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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > the concept of unsinkable yachts
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Thread: the concept of unsinkable yachts Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-24-2011 09:58 AM
Richman7777 Hi Hartley,

I understand the weight distribution issue, cavatation issues etc. and have seen many smaller sailboats with motors on the back doing exactly that. However, as I said once before: exactly zero people who are crossing oceans in sailboats are using any motor for anything but entering and leaving port. As for the weight distribution argument: I think they are thinking too hard. Having 40 pounds back there (often kept on the rail when not in use) will affect performance less than having a 5 year old in the cockpit with them. Case in point: A good friend of mine has a San Juan 24' that he races. He has a motor on the back... just about never loses a race - and they race in all conditions, even in the Straight of Juan de Fuca which is basically open ocean - just ask the many large ships at the bottom. Yes, he races against inboards too. Often a full fuel tank weighs more than many small outboards. Cavatation: I'm not saying it's impossible for mine to cavatate, but I haven't been able to make it happen in some pretty aggressive conditions. The downside of my setup is that the motor is in the water all the time producing drag - though a minimal amount. I suppose I could rig something to pull it up once underway but then it really would be in the way. I'm a little too lazy to move it that much anyway. As it is it sets mostly unnoticed under the tiller. As a side-bar: have you noticed that Pacific Seacraft (and many others) who equip their boats with a diesel inboard also put an outboard bracket on the back and on the rail? Smart fellows. ;-)

Of course, as with anything there is a trade-off and any motor can and will break down if not properly maintained. If you have an inboard you never have to worry about it getting wet; although it would be pretty tough for mine to get wet - but it does take up a little potential foot space in the cockpit as you pointed out. It's all electronic ignition anyway and a little water wouldn't be a big deal like on older motors. But the large hole in the cockpit also makes for a pretty big self-bailing port. In literature I have read apparently it was one consideration for an off-shore offering. But space is space and every inboard takes more of it and weighs about triple of a heavier outboard. Maintenance of inboards is considerably more expensive than an outboard as well, especially if you have to pull and replace it.

So, what's the score-card look like? Propulsion - equal. Reliability - equal. Cost - not equal. Convenience - not equal. ;-)

Sailed yesterday... absolutely beautiful!
Take care,
Rich
03-24-2011 03:16 AM
Classic30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richman7777 View Post
I'm wondering if those folks have ever heard of modern 4 stroke outboards that as reliable as any diesel, and probably more reliable than most? In terms of "school of thought" it's a little meaningless compared to the facts. 4 stroke outboards run for decades with very little care. Mine starts on the first or second pull even after setting all winter. It was made in the 80's... and it's a Honda, not a Yanmar. Runs like new... and that's no school of thought, just how it is. Oh, speaking of dead weight: my outboard weighs around 75 pounds compared to 175 for a small Yanmar and that doesn't include the transmission and shaft, prop etc.. And mine, again, is inside the cockpit exactly where you want it. ;-)
Hi Richman, if you haven't guessed already it has little to do with engine reliability per se (although a wet petrol engine can be fun to start - ask any fisho) and more to do with weight distribution and the way the outboard leg (even a long shaft) comes completely out of the water on every second wave. This doesn't tend to do the prop, engine or the skipper's nerves any good and the boat doesn't go forwards if the prop isn't in the water.

I still have vivid memories of fighting to windward in 35kt winds and a 4' steep chop in our old boat, going forward in the troughs and backward on the crests and the motor poor motor screaming it's heart out on the stern and I would not want to wish that experience on anyone. (BTW, the outboard in question was a 1983 Johnson 7.5hp 2-stroke that never failed to start in it's life, but I know plenty of people who don't have an engine as good as that).

I don't think anyone has any issue with an outboard in the cockpit, except that it gets in the way - but that wasn't what we were commenting on.

Happy ocean sailing!
03-22-2011 06:45 PM
Richman7777 Reason being that, aside from the dead weight right where you don't want it, being forced to put the sails up if caught on a lee shore is more likely to save your hide than trying to start an outboard motor. [/QUOTE]

I'm wondering if those folks have ever heard of modern 4 stroke outboards that as reliable as any diesel, and probably more reliable than most? In terms of "school of thought" it's a little meaningless compared to the facts. 4 stroke outboards run for decades with very little care. Mine starts on the first or second pull even after setting all winter. It was made in the 80's... and it's a Honda, not a Yanmar. Runs like new... and that's no school of thought, just how it is. Oh, speaking of dead weight: my outboard weighs around 75 pounds compared to 175 for a small Yanmar and that doesn't include the transmission and shaft, prop etc.. And mine, again, is inside the cockpit exactly where you want it. ;-)

For what it's worth: the marine shop I have visited said he works on tons of diesel and gas inboards compared to small outboards and considers outboards to be much more reliable. So do most fishermen... but I admit they aren't as cool as a plodding diesel. Though, regardless of opinions... still haven't heard anything that can prove an inboard is any better and with more systems to fail you will have more failures.
03-22-2011 02:17 AM
Classic30 I know, but just couldn't resist...

