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Old 08-17-2014   #21
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 47
I purchased a 5hp Mercury 4 stroke five years ago. It will push 4 boats counting my 16' cat. Long shaft and a tiller extension. Very quiet. When I bought for the first part of a Deso trip, I could have bought a Honda, but it was $250.00 more. I am sure it would be good as well. You can lay it on one side as long as the motor is higher then the prop. Have it winterized every year.

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Old 08-17-2014   #22
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,362
5hp is fine for a 14' boat- but you're putting a lot of load on that little block with a multi-raft rig. Not saying you can't do it- obviously the poster above has had good success. I'd want more torque in that situation so you can move AND steer.

Tohatsu makes really good small outboards- hard to fathom if you're not into outboards, but in that community they have a great reputation. Keep an eye on weight- some of these are VERY heavy for their displacement. Hard to get a dud anymore among the big names......just add Tohatsu to the list.

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Old 08-17-2014   #23
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 524
when I bought my 6hp Tohatsu, they made a point of selling me the shallower pitch prop since the forward speed would be slower compared to rpm's pushing multiple boats. New this year, but it's run well so far. I pushed a total of 4 boats easily. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2014   #24
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
Originally Posted by mraible View Post
Hey all,

I'm getting a motor + motor mount for a trip down Desolation Canyon in a couple weeks. The guys at Down River said they had a customer who got a Honda BF5 5HP 4 stroke and seemed to recommend it.

I found a place I can pick one up in DTC.

Honda Marine 2014 BF5AK3SA

Does anyone have experience with this motor? We have a 14' Down River Pro 140, and expect to have a push a couple other boats of similar size.


The guys at DRE are steering you in the right direction. That Honda will work perfect for what you want. I have an older 5 hp Honda that runs like a top and have never had carb issues with it.

My motor of choice is still my 8hp 2 stroke Johnson Sea Horse. Almost twice the horse power and really not very noticeable between the two when it comes to being noisy. ( they both drown out the radio)

I have really noticed the power difference when it comes to pushing my speedboat. The Honda will barely break 3 knots while the Sea Horse will push it close to 7 knots. The Honda does use a lot less gas, but takes twice as long to get there.
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Old 08-18-2014   #25
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 47
5, 6, or bigger

If I had it to do over again, I would probably go with a 6 or 7 HP. Just for a bit more push. Going 3-4 MPH with 3-4 boats against a little wind works fine with me. Quiet and comfortable, not looking to plane out or make a big wake. Any of the known four strokes will be good.
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Old 08-18-2014   #26
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Silt, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 193
this is my set up, made the transom my self...kinda proud since I don't claim to be a welder... I used 4" channel that I welded at an angle so the motor is fairly straight. I then radius cut the channel to match up to the NRS pipe. Finally I welded tabs on the sides using 3/4" angle and stainless U bolts so I can slide the transom up or down depending on need. I used a single NRS drop rail for the hang over with enough left over for the seat. I bought the seat mount and put a cheap seat from cabelas on it. The prop guard is just flat bar that I bent using a paint can and a vise, not perfectly round but pretty close.... Ive since modified it so its lower than the prop. Last but not least I sold the old Briggs and Straton and just bought New Mercury 6 H.P. 4 stroke long shaft!

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Old 08-18-2014   #27
thinksnow's Avatar
Salida, 81201
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 143
5-71/2 hp is plenty. Once getting up to 9.9 hp they start to get heavy.
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Old 08-18-2014   #28
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2
Leaning toward Tohatsu 6HP

Thanks to the replies on this thread, I'm leaning toward a 6hp Tohatsu.

Tohatsu 6hp outboard

I'm thinking it'd be good to get the one with the internal fuel tank, then purchase the external 3.1 gallon tank. That way, there's always a reserve.

Also, y'all seem to suggest a long shaft for a raft. I'm looking to pull the trigger on the ordering tomorrow, so please let me know if a short shaft is better.


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Old 08-18-2014   #29
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 332
If your going to be doing long trips look at the sail pro model. It had a charging coil so you can charge a 12v battery that can then be used to power what ever you need. The 6 hp is great and I have one, but it does not run as quite as the 8 hp because the 6 only has one cylinder.
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Old 08-18-2014   #30
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 683
Anybody ever tried the propane motors?

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raft motor, rafting

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