Engine/Motor Selection for a very Specialist Project

I'm looking to build a vehicle in the next year, something not done before and as such I have no idea what sort of powerplant it should have.

In essence, it will be a single-seater, aluminium canoe with two outriggers, a dash, steering wheel connected to a rudder assembly, some form of power and throttle control and a mount for an oar for if it decides to stop working. It will also probably have to carry a radio and some safety equipment for legal reasons, but so long as I don't over-burden it the buoyancy should be sufficient from what I've worked out.

So I ask you, fine minds of this here forum, what say ye? I'm thinking along the lines of a jet ski engine (like a Kawasaki 550), but I'm open to suggestions as this really isn't my specialist area.


  • gohm
    How about an outboard engine, it would reduce your building costs and make your design a bit more simple. Depending on your hull design weight & desired speed needs, you could use either an electric or gas outboard. Like a lot of outboards on anything but very small craft, the controls would be linked to your pilot house area.
  • VZ.uk
    That's a very good suggestion that I'm shocked to say I didn't think of - it really should've been the first thing that came to mind.

    I'll look further into what outboards are available - as size will be a major issue, I'll need to find a lot of information on dimensions, and that work out the kind of power I can afford from there.

    I'm still open to other suggestions, I'm more than willing to consider anything with even the slightest hope of working for me.


    On another note, how complicated would it be to take a small engine from a motorbike etc and convert it to drive an impellor of some sort? Any ideas?
  • gnomic
    I'd go with the electric outboard myself, but if your looking for crazy ideas - why not make a chemical jet or magnesium steam engine if you are going for speed - something that uses water as part of the fuel.

    If you aren't, try an old fashion steam engine. Why? Because you can always find fuel and water!

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