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  #11  
Old 04-26-2006
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General Rule: Avoid transom mounted outboard

Assumes:
(1) Serious Cruising/traveling mode
(2) Plan to rely on the motor

Exceptions:
(A) people that plan to "pure sail" (e.g http://www.oarclub.org/ ) or are voyaging and only looking to the motor to get them through calms or aganst a current into a port thay can't sail into.
(B) few designs that provide a sealed motor well that the outboard fits into so that it is in essence a 'sail-drive' that is easily removable and serviceable. It can also be removed a plug inserted to fair the hull and reduce drag. This is actually a reasonably easy modification on many hulls that are good sailors but only have transom mounted outboards as an engine option.
(C) Few designs have inboard motor wells and if you have a xtra-long shaft(25") they can be used if VERY rough conditions and will preform pretty much like an inboard. They can be a pain to get motor in and out and to rig controls but they are a nice compromise.
(D) Daysailing/Inshore sailing

Transom Outboard+:
(1) easy to service

Transom Outboard-:
(1) when you REALLY REALLY need it the prop is coming out of the water and you are leaning over the tramsom playing with controls and not able to focus on other boat chores or keep watch ahead.
(2) The weight is placed in a terrible place at the extreame end of the hull.

Inboards+:
(1) see outboard'-'
(2) Diesel is an option, unlike outboards
(3) weight is in a good location

Inboard-:
(1) can be very difficult to work on in many designs that 'shoe-horn them deep in the bowls of the boat.

Last edited by sailandoar; 04-27-2006 at 12:31 AM.
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  #12  
Old 04-26-2006
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outboard vs inboard

SailandOar makes some excellent points on this score, but for me the issue also comes down to aesthetics. Few boats "look" good with outboards on the transoms.

Fewer still have been produced with inboard wells that work. You either get fumes/noise in the cockpit, or difficult access, and/or cumbersome well closures and mechanisms for retracting the motor for sailing conditions.

The single plus for a transom outboard installation in my opinion is the greatly enhanced maneuverability during close quarters docking (assuming the motor/throttle/steering is easily accessible from the helm position - also not a universal truth). After that the ability to take it home to fix it is next.

As many boats age, especially those that originally came with the old OMC saildrives (essentially outboards permanently stuck through the hull), it is becoming increasingly common to see the "inboards" forsaken and replaced by bolt-on transom mounted outboards. From a cost point of view this is an understandable option but creates a vessel suffering from SailandOar's negatives, and losing that cleanliness of lines at the same time.
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  #13  
Old 04-27-2006
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Actually, Yanmar makes two Diesel outboard motors. They are not available in the USA, but they are available. Outboard wells are rarely well-designed, and often are more trouble than they are worth.
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Old 04-27-2006
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So let me be sure I got this right, for a boat the size I would like (26’-30’), an outboard would not really be appropriate.

A follow-up question concerning the motor, would you have any preference of diesel over gasoline, or vice versa? I imagine a diesel would be better suited but I am obviously inexperienced and can use all the advice I can get.

Thanks,
Matthew
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  #15  
Old 04-27-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micetic
So let me be sure I got this right, for a boat the size I would like (26’-30’), an outboard would not really be appropriate.

A follow-up question concerning the motor, would you have any preference of diesel over gasoline, or vice versa? I imagine a diesel would be better suited but I am obviously inexperienced and can use all the advice I can get.

Thanks,
Matthew
There is nothing wrong with using an outboard for a boat in this size range..but it would have to be mounted in such a way that it can provide power under the worst conditions, as that is when you generally want/need the power most. In most cases, a transom-hung outboard isn't going to work in rough conditions, as the prop will come out of the water as the boat pitches. An inboard, outboard motor well is really the only good solution on a monohull. On a multihull, they often can mount the outboard to a pod or crossbeam, so that the outboard is closer to the center of movement and less likely to be lifted from the water in bad conditions.

As for engines, there are three choices... a diesel outboard, which is not a choice in the United States, and they're quite expensive and rather noisy; an two-stroke gasoline outboard, which is not optimal, since it is fairly noisy and also very inefficient in terms of fuel usage; or a four-stroke gasoline outboard, which is probably the best choice, although a bit more expensive than the two stroke, it is far quieter and far more fuel efficient.
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Old 04-27-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micetic
A follow-up question concerning the motor, would you have any preference of diesel over gasoline, or vice versa? I imagine a diesel would be better suited but I am obviously inexperienced and can use all the advice I can get.
In general, the recommendations given to me were that the inboard diesel was more reliable in rough conditions (can pretty much run submerged, in some cases), uses less fuel, and uses fuel that is less flammable in terms of vapors in the bilge. It's been awhile since sailboats have been sold with gas inboards, so there's also a resale issue in that some buyers will only consider an inboard diesel.