I'll try harder next time - honest!
03-22-2011 01:01 AM
mitiempo Hartley

I agree

But I was leaving that one alone.

He already knows how I feel.
03-22-2011 12:57 AM
Classic30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Perfect offshore cruiser? Ask 10 people and get at least 10 answers!

But there are elements in common, such as small cockpit for length, small companionway with near vertical sides, bridgedeck at cockpit seat level to keep water out, good cockpit drainage, smaller rather than larger ports that are solid and not flimsy, solid interior not likely to come adrift after days on rough weather, every item of hardware solidly attached with through bolts and backing plates, proper seacocks, and many others.
..and more often than not, no outboard on the back. (There... I said it!! )

From people I've spoken to who have been around Tasmania in small boats, there a school of thought that having no engine at all is actually better than relying on an outboard stuck on the transom - and, if fitted with one, they've either left it at home or shoved it down below someplace for fine weather use only.

Reason being that, aside from the dead weight right where you don't want it, being forced to put the sails up if caught on a lee shore is more likely to save your hide than trying to start an outboard motor.
03-21-2011 11:27 PM
mitiempo Perfect offshore cruiser? Ask 10 people and get at least 10 answers!

But there are elements in common, such as small cockpit for length, small companionway with near vertical sides, bridgedeck at cockpit seat level to keep water out, good cockpit drainage, smaller rather than larger ports that are solid and not flimsy, solid interior not likely to come adrift after days on rough weather, every item of hardware solidly attached with through bolts and backing plates, proper seacocks, and many others.
03-21-2011 09:35 PM
Richman7777 Btw, the Allegra is for sale... $28K - ish. Beautiful boat. When I looked at it the owner told me to keep mine... it would "sail circles around his and go anywhere it would go." Nice to meet an honest guy like that. I still think the Allegra is beautiful, in the same way a Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 is beautiful. I like my boat a lot but it's clearly much more spartan than either of those. I raced the Dana and it's owner accused me of using my motor too... we laughed about it over a glass of wine. No, I didn't use the motor.

I feel like I should answer the question that so many are bantering about: What is the perfect trans-oceanic sailing machine? In my opinion, a Boeing 777. I'd be scared spit-less in most any boat at sea... just a guess. But know I have one of the better ones for that task is some comfort in the Puget Sound which can also swallow boats of just about any size if you're not careful. Oh, and yes: I still like my outboard. Cheaper, more reliable and just as effective for any task except making you smell bad. Mind you, I love diesel engines... but for a small boat I think an outboard takes the win, even if you take it offshore.
03-18-2011 12:51 PM
olson34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
That Allegra 24 is one nice looking boat!!
As Brian said, outboards are for daysailors and smaller boats - not a real offshore boat.
Perhaps you would not choose an outboard aux. for an ocean crossing, but many capable coastal cruisers and racers have outboards. IIRC some multihulls use them and routinely cross oceans.

There are several Ray Richards monohull designs with outboards in secure wells that can go offshore. The Ranger 24 and 26, and Haida come to mind readily. The smaller (and older) Ericson and Columbia boats had wells, also. Heck, Cal 25 Mk1 models have crossed oceans, too.

Sidebar: As we sit and pontificate at our keyboards, there is probably a Flicka somewhere out there now on the ocean with an outboard on a bracket, blissfully unaware of this little digital dust up!

Anyone's subjective call on what is and is not a "real" offshore boat is 100% valid. For that person.

Apropos of whatever, I also agree that the Allegra is nice looking.

L
03-18-2011 03:50 AM
Classic30 That Allegra 24 is one nice looking boat!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richman7777 View Post
Again, my outboard, for example, is inside the cockpit and very capable of anything an inboard can provide. It will not cavitate in any seas I can imagine and will sip fuel at a rate similar or less to any diesel. It's a Honda... will probably be more reliable too. ;-) Yeah, that was a jab.
You mean it's through-hull??

As Brian said, outboards are for daysailors and smaller boats - not a real offshore boat.
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