Do you think it's possible to transit the canal with an o/b on an Alberg 30? we were thinking 15hp, and as of now we only have a 20hp Yanmar. Are there currents/wakes/waves in the canal that we could not overcome with an o/b?
The canal and the Pacific are in our future, this matters a great deal to us. Can it be done?
Good points, do you speak from experience? We were thinking of a 15 hp o/b to replace our 20 hp Yanmar. Would the difference be that much in a canal/marina/reef dodging situation?
I can see the reef situation being worse due to cavitation (hobby horsing) in waves, but everything else?
A lot of this depends on how the outboard is mounted and whether it is a long-shaft model or not. If you're using the outboard from your dinghy, it likely won't be a long shaft model, and unless you have a very unusual bracket design, it will likely be very prone to ventilating in any kind of sea or with any kind of wake action.
One other issue is that you often can't get as much power from an outboard when compared to an inboard engine of the same HP. This is due to the fact that most outboards have the wrong gear ratio and too small a prop to really provide the thrust that a displacement hull sailboat requires. Some outboards, like the Mercury Bigfoot series, are designed to work better with sailboats than others, but they're not very common—and they probably wouldn't work very well with a dinghy.
The stock prop on most outboards is really poorly suited to pushing a sailboat.
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