Help with small outboard info - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 11-20-2013 Thread Starter
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Help with small outboard info

Newbie here.

Recently bought a 3.8 m fiberglass sailing/rowing dinghy, [url=http://www.boatsales.com.au/features/2008/runabout/feature-classic-dinghies-10803]Feature:,weight around 50 kg, and want to buy an outboard auxiliary to keep peace with the partner and to use for fishing now and again. Options are 2.5 HP at 16 kg and 4 HP at 21 kg. The 4 HP would be sure to handle a bit of chop, a headwind, and some tide, but the lighter motor has obvious appeal if it's hanging of the transom when sailing, and for general functionality.

Could members help me with their experience/knowledge.

It also appears there are formulas for hull speed prop pitch/diameter to ensure the engine is able to operate at maximum efficiency throughout the rev range. I guess the engine dealer will be helpful with this information but any independent advice would also be welcome.

Looking forward to hearing from forum members.

Last edited by bgorton; 11-20-2013 at 07:31 AM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 11-20-2013
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Re: Help with small outboard info

The 2.5 is probably enough power for what you're going to use it for... but rarely do 2.5 hp engines have a 'neutral' position.. ie they start in gear(one way they minimize the weight). Generally you have to go to 3.5 or 4 to get that function. Our 3.5 Nissan has a neutral but no reverse so you still need to spin the engine around to reverse.. not a problem in our small tender.

Overall, if you want gearshift or at least a neutral, that likely puts the 2.5 out of the equation. If youngsters are involved I like the neutral feature..

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post #3 of 17 Old 11-20-2013
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Re: Help with small outboard info

My Honda BF2A (2.0hp) pushes my 1000lb daysailor very well. At low rpms the prop stops spinning as if in neutral. It weighs in at 28lbs.
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post #4 of 17 Old 11-20-2013
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Re: Help with small outboard info

The Lehr 2.5 hp propane fueled engine has a neutral. I hate engines you have to start in gear.
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Re: Help with small outboard info

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Originally Posted by millerandy View Post
My Honda BF2A (2.0hp) pushes my 1000lb daysailor very well. At low rpms the prop stops spinning as if in neutral. It weighs in at 28lbs.
Cool.. must use some kind of slip clutch??


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Originally Posted by hopcar View Post
The Lehr 2.5 hp propane fueled engine has a neutral. I hate engines you have to start in gear.
Good to know, thanks. Maybe the manufacturers are changing their ways!

Ron

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post #6 of 17 Old 11-20-2013
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Re: Help with small outboard info

all the new 2.5 hp engines have neutral and forward, no reverse except the honda it has a centrifugal clutch, no reverse
Suzuki is the lightest with a gear box also the cheapest
Honda 29.5 #
Suzuki 30.1 #
mercury 37#
Yamaha and nissan 39#

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Last edited by overbored; 11-20-2013 at 11:24 AM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 11-20-2013
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Re: Help with small outboard info

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Originally Posted by millerandy View Post
My Honda BF2A (2.0hp) pushes my 1000lb daysailor very well. At low rpms the prop stops spinning as if in neutral. It weighs in at 28lbs.
I think that Honda is the air cooled version. Before you buy one be sure you have a sea trial, there is NO WAY I could live with the noise.

A lot of small modern outboards are made by Tohatsu and sold under different brands eg Nissan.

Out in the cruising world the Suzuki 2hp 2 stroke is much sought after. They just keep ticking.

The Tohatsu 3.5hp 4 st at 41 lbs is a good buy. Quiet and reliable. N.B. the 2.5 is the same engine just restricted and weighs the same 41 lbs.
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post #8 of 17 Old 11-21-2013
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Re: Help with small outboard info

Your boat should have a plate on it telling you the max horsepower it is rated to carry. It's a good idea to follow that.

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post #9 of 17 Old 11-21-2013
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Re: Help with small outboard info

I think a 41 kg outboard is too heavy for a 3.8m sailboat. I have a O'Day Daysailer (5.10 m/260 kg empty) and my 3.5 hp Nissan two stroker pushes it very well. Motor weighs 12.5 kg.
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Re: Help with small outboard info

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Originally Posted by Florida Sailor View Post
I think a 41 kg outboard is too heavy for a 3.8m sailboat. I have a O'Day Daysailer (5.10 m/260 kg empty) and my 3.5 hp Nissan two stroker pushes it very well. Motor weighs 12.5 kg.
FWIW we have the same 3.5 Nissan 2 stroke on our tender.. amazingly reliable little engine, has never failed to start in 9 years despite limited use.
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2.5 hp , 4 hp , fairlite , sailing dinghy , small outboard

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