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Motor for Canoe

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I just recently purchased a Wenonah Minnesota 2 canoe and am thinking about adding on a small 2 to 5 hp motor...I was told by Cabela's that they wouldn't advise it but Wenonah said that it was ok to put it on...If I did put one on do you believe it should be gas or electric? Any advice would be greatly appreciated...thanks!

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Putting a motor on a canoe can be a tricky experience. A flat back canoe is designed to be propelled by a motor, a Minnesota 2 is designed to be paddled. In order to mount a motor you need to use a side mount, this puts the thrust line of the motor off to one side. Load balance is very critical here, if it is off to one side the canoe will not track well. A quick turn could cause the canoe to flip. Also the clamps used to hold the motor on clamp down on the gunnels. If they are aluminum they will dent, if they are wood it can crush them. Motor weight is another issue, a 2 hr is aroud 30lbs a 5 hp can go 50. The problem there is entering or exiting the canoe. That weight is not centered and can pose a problem with any wave action. Electric motors are lighter, unit you figure in the 70lb battery.
Motor torque on the end of a canoe can be more hassel then it's worth. Anyone that has been in the bow of a boat with the trolling motor pointed sideways when power is applied quickly can attest to that.

Rob

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This summer I have been doing a lot of fishing from my 17' alumacraft ultralight canoe powered by a 2.5 Yamaha 4-stroke. I am using an aluminum/wood motor bracket from Galyans. This system is working very well for me. I am sitting in the front seat of the boat facing the bow to put my weight as forward as possible. I toss my cooler and anchor up toward the front. Once you establish your feel for the balance it is no problem at all. With two people it rides even better.

One time one of my friends and I put the old 7.5 Ted Williams motor on the back of my canoe to cover some water heading into a remote fishing area. Come to think of it now, I probably would stay clear of anything over 3hp on the back of a regular canoe!

I think I would have to recommend a small gas outboard over an electric due to the hassle of the battery. I absolutely hate those things. The new small 4-strokes are very quiet. The Yamaha sounds like a sewing machine at its slowest throttle setting and not too much louder at full speed. I am very happy with this motor.

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Great! Thanks a lot for the information...I think I will purchase a small 2 hp gas motor and the only time I would be using it usually is with my son so there would pretty much be two people in it every time...Thanks again for the info!

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Tri-fecta - I've fished out of a canoe for 35 years. For the first 30 I didn't own a boat. My first canoe was a 17' aluminum Aero Craft that required a side bracket to mount my 4hp Johnson. I used that for 15 years - mostly in lakes - and don't recall any stability problems with it. However it was a very stable canoe to start with.

I would stay with a lighter motor - 2 hp gas or a minimum of 36 lb. electric. I currently own a River Ridge - a 12' 9" square stern and use a 55 lb. Maxxum on it. I fish rivers a lot, and like the extra power in case I need to go upstream to retrieve a snag or go back to an area I want to fish. A 36 lb. didn't do the job. I also like the variable speed on the canoe cause with 5 speeds you will go too fast in many situations on low. If an electric is your choice, make sure you find a way to secure the battery in the canoe so it doesn't slide when (not if!) the canoe tips. I've seen canoes go over when tipped to one side and the battery slid, increasing the momentum.

If you use a smaller outboard the gas tank will likely be on the motor, which will eliminate the sliding problem as well as the hassle of the gas line.

On rivers, the quietness of the electric is crucial when fishing.

So there are a few things to consider.

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