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Thread: Motor use on an 18 foot self-bailing Sotar raft

  1. #1

    Default Motor use on an 18 foot self-bailing Sotar raft


    I'm seriously considering putting a 10 hp 4 stroke on an 18 foot Sotar self-bailing urethane raft with 24 inch tubes. Total weight in boat will be about 1,900 pounds which is well below rated capacity.

    ISSUE: I've heard from some folks that they have experienced several inches of water pooling in the stern of the raft when motoring because as the stern dips water comes into the boat from the bailing holes. Others have suggested this should not be an issue with an 18 foot raft that is fairly well balanced out. I really don't want several inches of cold Yukon River water under my feet for hours at a time.

    QUESTION: Looking for any first hand knowledge/comments on this issue of water flooding the stern of a big self-bailer raft when motoring with about a 10 hp. 4 stroke, particularly anyone who has done this in a big 18 foot raft. Many thanks.

  2. #2


    My thoughts are, self-bailing rafts are not meant for motors. The 18' SOTAR has 24" tubes and a 14" stern rise. with a very long shaft or adjustable length motor mt. it could work . If I would try to put a project as of such together - I would put the largest size rope through the bailing holes that will fit - probably 3/8" multi-filament nylon. This would help keep the water from coming in as much. Be sure to order your SOTAR with the the cover on the outside of the bailing holes, which is the standard. My ALASKAN model does normally not have this put on, to bail better in white water and save weight as well to roll smaller for airplane use.
    Any questions I can help, feel free to call or e-mail.
    Goo Vogt

  3. #3


    WHAT?? I told you this is the the I would do mine??As there are many false chaneles on the yukon flats. Will make

  4. #4



    I "think" you might have just read my e-mail to you kind sir I appreciate your reminder of the raft's motoring limitations so I can do what I can to help the situation and that I will not have unrealistic expectation. As you wisely point out, for my specific trip, capacity and draft may make a world of difference. You have been extremely helpful and generous with your time, advise, and many years of experience - and it is sincerely appreciated.

  5. #5
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Eagle River, AK



    If I remember correctly, you're planning to float the length of your namesake river this summer? If yes . . . . have you considered these high-tech Torqeedo electric motors from Germany:

    Equivalent to 5-9.9hp outboards depending on the model, light-weight, long or short shafts, tiller or remote steering. Kinda expensive, and the batteries are heavy. But, so is hauling a lot of fuel. Solar panels and small wind-mills could be used for keeping the batteries charged as you travel along. Should be plenty of both sun and wind along the Yukon in the summertime. Besides, quieter is better, on a really long slow journey.

    Just thinking out loud, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  6. #6



    Many thanks for taking the time to share the idea. I've recently watched a video of someone who set-up just that type of cataraft. They had solar panels on top of the whole sun roof and on top of the cat tubes themselves. If I recall correctly, the set up was pretty much for flat water - but interesting.

  7. #7



    Revisiting some advice you gave me some time ago. You suggested trying lacing multi filament nylon rope through the bailing holes to see how the worked with motoring the self-bailer - I believe I will experiment with that and I'm wondering if you would suggest the "braided" or the "three strand" nylon type rope for this test. Thanks.

  8. #8


    Sorry to not get back sooner-- Lots going on here. I would replace the webbing with bradded 3/8" multi filament nylon rope. For to not let the water come in under motor power,
    but Will still self-bail fine.

  9. #9


    Many thanks.


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