Outboard start with Electric motor? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-06-2012 Thread Starter
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Outboard start with Electric motor?

I don't know if it is feasible: Could we start an outboard motor with an electric drill instead of pulling the starting rope? Is there a problem with the "flywheel" once the engine starts ? ( I just got a bad bad shoulder this year ... )
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-06-2012
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Re: Outboard start with Electric motor?

Trade the OB in for a model with a built in starter or you will need a new shoulder trying to start it with a drill.

Or you could use the other arm.

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post #3 of 17 Old 07-06-2012
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Re: Outboard start with Electric motor?

Sounds like an interesting approach. Having to remove the hood everytime you want to start it may be somewhat inconvienent. Suggest you have the motor well secured and have a really tight grip on the drill in case the motor kicks back, goodby drill!!. An electric start motor would be simpler and safer? Good luck.

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post #4 of 17 Old 07-06-2012
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Re: Outboard start with Electric motor?

Actually, yes. I have done it more than once, but that was when I was working on them and the cowling was already off. Like the prior posters said: Just bite the bullet and pay for an electric start motor, it's nicer anyway.
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-06-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Outboard start with Electric motor?

Thanks everyone! It was somewhat a "theoretical" question. I wanted to know if it was possible. Is there a 4HP with electric start?
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-06-2012
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Re: Outboard start with Electric motor?

It doesn't take much to start a 4 horse, but I understand how a sore shoulder can make it impossible.

I'd ditch the electric drill idea.

If it was me, I'd look for a way to snap a longer pull rope on it when I wanted to start it. Try a loop in the pull rope that you could put around your foot, so if you face away from the motor, you can kick start it by pushing your foot away. I don't know how your motor is positioned on your boat. With luck, you'd get a pretty straight run with the rope and not have to use any blocks to direct the rope where you need it.

I don't think you're going to be able to find an electric start motor in that horsepower range. You could get a Torqueedo electric outboard, but they're big bucks.
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Re: Outboard start with Electric motor?

I looked at Tohatsu, Honda, & Yamaha websites. Tohatsu and Yamaha 4 & 6 HP motors both weigh about 60 lbs. Honda 5HP about the same. I recently bought a Tohatsu 6HP, fairly easy to turn over and runs perfectly. Looks like electric start starts at 8HP & up but with about a 25 lb weight gain.

Portable Specifications | Yamaha Outboards

Honda BF5 Outboard Engine - 5 hp boat motor specs and features

Discount Tohatsu Outboards and Nissan Outboard Motors

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post #8 of 17 Old 07-06-2012
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Re: Outboard start with Electric motor?

Winches are no problem with my shoulders but pull starts sure are. I gave into an electric motor for my dinghy and having used it for about a year now would never go back to an OB. NEVER!
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-07-2012
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Ive seen electric starters for gas pull start edgers at Lowes. Perhaps this idea might work? Also a cool Youtube of a guy starting his OB by hand with no Cord.
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-07-2012
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Re: Outboard start with Electric motor?

Screw the OB's on dinks period.
Oars, sail. or electric. Freaking auxiliary drive for the boat is enough work I don't need another baby to tend.
The batteries take a nipple once a week in most instances. The weight of the batteries to drive them is what it is. You can use smaller batteries or larger ones as you would larger fuel tanks or smaller for your engine depending on you needs.
No gears, not injectors, no fuel purity issues, no mixing 2 stroke fuel, no keeping any gasoline aboard, no frayed pull start ropes, no allot of stuff. AND those batteries can supplement and backup electrical storage already aboard.
Small OBs make great secondary anchors,,,,,,,,, they really do!
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