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blizzman 02-28-2009 11:39 PM

Outboard length from mounting bracket to bottom of skeg?
I need to purchase an outboard for my (new to me) 1973 Pearson 26. I know a long shaft is recommended to help keep the prop in the water when the waves are up. But, after looking at the CAD drawings of the P26 rudder on Dan Pfeiffer’s site, I have to wonder if a long shaft might get in the way of the rudder. The rudder flares back beyond the transom a bit.

I took a tape measure and measured from the top of the transom down to where I could feel the rudder directly below. The best I can tell, there seems to be about 30” to 31” of clearance before I hit the rudder.

Anyone know if a 20” long shaft engine when mounted, would measure less than 30” from the mounting bracket to the bottom of the skeg? Or is there too much difference between the models? (I’m looking at purchasing a 2008 Nissan 9.9 long shaft (20”). And yes, I know that outboard is worth about as much as the boat is.) None of the outboard MFG sites have that measurement listed.

Any advice would be appreciated!



Deadeye 03-01-2009 01:05 AM

Welcome to the forum Blizz.

Will the rudder still hit it if the bracket is mounted to one side rather than centered on the transom ?

blizzman 03-01-2009 08:59 AM

Thanks for the welcome, Deadeye.

That's a possibility, although there's not much room to shift the engine left or right within the mouting area. I'll have to take a look - a couple of inches might make a big difference.

Thanks again.

jgeissinger 03-01-2009 11:24 AM

Outboard shaft length
Outboard shaft length is measured from the point inside the clamp where the transom would sit, to the bottom of the cavitation plate. A long shaft may have two plates, so it is naturally the lower of these. The rest of the lower leg, prop, etc. are not included in this measurement, which could run 8" to 10" depending on the specific motor. Your boat has a large cutout in the transom as a motor mount, does it not? If so, remember that your entire motor sits as much as a foot closer the actual hull than it would if it was on a lifting type bracket. This means that it is much less likely to ever come out of the water in rough seas than one on a bracket.

I know that there are those who say that you absolutely, positively must have a long shaft motor on any sailboat. I have actual real life experience that says otherwise. Way back when I had a Cat 22 I had a LS on a bracket off the transom, and even then it would indeed come out of the water in heading into big swells. Since then I have also owned 2 other boats that had transom cutouts and have used a variety of short shaft motors with absolutely zero problems in over 15 years and many, many miles of all sorts of waves, chop, swell and headwinds. Another benefit is that the leg won't drag in the water when sailing fast with the motor tilted up, as it surely will with your mounting point and a long shaft.

My advice would be a short shaft, but if you want a longshaft, find one and actually measure it carefully first.

BigCountryEsq 03-01-2009 11:37 AM

Its approx 34" from where the outboard sits on the transom to the bottom of the skeg. (on a 6hp johnson sailmaster longshaft)

I just built a "test tank" to run my outboard in and needed this measurement to make sure it would fit without touching the bottom.

A short shaft would probably be ur best bet.

sailingfool 03-01-2009 12:42 PM

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I would think 9.9HP a lot more engine that the P26 would need, I'd think a 6HP all that is needed, the extra 4 horse would represent only money spent for no usability. Get the long shaft IF it will in fact fit.

pvanv1 03-01-2009 01:07 PM

I'd borrow a motor, and hang it on the boat, and see how well it clears. Anything else is speculation. Easy enough to do out of the water.

Our boat has the OB in the lazarette. Originally was a short shaft. That made it possible to be tilted out of the water when racing. I have since gone with a long shaft 9.8 Nissan, and don't tilt. Definitely stays in the water better in the long swells of Lake Ontario. Don't notice much increased drag, though I'm sure it's there.

Regarding 6 hp vs 9.9, etc... All new small OB's in the US will be 4-strokers. In the Tohatsu/Nissan/Mercury lineup, the 4/5/6 family is a one-cylinder. The 8/9.8 family is a 2-cylinder, and available as electric start if desired. At idle, the 2-cylinder units are much smoother. As a Tohatsu dealer/mechanic, I would opt for the 8 or 9.8 if buying a new 4-stroke. Remember that Tohatsu makes the Tohatsu, Nissan, and Mercury (30 hp and under) OB's. Only difference is brand recognition and price. Oh, yeah, our HR28 could use a bigger motor than the 9.8, but the next family up is the 15, which weighs 30 pounds more, and is Huge. The 9.8 is adequate, don't get me wrong, but I have seldom seen a sailboat with too much aux power when a storm is on.

sailingfool 03-01-2009 01:39 PM

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Originally Posted by pvanv1 (Post 456291)
... All new small OB's in the US will be 4-strokers. In the Tohatsu/Nissan/Mercury lineup, the 4/5/6 family is a one-cylinder. The 8/9.8 family is a 2-cylinder, and available as electric start if desired. ...

This is interesting info about the current generation of OBs...nothing like having an expert chip in. Your information about the 6HP being a single cylinder is surprising and disappointing...I have not been much of a fan of the switch to 4 cycle motors...more wieght/more cost/less power. It all makes me treasure even more the Tohatsu 8HP 2 cycle I have on my RIB.

All given, I'd say look hard for a used 2 cycle 8HP rather than pay the cost and live with the weight of a new 9.9.

fiestaMojo 03-01-2009 01:41 PM

I sail a '76 P26 with a Johnson 9.9 hp long shaft (20"). With the motor straight up - no tilt - the skeg will impede the rudder slightly if I am running at full throttle. If I adjust the tilt slightly (a peg or two), or do not run wide open, I have no problem. I definitely would not go with a smaller (less hp) motor.
Even with the long shaft the bottom of the motor comes out of the water in steep chop; this can be minimized by "going with the chop" (not quite sure how else to say that).

dbruce85 03-01-2009 02:37 PM

I also sail a P26 (1975) and have a 1984 Evinrude 20" shaft.
It clears the rudder by an inch or so.
If you go lower horsepower, I wouldn't go any lower than 8. Perhaps a 8hp 4 stroke would be a good option

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