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Thread: Motor for small inflatable

  1. #1
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    Default Motor for small inflatable

    I am going to be needing a motor for my 10 foot Zodiac. The Zodiac will only be used for:
    1. Tender on occasion to shuffle 2 people and gear to shore.
    2. During moose hunting I plan on using this little rig to putz around looking for game to save fuel. Again, it will only hold 2 adults plus rifles and backpacks. The moose will be picked up in the river boat.

    Yamaha has a lightweight 2 stroke 8 hp that only weighs 60 pounds. I doubt if this motor will get us on step but I want to make sure it will push us faster than we can paddle. Thoughts? Go bigger and heavier?
    Tennessee

  2. #2

    Default Duel Purpose Motor

    Are you going to use the motor for backup on your jetboat, as well as with the inflatable? We used a 9.8 Tohatsu for years as a combo motor on our 22' jetboat and light weight 10' air-keel inflatable. The Tohatsu weighed approx 70# and was too much power for our inflatable.
    We split the difference and now use a 2HP Evinrude on the inflatable, it weighs very little and stows under the bow until needed. If your inflatable has floorboards, etc then your choice range would seem to be 4-8 HP.
    SeaULater

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    I used to have a 10' zodiac with an inflatable keel and composite floorboards. Using a 6hp Johnson with 2 adults onboard we couldn't get on step going up the Little Susitna which made for a very slow trip but definetly better than paddling. So I bought a yamaha 9.9 hp 2 stroke and used it for a long time. We were younger and thinner back then but to give you an idea how well it worked it would pull me on a kneeboard with 1 adult onboard. It also would get 3 of us on step with minimal gear heading up the Big Su from Deshka landing to Willow Creek. Why we did that I couldn't tell you looking back on it but we did. I knew a guy that put an 18hp on his and he said it was foolish.
    Hope that gives you an idea what to expect.
    Last edited by AKBighorn; 05-14-2007 at 01:47. Reason: grammar

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    Default

    It will not be used as backup on the jet boat. Strickly for the inflatable. Would the 8 be a good choice?
    Tennessee

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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    I don't see why an 8hp wouldn't work. We took a fly-in Canada trip a few years ago and the cabin had 14' Lund aluminum boats with 8hp Yamaha's (2-strokes) on them. The boats, while light, weighed more than a 10' Zodiak. The 8hp outboards didn't have any troubles getting three people and gear on step.

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    I dont think I will need to get on step. But I want to make sure I can cruise around at about 7-10 mph.
    Remember, we will be using this as we slowly go up and down the rivers looking for critters or to get to promising areas to hunt.
    Tennessee

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    I think you would be lucky to go up the Little Su at 10 mph in a zodiac without making a big wake, digging deep and running the motor at a pretty good clip but I could be wrong. There comes a point where more but not enough is of no use to the end result if that makes any sense. A 4 hp motor may give you what you want without getting on step, a 6 may simply be heavier with no other real advantage, an 8hp may get you on step but you said you really aren't worried about that. A 9.9 will do everything but weighs a little more. Sorry if I muddied the water more.

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    Its ok, I will never be using this on the Little Su. I will only be taking it into the sound on occassion if we want to run to shore from our ocean boat and taking it moose hunting on my Yukon/Koyukuk hunts. Just need the lightest weight motor that can move two of us around at a slow hunting pace.
    Tennessee

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    I was just trying to give you an idea when I referenced the Little Su (slower currents). Guess I forgot about the part of using it in the salt. Seems to me that being said that you would probably get by with a 4 hp motor for dinking around in the dingy but an 8 is definetly adequate in my book.

  10. #10

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    I use a yamaha F8 for my kicker on my 18' hewescraft, it will push my boat up to 10mph. in cook inlet. I would think your inflatable would be that much better off as it weighs far less than my boat. JMO

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    Default Outboard for inflatable

    Snowwolfe:
    I struggled with the same dilemma; what outboard for my inflatable. Since then, I've had four 10' Zodiac inflatables with a range of motors from a 5 HP air-cooled Clinton to a 9.9 HP Merc....I'll list the boats/motors and my experience with each combination; might help you decide. My first Zodiac was a fairly light 10' ZED (manufactured by Zodiac). I ran the little Clinton outboard on that for a few years and went up Jim Creek, the Big Su and it worked OK for two of us and a bit of gear, but didn't exactly blow your hair back. Then I got a 9.9 Merc and the little ZED flew with a load; plenty of power. I even went out Resurrection Bay a couple of times with it and up Twenty Mile. I wore out the ZED and got another one with a 8 HP Mariner (from a buddy that never used it) and it worked as well as the first. Third boat was a fiberglass bottom Zodiac Yachtline that I carried on the back of my 25' Bayliner and it served very well as a tender and could run against some pretty strong current with the 8 HP Mariner. Fourth boat was another Zodiac Yachtline with aluminum bottom and a 6 HP Merc four stroke...the same combo I'm using now. If I was in the market for another Zodiac, I'd get an air floor with a 2-4 HP four stroke (probably a Suzuki or maybe a Honda) and keep everything lightweight....and not worry about zooming around anymore; just get to shore and a bit of slow touring about checking out the scenery without getting the big boat underway. Good luck with your decision!

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    Mike,
    Thanks for the input as you experience is what I was after. 8 hp should be more than enough and if I can find a lighter 4 stroke 6 hp I may go with it. But it appears the Yamaha 2 stroke 8hp at 60 pounds may offer the best combination of power and weight. I already have the Zodiac (Zoom 310S) which has floorboards in it.
    Most people don't realize how difficult it can be to manhandle 60 pounds of motor especially if you are trying to attach it to the trasom of a dingy in the salt water!
    I appreciate everyones advice.
    Tennessee

  13. #13

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    I just bought a 7'7" Achilles rated for 4 and examined all the new 4-strokes before settling on a '94 Evinrude 4 horse 2-stroke. Reasons: 1) Weight(33#s) 2) Twin Cylinders (smoother running). 3) F/N Gears 4) Twist-Grip Throttle

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