Top Speed

Does anyone have a feeling about the top speed of a 15’ square back aluminum canoe (Meyers Sportspal S-15)that weighs 67lbs and is powered by a 4hp Yamaha 4 stroke outboard. It will be carrying a 230 lb load that includes my weight, the outboard engine weight,a 3 gallon gas tank, and misc gear. The reason for the engine is that I need to run 10 miles with the engine in basically flat water river channels before I begin paddling and fishing in shallow lakes.

my guess
I will guess 7 mph on flatwater with no current. Sometimes I see similar setups on river where I paddle. I have gps and hope you have fun on your trip

Bald Paddler and I.
were doing a training paddle in a canoe and caught up and passed a guy with a 4 HP motor and we were doing a little over 6MPH.

He said he had it at full throttle.

If BP is lurking, maybe he will chime in and recall what kind of a boat the guy was pushing.



4 HP is huge
I can plane my 90+ lb OT double ender with a Honda 2. I’ll bet you can do 10+ mph with your rig.

Sit on the bottom, and get a tiller extender if one will fit your outboard.

3 replys and you haven’t had your
character assaulted! That’s because the guys who replied don’t do that.

There is blood in the water though, and the B and B sharks aren’t far away.

Da-dum da-dum da-dum da-dum…
(theme from Jaws) ;^)

I’d assault his character except for the fact that Yamaha makes a dang fine outboard.Add half a pound to your payload and get a gps. You’ll get e.t.a., speed and you can target your favorite fishing holes.

10mph is a good B.E.G.
The Sportspal is very light for a square ended Aluminum canoe and should do about 8-12mph depending on canoe trim and the prop on the outboard. Most small outboards are rigged to propell a big fishing boat at trolling speed, lots of push, but low top speed. Some of the aircooled lightweight outboards are aimed at the canoe market and are set up for less thrust and more top end.

The motor trim is very important, you need to get the prop angled right so the thruse is forward, not lifting the bow or kicking up a big rooster tail behind. Hull trim is also important, going level minimizes drag.

And don’t believe Jack L. Both he and the Bald One set too much stock in GPS speed readouts. Full speed for them in a short sprint might approach 8mph in the right canoe. The one they passed with the outboard probably was towing his mother-in-law underwater and wanted them to pass so he could dispose of the body.


Top Speed
Thanks, I was hoping for 10mph. I will check into getting a different pitch prop more suitable for a light load. Arranging for the right trim shouldn’t be a problem.

My next hope is that she will paddle fairly easily since I have to cover about 4 miles once I hit the shallow lakes. I thinking of using a 290 cm Aqua-Bound custom made double bladed paddle and paddling from the midde seat. I use a 270 cm paddle in my OT 12’ Pack and can and do paddle it for miles without any problem in close-in waters. Of course there isn’t a 48 lb engine in the stern like there would be with the Sportspal. Also the Pack only weighs 31 lbs vs 67 for the Sportspal. Unfortunately there isn’t a close in dealer so I can “test drive” it. I’m in Va. and the closed dealer is in Rochester.

Again, thanks for your advice.

you can test in 'whitewater’
Drive on up here! The pond hasn’t frozen over yet and you can paddle the Sportspal the whole way to Canada. But we do have ‘whitewater’. Time to switch from the paddle to the snowshovel.

The squarestern canoes paddle like they have an anchor dragging compared to a double end. The double ended will motor ok using the sidemount that Sportspal supplies with all the double ended boats. If you are going to motor 75% of the time the square stern is the way, but if you paddle 50% of the time the double ended is better.


the trick is
you gotta get the transom just barely out of the water, like a sailboat. sit in the bow and paddle backwards, or take the motor off and lay it in the bottom of the boat near the bow and paddle from the stern. Trim out with a couple 5 gal cans of water. or, get a rowing rig.

My guess
is 15 mph. I had a 17 ft Grumman with 3.5 HP Nissan 2 stroke. I am sure that it would do 15 mph without opening the throttle wide open – faster than I felt comfortable doing. I had about the same load as you describe.

Top Speed/Square Stern
Thanks everyone for your help. The square stern is sort of important because of the long distance I have to go before I start paddling.

To mitigate the drag from the square stern I will take Dwight’s approach by moving to the middle when paddling. Taking the engine off from the stern and laying it on the bottom would only be a last resort since it weighs 48 lbs. The gas tank and my gear however will always be stored under the bow.

In any event before I buy the canoe and motor I better test drive the Sportspal with an engine on its butt this Spring up at their distributor in upstate NY. It seems that “paddleability” rather than top speed may be the main issue.Hopefully, I will be able to get 2mph out of it with a double bladed paddle without too much effort.

Thanks again,