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Thread: Outboard for Leopard

  1. #1

    Default Outboard for Leopard

    I am purchasing a four stroke for an Aire Leopard. Any input on what would be better, a 9.9 or a 15? I mostly use my raft on the Kenai, but also do some flyout float fishing and hunting. Thanks for any feedback.

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Default It all depends

    It depends on what you're looking for your outboard to do for you. If it were me, I'd go with the 9.9. All I need is to come close to doubling my drift speed on a downstream run for float hunts. If I were running upstream, I'd be looking at a stouter transom, a spray shield setup and at least a 25-horse. You could also fish the salt for halibut and salmon with that rig too.

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  3. #3
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Paradise (Alaska)

    Default Outboard...

    I too have an 18 foot AIRE Leopard that I keep set up for the upper Kenai. I often use one of my other two AIRE boats if I do not need a motor, but I keep a 9.9 Honda on the Leopard for getting across Skilak Lake to the boat ramp take-out.

    The 9.9 HP Honda weighs 115 pounds. And that is about all I want on the back of that boat. If your motor gets any heavier than 115 pounds, it gets awkward to handle by yourself. The boat can handle it but the motor itself gets gets heavy and awkward to mount and move around. Because of that I would not get a motor heavier than 115 pounds, especially if you are going to take it on a fly-out trip.

    I have run a 5 HP, a 15HP and the 9.9 HP motor on the Leopard at different times. Frankly, they all push the boat across the lake at about the same speed. Regardless of the motor size the speed tops out at about 12MPH. If I were to run a 25 HP motor I do not believe the Leopard would travel any faster. And if it did, the water-wake-spray would become exponentially worse. Above that "top speed", the wake on both sides of the tubes gets unpleasant. The inner wakes meet each other near the center of the raft and water shoot up three feet high through holes in my floor.

    Forum member/moderator Michael S. has posted on this topic many times. Check the archives. (I hate saying that.) Hopefully he will comment here, again.

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  4. #4


    Thanks for the helpful feedback.


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