke of a good paddle would get you.

    1. Old man and the sea says:

      I’m a 83 y old w/heart problems,after rowing a little got exausted this troller doesnt waigth to much,(no heavy 12 v battery to carry) can xchange spear battery if needed in secs.I can enjoy now being in the water in my rafter. Now, tell me if is ridiculous
      ?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Neat little project.  Is there a way to make it quieter?  I don’t think I would be able to sneak up on any fish.

    1. Pack the drill’s gearbox with some better grease and remove any unnecessary drive gears. A drill motor’s not probably going to get too much quieter even with that though.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Neat little project.  Is there a way to make it quieter?  I don’t think I would be able to sneak up on any fish.

  7. Is it just me or do you feel like Bruce Banner should be walking down a lonely road somewhere?