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Thread: outboard advice

  1. #1

    Default outboard advice

    I have an aire leopard that I would like to put a motor on and had an idea that might be off the wall. I was on a river doing a float a couple of weekends ago and had several boats go by on motor. Frankly the noise was abit annoying. The other thing is that gas motors aren't cheap. Recently I was at Sportsmans Warehouse and got to looking at the electric trolling motors. They are cheaper and much quieter. Does anyone have any expereince with them? What I am thinking is a trolling motor hooked to the battery with a solar charger for the battery. In the end it might be more expensive for the complete set up but you wouldn't have to worry about gas/gas prices. Based on the info on the cabela's website for a 2500 lb boat (boat weight plus capacity with a built in margin) you would need a trolling motor with ~62 pounds of thrust. They make them all the way up to 80 lbs of thrust or even a 106. So in theory it should have enough power.

    So any experience with an electric motor or am I just crazy.

  2. #2
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default Batteries

    The only problem you need to think about is how fast the battery(ies) will drain. The higher thrust motor you get, the faster the batteries will drain. The solar charger might work well but I don't think you will get the performance to outweigh having to carry all the extra gear (motor, battery(ies), charger, etc..). I use a 38# motor occasionally and after an hour or two I end up having to pull start my gas motor because my battery is so drained. You might look in to one of the Honda 2hp 4stroke motors. You will get much more thrust and with the little 4 stroke you will hardly know it is running. Plus they sip the gas. A gallon or two will keep you running for many hours.
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  3. #3
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    Trolling motors are great for going very slow on lakes with no wind. Asside from that, they provide very little meaningful thrust for anything other than very small and light boat.

    If you're looking to have something that will allow you to go against the current, or make a notable increase in your speed, then you'll need to gas o/b. The 4 strokes are fairly quiet, but yes quite expensive. If you keep your eyes pealed in the classifieds and at garage sales, some great deals can be had on older engines.

  4. #4

    Default

    So it looks like the electric motor is out. What are some good motors to keep an eye open for?

  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    What exactly are you trying to do with the motor? You need to figure out how much hp you need to achieve that. If you're trying to go upriver, you'll need quite a bit a bit of horsepower, as opposed to just making a bit more speed going downriver. Also do you have contraints as to weight for transporting on aircraft, or hp restrictions on the waters you'll use it on.

  6. #6

    Default motor use

    I would like to be able to go upriver then float back down or mess around on lakes. I was told by the owner that he has experience with this boat and a 7.5 hp motor in both the Grand Canyon (holding below the rapids as a rescue boat) and on the salmon towing other boats across the lake. So I figure that I need something in that neighborhood. I do not have any weight constraints on transport, although I would like to stay as light as possible. No restrictions on motor size that I am aware of.

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    Some lakes have a restriction to 10 hp, so I'd consider a 9.9hp and under, I'm not sure what the hp restriction is on your boat and would contact the manufacturer. Tohatsu makes a nice 4 stroke 9.9hp that is only 80#'s, very light for a 4 stroke of it's hp, and comparable to most 2 strokes of that power range.

    I'd keep my eyes pealed for a g 8-9.9 hp in good condition from Honda, Yamaha, Tohatsu, Suzuki, Evinrude, Johnson and I'm sure I'm forgetting somebody.

    You might find a good older motor in the $500 range, but figure you'll want to replace the water pump impeller and rebuild the carburator and fuel pump, as those items wear out with age, no matter how few hours are on the motor. You'll be hard pressed to find one of the newer motors under $1000, as they are popular and if in like condition go closer to $1500. Still beats $2k+

  8. #8

    Default

    great that gives me a place to start thanks for the feed back.

  9. #9
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Outboard for your cataraft

    Scott,

    My first question was going to be, "what are you planning on doing with the outboard", but then I saw that you said you want to go upstream and such. A trolling motor will not cut it for that. You said that the Cabela's ad said the electric motor would push a 2500-lb. boat. That's probably true on flat water like a lake or such, but you won't go upstream with that kind of motor.

    For your 18-foot Leopard, you're going to need something in the neighborhood of 25 horses or better. You'd be happier with a larger one around 35 HP. For anything that's going to get you up on step, you'll also need a spray shield of some kind to control the wake generated by the tubes as they move over the water. Alaska Raft and Kayak in Anchorage does a bit of this kind of work; I believe they're the only shop that does.

    Here's a photo of a couple of catarafts we tested with 25-horse longshaft prop outboards on Skilak Lake a few years ago. Good luck rigging this thing up! It is a challenge tuning it up so it works correctly, but it's a great rig.

    For hunting, I usually run mine with an eight-horse, but I'm not running upstream. I just use it to battle headwinds and to get downriver faster.

