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post #32 of Old 09-14-2012
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Re: 4hp outboard motor questions

Originally Posted by jboat73 View Post
I think I've just ruled out the Honda 2 hp - it doesn't have reverse. It has a swivel mechanism and has to be turned around to go in reverse. I imagine for someone with experience that isn't a big deal, but for me, the difficulty of docking doesn't need the added issue of swinging the motor around!
I had a similar motor when I was 12 years old (no neutral or reverse, but a 360 degree swivel with a handle that flipped backwards) and I had no problem figuring it out at that age. That motor had no clutch at all - the prop was always spinning, and it still worked fine. I think (but you should verify) that the Honda has a centrifugal clutch that disengages the prop at low RPM, which is a little more user friendly than the one I had.

If you feel more confident with 4 hp and really want a reverse gear, that's fine. I certainly don't want to push you into getting a motor that you might be unhappy with.

However, let me make a couple of final points. First, I wasn't suggesting that you should go motorless with paddles. With small kids on the boat you need a motor. I just meant to imply that 2 hp is much more thrust than you would get with paddles, so 2 hp should be adequate for this boat. Also, someone else here already pointed out that he could get 5 knots out of a 1.5 hp motor on his former Flying Scot, more evidence that 2 hp may be all you need.

Finally, one last consideration. I have not owned any of these small motors (as you know, I have a 15 hp Honda on my boat), so I have no personal knowledge of their reliability. I expect Tohatsu or Honda to be low maintenance. But the Honda has air cooling and no reverse, eliminating the water pump/impeller and shift mechanism, which are two maintenance items. Since you had asked about reliability and maintenance, the simplicity of Honda's design would be a plus.

In the end you need to get what you're comfortable with. You'll get no complaints from me if you go bigger than 2 hp. When I was shopping for boats I frustrated several people because I didn't follow their advice, but I'm happy I made the decisions that I made. As you're undoubtedly experiencing now, when you get so much conflicting advice it's impossible to follow it all. So good luck with whatever you do.

EDIT: One last thing. I have an inflatable rowing dinghy that I've never used (see my avatar pic). If I ever start using it regularly enough to need a motor, I'd get the Honda 2 hp in a heartbeat.

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2001 Catalina 34MkII Breakin' Away (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)
PO of 1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (new owners relocated to Baltimore's Inner Harbor)
1991 17' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)

Last edited by TakeFive; 09-14-2012 at 11:42 PM.
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