As I understand it, the disadvantage of diesels is that they can run rougher with a lot more vibration (especially the one cylinders), they normally have less horsepower than gas inboards (in boats of the size range you mention), they have more expensive parts to replace (injector pumps, etc.), and some brands are hard/expensive to find parts for (older Farymann models, for example).

With all this advice, I still ended up with an Atomic 4 gas inboard in my first sailboat with an inboard engine (C&C 27). So far, I've had the following advice and experiences.

The surveyor noted that Atomic 4s can be either the best or worst engines, depending on how they've been cared for. If well cared for, they run smooth and strong and reliably, although they can chow down as much as a gallon of gas an hour. It is a 30 hp, which is more than enough for my 27 footer-- in fact, I've yet to go over half throttle. My dockmate is envious of this, given his smaller diesel. He's also envious of the the much more simplistic design and maintenace of the engine.

Couple other advantages-- the initial cost of the boat was lower, I have complete manuals, and parts and online advice for service and repairs are easy to find. I'm confident that this engine will be worth repairing and maintaining for the years I own the boat, even though it is older. One does have to be more aware and careful with the fuel tank and system, and run the blower before starting, but my boat has no gas smell below decks and one shouldn't simply ignore diesel leaks either.

Anyway, I would have liked the challenge of a diesel, and more hours per tank of fuel, but this gas engine is working out fine for a first inboard boat that will see very limited off-shore hops. I also love the simplicity and the extra hp when I need it.

One last warning: the condition of an inboard engine can easily be overlooked during the buying process. Simply having it fire up and run isn't good enough. You normally need to pay more to have any engine fully assessed, often times by someone who is an engine specialist. What first-time buyers don't realize is that repowering a gas or diesel boat with a new or rebuilt inboard engine can be a tremendous cost, equaling or exceeding the purchase price of a smaller boat. And, of course, putting a $10k engine into a boat you paid $10k for does not lead to a boat that is worth $20k.

Good luck!

Jim H

Last edited by Jim H; 04-27-2006 at 03:22 PM.
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  #17  
Old 04-27-2006
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go take sailing lessons from an accredited school like ASA!
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  #18  
Old 04-28-2006
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Gas or Diesel and another Boat Question

In terms of gas vs. diesel is there a weight and/or size difference between the two? Does one weigh considerably less than the other or take up much less room below deck? I know in the automotive sector, there are not big differences but I am unaware if that is also true for marine motors.

Also back to the boat theme, is it more beneficail in your opinion to learn sailing on a newer boat or something that needs a little work done to it. I have experiance restoring cars, so mechanically I am adept. Would working on and experiancing the boat first hand through work be extra valuable that it would be worth getting something that is a little rougher? From the boats that have been recommend so far, I think I like the Pearson Triton 28' the best. I have done some research and found out that there was an east and west coast build, the east being balsa cored and the west coast being solid glass. Which is better?

Thanks,
Matthew

Last edited by micetic; 04-28-2006 at 10:29 AM.
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  #19  
Old 04-29-2006
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Inboards are a bit better in bad weather, as a general rule, as the prop is better able to stay in the water... but they are more expenisve and more difficult to maintain in many cases. OUtboards, are cheaper, easily replaced/repaired, but not so good in bad weather. Most inboard engines are diesel, which is considerable more fuel efficient and safer, as diesel is far less volatile than gasoline. Most outboards, with the exception of two Yanmar models, are gasoline-fueled.
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Old 06-13-2011
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Cut the crap

Ok I hear this from monohull sailors all the time, "its better to learn to sail on a monohull versus multihull," and all I have to say to that is BULL! Of course monohull sailors are going to say its best to learn on a monohull as they are biased toward monohulls. Learning to sail on a monohull is not going to make you good at sailing a multihull. If you are going to sail a multihull then learn to sail on a multihull. As for learning on small sailboats first I agree however learning to sail on a Laser or Hobie 16 (monohull versus multihull) is all good. Again look at your interests and if you will be sailing mostly on a monohull or multihull. Most sailing skills learned on a sailboat with one, two, or three hulls apply equally on any sailboat design. So let’s cut the crap and loose our biases on how many hulls a sailboat has. Also there are many great sailing schools and great individual instructors that are not accredited with any particular sailing organization. Do a search in your local market for instructors/sailing schools regardless if it is accredited or not. Also on positive for US Sailing, individual instructors that teach small boat sailing can be accredited without owning or belonging to a certified sailing school but with the ASA this is not the case…
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