I finally pulled the trigger and took the Ipilot plunge
. I got the 55lb Power Drive V2 motor and it really worked out well and I am very happy with the outcome so far. I used the aluminum sliding mount from Minnkota and mounted it on top of a piece of PVC 1x8 that I got from Menards. I made an aluminum angle mount from a piece of alum. angle I also got from Menards and sandwiched that between the boat and the handle. I just removed the handle and re-bolted it with the bracket in place.
This is the 45" length motor and I think I could cut about 15" off of the tube. I may due that one of these weekends.
It's mounted forward enough where there is no interference with opening the forward hatch when the motor is down in the water. I'm still working on fine tuning the deploy/retract strap but it works rather well. I've only had it out a couple of times but it works great.
With my big butt in the boat and the Sidekicker installed it's not real fast. Trolling diving plugs at 2.5 mph requires a setting of 5-1/2 or 6. Top speed was about 3.8mph. I may try a different prop in the near future. The GPS Autopilot and cruise control are super and the anchor feature is really cool.
So far, I'm happy, happy, happy !!
Now I just have to save up and do the same thing to the other boat