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Old 02-11-2014
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New to sailing in Maryland.

Hello Sailnetters - I'm new to sailing and looking forward to the experience. I've taken an intro to sailing course in the Baltimore Inner Harbor last fall and intend to take the subsequent keelboat course in the spring. I have recently purchased a 1988 Precision 21 and can't wait for spring to launch it. I plan to sail the boat in Assawoman and Isle of Wight Bay near Ocean City MD. These are shallow protected waters that I think will provide a good training area for me to develop sailing fundamentals.

Before I can launch my P21 I need to obtain an outboard motor for it. Research leads me to believe that a 5-6 hp outboard would do the job, but I would like to hear from those more experienced at sailing small sailboats what size motor might be best for a Precision 21. I know there's a balance to reach between hp and weight and that local tide, current and wind all effect how well the outboard will move the boat.

Also noticed a considerable difference between NADA values (low) for used outboards compared to asking prices (high) from recent classified ads. Any thoughts on this disparity.

Thanks to anyone who can help me with these questions about small outboards.

Tom - '88 Precision 21
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Old 02-11-2014
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Re: New to sailing in Maryland.

I think a 5-6HP would be fine. We had an 8HP on our C25 (about 3x the displacement of your boat). That pushed us at hull speed at about 50% throttle. The water pump failed and we got a 9.9HP, which pushed us at hull speed at 30%. I think in your case, a 6HP would push you at hull speed without headwind, etc., at 50% throttle or less. Much more than 6HP would be overkill.
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Old 02-11-2014
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Re: New to sailing in Maryland.

Welcome Tom!

What's the draft of your boat? We have a place in Ocean City, MD and there's a reason you rarely see anything but the occasional kite surfer. At low tide you can walk across most of the bay.
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Re: New to sailing in Maryland.

Thanks to both Jim and Donna for replying to my post. I appreciate the information. I'll continue my search for a used 5-6 hp outboard.

Donna - My P21 has a draft of 21" w/centerboard up. I have concerns about my target training area too but we have a place in Ocean Pines and I'm trying to incorporate my interest in sailing. Longer term plan, once I'm more competent at sailing, is to upgrade to a larger sailboat that will better support plans to spend summer vacations traveling the Chesapeake Bay.

Thanks again,
Tom
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Old 02-11-2014
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Re: New to sailing in Maryland.

Tom,
When we bought our first boat, a Catalina 25 with a swing keel, we sailed in a bay in NJ that was never more than about 4-5', and which frequently came close to drying out at low tide (except for the channel). We timed our sails so we had enough water under us to sail most of the bay while the tide was in. It was a bit of a PITA, because the tides and weather didn't always correspond, but it can be done. In the end, we decided that a bigger boat that was a slightly farther drive, but which would allow us to sail at any time (weather permitting) was a better choice. That being said, if we had a home there (as opposed to having to drive 45-120 minutes) I'd probably lean toward sailing at home too.
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Old 02-13-2014
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Re: New to sailing in Maryland.

Hi Jim,

I tried to reply to your post last evening, but see my reply isn't attached to the thread. Still figuring out the workings of the site.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience with your first sailboat. Sounds similar to my plans and I appreciate the encouraging words. The bays where I plan to sail have similar depths based on the charts I've seen, but to Donna's point and yours, I realize that understanding the tide tables and depth variations is very important. This blizzard we're having gives me plenty time for more study. Can't wait for spring!

Tom
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Old 02-18-2014
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Re: New to sailing in Maryland.

Welcome and good luck with the search, most of the Precision 21's seem to have a 5 to 6 HP, I currently have a 4.5 on my Catalina 22, but don't have to deal with the currents or tides you will encounter.
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Old 02-18-2014
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Re: New to sailing in Maryland.

I had a 9.9 on my Cal 25 that I kept on the Severn and sailed all over the Chesapeake. It would have been fine with a 5 HP, although it would move along pretty good with that 9.9 wide open.

We used to have some fun with that boat. A friend had a center console powerboat, and would tie up behind it and come on board, and we would socialize, while towing the center console with the Cal 25 under sail.
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Old 02-19-2014
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Re: New to sailing in Maryland.

Since you are learning to sail I reckon it likely you'll be watching the weather and it won't be likely you'll need to motor against a 25kt wind.

Keep your eye on craigs list, deals are out there (see below).

I loaned a 2.5 hp 4 stroke to a buddy with a Catalina 22 (2300 pounds or so) - it pushed him at 4.5kts rather easy.

I'd think a 4hp would do for you, just make sure it's a shaft is long enough (measure your transom, and figure you want at least 6 inches in the water.

Not to gild the lily, but I just happen to have a 4 year old Nissan 4hp 4 stroke (21 inch shaft I think) with with about 6 hours on it, I got it with my boat and it's too small for the dinghy I want to push.
I'd want in the neighborhood of 800 for it.

I've also got a mid 80's 5hp two stroke with a hi thrust prop, call that one 300.

Both run excellent, the 2 stroke seems to run on dirty water and planed my 9'6" RIB with just me in it.

I'm only selling one, the other will back up my 9.9 dinghy motor and be my 'easy' to deploy motor for short harbor hops.

You won't be able to private message me until you have 10posts, so I'll check back here in a couple days.

Folks, I'm only selling to sailors in need of a boat pusher, let's not all crowd my PM in box.
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Old 02-22-2014
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Re: New to sailing in Maryland.

Thanks to CatMan22, Group9, and chucklesR for your replies. The information offered is very helpful to this newbie. Based on everything I've heard and read it seems that a 4-6hp outboard would be a reasonable choice for my needs depending on tides, winds, and currents expected.

chucklesR - Love that crazy picture you have. That's some wild looking creature! Thanks for the offer on the 4hp. I think that might meet my needs under calm circumstances but I feel more comfortable trying to locate a used 6hp. I'd rather err in the direction of being overpowered than underpowered. I'll watch craigslist as you suggested and see what turns up. Thanksj again,
Tom
Precision 21
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