Raft Motor...What's the best? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-23-2010   #1
 
Lakewood, Colorado
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Raft Motor...What's the best?

Looking into getting a motor for my raft. Been on trips that a 4HP engine can push out a good handful of boats and gear. Thoughts on what is best i.e. HP, long v/s short shaft, air cooled v/s water cooled? Thanks.

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Old 09-23-2010   #2
 
Carbondale, Colorado
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glad you asked...

cause I have been doing a bunch of research lately so figured I would chime in what I have learned...I don't consider myself an expert by any means or through experience cause I have minimal but I have read a lot in the past couple months cause we are renting one for our upcoming Cat trip. The rental was a last minute discovery so I was fully preparing myself to purchase thus all the reading...

BEST?

Mercury, Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, etc. Supposedly the Suzuki outboard has the most output of similar sized engines.

HP?

I would pay close attention to weight cause there is a huge jump from say a 6hp motor to a 9.9+. You can get good 4 stroke 6hp for less than 60# going up to a motor larger than 6hp you gain another 20# at the minimum. Less is more when it comes to weight for a motor in my opinion especially since you will have to stow it for rapids, etc.

LONG VS. SHORT?

This will all depend on how high your transom is from the water line. If you have a lot of stern rise on your raft i.e. more than 17inches from the top of the transom to the water line you would need to get a long shaft so that the propeller gets enough of a bite on the water.

AIR COOLED VS. WATER COOLED?

Water cooled is going to run a lot quieter but could also mean you have more maintenance especially on really silty water. Most engines are water cooled with the exception of the Briggs & Stratton motors. I would go with water cooled over air in my opinion.

2-STROKE VS. 4-STROKE?

Go with a 4-stroke. The EPA is really pushing to prohibit 2-strokes on more and more riverways to reduce the pollution in the water. If you are going to invest in a motor might as well adapt to future regulations and just get a 4-stroke.

groovy!

-Cal
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Old 09-23-2010   #3
 
Beaverton, Oregon
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Has anyone had trouble with the 4-strokes lying on their side for extended periods of time?
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Old 09-23-2010   #4
 
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Do Not ever start a 4stroke motor that has been any which way other than up with out pulling plugs or you can bend the crankshaft when the oil leaks into the combustion chamber and the piston is at the top of its stroke. Or, give it a go and you'll have a great anchor...
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Old 09-24-2010   #5
 
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I have the B&S 5hp, I believe. It is loud. I feel like I am mowing the lawn. I was not aware of the on its side concern, but it makes sense. It must be OK to keep the back end as the top end for storage, because it can tilt to that location on its own mount.

I broke the main piece of hardware that the thing steers and raises from, but that probably would have happened to any motor that takes a good hit while running backwards with the current and a heavy load.

Look closely at the weight. Most brands carve 2-3 sizes of motors out of the same head. Look to get the biggest one out of the smallest head to save weight. More power will not make a self bailer go any faster, but it will provide better maneuverability, especially with bigger pods of boats. With cats the more you get the faster you go. I saw a medium sized cat with a 25 once. He said it could plane out.
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Old 09-24-2010   #6
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oarboatman View Post
Do Not ever start a 4stroke motor that has been any which way other than up with out pulling plugs or you can bend the crankshaft when the oil leaks into the combustion chamber and the piston is at the top of its stroke. Or, give it a go and you'll have a great anchor...
Many designs allow you to lay at least the larger 4strokes down provided its on a flat surface and the bottom of the motor is not elevated. If you store it wrong you are looking at major engine damage like oarboatman says.
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Old 09-24-2010   #7
 
timbuktu, Colorado
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I saw a guy with one of these pushing a cat and two rafts down Ruby Horsethief into a decent wind. He was totally stoked about it. He said he's had 5 boats including his pushing across Powell. Not overly noisy either. I'm considering ordering one for next season.

2.5HP Outboard Motor - 2 Stroke
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Old 09-24-2010   #8
 
Beaverton, Oregon
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Weed whacker with a prop. This could be interesting. I'd love to see it in action.
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Old 09-24-2010   #9
 
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Originally Posted by brandob9 View Post


Weed whacker with a prop. This could be interesting. I'd love to see it in action.
Awesome! you could bring the other attachments to mow all that obnoxious vegetation around camp too! (JK) of course.

I wonder about some of those long shaft things you see in Asia. If the prop didn't turn 90 degrees, it wouldn't steer as well, but I bet a lot of power is lost to the gear turn, that isn't entirely necessary.
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Old 06-02-2012   #10
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Sorry to dig up this thread, but how does the weed whacker doing now? Has anyone bought it? Like it?

Thanks,
Alex
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