clutch or no clutch 2 hp engine


Any recommendations/considerations regarding choosing a 2HP engine with a clutch or without one? I do a lot of trolling and am not sure if clutch can support slower speeds reliably. I do like the additional safety of the clutch.


Does the no clutch engine have
shear pins? If so, be prepared to either put in to shore to replace it on a regular basis or go for a swim to do so. Had the shear pins, next time will go with the clutch. Much better when you hit a log.

Need to clarify what you mean by clutch
Due to the previous response, I think we need to know what you mean (the previous responder’s comment about a shear pin, I think he was thinking about the slip clutch that most modern motors within the prop hub, which “gives way” if the prop hits something solid, eliminating the need for a drive (shear) pin.

Then there is the “dog clutch” that does the shifting between forward and reverse. I’d get a motor with that feature if possible.

I posted a week or so back about Tanaka engines having a centrifugal clutch at two-speed transmission. I suspect a centrifugal clutch might not be so good for trolling (how long to they last when constantly slipping?). I know on the Tanaka motor, slow-speed thrust response is very unpredictable as you change throttle settings, though once the throttle is set and left alone, speed remains constant.

Honda BF2 is the motor I am looking at

I am trying to determine if I should get a clutch or no clutch as I do want to use this for canoe trolling.

Thanks for the help.

What about…
…going for an electric motor? Lesser cost and quieter, environmentally friendly (can go anywhere, not necessarily true with gas), and will do what you want with a lot less weight and cost.

Sorry, I can’t answer your clutch question as my only experience with portable outboards is on my old Johnson 15.

electric issues
I first looked at electric and decided against it for following reasons:

  • 30lb thrust isn’t enough power in some situations and to get more than that you need two batteries
  • motor itself is usually lighter, but when you add the 1-2 batteries at 35-40lb each, total weight is more
  • similarly, when you factor in cost of high quality motor + battery, you are in the range of cost for a gas powered engine
  • what do when the battery runs out in the back country–spare battery, solar recharger, generator–all costly and a hassle vs. an extra gallon of gas.
  • 4 stroke technology has made this option much more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient than 2 stroke

    Noise is a real issue with gas, but with some trips I have been on, letting people/animals know I am in the area was a very good thing.

    I can’t wait for battery technology to improve–it is holding back so many things!


Clutch model
is going to be a tad trickier to troll with I’m guessing as you will have to get used to the throttle position to barely engage it yet keep your speed low for trolling.

This is the most basic of outboards as described to me by the dealer when I was shopping for an inexpensive 4 cycle. The no clutch version is always turning the prop. The clutch version gives you a sort of “nuetral” position. I wound up with a Briggs and Stratton (I needed at least 4 horses) but wish I could afford a honda!

Briggs and Straton
B&S makes fantastic motors that are so inexpensive new it’s awesome. If you are unfamiliar with them, the only drawback is they can’t be used in Saltwater.

B&S nice, but where’s the 2-3 HP?
Thanks for the tip. The gas is too much weight and hp though for my use–wish they had a 2-3 hp version. And the electric would run 300lbs and $3k by the time you outfitted with the four required batteries.