This canoe is great with a trolling motor. I am a new boat owner and I made the mistake of buying a gas motor for this boat. I purchased a new Yamaha 4 stroke, 4 HP motor for it and my first weekend out on the water was disheartening.
I fish in saltwater on the Laguna Madre and I've found it is much more scary to use the gas outboard than it is to take it slow in rough water while using a trolling motor.
Although, when the bay is calm, the rig runs perfectly. The unfortunate thing here: It is rarely calm on the Lower Laguna Madre.
I plan on salvaging these two purchases with another purchase: Heavy duty stabilizers. I know I am over-reacting, but I do not want to lose my new outboard. If the outriggers do not work, I'm saving the Bayou 160 for electric only and putting the Yamaha on a Jon Boat.
Overall, a sweet canoe! I bought this boat last year due to it's versatility as a family canoe and a fishing canoe. I was amazed at how wide the boat was when I got it... Shipped from Sears for 50$... not bad I must say. It was fully assembled, and felt very durable... something I came to believe once I brought it out! I also purchased a Susuki 2.5 HP motor for it, and I must say, I travel along quite well in it. When using a motor, it is very important to properly balance the angle of the rotor. Without any weight in the front of the boat, you must adjust the angle appropriately or else the front of the boat will come way out of the water. Once you get it dialed in, it motors alone great!
Paddling, as mentioned many times, is not something you want to do alone for a long period of time. It is ok to go to the middle of a small lake and anchor, but definitely not something to take along with you on a river trip alone. With 2 people, it paddles not bad, although, at a nice leisurely pace! This boat was not made for river trips, it is a lake boat meant to be powered by a motor, plain and simple. It is steady, sturdy, and solid.
The seats are hard plastic, and I have had no problem with them as of yet. I am 230lbs, and my buddy is 220. He and I have fallen on our butts onto the seat pretty hard a good number of times, and the don't snap or break in the least. It honestly seems to be a very well made boat. I am going to have to invest in better paddles this spring, but all in all, they work fine as a spare set.
This is a sturdy, stable family canoe that performs flawlessly while using a motor. I wish I got a 5hp motor, but the 2.5 works just fine for my needs at the present moment. I would definitely recommend this boat to anyone with a family, that likes to fish, hunt, or just relax of the water motoring at a good even pace.