-- Last Updated: Dec-28-13 10:41 PM EST --
One of the people in this conversation couldn't keep track of which reply button to use, which caused the conversation to split into two parts. I found this separate part after posting above.
Yes, I used to see aluminum square-back canoes up on plane when powered by a gas outboard lots of times. Think about it. The bottom of such a canoe is quite flat, just like the bottom of the rear half of a semi-V fishing boat, and the draft of such a boat is 3 inches or less with a normal load onboard. If a 12-foot or 14-foot semi-V gets up on plane when powered by 5 horsepower or more (5 HP is more than enough if the load in the boat is light), why should it surprise anyone that a rather flat-bottomed canoe that already has very shallow draft will do the same? What's more, there are plenty of small aluminum fishing boats able to handle much larger motors, but the gauge of aluminum is about the same, and the degree of reinforcement of the stern in pretty minimal (just one very short diagonal strut going from transom to floor, or even nothing more than a piece of plywood across the width of the transom). If there was much risk that the boat would come apart, you'd see all sorts of extra reinforcement on them. Don't forget all those wooden rowboats of years ago made from 1/4-inch plywood, and they didn't have a habit of coming apart when up on plane either.
The danger with a canoe is that it will simply roll over if strong power is applied while the motor is turned very sharply to one side. The point of power application is well below the bottom of the hull, and when turned very sharply to the side, the shaft of the motor provides a lever arm that will simply twist the whole boat, possibly flipping it. The back end of a row-boat style of fishing boat will usually side-skid in that situation, and the boat just turns really sharply. Since it lacks the extra width and stability of a traditional small boat, the canoe is much more likely to flip if much power is applied by the motor when sharply turned.
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