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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need a motor to get my 14' Hyside Outfitter XT across some slack water and am leaning towards a 2.5hp Suzuki. I may push 1 other raft on occasion but for tthe most part just moving a mildly loaded raft across some lakes. Any reason to move up to a 3.5hp motor? If there is no real benefit I'd prefer the lighter weight and greater fuel economy of the 2.5. Thoughts and experiences?
 

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In researching my Yamaha motor, I noticed once you moved from the smallest motor (2.5hp) the next two sizes (4hp-6hp) had the same weight and size, just a different carburetor to limit power. The Suzuki lineup seems to have a similar occurrence (4hp weight = 6hp weight). If you decided to step up in power, you may want to go with the 6hp since there may not be a weight penalty. The 4hp doesn't look like it comes in a long shaft which seems necessary for my setup.

I ended up with a 6hp, but could see benefits of a smaller motor. Most of the time I have mine strapped to the cooler as I prefer to row. A lighter/smaller engine would be nice when not in use. Also, when using mine I usually don't get past 50% throttle, so maybe I'm really using a 3hp motor after all...
 

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I have run a lot of different motors on rivers from small 2strokes up to 6 hp 4 strokes. I don’t notice any difference rowing the boat with a motor on. The weight difference is minimal on a raft fully loaded for multi day trips.
You pay more $$ for more hp though. That being said I really like a 5-6 hp motor when pushing a barge of rafts. A 4hp will get the job done and a 2.5 or 3.5 will work too, especially if it’s just one raft.
2.5 hp is a lot of power compared to you and some friends rowing.
My recommendation is a 5-6 hp long shaft motor. You never have to use all of the power but at least you have it when the wind gets gnarly and you need it!
I just leave mine on the transom bracket for small rivers like desolation canyon. Recreation Outlet sells a huge dry bag for cheap and it goes in there for the big rivers.
If you do it right once and you won’t have to do it again.
 

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Go as big as you can. In a practical sense you don’t need a 15 horse. The higher the hp the more efficacy you’ll gain. Full throttle isn’t as efficient as 50%. You want to stay lower in power use. Also when you need it like on super windy days you’ll have more power to draw from. It’s also quieter. I would recommend the 5 horse propane made by Tohatsu. The one by mercury is the same motor btw. It’s quieter burns cleaner and is the appropriate size.
 

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I’m interested in opinions as well. I found (and purchased) a Honda 2.3 with a long shaft. Good condition, lightly used, good price. Would I like more HP? Maybe…I don’t know. That’s why I’m interested in others opinions. The most I need is to push 3 boats out the bottom of westwater. I think / hope it can do that.

I will say that having the internal fuel tank was a big deal to me. I don’t want to mess around with an external fuel tank and pump, etc. my little motor will run a long time on the 1/3 gallon of fuel it holds. Like an entire hour at full throttle. At 1/3 throttle it just pushed a pontoon style boat around the lake for 1.5 hours and still had about 1/2 a tank. For that kind of run time I’ll just refill every 2-3 hours if I need too and forget about the external tank hook up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the feedback. Seems the 3.5 Tohatsu can be upgraded to 5hp with a relatively cheap carb swap so that may be the way to hedge the bet if I think I'll need more power in the future.

Would like some discussion on the 2.5hp though. For using as I described in my first post, anyone think the 2.5 won't get the job done?
 

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I haven’t pushed my raft with my 2.3 Honda yet. So I can’t say definitely.

I can only say that we strapped two canoes together to make a pontoon boat and loaded each with 500 pounds or more of gear (1,000 pounds total). At 1/3 or less throttle it was pushing us at 5 miles per hour according to my iPhone.

So, I can’t directly help. But I think my motor would push a fully loaded raft across a lake.

I’m convinced (without proof mind you) that a 2.3 hp motor provides significantly more power (Evan at 1/3 throttle) than any combination of rowing and paddling. Why do I think that? Well, for starters two strong paddlers in a 500 pound canoe don’t go 5 mph. At least not for more than a few minutes. 4 strong paddlers in a canoe pontoon weighing at least 1,000 pounds will be even slower. Yet at 1/3 throttle the little 2.3 had us going an easy 5 mph.

Also, I’m waiting for the fluid dynamic engineer people to weigh in…

if you live in the SLC area, come borrow my motor and let’s put to this to rest.
 

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I have a Tohatsu Sail Pro 5HP propane, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Last pusher was a 3HP Honda 4 stroke, worked ok, but the internal fuel tank was a PITA, and pushing more than one boat, or into a headwind and you sure did wish you had more power. I have 3 Tohatsu's, 2 30 HP's and the 5, each one runs without a problem, parts are widely available, and they are relatively simple to work on. Never seen an outboard on a raft that needed more than 1/2 throttle, it gains you nothing once the hull has reached "terminal speed", which is between 6-8 MPH...
 
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Haha. I’m pretty sure there’s joke in here somewhere about short men and big trucks.

I’m just kidding.

i’m sure no one ever regretted the 6hp. But I think the question comes down to how much hp is actually required. And it seems like the answer there is that a 2.5 hp will work.
6 hp might work better in situations where more resistance is encountered.

good luck with your decision
 

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Haha. I’m pretty sure there’s joke in here somewhere about short men and big trucks.

I’m just kidding.

i’m sure no one ever regretted the 6hp. But I think the question comes down to how much hp is actually required. And it seems like the answer there is that a 2.5 hp will work.
6 hp might work better in situations where more resistance is encountered.

good luck with your decision
This really depends on the size of boat…and how much gear…the bigger and more weight the more power you’re gonna need..The bigger boat + more gear = more drag/resistance/friction/ etc. I would highly recommend to not go small just because it’s cheaper..9 times out of 10 you’re taking this motor on a trip that’s got a decent stretch of flat water or high winds. So that being said, you’re boats not light, and you probably aren’t running a small boat. And that’s not including if you barge boats together. Sure a 2.5 could probably do it, but at full throttle max volume. The build in tank is cool…except that most aren’t very big. The 2.5 merc is .3 gallons…you ain’t going far..especially at full Throttle..

FWIW YMMV
 
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I run a 4 H.P. Yamaha 4-stroke on a 16' AIRE Jacarundi w/ oversize tubes. For me it is perfect. Quiet / fuel efficient / reliable. Tug a barge of 4 other rafts in a goose formation behind me in headwind w/o any issues at 4mph. Don't skimp if you have any doubt.
 

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In reply to a previous post.
I’m pretty sure the 3.5 can not be upgraded to a 4-6 hp. The 4/5/6 hp model is different than the 3.5.

consistent the consensus is go 5-6 hp…Like always: Use your best judgement.
 

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As a new engine user I’d say that I’d like the largest you can safely mount lol. I bought a 6hp sail pro with the long shaft and it was pretty good but I tried pushing a group of 5 in a diamond shape and it was pretty slow going. If it was just my boat it would be fast . Not very helpful but I was underwhelmed with it and it was expensive enough to complain about. I bought gas and regret that to. Id like a 150 hp I think lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
In reply to a previous post.
I’m pretty sure the 3.5 can not be upgraded to a 4-6 hp. The 4/5/6 hp model is different than the 3.5.

consistent the consensus is go 5-6 hp…Like always: Use your best judgement.
I should have been more careful with my wording regarding the carb upgrade for the 3.5. The upgrade kit (also has an aluminum prop) is marketed as a 5hp carb, but I haven't seen anyone claim an actual HP estimate once installed on the 3.5. The few reviews I've seen claim a "bump in HP" and smoother running compared to the stock carb. I agree, I don't see how it could compete with the HP numbers of the 4/5/6 hp models.
 
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