Motor Storage on the river - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-02-2015   #1
Mut
 
GWS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
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Motor Storage on the river

I am curious to know how you 4 stroke owners are storing their motors while on the river? I am looking at a Tahatsu 6hp 4 stroke but am worried about the issues related to storing it on its side. The manufacturer recommends storing it upright but says you can store it on one side.

When your motor is not in use what are you doing with it? I would like to store it in a dry box and keep it out of the way when it is not in use.

What are you all doing?

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Old 03-02-2015   #2
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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On its side, on top of dry box or rear deck. Hard to carry a long shaft bigger than 5 hp inside a dry box, altho' I had one made for my Honda and it just fits - the issue is width between tubes, my box is 47" and I'm running a 16' boat.
If you're concerned about oil issues, stand it up in camp or hang on the transom for half an hour before firing up. Four strokes are pretty durable, as long as you don't put the power head down (so engine oil drains through an open valve, for ex.) you should be fine. Lower unit oil is pretty well confined down there and can't go anywhere.
Almost all outboards have arrows indicating which side to store on when laid down. Again, long as the powerhead is kept higher than the prop you should be fine.
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Old 03-02-2015   #3
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I have a briggs 4 stroke 5 hp air cooled. Basically, a lawnmower engine with a shaft on it. I used to take it off for the rapids, tarp the hell out of it and drybag it making sure it would stay as dry as possible. Then I would store it right side up, low in the boat and make sure it was well padded. The hope was that it would be mostly above water level if I flipped. It always started right up after the rapids.

(Skip this paragraph if you want the short of it) Then, last year the thing broke right off the steering collar mount ( damn chinese cast parts) when it got switched into reverse and went for a swim. The motor was hot and it popped cracked and made lots of steam as it died upon submersion. I yanked the thing up out of the water by the saftey strap I always put on it. I was sure we were rowing the rest of the upper section and rowing out on the "lake" but we pulled over to see what we could do anyway. The cord wouldnt pull at all so I was sure it siezed/ cracked the block when it fell in the cold water. I kept trying it and trying it, yanking and yanking, thinking if I broke the cord we would be no worse off and finally it busted loose, turned over and puked a bunch of water out of the exhaust. We kept pulling it and puking more and more water out till it stopped puking but it wouldnt start. Defeated and tired I strapped it back on the transom and we rowed on down. I would try and start it every hour or so for a few hours. Finally my girlfriend tried it and it started right up. We rigged it solidly on the transom with 6 straps and with little fine tuning of the straps along the way we had it pushing straight. We had to steer with the oars but it pushed two boats out just fine.


Now i just half ass tarp it, stick it in the boat, pad it out a little and go on down. I figure if it can get submerged and start up, a little splashing through the rapids is no big deal. Last trip it started right up after the rapids with this method of storing. I would think that drybox space would be to valuable to get wasted on a motor. I know it is on my boats.
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Old 03-02-2015   #4
 
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spokane, Washington
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I got the Tohatsu 6hp long shaft. Being Idaho, I just run it on the mount tilted slightly or up if water is skinny. Just must remember it's there. I only run it down the Lower Salmon or Snake. Strap in down so it does not buck. I have put the motor in the back of a pickup many times on its side. no issues. My Dad and Bro borrowed it for a trip and put it wrong side down for 200 miles then sitting overnight on their return. Put it upright and started it a few hours later in a garage can. No smoke or anything. ran great. The single cylinder tohatsu shakes quite a bit but starts great and uses very little gas.
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Old 03-04-2015   #5
 
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Louisville, Colorado
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Motor Storage on the river

I want to get a motor. As a side question how do you rig multiple boats together? I assume the boat with motor leads and you just tie bow lines to each stern?

Any other tips to know for a new motor purchase it use?

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Old 03-04-2015   #6
 
Newberg, Oregon
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You need to push the rafts. Trying to pull them makes steering very difficult. Also the noise & fumes are behind the rafts. I have a large dry bag for the motor and store handle down on the front table/ bench. (no passenger)
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Old 03-04-2015   #7
 
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Gunnison, Colorado
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I lay my Long Shaft Nissan 6hp on the right rear tube of my boat strapped to the motor mount frame with the handle down and the prop in a 5 Gal bucket strapped up tight to the clamp bracket. Never had an issue with water getting into the motor no matter how big the rapids get. For trips without big whitewater like the San Juan I just leave it mounted to the motor mount on my frame tipped up out of the water and have it available if a big wind storm whips up.

I have found it best to rig the boats so they are tied together as pictured above and have the two outer rafts do the steering by dipping an ore on either side when required. I usually just set the motor just above idle and it is quite enough that you don't notice it and efficient enough to get at least 18 mpg at 4 mph pushing 5 or 6 boats with no current. The flat water part of the trip just becomes a party barge.
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Old 03-05-2015   #8
 
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Louisville, Colorado
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What's the rig with only two boats? Back to front I would assume.


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Old 03-05-2015   #9
 
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Gunnison, Colorado
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A side by side configuration still works best.
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Old 03-05-2015   #10
Mut
 
GWS, Colorado
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Thank you everyone for your input. This helps.
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