Forum member Boudarc and I tested the 12 hp copperhead on the back of the Esquif and the initial impression wasn't too great. We maneuvered down rabbit slough all the way to duck lake which is quite a small little creek. The motor is way too powerful for the canoe, and it's not as stable as I thought it would be. At idle, the motor was pushing the canoe 10 mph down the slow current and 9 mph up current. This is unsafe and I don't recommend this combo to anyone. I'm a bit disappointed but I will give credit where credit is due and it maneuvered through tight stuff and over logs quite well. I stood while running the motor the entire trip and the seats will have to be rearranged. I mistakenly took the yoke and one seat off the canoe prior to the trip which also didn't work out well. At quarter throttle, the motor would push the canoe at 15-16 mph. At this speed the center of the canoe began to "oil can" because the yoke wasn't there to provide rigidity. Regardless of that issue, the motor is still far too powerful and torquey for this canoe. I will continue to run the motor on this canoe but I have to warn everyone who is interested in this canoe that the 6.5hp copperhead would be far better and much safer. This motor is so powerful that I didn't even dare to open it up past quarter throttle and I'm almost certain that it would push a hudson bay with a heavy load. I will not use this motor/canoe combo on my Yukon trip. I will attach some runners to the bottom of my larger 18 ft. freighter and run the rivers with the 12 hp copperhead. Although the cargo is an amazing canoe, it's also smaller than the advertised specs which surely didn't help. The canoe is actually only 41 inches wide, 15 inches deep at the center, and 16 inches deep at the stern. It's a full 3 inches less beam than Esquif advertises. I'm a bit upset that they misrepresented the specs on their webpage especially after driving all the way to Whitehorse for 16 hours and all the way back. It's a difficult situation to have spent all this money in preparation for a trip and be too close to leaving to do anything about it. Thank goodness I have a larger freighter or I'd be sht out of luck.
I don't want anyone to underestimate how insanely powerful these copperhead motors are. The 6.5 would likely push an Esquif Cargo with a heavy load no problem. I will not feel comfortable to run this canoe with the 12 hp motor unless I have a minimum of 700 lbs in the boat. I will manage for now on less demanding waters, but can't afford a smaller motor this season. I will definitely go for the 6.5 in the future for this canoe. This motor is ideal for a very wide 18-21 foot freighter with some weight........and definitley not meant for a 17 footer. Quarter throttle was down right crazy! Thanks for coming along for the initial test-run Boudarc.