    Best of luck!

    -Mike
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  10. #10
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Rafts and motors

    The distinctive hum of a motor boat coming up stream is one of the saddest sounds I have ever heard..... I force myself to accept the fact that in a few moments a boat will come around the bend and my week or weeks long pristine river float and self induced time travel to a time before the invent of the reciprocatiing engine is over.
    Oh yeah, I heard a few airplanes fly over during my time out, but I convinced myself they were just extra noisy Mosquitos.
    ( Did I mention that in my time travel machine I can carry along new age material rafts and Dehydrated meals, and a satelite phone)
    Reality is- that Motors are handy and can take alot of the load off when it comes to having to row across,- say- like Skilak lake when you come out of the canyon... I rowed it once.. and now a motor proudly sits on the tail of my raft ready to push me when I reach the lake. I used a 9.9 hp 4 stroker for this purpose , until this year....... NOW>>>>
    I mounted a long tail Mud Motor on the back with a 12 hp air cooled briggs for power.. I don't have to adjust a thing from raft to raft.. I just mount it on a transom.. any height.. and dip the blade into the water and away I go... No fuss ..no muss.. ( is that a word? muss),,, any way.. i was in Saltlake City last month and picked up a Long tail frame from "MUD BUDDY" and shipped it up as freight.
    We have several dealers of these type of Mud motors around Alaska. I saw 2 or three different ones at the sportshow this spring. the cool thing is that they weigh alot less than a regular outboard, about 80 lbs for a 12 hp and because they don't require water for cooling, you have a great advantage in not to worry about overheating anything..
    No! you are not going to water ski behind your inflatable.. but you will get the added push you need to do like Mike S. said... push you in a direction and help in the slow places along the way.... Can it push up river? ,, well that takes Horse Power..,, I have not tried to go up stream yet... I may put in the Kenai at Bings landing and see if it will take me up stream this next week..
    wish me luck..... If I report that the Naptown rapids are not as bad as people say.. you can bet it did not have the umph........
    just anouther Idea..
    Max

  11. #11

    Default Mud Motor

    Is the mud motor quiter then the regular motor?

    I have been told that the twin to my boat fully loaded with gear and using a 7.5 hp motor can pull other loaded rafts across a lake and go up river alone provided you aren't trying to power up through rapids.

    So is it the consensus that I need a 25hp to go up river but something like a 8 or 9hp will do everything else? (Lakes, faster down river, etc....)

  12. #12
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Question on Mud Buddy motors

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe
    ...I mounted a long tail Mud Motor on the back with a 12 hp air cooled briggs for power....Max
    Max,

    I've looked at these motors too, and have actually been in boats using the original design in the klongs (canals) in Bangkok, Thailand. It's an intriguing idea and it would be interesting to test one on a cataraft... can they be broken down to go in a small aircraft for fly-out trips? Also, I'd heard that you have to go quite a bit larger to get the same performance that you get out of a regular outboard. What do you know about that?

    Thanks!

    -Mike
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  13. #13
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default right right and right

    Mike, you do loose a little power due to the angle of attack, I added an extra muffler to my motor. It was a 12 hp briggs that came off a riding lawn mower. It is an older mostly worn out engine so not a fair judge.
    The cool thing about these mud motors is that you can bolt on about any 4 stroke utility type motor if it has the right drive shaft size and away you go.
    Yes they are easy to take down. I think the tail portion is about 60 inches long, and you can just remove the motor and set it where ever you want in the airplane. the tail is skinny and can go against a wall and be shoved in any space left in the plane. I can mount a 5 hp on up to about a 18 hp on this unit. I balance the motor weight on the transom with a couple of bolts that let the shaft out further for a heavy motor or take it in for a lighter motor. The cost of the unit minis the motor is about $1,100.. the motor can cost from a few hundred to $500 or more depending on what you want... You can order just the unit minus the motor, or the complete setup...
    so the cost of a new unit is still under $1,800.00 .. vs quite a bit more for a new 4 stroke boat motor...
    Keep it simple stupid is what I was after in this idea. I had such a hard time before trying to set he transom up right on my raft, and then as soon as I hit the throttle the distance of the transom to the water changed so much as the back of the raft rolled up on its end, that sometimes the motor was almost submerged... so you just crawled along slow.. to keep it as level as possible.. Now It doesn't matter.. I control the depth of the prop no matter the attitude of the raft.
    If I put a 5.5 hp on this unit the weight goes down to about 60 lbs total, and that is what I intend on doing for my fly out trips this Sept.
    that will work out great flying in a 206 with me my raft and a couple of guys and gear for a week.
    anyway,, I would like to see one on a Cataraft sometime.
    Max

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