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Dick, as far as I know model boat/car style ESCs have a reverse function. I would think a geared 540 motor would be quite sufficient. People tend to overpower most model boats, especially those not required to take off like ducks on acid! Like tugs.
Hi Dick, I have a few tugs and the largest at 49" uses a geared 540 running from a 12v 7ah sla battery giving a good 90mins running time. This model weighs in at 15 kilos ready to sail. I also have a caldercraft model tug Joffre. Which is about 30" long and runs using a 6v monoperm motor and gearbox. 6v 4.5ah sla battery giving about 1 hour run time. Weight is 5kilos ready to sail. Hope this helps. Cheers Colin.