Outboard Motors, how much horse power - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-26-2010   #1
 
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Cottonwood Heights, Utah
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Outboard Motors, how much horse power

For those using kickers, specifically 4 strokes, how much horse power is good or better. Some rivers limit kickers to under 10 h.p. so that is the limit I would consider. How little is too little for towing or pushing a small pod of rafts out Cataract or lower Salmon. Any first hand knowledge or experience appreciated. Would likely be attached to a round boat.

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Old 08-26-2010   #2
 
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I've seen a 5 hp move pods of up to 9 boats very nicely against headwinds coming out of Westwater.
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Old 08-27-2010   #3
 
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You may want to look at state regulations. If you get under a certain horse power it will cut down on the permits you will need. I don't know what they are but I think you may want to stay under 10 hp. For Colorado Nevada may have some other regs.
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Old 08-27-2010   #4
 
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Thanks for the replies. I am exploring the "need" for an outboard as I do a lot of trips in Idaho and a yearly Grand trip. The last row out from Diamond convinced me I should look into it. Not that big of a deal in Idaho but reg's state under 10 hp for the Salmon so thats where I'm starting. Looking for an ideal weight to power ratio since a 10 horse weighs over a hundred pounds, might be overkill for the benefit. It sounds as though a 5 hp may be good.
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Old 08-27-2010   #5
 
G.J., CO
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I currently own a 4hp Johnson. It does a great job for me. It is light enough that I can throw it in the back of my truck and muscle it around with minimal hernias. It comes with both an internal gas tank for short runs and an external hookup for those long runs. I found put the hard way that it is much better to buy a new 4-stroke motor than a used two strokes with shear pins, much less maintenance and more reliable.
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Old 08-27-2010   #6
 
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We used a 3 HP Nissan 4-stroke engine to push five rafts across the flat water at the end of our Grand Canyon trip. Of course, you know that 2-stroke engines aren't allowed in The Canyon, so your only real question is what kind and how big a 4-stroke engine to get. We rejected the idea of taking our 10 HP Honda engine, because of its size and weight. The little Nissan did the job nicely. It was quiet and plenty strong enough to keep us moving at a good pace.

Not sure what you mean by attaching the motor to a "round boat," but we mounted ours on a removable transom mounted on a stern frame made by TMS Manufacturing in Vancouver WA (e-mail: [email protected])
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Old 08-27-2010   #7
 
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I appreciate all the comments so far. I am absolutely considering the 4 stroke only. Round boat = Raft as opposed to a Cat. Will be mounted to a frame style transom. I was really thinking max HP (10) just because there's no slow in a mud hole mentality. I'm glad to hear that the smaller , lighter weight motors can do the job. How is the fuel consumption per hour of operation?
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Old 08-27-2010   #8
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It's amazing how little power you need to get the job done and how more horsepower yields little more in performance.

I used a cheapie 28 lb. thrust electric motor to power out at the end of Westwater at low flow, approx 2500 cfs. It pushed 3 boats rafted together at about 1 to 1.25 mph faster than the speed of the current. That's about as fast as a strong oarsman can maintain over time. I also used a 9.9 hp 2 stroke for 4 boats rafted together out the San Juan into a head wind, and made about 3 mph over the current speed. Both were more than satisfactory. It's important to note the horsepower/speed relationship, which is geometric in nature. It takes about 4 times the horsepower to get twice the speed. The smaller motor is lighter, uses less fuel (you need to pack less), is generally easier to start ,is often quieter, costs a whole lot less and is easier to pack and manhandle. I have an old Nissan 5hp on my 25 ft sail boat, I own a 9.9 Honda, 9.9 Force and an 8hp Yamaha. The others are generally quite good, but that old Nissan is the most wonderful little motor made, IMHO. I saw one available on Denver CL a few weeks ago for a few hundred bucks. I almost bought it just on principle. Borrow somebody's electric trolling motor and try it. Whether or not you'd be happy with it will remain to be seen, but I guarantee you will be flat out amazed at what it will do.
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Old 08-27-2010   #9
 
thornton, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgpaddler View Post
I appreciate all the comments so far. I am absolutely considering the 4 stroke only. Round boat = Raft as opposed to a Cat. Will be mounted to a frame style transom. I was really thinking max HP (10) just because there's no slow in a mud hole mentality. I'm glad to hear that the smaller , lighter weight motors can do the job. How is the fuel consumption per hour of operation?
5 hp. 4 stroke with power prop instead of cruse prop, uses a little more fuel but pushes boat or boates better. Medium throttle one gallon about 3 hours. Not going to get into make or model of motor but stick with brand names, some real junk out there. A motor can be your best friend or worst enemy, depends on how you take care of it. Make sure you chain it on while in use, one good bump and the motor will end up in the river.
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Old 08-28-2010   #10
 
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Keep in mind a 9.9 hp can often have the carburetor changed out and then produce 15 hp, well at least with the 2-strokes. Don't know if that can be done with 4-strokes.

Also outboards have high torque models used for pushing powerboats for trolling. Bigfoot is Mercury high torque model, other brands have similar ones. They are geared slightly different and/or have different pitched props. These make great motors for pushing loads at lower rpms.

Lastly nobody yet has mentioned shaft size. Short shafts are 15" from bottom of cavitation plate to top of the mounting bracket. Standards (most common) are 20". Also is a long and extra-long at 25" and 30" and they are pretty rare unless you have lots of sailboats in your area.
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