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Thread: What is the heaviest motor you'd put on a Grumman 19 or Osage 17?

  1. #1

    Default What is the heaviest motor you'd put on a Grumman 19 or Osage 17?

    I think this question may have been answered in some previous thread somewhere...at least I seem to remember folks mentioning max weights for square stern canoes, but I can't remember where.

    So I'd like to put that question out again and have folks chime in if they'd like.

    How much weight is too much? Regardless of whether one is putting on a regular outboard with a lift, a long tail mud motor, or one of the new lighter (though still pretty heavy) surface drives, at what point do you need to just cut it off? How heavy is just too darn heavy?

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    I have 17' Osage and I'm using the following:
    - Lift & 9.8 hp is about 125 lbs (great for traveling and hauling gear)
    - Lift & 5 hp is about 95 lbs (great for fishing)

    My thoughts are you can go a bit heavier.

    -Tim

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    it can also be a problem if the plate of the lift is not on the transom, if it sticks out passed the transom as the farther it off the transom the more weight on the transom, put to give a little input to the question the 15 HP OMC, 2 cycle goes for about 80 LBS. an there was a lot of the Grumman 19 with lift out there, it all depends on the water you flot, as long as it don't take on water it will work, next is how much water you float [deep] the less water you float the less weight you want on the transom,so what is the best ?????

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I can weigh in here.......
    as sid has stated, one of those 15 horse two stroke motors are a gem. If you could find one, it makes perfectly good sense. the tohatsu 9.9 and the suzuki 9.9 four strokes are the only two light enough (currentley avail.) that I would hand off a canoe of this size. My 17.5 ft. discovery is slightly larger than an osage in both height and length, and I was pushing a considerable amount of weight up current of the yukon. so long as you hang in the slower moving waters, you could push a moose up river, but any motor heavier than the 80-90 lb range of the tohatsu or suzuki.....and it's time to go to a bigger canoe. It's not the power of the motor.......but the weight that makes things difficult.

    yukon canoe.jpg

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    Interesting replies so far...thanks. The reason for the question is that I'm trying to figure out what motor would be best for my recently purchased canoe, and the main choices I'm looking at right now are between the new 120lb Copperhead 12 hp Surface Drive (that's due to come out in a couple weeks), the 165lb Mudbuddy 14hp Mini Surface Drive, or either a 8hp or 15hp Yamaha 2 stroke (I've been able to find a few of these still available on ebay) or possibly the 9.8hp 4 stroke Tohatsu. If I get a conventional motor, I'll of course be using a lift with it.

    The canoe I have is a hand-made (not by me) cedar-strip & fiberglass 19' (possibly 20', I haven't actually measured it...and right now it's in Fairbanks & I'm working the summer away in Greenland) square stern that is roughly comparable to a 19' Grumman, but is just a bit heavier, wider, more stable, and can haul a bit more weight. I bought the canoe from a friend of a friend. The boat was slightly damaged when I bought it, so I haven't used it yet. The guy who had it before me (the builder, actually) originally had a 9.9 outboard with a lift, then went to a 18hp Go-Devil (but if I remember right, he said that motor was not a good match...too heavy) and ran it around Eagle (up the Kandik, I think...some folks here may have seen this rig and know the boat better than I do, actually).

    Starting next summer I plan on running the boat on the Tanana up and down river from Nenana (I have land 10 miles up river...right now I'm working to pay for it!). While the canoe will mostly be used to travel back and forth between Nenana and my land, I'd also like to be able to go up tributaries like the Wood River and the Kantishna (and even smaller ones, if I can) and down into the Minto flats area.

    Any thoughts or recommendations?

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    My honest concern regarding anything larger than that 6 hp copper head........too heavy.

    I use the two motor technique and cache the 9.8 tohatsu at the mouths of some of the rivers you speak of. I then turned to a six horse sukuki that weighed 65 lbs because i found the 9.8 tohatsu (although the lightest 9.8) too cumbersome to lift out of the water as I hit shallows and had to jump out of the water to line in swift current. I believe the 6 hp copper head would allow you to venture up smaller tributaries with very little weight in the boat. It would act a strong "steerin" device on the way back down and ferry around with more weight aboard (like moose or bear meat), but you would def. not have enough power to go back up current with the added weight and the small surface motor. Nothing beats a prop-driven outboard of the larger deeper rivers though. a two motor technique may serve you well as it has for me. A stationary lift will allow you to adjust between a small mud motor and a larger outboard. I build stationary lifts and would warn against "adjustable lifts". they are what I consider a waste of money, and not needed when you use a two motor technique. You can lower the staionary lift back to the height for the smaller copper head motor when the time comes to hit smaller tributaries of the larger river. Get the 6 hp copperhead, and get a tohatsu or suzuki 9.8 with a spare prop. If you go any heavier than that.......you are putting yourself in danger. a sudden set of standing waves, and under water obstacle, a cut bank......could all turn you broadside to the current, and flip you canoe. Add a bunch of top heavy weight to the equation........you will regret it. Others may disagree, but I'm on the water all season long on all sorts of waters in a canoe in the size range or yours'. The advice.......you can take it or leave it.......it's up to you. I had already once (my previous thread below) had mentioned that anything larger that the weight of the lightest 9.8 fourstrokes would be too much weight. good luck sir, and should you ever need help rigging that canoe.......bring er by.

