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Ascension 08-16-2010 11:37 AM

outboard on a Soling..?
Hello everybody,

Just bought myself a Soling and before I get purist's backs up...

I am a sailor and a brand new suit of sails have just been ordered for the boat!


The area in which I (will soon) sail, the weather can be quite changeable.
I have been thinking about safegaurds against being becalmed/winds picking up beyond my competence level.

I would like to know if anybody has ever done this to a Soling or similar boat.
I want to fit a lift on/off type small engine for just such circumstances.

Also any advice on power output you would recommend etc etc

Again pls I want to do this with the least loss in Sailing performance and the least modification (damage) to the boat....!

Looking forward to hearing everybody's thoughts.

sailingdog 08-16-2010 11:49 AM

Sure, you really will want the type of bracket that lifts the engine up out of the water and get the lightest engine possible. A 3.5 HP tohatsu would probably work quite well for that boat and only weighs about 50 lbs with bracket and fuel.

CalebD 08-16-2010 12:11 PM

Congrats on your Soling. I have yet to sail on one but they seem like a fun class of sail boat.
There is a community sailing association here in NYC ( SailNY - New York City's Community Sailing Association ) that has a fleet of Solings which they sail on the Hudson River. There can be 2 knot currents in the Hudson and their boats are all equipped with outboards as a safety precaution. The photos on their website do not show the motor mount or HP rating of the engines they use - that I could see.
I'd go with SailingDoggie's advice about a 3.5 HP engine.

The 'purists' should be largely silent as you have ordered new sails for her.
Have fun.

svHyLyte 08-16-2010 12:23 PM

An acquaintence of ours powered his Soling, when necessary, with a small motor mounted to a board clamped vertically across the aft end of his cockpit with a couple of pins through row-locks. That put the motor within easy reach of the helm and saved the yacht the indignity, and weight, of having the thing hanging off his transom where it was difficult to reach. Having the thing on his quarter made it no less effective and avoided the prop coming clear of the water in choppy conditions.


paulk 08-16-2010 03:50 PM

HyLyte's suggestion makes a lot of sense. When it gets rough, almost the entire rudder can be out of the water half the time. If you mount your motor on the transom - further aft than even the rudder - people are going to wonder if you're running an airplane. The weight back there will really mess up the boat's performance as well, even when it's not rough. Others have mentioned the hassle of having to get back there to run and control the motor. There isn't a lot to hold on to back there. In rough conditions, falling off would be a real possibility. Handling things from the cockpit would be a lot safer and smarter.

Ascension 08-16-2010 04:23 PM

Thank you for the ideas, I hadn't thought about mounting an outboard anywhere other than off the transom.

Will a 4hp be powerful enough to power the boat against a strong wind (worst case scenario)?

I had in mind some way of attaching an engine so that the engine could be stowed under the front of the cockpit leaving only a bracket on the transom.

only being brought out when needed (higher winds than I am confident to sail in or if I become becalmed)

Thats kind of what I had in mind but i'm by no way fixed to this method.

to move HyLyte's suggestion on, I could rig up some kind of set up to have two tiny (lightweight) long shaft outboards set up on either side of the boat at the back of the cockpit.

That way the boat would remain balanced and I could steer using the ordinary rudder. any thought on this?

Pls forgive me if I am sounding a little inexperienced, but that it precisely what I am :)

This is my first boat, I've been sailing for a number of year but i'm in uncharted territory here!

Ascension 08-16-2010 04:38 PM

electric outboard? anybody use them?

sailingfool 08-16-2010 04:57 PM

54 Attachment(s)
You have a bad idea here, anyt of the suggestions will be a losy solution you will quickly abandon.

Any OB strong enough to drive a Soling will be too heavy to horse around when you need it. A 4HP would work fine, but borrow one and trid carrying it to the stern of a Soling and handing it over the end to someone, while staying on the boat.

If you feel you must have an outboard, sell the Soling and buy a boat designed to carry an OB, a Soling is not one.

Or keep the Soling and get two paddles, and go sailing.

COOL 08-16-2010 05:17 PM


Originally Posted by Ascension (Post 633211)
electric outboard? anybody use them?

I have seen electric trolling motors used, but with very limited range.
The required batteries would weigh more than a small outboard, but
it would be quiet and cleaner.
A 3.5HP motor on a side mount would work fine on a Soling.
A transom mount would not work.
I agree that a pair of paddles is the best option.
There are not many situations that a Soling can't
be sailed into or out of as needed.

Ascension 08-17-2010 06:05 AM

Thank you all for your input, I need to perhaps be a little clearer though about my intentions!

I will indeed have a couple of paddles on board, I am looking for a safe gaurd solution to be preppared for the unexpected should the worst happen.

I would hope that I never have to call upon the use of an outboard or similar device. I know that it should be possible to sail through almost all conditions however one cannot sail with no wind and yes I know a soling will sail with the lightest breeze. Let me give you a for instance...

I live right on thd waters edge, my job means that I start early, finish at 11am then back on duty at 5pm... A fantastic window to go for a sail weather permitting! Hurray!

Sun in shining, it a beautiful day and then the wind drops and I'm 5miles away from home, eek!!! With a deadline of an evening shift looming...
I need to have another way of getting home in time!

Or if in the same situation the wind picked up rapidly (as it can do here) and something breaks impeding my abilty to sail her. If caught in a tidal flow, coupled with a strong wind in the wrong direction means that a couple if paddles are just not going to cut it! Especially if I was alone at the time!

This idea of an engine is nothing mire than an emergency back up plan!

One thought occurs...
What about a garden strimmer with a prop attached?
I know a guy who powered a Canadian canoe like that lol

If I went that route thd shaft would be long enogh that I could have some kind of mounting solution towards the back if thd boat and still have both tiler and strimmer engine/controls within tracing distance of thd helm???

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