22 mile up river motor options

Hi all.

I live by the Mahoning River in Youngtown and would like to explore it. My idea is to go up river and then back down. To ease my arms in these trips my thoughts were Min Kota trolling motor (40lb) for some of the strong currents by the dams or a gas motor. The Min Kota and 2 deep cell batteries that I assume would make it would be the same amount almost as a gas motor. In the gas motor the 4 stroke seems to better suite considering mixing fuels, which isn’t too big of a deal how ever. My trips plan on being about 21 miles just going up. The river is calm in majority of the area. The kicker is I don’t have a square end canoe, which is a Grumman 15’.My head is tumbling around the idea of the gas motor (2 hp Honda Marine I was thinking) and would weigh too much on the side, which would add the thought of stabilizers but adds other factors. My other idea was to cut the back end off and weld aluminum to make it a square end, which being an old canoe i’d prefer to keep it respected. I don’t want to go fast just a decent speed about 9 mph up river.

Any Help would be appreciated.

Some Thoughts
This application just screams out for a gas motor. First, the total weight of that 2-horsepower Honda that you are considering is less than half as much as just one battery for an electric motor. Your total weight savings might be in the neighborhood of 130 pounds if you go with the gas engine instead of the electric with two batteries. Second, just a few pounds of fuel will keep you running all day, with no downtime for “refueling”. And if all that weren’t enough, you’ll have far more power and speed available, should you want/need it.

I don’t think it’s extremely unreasonable to hang a 30-pound outboard motor on a side-mount, especially if you can keep it “close”, and also far enough back to be on as skinny a part of the boat as possible (and therefore closer to center), but this will depend in part on the size of your canoe (bigger ones will be more stable with this setup than small ones). Of course a square stern would be better. Maybe make do with the boat you have for now, and in the meantime, keep your eyes open for a square-stern model.

it’s been awhile

– Last Updated: Jul-17-13 5:11 AM EST –

but check noise volume out on the outboards. I sailed for years, and was exposed to lots of small outboards pushing dinghys around in anchorages. IIRC, the Honda was air cooled and very noisy. I initially had a 3.5 Nissan, which was about 22 pounds I think (2 stroke), liquid cooled and relatively quiet. Tohatsu is the same motor, 2.5 and 3.5 were the same size. Something to compare the Honda to.
Oh well...cancel that...replaced with a 4 stroke...and a 19 pound weight increase...anyways, the Honda is here, and lots of other small motors too. Gave these guys thousands and thousands of $$ over the years..

Folks have been using small gas engines
on big canoes for generations on the Allagash waterway in Maine. They tend to use 20 foot canoes. Square stern might be perfect for you.

you think you can get that Grumman …

– Last Updated: Jul-18-13 12:12 AM EST –

.... moving 9 mph up river ??

I'm doubting it ... I think it would be pretty squirrely at that speed but could be incorrect .

I think all your ideas sound correct , and modifying the stern to have a small transom is realistic . You'll need a ply backer and mounting block in the transom also . Welding it is good if you got the know how or can get someone to do it for you . It can also be done with rivets and sealant (which is just as strong or stronger) .

Just remember , props and skegs don't like shallow or rock strikes ... and leave the motor unlatched so it can bounce out if it does strike something .

If you're that ambitious about it , I say go for it !!

Canoe speed illustrated

– Last Updated: Jul-18-13 11:40 PM EST –

Canoes handle just fine at high speed. I don't think a 2-horse motor will go 9 mph, but it should move along at a decent clip.

Here's a video I found where someone with a GPS app on their smart phone said they were going 9 mph, but with a 5-horse motor.


This one is kind of hokey, but shows the speed a loaded canoe would supposedly go with a 2.5-horse outboard running at partial throttle. Off-center mounting appears to be no problem here.