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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-03-2009
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Which Outboard for my Dink?

Soon I will graduate, and soon I will have income. Marine stores beware!!!


One of the first purchases I plan to make is a portland pudgy Portland Pudgy multifunction dinghy -- the fun boat that could save your life! soon after that I plan to buy an outboard for it. My question: which one to get?

The dinghy is rated for a 2hp motor, though I have seen the occasional 3.5hp that doesn't weigh any more than a 2hp. The purpose of the motor would be to extend range for exploration, to be used instead of oars or sail when conditions are poor, and to create and emergency source of maneuvering propulsion for the mother ship in case of engine failure and no wind. The last one is a tall order for a 28,000lb boat, but it's for emergency only.

I think that 2hp probably makes sense, and the question is probably one of brand, though if there are light weight 3-6hp motors I would consider them. Who couldn't use a few more HP?


Desirable characteristics, generally in order of preference:
1: Reliability
2: Light weight (to make it easy to install and store)
3: Quiet
4: Low initial and operating cost
5: Ability to be in neutral (ie not always in gear)
6: Fuel efficient
7: Ability to connect to external fuel tank


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Old 06-03-2009
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Get the "No" brand. They are the lightest ones, with zero maintenance. Also, you should think twice about spending your hard earned dough on dinghies right out of college. Sock that stuff away somewhere safe, you will thank yourself later when you can't row!
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Old 06-03-2009
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I have a Honda 2HP four stroke that is very nice so far. Only quibble is that it's air-cooled (and therefore a tad noisy) and that full-out run-time is 45 minutes on its one litre integral tank. Of course, given that you can refuel from a salad dressing squeeze bottle, this isn't such a handicap.

My 110 lb. wife can one-armed it out of a forepeak. It's 28 lbs. and pushes a 10 foot Portabote and a 10.5 foot nesting dinghy.
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Old 06-04-2009
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IMHO I would say stay small- the lighter the better for this application being that the dinghy is small. A fourish horsepower may plane out with one small person aboard but in that stubby a dinghy id say you might need more like a 5 or 6 to plane out for sure. Looks to have alot of rocker to the hull and is short. If it were me, id go right ahead and buy a used 3.3 two stroke mercury or the like. Those babies put out a good amount of thrust for a wee little motor. If new, id probably go for a suzuki 2.5 four stroke coming in at 30 lbs even.

I cant remember having less than an 8 on my dinghies but i always wanted to go fast in a pinch. As a kid, dad even had a 13 whaler with a 30 horse behind his 32 jeanneau one year... fastest dinghy in the harbor. Ahh the good old days. My current dinghy? 12' carolina skiff with 25 johnson. The carolina is also unsinkable and new only $1200 bucks! Add a little wood and you got a good little utility boat.

Doesnt tow well though, go figure...
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Old 06-04-2009
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We are also doing the engine debate. We have a 10' high pressure floor inflatable and we are thinking about a 4hp Yamaha four stroke. Very quiet, able to use a remote tank or the internal one. Extremely fuel efficient and reliable (three year warranty). It won't get it up on a plane but I'm not sure I need to go that fast anyway, and it's light, 48 lbs. ($1100).
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Old 06-04-2009
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look into buying Tohotsu from Porta Bote online. I bought a 5hp from them and saved $ 400. bucks. My experience with has been great. Reliable always.
But I'd also consider an electric motor.
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Old 06-04-2009
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Med....if the specified limit for the Pudgy is 2HP that is due to the THRUST of the motor and what is safe for the boat...not the weight of the motor. Exceed the rated HP at your own risk.
I think the Pudgy is a neat idea!
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Old 06-04-2009
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Getting up on the plane is a whole different deal. While that's fun and all, I don't consider it the reason I bought the dinghy, as going on the plane in a crowded anchorage is usually discouraged. I just want a sedate four knots for when I don't want to row for half an hour.
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Old 06-04-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Med....if the specified limit for the Pudgy is 2HP that is due to the THRUST of the motor and what is safe for the boat...not the weight of the motor. Exceed the rated HP at your own risk.
I think the Pudgy is a neat idea!
Hear hear!

The transoms are designed to withstand a certain amount of weight and thrust. Just because a larger HP engine might weigh the same as the rated 2 HP, that doesn't mean it is an acceptable substitute.

Conversely, there were many boats designed and built before 4-stroke outboards were widely available. They have HP/weight ratings for 2-stroke outboards. So you cannot necessarily slap an equal HP 4-stroke on them, since that 4-stroke may be as much as 50% heavier than the rated 2-stroke.
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Old 06-04-2009
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Having both a Nissan 3.5 two stroke and a Suzuki 2.5 four stroke it's a toss?
They both weigh with in a pound of each other, the four stroke is defiantly quieter, vibration is less than half of the two stroke but is not as fuel efficient. Another nice feature is the 2.5 has the throttle on the tiller handle.
On the other hand the 3.5 is just more ergonomically friendly moving from mother boat to dingy and back. Seems better balanced, the weight of the 2.5 is mostly in the power head. The 3.5 lower end looks to be a bit more robust.
I've used both to push my 17' daysailer the 2.5 being just .5 a knot slower than the 3.5 (GPS). At 1/2-3/4 throttle the 3.5 will run almost a 1/2 hr. longer than the 2.5 on a full tank.
Bill,
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