Too big of a motor on a canoe?

Hello–I am very new to canoeing. In fact, I don’t even own one yet. I’m close to buying the 15’ 4" sportsman canoe with a square back. Its a 3 person canoe. Its me and my twin boys, age 5. The canoe is rated for a 4hp outboard. I can find many used 5hp motors for around $400-$500. But I cannot find any 4hps. What will happen if I put a 5hp engine on a canoe rated for 4hp? Thank you!

It’s weight
I can’t say how your state licensing agency will feel about ‘overpowering’ a boat. However, most times the horsepower has more to do with weight than actual power that the hull can handle.

That said, I have a 2.5hp engine on a larger and heavier canoe than what you’re considering and it really boogies, even upstream. So you don’t have to go big or go home. You could go down too. There are usually a fair number of 3 or 3.5 hp engines around used. People used to use them for kicker motors and are moving up to larger ones.

  • Big D

at some point you tear out the transom

But I don’t think going from 4 hp to 5 is going to do it … especially with two small kids up front.

I’d agree that the weight of a 5 hp …

– Last Updated: Feb-28-11 6:02 PM EST –

........ is more the factor than the HP itself .

A 5 hp weighs around 60 lbs. , a 2.5 hp weighs around 27 lbs. ... that weight is all the way back in the rear where it has it's greatest effect .

Don't think there's any reason or need to put a 5 hp on your canoe , believe you'll be better off staying with no more than 3.5 hp or less . A canoe can only go so fast before it gets squirrelly .

nice, just got that canoe too.
Hey there, newbie here too.

I just bought that same canoe at Dick’s for $500 new last Friday. Not a bad deal for such a fishing capable rig that’s still car-topable.

I’m in the same boat, two boys, 3 & 5 and wanted the biggest most stable canoe I could find and as puck would have it I stumbled onto this one too.

I don’t know what to say about the motor. I’m going with an electric and some oars to start with and will add a gas motor later on. I’m pretty sure 5hp would be just fine but probably slightly overkill in the weight dept.

Here’s a quick tip/mod… cut out the box inside the center seat cooler area. It’s not insulated like they advertise it to be. I did this last night and it provides a much larger storage area. You can also buy a second middle seat (it’ll fit, I measured) for $167 direct from the mfr, I called today. I’m trying to devise a way to turn that center seat into a livewell system myself.

GL on the motor purchase and once you get one I’d love to hear back about it’s performance!

Cut out the flotation?
When opened up the hole in the seat did you just open up the flotation compartment so it can flood and the boat will sink?

No, the center seat already had a drainage hole in the bottom of it. I was sure to check before hacking it up, lol.