Regretting my Honda 2.3 purchase - SailNet Community

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Old 08-15-2013
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Regretting my Honda 2.3 purchase

I was very worried about a centrifugal clutch on an outboard, but went with the Honda 2.3 for its light weight in comparison to others.

My problem is that on startup, when you put the throttle to the start position, when she fires its enough to engage the prop therefore lurching the boat forward. Less throttle, she won't start. Also, once running, when you play the throttle and choke until the engine is warm and idles comfortably, the prop tends to engage/disengage. These are times when I just would prefer to have a gear select so that I could start and play the throttle without the danger of the boat surging ahead unpredictably. Also, when turning the motor around for reverse, swapping the tiller to the other side changes the throttle unintentionally as well causing undesired thrust sometimes.

I'm very used to centrifugal clutches having grown up on snowmobiles - but this is much worse. I'm really debating on getting rid of it after only a few months of use.

I have had the engine in at a dealer once and all adjustments were checked so that eliminates throttle settings etc. Am I somehow doing something stupid? When it surges, its only momentarily before I dial back the throttle, but any less throttle and it just won't start. Its a real pain in the rear and I'm really embarrassed when people see me start my engine and it surges forward a foot. I've been around outboards most of my life. Not like this is my first rodeo, but with this Honda it sure feels and looks like it!
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Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Regretting my Honda 2.3 purchase

seeing as that was the outboard I was considering before getting my troller, I sure am glad I made the choice I did. Sounds like you have had a ton of issues with this thing.
Any thought of selling it and switching to something else? Sometimes taking the loss is worth it just for the peace of mind.
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Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Regretting my Honda 2.3 purchase

I had one for years that had NO clutch. It was just in gear always. Actually sounds easier than what you got. It was real fun when the Honda dealer "fixed" it and the stop switch would not work
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Old 08-15-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avenger79:1074248
seeing as that was the outboard I was considering before getting my troller, I sure am glad I made the choice I did. Sounds like you have had a ton of issues with this thing.
Any thought of selling it and switching to something else? Sometimes taking the loss is worth it just for the peace of mind.
Well, the gas problem I'll give them a pass on. They did warranty it at the recommendation of the dealer. I believe the debris (looked like a tiny tiny piece of cardboard fiber) came from the factory, but technically it could be argued that it is *possible * it came from me I suppose. As I said, this isn't my first rodeo - I'm very careful about gas filling etc. And, they did fix it - I'll give them that.

But this centrifugal clutch seems like a bad design on an outboard. I would think it would be fine on a fuel injected motor. But on a carb'd motor where starting and warm up are not computer controlled and vary by conditions... I feel like a total amateur when dealing with it. It feels unsafe - ie. For that split second I'm not 100% in control and that's not acceptable to me.

I am a complete amateur sailor for sure - but motors/motoring is not new to me and I consider myself pretty good in this category. I am definitely considering dumping it for something with a traditional gear shift. Call me old fashioned I guess.

The only reason I still have it is because no matter how much one knows, there is always more to learn - so I'm wondering if this truly is a bad design or maybe I can learn what is wrong with me.
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Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Regretting my Honda 2.3 purchase

The Honda clutch was the main reason I bought a Suzuki 2.5 instead.
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Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Regretting my Honda 2.3 purchase

The motor must be intended to start at low enough RPMs so that the clutch does not engage. Almost the whole point of having a centrifugal clutch is to be able to start the thing without taking off. What does the owner's manual say? Does the throttle indicate a "start" position?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caberg:1074293
The motor must be intended to start at low enough RPMs so that the clutch does not engage. Almost the whole point of having a centrifugal clutch is to be able to start the thing without taking off. What does the owner's manual say? Does the throttle indicate a "start" position?
Correct. It has a throttle "start" position. The prop engages with the throttle well below this setting, but the engine will not start with any less. That's exactly my conundrum.
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Re: Regretting my Honda 2.3 purchase

I wonder if when they cleaned out the carb etc maybe they altered the setting some so it won't start as it should? Maybe the engagment of the prop wound up getting set too low? Has to be a setting issue I would think. Centrifugal clutch motors are not "new", it's been done for years.
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Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Regretting my Honda 2.3 purchase

I have the version that is always in gear (no clutch) and it works well for me. It seems odd that the clutch would make it more confusing instead of less, but maybe it does. Is there a way to lock the clutch out so that you only have forward gear?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex W:1074310
I have the version that is always in gear (no clutch) and it works well for me. It seems odd that the clutch would make it more confusing instead of less, but maybe it does. Is there a way to lock the clutch out so that you only have forward gear?
A centrifugal clutch is always in gear. It only has a forward gear. The clutch disengages thus allowing the motor to turn the prop after it surpasses a certain rpm (just like a snowmobile). At idle, the prop does not turn. The problem is that the required start position for the throttle gives enough rpm for the clutch to disengage causing a momentary thrust on startup. Any less throttle, and the engine does not start. O
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