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Old 09-01-2009
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I don't really understand the opinions of people that 18 hp is too much power. You don't have to run the engine at full throttle, and if you do any serious sailing/cruising there will be times when you wish you had more ponies in the tank.

My old boat was a 26 foot Pearson Ariel. If this is the same boat you have then the outboard mounts in a compartment inside the transom. The engine doesn't raise and lower out of the water and it is a bear getting the engine in and out of the compartment. The main issues you want to consider are the conditions of the engines and their WEIGHT. You may want to rig up some sort of pulley system to get the engine out of the compartment too.

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Old 09-01-2009
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Had a Pearson 26 for 10 years. You don't need anything more than 10 HP. You definitely need a long shaft engine otherwise the prop will be out of the water more than in. I had a 8 HP Johnson Sail model with an extra long shaft (25 inches) and special prop that made a big difference when powering in any kind of seas.
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Old 09-03-2009
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If you look around you will see a LOT of 9.9 HP engines on sailboats with outboards in 25-26 foot range. That alone should tell you a lot. Also in Long Shaft versions at your local marine shop you will find a lot of availability in this horsepower range.

The Pearson 26 is just over 5000 lbs. At the 2hp per 1000 then 10 hp is perfect.

Many areas also have regulations regarding vessels over 30 feet or 10hp and over. Therefore a lot of small boats and sailboats use 9.9

Finally weight is the biggest consideration other than HP. Too heavy sinks the stern and too much power may put excessive stresses on the bracket/transom or whatever the engine is mounted on.

Our last boat was a Hinterhoeller Niagara 26 displacing just over 4000 lbs and 26' 8" LOA. This boat was originally powered with Honda 4 stk 7.5 horsepower from the factory. Lots of power except when motoring into 35 - 40 knot gale in shallow water with close huge waves. When thinking of replacement my choice was the Yamaha high thrust 8 hp which had only one negative - $3000+ in the configuration I wanted.

Friends have an Aloha 26 displacing also 5000+ lbs and possibly a bit beamier than the Pearson. They use a Honda 15 hp. However it is important to remember that th Honda 15 and Honda 9.9 from that period were the same engine with the same weight (well a minor difference in that 9.9 was detuned 15 or something like that).

Our current boat is a J27 - 3800lbs also narrow beam. It came with a 4hp short shaft which we traded for a 4.5 hp long shaft. Is plenty of engine in flat water but when the wind and waves come up not enough power for my liking as we lose a knot or more of speed. Last season the carb. needed cleaning and we switched to a borrowed brand new Johnson 9.9. The stern was too low, the engine too much weight and power for the bracket and all that throttling up did was dig in the stern and not provide more than 1/2 to 1 knot of speed. I really did not like this engine on the boat but it sure beat walking. My choice would be a 6hp if it weighed no more than the 4.5

Sorry for the long post. 9.9 hp is all you will need or want and is less expensive than an 18. The 18 may even damage your boat

J27 #150
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Old 09-03-2009
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on a P26 you def. need a 20" shaft ... I have cavitated even w that and 25" would be good if you can find it.
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Old 09-23-2009
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Power for a P-26

I own a P-26OD in Marblehead, and use a 2000 8HP Yamaha 4-stroke. I would tell you that anything larger would be too heavy and way overpowered. I would have gone with a 5.5HP and been fine. I do hull speed at 50% power, so why would you want more? Don't go larger, you'll break your back putting it on and it'll make you stern heavy. Go lighter if you can, and the long shaft is a MUST given hobby-horse tendencies in heavy swells. Consider the 4-stroke for quietness - a real consideration, trust me.

Have fun with it. I do. And read Dan Phieffer's info on the P-26. Keep your eyes peeled for trouble spots. I've had none, but the cockpit sole area where the rudder enters the cockpit is one that's gotten my attention lately.
Regards - Anna-Jeanne's Guide
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