Hello forum members,
After reading on all of the newer outboard motors available for the freighter canoeist, I decided to put together a buyer's guide of some sort. Although brand preference, older gems, and settling for the "good deal" will alter one's preference to a motor, this thread should be a useful guide to anyone who is considering a freighter.
I'll first start with the bottom end of the Alaskan sized freighters: The 17 ft.
1. There are a multitude of 17 ft. freighters available in good numbers out there: The Scott freighter, Esquiff Cargo, Old-town Discovery, Mackenzie Sport 17, and the Osagian 17ft. Freighter. This is the size boat that I've had most experience with. There is quite a gray area regarding outboard motors with this canoe. The weight of the motors in the 100 pound range are out of the question IMO. The max. outboard for these boats would be a safe limit of a 9.9hp outboard. The two best outboard motors available new are the Tohatsu 9.9 and the Two-stroke Yamaha 8 hp. The Tohatsu is the lightest in it's class at about 79 pounds. The two stroke Yamaha is a 60lb. motor! Both are the best in their class. Also......Suzuki will have a new 8hp. and 9.9 hp motor that will be the 2010 models available in the summer. They have redesigned them to be lighter and they will weigh in at 87 pounds. Those two motors would be excellent for the 17ft. freighters. With that said.....I will prob. go for the 9.9 zuk for my second freighter. Running a Suzuki DT-6 (two-stroke 6hp.) on my first freighter, I've found this motor to be a lighweight and reliable little powerhouse. It seems like this twin cylinder 165cc. has the torque of a 9.9 four stroke. It'll be a nice competition to see how the new 9.9 suzuki will compare against my DT-6 when they are both attached to identical boats.
2. The 18ft. freighters: The only two that are within driving range of AK are the Scott 18ft., and the Mackenzie Sport 18. The max motor for this canoe would prob. be a 15 hp. outboard. The 20 horse motors may be too heavy and too much power. The lightest outboard is the 15 horse Yamaha 2-stroke. This outboard weighs 79 pounds. It would be my first choice. If you had to go four-stroke due to the regs....the Tohatsu and Suzuki 9.9's would be fine.
3. The 19ft. Grumm: The pioneer of the Alaskan Freighters! This well worn, and nostalgic freighter has prob. clocked more Alaskan river miles than any of the others combined. If you happen to purchase one of these gems...the 15 hp. Yamaha 2-stroke as mentioned above would be a perfect motor. Again...if you had to go four-stroke due to regulations, dropping down to the 9.9 Tohatsu or Suzuki would be the lightest alternative.
4 The 21ft. Scott. This beast doesn't care so much about the weight of the motor you choose. Any 15 hp. outboard would do. Honda makes the lightest 20hp outboard out there. It weighs about 100lbs. even. It would be what I believe to be the perfect motor for this 250lb. beast of a freighter.
5. The 22ft. scott.........If you still consider this a "Canoe"......I'm sure it could handle whatever Outboard you decided to bolt to the transom up to a 50 horse!
I hope this thread will be usefull advice for pointing new freighter canoeists in the right direction.