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RSMacG 04-20-2010 12:10 PM

Dinghy Outboard - Recommendations?
 
Having recently upgraded to a boat that is not, itself, a dinghy (34 ft), I'm in the process of acquiring one and would be most grateful for the collective wisdom here... :)

For a whole variety of factors, I've decided on the Achilles LSI 290 (possibly 310, but that's likely overkill). It's rated for up to 8hp. However, notwithstanding poking around on the Internet for a few days, I'm still somewhat at a loss, and am hoping for some help.

I plan to use the dinghy for all of the usual things while cruising - back and forth to shore for provisions, a bit of exploring, and probably some fishing with my son. However, I don't necessarily think speed is a primary concern. I also would like to be able to lift the engine from the dinghy onto the stern pulpit myself, so weight is a major consideration.

So, I suppose I really have three questions:

(1) HP? I'm thinking 4-6 would be more than enough?;

(2) 2-stroke vs 4-stroke? I'm told that the new direct-injection 2-strokes are now much, much kinder to the environment, and 2-strokes have the advantage of being able to be run dry, so they don't have to be stored perfectly upright. I'm also told that the 2-strokes are more bullet-proof? Is this true? Pros/cons of 2- vs 4-stroke for this application?

(3) Manufacturer? Not surprisingly, I'm getting mixed messages re manufacturers. From what I can tell, Nissan or Tohatsu are the way to go. Thoughts appreciated

I really appreciate any thoughts / experiences that can be shared... It's a purchase I only want to make once and I don't want to be kicking myself every time because I didn't know what I didn't know...

Thanks again,
Rob

remetau 04-20-2010 12:24 PM

This is another one that you will probably get all kinds of opinions on. This is my 2 cents and that’s probably about all that its worth:

1. Depends on how fast you want to go and if you want to get up on plain. I personally like to get my dinghy up on plane when I get the chance, but most anchorages you won’t be doing that. I think for what you are looking for a 4-6 would be fine, plus they are cheaper.
2. I prefer 2 strokes because I think they have more power and they are a lot lighter. In remote areas you may find it easier to get a 2 stroke repaired than a 4.
3. For 2 strokes, I like my Mercury, but I think I would prefer a Yamaha down south. For 4 strokes, I always like Honda motors, but you may also have to take in consideration where you plan to cruise. I heard Yamaha and Nissans are much easier to find parts for in remote areas.

Cruisingdad 04-20-2010 12:41 PM

For cruising, especially down south, I would not consider anything but a RIB. I would not consider a soft bottom dink. I actually own two now and have owned many others. The HPIB is fine for little tidbits here and there, but nothing beats a rib that I have found.

I strongly prefer 2 strokes over the 4's. Again, I currently own both. The small 4's are heavy and under powered. The positive of the 4 is that you can run at idle speeds or slow speeds better, and they seem more efficient. But the first time you haul that clunker up on your davits or motor mount, you will be swearing you made a mistake.

I think Achilles makes a terrific tender. I actually bought a Walker Bay. You can search here for the thread which is realtively recent (around January). The WB I bought is their RIB... not that little flaoting dink. Totally different animal. We have been very pleased with it. Things stay dry, she handles well, will jump on a plane, etc.

Do not under rate the importance of being able to plane. Depending on your anchorage, you may be doing a LOT of motoring. If fishing, the same. And the first time you find a little coral head and swipe our the bottom of your tender (which I did), you will come to hate anything that is not a hard bottom.

As far as motors, I will only own a Yamaha or possibly a Honda (but have never owned a Honda, just would posssibly try it). My luck with Mercs sucks. Yamaha has repeatedly been a great performer. DO be aware that most of the small outboards motors are made by Tohatsu I believe. I think the cuttof is 9.9, but I cannot remember that anymore. Other may help there. However, the rest of the motor may be proprietary (gear shift placement, abaility to raise motor, etc). It is important to be able to easily raise your motor for beaching and when in thin water.

Again, for a cruiser, I would not get anything but a RIB. The others simply are dissapointments for anything serious.

My opinions.

Brian

Gene T 04-20-2010 12:47 PM

More power is nice. You will find that out when you want to hold the bow high for a dry and smother ride when there is a chop. Speed does come in handy as it increases your range.

2 cycle is preferred by me, much simpler and lighter. As you say you can run them dry, lay them down anyway you want and they are ready to run when you need them. A 15hp 2 stroke Johnson/Evinrude weighs 87 lbs. A 6 hp is about 50 lbs.

I find the 87 lbs to be the max I want to handle on a moving boat.

Gene

sailingdog 04-20-2010 12:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RSMacG (Post 595091)
So, I suppose I really have three questions:

(1) HP? I'm thinking 4-6 would be more than enough?;

Probably more than enough. My friends have a 10.5' AB RIB. They use a 3.5 HP tohatsu and they've been able to use the boat with three or four people aboard in over 20 knots of wind.

