Ok. I have spent enough time on my new 14 HP Copperhead to make some conclusions.
1) It's a great motor and the best thing going for shallow water and a canoe but it isn't magic. well not totally magic any-way.
2) When going on a rocky bottom the motor can be tipped up so just a hint of prop hits the water and doesnt ground out, this allows you enough propulsion to get though water as shallow as 3" when pushed by the current (with some ugly scraping sounds)....but when going against the current you can't make progress. Not enough thrust. Therefore you get out and drag and hop back in when and if you hit deeper water 8-10" minimum is what you need against a decent current. Deeper if it's really fast. Add a moose and you'd want more water.
3) Even the Copperhead is a relatively heavy motor and this makes lifting over obstacles like beaver dams a hard go. Wouldn't want anything heavier. Thank god for the Z-Drag (or a come-along)
4) If I was going from scratch I'd want an 18 foot canoe with no rear cut out. High Density plastic runners and an overall weight of under 140 pounds mated to 120 pounds of Copperhead motor. I'd lose 80 pounds too, while being taller and a better dancer.
5) Michael Manzo's rock guard is gold! Saves a lot of pain.
6) The deep channel is always the one that contains sweepers. The maneverability of the 14HP is really nice. Also lots of stops and starts in shallow stuff. Love the electric start. Wish there was some kind of rig that could keep the motor up as you maneuver it manually into a deep fast current, and allow for an instant disengagement. Feel like a one armed paper hanger sometimes.
Dragging upstream... 5 hours to get up the stream, 1 hour to go down
Dragging in a current is tricky. Easy to lose your footing as my son did yesterday. Dry clothes helped. So did a fire, It hit -3C last night. Four tools helped. The Dustrude Saw, Wetterlings Axe, Ranch Hand Carbine for bears and a great pot for hydration. It also helped that my son picked a spot with lots of dead, standing dry wood to fall in!
The Pot. I love this pot. I really love it! Is that normal?
Man..what did I do before you could download maps right into your GPS? There is limited farting around time and using a GPS and Paper Maps is a lot harder..(still have them as back-up though)
This weekends adventure is here. Lots of fun this surface drive thing. Made it up the river a lot farther than anyone else is.