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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-25-2013 01:45 PM
Re: How large of an outboard motor do I need?

Great posts, thanks for the information!
12-02-2010 04:50 PM
bonito My 2 cents:
On my 1974 CAL 21, I had a 9.9 Yamaha 4 stroke, was too much weight and too much power but good for long distance. Then I tried electric 34 lbs trust trolling motor, got for getting in and out of the harbor but lousy in headwind conditions. I now have an old '68 Mercury 2 stroke 6 HP and it gets me in and out for the harbor and I sail West Coast Ocean (Dana Point, CA) and I have plenty of power to move 4 adults and 2 kids in case of fog or emergency returns. Personally I wold not go any bigger than 5 HP.
I am looking to get a 2.5-3.5 HP in the future since I rather save weight on the boat, since even the 6 HP motor is a lot of weight on the boat in the water and on the trailer. I trailer 1 hr trough mountains, so I want to keep it light.
Hope that helps a bit. Happy Sailing!
12-02-2010 04:17 PM
I have a 9.8hp Tohatsu on my Cal T/4

My 9.8hp 2 stroke Tohatsu is working great on my Cal T/4. I think it is at the top end of the size of motors I would put on this 24' boat. It gets me in and out of Pearl Harbor with ease. My friend has a 24' McGregor that has a 4hp Yamaha 4 stroke and it also works well coming in and out of Pearl Harbor. I would think that a 5.5 would do well on the Cal 20. I would see if it is a 20" or 25" shaft because the 25" shaft will stay in the water better that the 20" if you get into any large swells. I have the 20" shaft with a lift up motor mount. I can set it down on the lowest position and do fine but my friend's has a fixed mount and his motor will come up out of the water some times.
12-01-2010 11:04 AM
cal 21 shaft length

Seriously looking at a cal 21. I am interested in any feedback or advice you have to offer. I have a wife and small children that will sail with me. I also want to be able to singlehand on a nearby lake, but later able to go to the gulf of mexico(by trailer) . Would like to be able to camp on it overnight,etc. Is there another boat you suggest, or is the cal21 as good as I hear.
Also looking at a tanaka 5.5. is that too much or not enough motor for this boat. and what shaft length sould I go for ?
medplusal at
04-21-2010 11:32 PM
BC2316 Coldsteel,

I have a 5 hp Nissan on my T/4 that can propel me at approximately 5 to 5.5 knots. It does fine for sailing in the Puget Sound and the fuel consumption is real low. The motor came with the boat when we bought it and it has the 20" shaft. I installed the tilt up motor mount and still wish I had the 25" shaft (UL for ultra long) just to get the prop lower in the water. If someone walks to the bow the prop can come out of the water. I have two options, buy the 5" extension kit for the lower unit for about $250 plus 2 hours labor to install or save my money and buy the 6 hp ultra long shaft model which comes with a charging system for my house battery for $ 1450. If you look for Nissan outboards you might look at Tohatsu outboards too. As far as I can tell they are the same outboards just with a different brand name.

Good luck,
01-11-2010 06:56 PM
coldsteel Elvin - This is a used motor...
01-11-2010 06:41 PM
Why do you ask?

Well I had my brother buy it for me and ship it with the rest of my house hold goods. I am prior military and only shipped half of my house hold good here to Hawaii and stored the rest. I knew I was going to ship the rest over so I had him buy it and send it with the rest of my stuff. Why do you want to know? Is there some sort of problem with this?
01-03-2010 12:59 PM
TohatsuGuru How in the world did you get a 2-stroke 9.8 in Hawaii? They haven't been available for import to the U.S. for five years.
12-29-2009 01:32 PM
coldsteel Aloha,
Let me first say it has been great receiving all the advice and information on what type and size of outboard motor I should put on my Cal T/4. Thanks to all of you. I have purchased a Tohatsu 9.8hp, 2 stroke with a 20” shaft. I looked over everyone’s posting and did a lot of research online and decided that for the power vs weight a 2 stroke engine was the way to go. Yes, I know that a 4 stroke is more dependable and you don’t have to mix the oil and gas together. If I wanted something that was easy I would have purchased a power boat instead of a sailboat. The price of a 2 stroke vs a 4 stroke was also a factor but not that big a factor. I can lift the 2 stroke fairly easily in and out of the motor mount without any help and the pull start seamed easier than the 4 stroke. I guess that it will take some time before I find out if I made a good decision. Mahalo again for all of your advice.
12-28-2009 09:31 PM
bonito If I can put in my 2 cents:
I would go with a 2.5 HP (get 4 stroke for easy maintenance), all you need if you just planing in using in getting it in and out of the harbor. But if you plan to go further distance, may want to go bigger.
I have a Cal 21 w/ a 9.9 HP, way too much power and way too much weight, that's why I am selling it and getting a 2 or 2.5 HP.
My 2 cents.....LOL.

Good luck
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