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Recommendations for a light 2-3.5HP canoe pusher?

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  • Recommendations for a light 2-3.5HP canoe pusher?

    Hi all,
    I love vintage machines, owning two 1975 Honda 4 cylinder motorcyles, a 1963 Evinrude 28HP big twin, and my daily driver, 1984 Dodge Rampage. So I know about points and condenser ignition systems, how to adjust valves, and the wonders of 2 stroke operation. I am looking for a small, lightweight motor to push my 16' canoe around some nice ponds in my part of Maine. After some research I have identified a few candidates for consideration and am looking for opinions or suggestions on motors I may have overlooked. Here is my short list in order of preference, 1951-1954 Martin 20, Evinrude 3.5HP (I had one of these, a 1952, but returned it to the original owner when he asked for it back), Elgin 1.25HP (I think this was the 1947 or so), and finally an ESKA air cooled 3HP from about 1961 or so. I think that some of the Sears motors were rebranded ESKA's, there is one on Ebay right now for $100 with the famous, "runs good, carburetor leaks gas".

    Anyway, appreciate your thoughts suggestions, and any leads on the Martin 20...

  • #2
    Re: Recommendations for a light 2-3.5HP canoe pusher?

    My recommendations: A 3 evinrude/johnson made from about 51 to the early 60's. 1.5 and 2 hp evinrude/johnsons made from the late 60's to the 80's. These mentioned are newer and much more reliable than the one's you're considering but go for them if you're adventurous. Especially if you've run them on the water and are confident. If you still want to stick with the older vintage motors I'd go for a 3.6 Scott and it's cousins (like Firestone); made from 1946 till about the late 60's. I do have a 2.0 Elgin air cooled and it's a great motor. A good running Eska is also in the running. My favorite out of all of these; the 3 evinrude/johnsons. They run forever.

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    • #3
      Re: Recommendations for a light 2-3.5HP canoe pusher?

      Find a good used Tanaka 3HP....air cooled, simple, 25 lbs.....

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      • #4
        Re: Recommendations for a light 2-3.5HP canoe pusher?

        one of these little neptune mighty mites would be an option......
        many men fish for years without ever knowing its not about catching one.

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        • #5
          Re: Recommendations for a light 2-3.5HP canoe pusher?

          Originally posted by robert graham View Post
          Find a good used Tanaka 3HP....air cooled, simple, 25 lbs.....
          Props for the Tanaka are no longer available.

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          • #6
            Re: Recommendations for a light 2-3.5HP canoe pusher?

            The one-cylinder air cooled Eskas are light, cheap and generally easy to get working, but they're also kind of rough and noisy.

            Another option if it isn't too big for the canoe would be one of the folding Evinrudes from the late 60's.

            1967 Evinrude Boat Engine

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            • #7
              Re: Recommendations for a light 2-3.5HP canoe pusher?

              my 74 evin 4hp was great and quiet pushed me and the wife in a 12ft alum no problems
              Every day is a new day..... GO FISHING and take the wife or she gets mad....

              1986 Durham 16 side counsel 35 Evin

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              • #8
                Re: Recommendations for a light 2-3.5HP canoe pusher?

                Originally posted by steelespike View Post
                Props for the Tanaka are no longer available.
                I've been running a Tanaka for over 30 years and while you might lose a prop, you'll never break one or wear it out...that little centrifugal clutch really helps protect the prop.....so if you can find a clean Tanaka, and it has a prop, then grab it!...Darn good little motors!

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                • #9
                  Re: Recommendations for a light 2-3.5HP canoe pusher?

                  I personally have had great luck with a 1960s British seagull. Runs like new, has a solid aluminum impeller which will never wear out, and is the simplest motor I've ever seen.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Recommendations for a light 2-3.5HP canoe pusher?

                    Johnny JW or JH. The finest outboard ever made, by anyone.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
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                      Re: Recommendations for a light 2-3.5HP canoe pusher?

                      if you want vintage, johnson t series.
                      or 52-68 johnson/evinrude 3 hp very nice dependable smooth quiet light.
                      only reason i would go with the johnnyrudes are parts are around, cheap, a full tune up including lower unit seals will be less than 130 bucks. that investment will let that motor run another 50 years. or find one that all done with paint and decals. i have seen really nice models for around 250-300. dont know where you are located but out west thats about the going rate. non runners 20-100 depending on condition.

                      jmho
                      dino
                      46 johnson td 20
                      54 evi 7.5
                      56 johnny 5.5
                      54 johnny 10hp
                      72 johnny 20hp
                      76 johnny 15hp
                      68 evi 18hp elect start
                      82 johnny 15 sailmaster
                      83 evi 9.9 shorty
                      84 evi 50 hp, remote, freebie
                      85 johnny 30hp ls
                      86 evi 4hp
                      89 evi 15hp
                      87 merc classic 50
                      lots o parts
                      81 12 foot valco wide body
                      85 15' 9" bayrunner
                      87 14 foot bayliner
                      i dont have a omc problem, so i have a few motors..

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