Gas outboard for canoe?

I’m going to risk your scorn and ask for advice on an outboard motor for a canoe. I often find myself needing to cross big lakes to get to the quiet backwaters where I like to paddle and pole. I don’t like noisy motors any more than the next dyed-in-the-wool canoe guy, but in this case it’s a means to an end rather than an end in itself. Consider it a concession to middle age.

I’ve read enough in other threads to know that I want a gas outboard rather than an electric trolling motor, but I don’t know much beyond that. I paddle a Wenonah MNII (18.5’) and/or a Bell Alaskan (17.5’). I gather that a 2 or 2.5 hp might fit the bill. I often have 100 or so lbs of camping gear in the canoe, and occasionally 200 lbs worth of family members in addition to myself. I’ll be stowing the motor in the canoe when I get to my paddling place, so weight is an important consideration.

The most recent thread I can find on the canoe/motor topic is from 2008. Plenty of good tips in those older threads, but I’m guessing there’s some new advice out there.

We have a Honda 2.3 hp, 4 stroke, air cooled out board on the dogs skiff that would be good for your use.

State registration may be required for adding mechanical propulsion to your boat. Documentation varies from state to state on the boat to register.

Not sure how noisy the Honda is being air cooled, as I’ve been away from boating for awhile. The first outboard I had for my dinghy was a 3.5 hp Nissan and it was quite satisfactory.Nissan/Tohatsu same thing as I recall, they made a 2.5/3.5 that were a hair over 20 pounds, integral tank and reasonably quiet, with decent torque at half throttle. I prefer water cooled due to noise considerations, as I’ve heard some insanely loud air cooled dinghy motors in otherwise peaceful anchorages.

I have a 3.5 hp water cooled 2 cycle Tohatsu that is under 20 pounds.

It is so light because it is direct drive, no transmission.

Only problem I ever had with it is the very small shear pin. Best to carry spares.

Big canoes can take small outboards. I like the old freighters designed to be used with motors. Two canoes can be lashed together with an outboard on one of them. They add a lot of weight. I would go small around 2 hp and consider a 2 stroke because they are lighter. A bolt on engine mount actually puts the motor in an easier position to control than a canoe with a square transom. Sometimes it helps to put an extension handle on the motor and move forward to help with weight distribution.

Consider stashing your motor and hiding it on shore when you reach your paddling destination.