Outboard size for 20ft sailboat - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-18-2010
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Outboard size for 20ft sailboat

Hi All,

Just put my boat in the water (1967 bristol corinthian, 19.5ft, 2,800lb displacement).

I currently am using a 5hp tohatsu that actually used to be on a 10ft inflatable dingy (the shaft is not long). It works, as it sits in a motor well inside the cockpit which opens essentially 10inches or so from the water line.

Issue is it is a little to big and rubs up against the back of the cockpit. This not only makes the boat vibrate, but makes scratch marks on the fiberglass. Also is cumbersome to lift out and stow while the sail is up.

I only am using the motor to get in and out of the dock, once out the sail goes up immediately.

My question is if a 2.5 hp o/b would be to small or weak to push the boat along or if I really need to go to a 3 or 4 hp range.

I am looking at a mercury 2.5 hp long shaft.

Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2010
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6 hp is pretty standard for that size boat. I wouldnt want to go any smaller. You could probably get out of the slip but if you got into a bad situation you will definetely want the bigger motor.
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Old 06-18-2010
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I run a Suzuki 4 hp 4 stroke, but my 20ft. boat weighs in at 1550lbs. The motor pushes my boat just fine.
Yous boat is almost double of what I weigh, so I'm not sure what you would need.
Best of luck
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Old 06-18-2010
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I think if you're truly just getting in and out of your slip and don't plan any distance cruising that a 2.5 or 3 hp would do the job. However most engines that size have no neutral position and must be spun around for reversing. This could be a problem, but I'm not sure, depends on the arrangement around the well.

The Nissan/Tohatsu etc 3.5 at least has a neutral but would still need spinning around. In order to get reverse gear I think you'll need to go to 4 and up.
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Old 06-18-2010
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My 22 weighs around 2800 and I have a 7.5
I wouldn't want to be any smaller. Especially on lake Erie.
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Old 06-18-2010
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Mceveritt,
Had a Coronado 25 with a well at about 4,000 lbs..
Long story short, had a 6hp which was marginal for San Francisco Bay. went to a 15hp, same size as the 9.9, which may have been OK,
and it really got the job done. If I was to do it over, controls in the
cockpit and electric start would be good. Don't know what your water / weather conditions are but suggest you get the strongest
motor with the longest shaft that will fit in the well. My guess is that a 6 hp
with high thrust prop and long shaft would be adequate for your boat. I agree with MarkCK's post. Sometimes there is nothing like all the thrust you can get.

Just my two cents worth, Dabnis
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Old 06-18-2010
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I have a 3.5 on my 1200# trailer sailer it pushes it fine but doing if I were to get a new motor I'd get one that reverses and that has a separate fuel tank. Fueling a built in tank I'll invariable spill some.
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Old 06-21-2010
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Thanks for the input. Guess I am going to need to find a 5 or 6 hp that fits in the well. From what I can tell though it may have to be an older engine, as the modern four strokes are a lot bigger then the similar powered older two strokes.

I really want to find motor that fits before going to a bracket on the back of the transom.
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Old 06-21-2010
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Hello,

For just getting in and out, a 2 Hp motor will be fine. If you planned on motoring into a current or motoring for long periods of time into a head wind, then a more powerful motor would be a good idea.

I had a 4.5 Hp on a Catalina 22 and never wished for a more power.

Barry
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Old 06-21-2010
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Thanks. The 5 hp I am using now pushes her along fine. The only reason I want to get a new one is that the motor casing rubs the back of the motor well and limits me to keeping the motor in a straight line. Which is fine for going forward, but basically eliminates any possibility of reversing effectively.

Just have to keep my eyes out for a motor with a small enough casing to work with my particular well configuration.
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