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Thread: 2 stroke or 4 stroke?

  1. #1
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    Default 2 stroke or 4 stroke?

    I recently purchased an 18 foot leopard cataraft for hunting. I'm looking for input on the decision to make about purchasing a 4 stroke outboard or 2 stroke and what horsepower.

  2. #2
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Depending on your usage, a Honda in the 5-10 hp range would be a consideration. A four stroke will be much quieter for sure. More friendly to the environment too. You could get something in this range that would only weigh 50-60 lbs and would run about 20+ mpg. Pretty effecient and quiet. But like I said, it would depend on your usage. I am sure the 18' cararaft could handle much more motor. Whether you need it or not would be up to you.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  3. #3
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default raft motors...

    I run a 9.9 Honda 4-stroke on my 18 foot Leopard. It is a bit more HP than I need and at 103 pounds it is awkward one-man carry. At about 2/3s throttle is runs at about 12 mph. Above 2/3s throttle the wakes both between the tubes and outside the tubes becomes troublesome. My floor has some holes through it for strapping down coolers. At top speed this holes shoot water about five feet above the raft. Bring good rain gear. I have also run an 8 HP, a 15 HP and a 20 HP motor. Regardless of the horsepower, the reasonable speed seems to top out at 12+- mph.

    I hate to say this, but the archives are full of this info. The one-and-only M.S. has done rather extensive testing on this raft-motor concept, which is really an Alaskan thing. Call AIRE and ask them anything about this stuff and they will respond that "you Alaskans are always doing crazy stuff with your boats".

    Hope this helps... Have a blast!

    Dennis
    Alaska True Adventure Guide Service

  4. #4

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    I have the same boat and recently bought a 9.8 Tohatsu for it. I have had Honda outboards, and run some Yamahas, but the Tohatsu was lighter and less money. So far, I only have 8 hours on it, but it does pretty well. It starts on the second pull each time and burns very little gas- maybe 1/2 gallon per hour wide open.

    I would guess top speed at 10 mph, but it was able to get me back up the Kenai when fishing middle river from the lower Skilak ramp, and made the run from the outlet of the upper Kenai to the upper boat launch in 40 minutes.

    I'm not sure where you are planning on hunting- if I was serious about getting up swift rivers I would put something more than 10hp on it, though that boat for that job seems like a mismatch.

    Good luck.

    Doug

  5. #5
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    Default Thanks for your thoughts

    Thanks for the help. The primary use would be for cruising back through good moose habitat on float hunts so I'm not looking for high speed and lighter would be better for airplane drop offs and possible portages.

  6. #6
    Member Ridgerat's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that 2-strokes are already outlawed in some places and will most likely be outlawed in more in the future.

  7. #7
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    I have the same boat and have been running a 15hp 2 stroke long shaft for the last 12 years. I just sold the motor a couple weeks ago in order to replace it with a 4 stroke. The thought of selling my old light reliable Yamaha just about killed me, but like Ridgerat said, I think 2 strokes will be obsolete before too long. Also, like others have said, unless you do a lot of modifications to your boat, the best you'll get is 10-12 mph with a load, and then you start running into cavitation issues.

  8. #8
    Member gspd750's Avatar
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    I recently fitted a Honda 8hp long shaft to my Leopard and have found it to be adequate. The plan was to go with a Tohatsu 9.8 mainly because of the price and also because it weighs in 15 lbs less than a Honda 8hp or 9.9.
    Then a deal came up for a used Honda 8hp that I could not refuse.
    Great gas milage and no fuss with mixing oils. The Honda 4 stroke also has a 12 volt 6amp charging system so that you could charge a small battery for your fish finder, GPS etc..
    The Honda is a bit on the heavy side and is sure awkward for one guy to handle. As mentioned already, the wake from the inboard tubes limits your speed unless you like to wear a wetsuit. I have found about 10 mph to be about right. Even with the rigid floor boards I have installed the wake will come up over the leg of the engine as speed increases and try to surround the engine...my cue to slow down. I'll just have to grease it more often.


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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default very nice

    GSPD750 ..that is a very nice looking setup you have there..
    very comfy,,
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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