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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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Old 08-10-2010
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Small outboards without reverse

Hi guys,

I'm looking for a small outboard. I can't seem to find any under 4 hp that have reverse. My question is, how do you live without reverse? How would you back out of a slip? Just push your way back?

Thank you,
RG
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Old 08-10-2010
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Most small outboards that don't have reverse can pivot more then 180 degrees. you just spin the motor around back wards, so it's pulling and not pushing
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Old 08-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubb2 View Post
Most small outboards that don't have reverse can pivot more then 180 degrees. you just spin the motor around back wards, so it's pulling and not pushing
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

I was asking a seller about that, and I asked if it could spin the whole 360'! I wasn't thinking that 180 was the opposite direction... Oh my god!

Thank you!
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Old 08-11-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radioguy View Post
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

I was asking a seller about that, and I asked if it could spin the whole 360'! I wasn't thinking that 180 was the opposite direction... Oh my god!

Thank you!
Most small outboards with self contained fuel tanks have no restrictions to spinning 360deg over and over, not just 180 deg one way
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Old 08-11-2010
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Personally, I've found on boats that need 4hp and less, its easier to just give the bow a good shove and wait for it to come around, than to fiddle with cranking and spinning stinky motors. I just got into sailing after motorboating all my life.....I didn't make the switch to keep arguing with cantankerous motors!
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Old 08-11-2010
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That's a nice idea too.

I've been looking at electric trolling motors too. In my very small, barely functioning mind, I believe that I would only need the motor to back out of my slip and travel about 200 yards before I'm in position to hoist my sails. I can't imagine that using enough battery power that my solar panel couldn't keep up with it on a "every other day" basis. .... but I also want to have a CD player, etc.

It sure would be less worrisome to have a little 2hp and a few extra gallons of gas.
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I have used an electric to push my 19' 1,500lb Hunter in and out of the dock. A little 30lb trolling motor. I'm at a private residence, not a marina, so it's half a mile from the dock back in a narrow cove to open water. I've never made more than 2kt at full speed on the electric. But it's whisper quiet, and it too turns 180° for reverse.

It's all about choices. The electric is simple and straightforward, but if I run out of juice in the middle of the lake on a windless day, I don't have much of a choice but to raise the Zulu flag and hope somebody knows what that means.

An outboard has lots of torque; even a 2hp will push me to hull speed, and it's easy to bum some fuel off someone else if you run out. But outboards are expensive to buy new, and usually have some kind of problem that creeps up if you buy used. That's why I brought the electric onboard in the first place, because I knew sooner or later I was going to get so fed up with my outboard that I was going to throw it overboard. Then I'd invariably get a ticket for littering. And I'd be stuck in the middle of the lake. An all-around bad day.

Leaving and returning to the dock under sail is cheap (it's free, actually), and hugely gratifying. But it's not easy to do in a crowded marina, and in my narrow cove with steep sides (too narrow to tack, really), unless the wind is coming from just the right direction to get a good fetch, it could take an hour or more to get to open water.

But yes, just spin that small self-contained outboard 180-ish and you'll be off to the races in reverse.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radioguy View Post
That's a nice idea too.

I've been looking at electric trolling motors too. In my very small, barely functioning mind, I believe that I would only need the motor to back out of my slip and travel about 200 yards before I'm in position to hoist my sails. I can't imagine that using enough battery power that my solar panel couldn't keep up with it on a "every other day" basis. .... but I also want to have a CD player, etc.

It sure would be less worrisome to have a little 2hp and a few extra gallons of gas.
Yeah, maybe I was a little too hard on outboards. Did I mention I twist on a Honda 2hp to my P15?

If you do decide to go with an outboard, I would recommend the Honda line, namely because it weights only 29 pounds and has an integral tank. Other have the tank also, but I thing the next lightest OB was a nissan at 42#. It will occasionally give me fits not wanting to start, and its brand new.

Well, good luck. I got a nice day with a good breeze, my afternoon patients cancelled, so it off to the lake.
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Old 08-11-2010
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Of course, lots of sailors do creative maneuvers with dock lines or with dock lines working against the motor to turn boats around and position them for "takeoff". This can be really helpful in tight quarters. And, in lighter conditions, moderate sized tiller-steered boats can scull the rudder with pretty good effect.
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