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Old 02-27-2013   #1
Brigham city, Utah
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 21
How much can a small outboard push?

I recently acquired a small 3.5 hp outboard motor and have a trip this year where i will need to motor for 2 days. How many loaded boats can this motor push. Any thoughts

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Old 02-28-2013   #2
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 80's
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 30
My 10 HP 4 stroke did 4 rafts on a Cataract trip. You should be able to do 2, maybe 3, with no headwind.

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Old 02-28-2013   #3
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Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 77
I have pushed 11 boats with my 8 hp before. Not fun but doable. It definitely depends on the wind, duration, river depth, width and current. If you have a lot of boats you need to have the motor deep in the water to get full power. If there's a lot of current than you just need to keep your floatzilla in the middle of the channel. At low water when the river is shallow and narrower than normal so lots of boats = hard. Just get out there and get some time on it. Then you can find how much gas you use for how many boats. I have heard of small engines pushing a staggering amount if boats. Like 10+.
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Old 02-28-2013   #4
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 136
I have a small 2 stroke 3hp motor and I pushed a fully loaded 3 raft barge out of the san juan last year. When the wind blew hard it would slow us down to barely moving but we made it out.
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Old 02-28-2013   #5
park city, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 25
Was on a cataract trip with 5 rafts barged together powered by one 10hp motor. The last day we had a pretty strong headwind that gave us some push back, but once we manned the oars we cruised on through.
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Old 02-28-2013   #6
La Grande, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 77
depends on wind

with no wind, it will push a lot more than you think, but any kind of wind and then you start having to steer, now you will have issues.

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