One thing to consider is weight. The 3.5 HP tohatsu/nissan/mercury is only about 40 lbs. The 4-6 HP tohatsu/nissan/mercury is about 55 lbs. That can make the difference between being able to lower it onto the dinghy in heavy weather or not.

Quote:

(2) 2-stroke vs 4-stroke? I'm told that the new direct-injection 2-strokes are now much, much kinder to the environment, and 2-strokes have the advantage of being able to be run dry, so they don't have to be stored perfectly upright. I'm also told that the 2-strokes are more bullet-proof? Is this true? Pros/cons of 2- vs 4-stroke for this application?
The two-strokes are very hard to find in the US. Most of the four-strokes are capable of being stowed on one side. The four-strokes are more economical and usually quieter. The four-strokes also only have to worry about one consumable for fuel.

Quote:

(3) Manufacturer? Not surprisingly, I'm getting mixed messages re manufacturers. From what I can tell, Nissan or Tohatsu are the way to go. Thoughts appreciated

I really appreciate any thoughts / experiences that can be shared... It's a purchase I only want to make once and I don't want to be kicking myself every time because I didn't know what I didn't know...

Thanks again,
Rob
All the small <10 HP Nissan, Tohatsu and Mercury engines are actually all made by Tohatsu. Honda and Yamaha are the other two still making small outboards IIRC. The 2 HP honda doesn't have a clutch and is really noisy, being air cooled.

Gene T 04-20-2010 01:16 PM

On the subject of a dinghy. I currently have 2 ribs. A 10.6 Avon and a 9 Caribe. The Avon is an early 1980s boat and with a 15 hp is a true assault craft. It is bloody heavy so towing is the best option. It tows well however and planes while towing at about 4 knots. It is hands down the best setup to have once you get where you are going.
The Caribe stows well on the foredeck of my new boat but it takes 2 of us to get it there. It has a double floor that seems to leak. It is too short to handle well. I need more time with this boat to see if it will really work for us.
I like the idea of the high pressure inflatable floor boats. A short one with a small outboard may be in my future. These boats are so light one person can lift them on deck easily. Or it could be deflated and stowed for long passages.

Too many boat options and not enough places to keep them all.

Gene

CaptKermie 04-20-2010 01:27 PM

I have a 5 hp Honda and the little sucker weighs in at 60 lbs. That may not seem like a lot especially considering I used to shoulder press two 60 lbs dumbells in my younger days, but with an awkward engine that has that goofy leg sticking out it becomes very unweildly and hard to manage, even for a strong guy like me. With power comes weight, if you want power prepare to lift a heavy engine. On the plus side the little honda will get my dinghy up on plane with one person but not two of us. The extra power folks speak of is beneficial especially when it comes to exploring, you can cover long distances and skim right over those rip tides with confidence. I will always choose to lift the heavy engine in exchange for the power and I usually leave the engine on the dinghy transom and tow it like that, but I am in protected coastal waters. I do see many folks with those smaller engines that you can lift with one arm, but they are suitable for dinghy dock service only, I would not go out into the open channels with one, just not enough power when out in the chop. You need to decide what you want to really do with your dinghy then decide from there.

tommays 04-20-2010 01:29 PM

IF your going NEW small motor in the USA its gonna be a 4stroke motor

sailingfool 04-20-2010 01:41 PM

Ditto on the RIB, unless you need to be able to break it down to store on the boat, an RIB is the only way to go, and at least a 310, anything smaller is a toy. An 11' RIB is expensive, but trust me, even after ten years, it'll still put a big smile on your face.

Get at lease an 8HP, don't worry about the weight as you should be using a lifting strap and a halyard for lifting anything out of the dink, anyway. Goes right up and on the stern rail.

A 11' RIB with some HP makes coming and going from the boat, even with six people, a pleasure.

RSMacG 04-20-2010 01:54 PM

Thanks all! The RIB was my first choice as well, but with my club foot boom and deck configuration, it was going to be simply impossible to store on deck, and even though I expect to tow much of the time, being FORCED to tow was a deal breaker (another thread, perhaps, but if my dinghy is "plan B", isn't having it inflated and towed better anyway...?).

Most of my cruising will be off the shores of British Columbia, so shells and rock are a bigger concern than coral (sniff), but it'll still just require me to be willing to get wet going ashore, be extra-cautious, and bring plenty of patch kits. It's not perfect, but limitations are limitations...

I'm in Canada, so I can still get the 2 stroke. Based on the recommendations above, I'm leaning towards the 6hp Yamaha 2-stroke (YAMAHA MOTOR CANADA | 6 HP. It's heavier than I'd like at 60 lb, but if someone can point me to a thread as to how to lift it on to the stern pulpit using a halyard (I warned you I was new...) I'd be grateful (pics anywhere)?

And now I'm thinking more seriously about the 310 - only slightly larger when deflated and stowed... should I be concerned about drag when towing a dinghy this size?

I knew I came to the right place... :)


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