Nice discussion we got going, lovin it !
On motor - I am not talking the BLDC here (which is what Evolve is). Regular brushed 12VDC. I believe, with better magnets, one could squeeze 35# thrust out of something that would still fit through the drive well. If Watersnake can sell a 24# motor for $100 and still turn a profit, we should be able to get to 35# for about $250.
On electronic speed control - PWM 12VDC controls are so cheap nowadays, it is not even funny. $20 in volume.
On batteries - let the buyers get their own. I ended up buying 4 100AH LiFePo4 cells for $360 total. Never used more than 35AH while on the water, so I am 3x over provisioned
One could get a 40AH Lifepo4 battery, with built-in PCM and 10A charger included, in 3"x8"x8" (!) footprint and under 14lb weight (!), for under $400. Bees knees, pure and simple. Thousands of charge cycles, steady voltage the whole way etc etc.
There's always AGM for budget folx. About $100 for 35AH.
I love the simplicity and small form factor of through-mirage-well design. When not in use, you can stow away the whole thing under the front bin.Should you get something tangled up in the prop, you yank that baby out and fix it in a 30 seconds flat.
For me , hitting an underwater obstacle is not an issue. A risk of flipping the boat in surf is much higher risk - so I can't quite have 30lb (weight) regular trolling motor in the yak. There's simply nowhere for it to be stored, no way to secure it when one flips etc.
Anyway, just an idea for Hobie. I love the Co, they seem to be constantly evolving
, my kind of ppl. If they had affordable unit like one I am proposing, many more older farts would end up owning yaks, a win for everybody.