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    Hey Mainer, I guess the thing that's confusing me here is that from what I'd read elsewhere a lift will add about 30lbs to the back of one's boat, which means a 9.8hp Tohatsu or a 15hp 2 stroke with a 30lb lift would weigh in about the same as the Copperhead 12 horse. Is there something I'm missing though? I'm not familiar with the "stationary lifts" you mentioned...are they lighter? Is there someplace I could see a picture of one?

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    This lift that I've been using is made of oak laminate, uses existing holes from the old transom, and also uses wingnuts and carriage bolts(no tools). You simply drop the motor, and adjust once. Readjust for larger rivers only once more. My only mistake was not sealing the transom in a few coats of spar varnish. But oak laminate is strong and doesnt crack or split like a solid wood transom. A simple routered edge along the inside and outside pieces, and carefully drilled holed that raises the lift in one-inch increments.......and you're going places.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by mainer_in_ak; 08-08-2010 at 15:11. Reason: enlarge photo

  9. #9

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    Ok, I think I see now. You've basically got an adjustable mount there...so you stop and take the motor off to raise or lower it and then it stays at that height the whole time. Bigger motors mounted deeper for larger rivers, smaller motors mounted higher for smaller tributaries. Hmmm...I'll have to give that idea some thought. It definitely doesn't add weight to the equation, which is great (and so I see now that when you're talking about the weight of a 9.8 you're not adding anything to it). Though I wonder about something like that on the Tanana, where depths can vary widely, going from deep to shallow and back again in short order depending on what side of the river one is on, what slough one takes, etc. On the Tanana you can stick to the middle channel, but then you don't get to explore much of the river. Ideally (for the Tanana, at least) I think I'd want a rig that could go from fast current and deep water to shallows and back again at a moment's notice. Still, you've given me some more ideas for my brain to chew on...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mainer's lift

    You know Mainer, the more I've been thinking over your lift design, the more I think it might work especially well for my canoe. One thing I haven't mentioned is that my canoe has a fairly unique "square-stern" in that it has a transom but the stern tapers to a point as it descends into the water...almost like a keel. My thought is that this might allow me to mount a conventional outboard very high and still make it work...possibly even high enough that the prop won't go below the level of the bottom of the boat. If it's possible for me to do this on my canoe, then your lift design would essentially be perfect.

    See, the stern of my canoe looks kinda like this (but on the scale of a canoe and with less of a pronounced keel...really just a point at the stern, much like the bow):


    Stern type 2.jpg

    So Mainer, I'm wondering...with your canoe and lift, how high do you normally mount your 6hp when going into the shallows, and how shallow of water does that work for you in?

    And thanks for all the perspective on this...it's really helping me wrap my brain around all the factors to consider.

    Cheers,
    Glenn

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    It depends on the load in the boat. During a recent low-water run of a smaller river (about 100 miles worth of river), I had to make additional holes in my transom to adjust the motor even higher. There comes a point where the prop will cavitate when turning, you must find that thresh-hold and just leave the motor at that height where it is lifted as high as the outboard will still allow proper function. When on larger rivers like the Yukon, I still keep the larger outboard lifted about 4 inches. I've noticed no change in speed when checking my GPS, so the additional 4 inches is really nice to have for the shallow sand/gravel bars you don't always see. A small copperhead motor would push your boat just fine up shallows, and a true outboard motor would be much more comfortable on large treks of the "highway rivers". Not to mention......if feels really nice knowing you have two motors in the event one breaks down. My only concern regarding the small copper head motor, is the LCT motor (that powers their surface-drive design) uses a simple "splash" type oiling system, there is no oil pressure and no oil pump. Not a big deal on such a small motor, and luckily, it has twin bearings that the crank shaft uses. If you were ever to have a break down on your "chinese lawn mower engine", you could still lift the outboard motor up high, and still navigate the shallows OK. I've powered up some extremely fast and shallow chutes and It is a rush, it'll put a grin on your face when you look back at the large standing waves you just powered up. I can't guarentee that the copper head motor could have done that, but it's def. worth a try. Sometimes, you have to rev your motor as if it was a dirt bike, letting off the throttle when the stern digs in, and then powering down for all it's worth to continue to propel the boat upriver. Sometimes......a sheer pin blows and things get crazy. A forum member here by the name of Kandik is the one who originally recomended this copperhead motor, and I have to agree (with him) that it would be nice to not blow rubber prop hubs, or sheer pins. This "6.5hp" copperhead has more torque than horsepower, it'd be worth a try to attempt to push a smaller canoe up fast current with this little motor. The price of the motor is a little rediculous considering the actual LCT motor "208cc" only costs about $150 dollars. They shouldn't charge so much, but it may be worth it. The whole point in using these smaller canoes, is to have the ability to manuever with a paddle, and the ability to pull it over bad spots, something that isnt easily done with a 21ft. Hudson Bay.

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