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post #1 of 12 Old 05-13-2019 Thread Starter
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New sailor

Hello all! I've just gotten my 1st boat - a '74 Aquarius 21. I haven't sailed in more than 40 years (learned on an 8' Sunflower). Any differences? (Kidding.) I'm hoping to introduce my teenage son to a love of the wind.

My boat came without a motor. I have a line on a 3hp and am wondering if that will be sufficient for a boat displacing 1,900 lbs. We'll be using it to motor out and in, sailing in L.I. Sound. Advice, please.
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-13-2019
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Re: New sailor

Hi Steven , congratulations on your new to you boat . I hope your son takes to it . 3 hp might be a little small but I wouldn't go any bigger than 6 hp also get a long shaft .

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post #3 of 12 Old 05-13-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: New sailor

Thanks so much! I was concerned that 3hp might not be enough battling tides/currents at the mouth of the Connecticut River.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-13-2019
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Re: New sailor

Will you be trailer sailing it or having it a slip during the warm months? See if there is a local sailing club on your body of water that has Wednesday Beer Can races. I know getting started racing can be intimidating, but that might be all in a person's head. My local club is very relaxed with multiple "fleets," that race on Wednesday nights. The Spinnaker fleet is generally more agressive, but the JAM fleet is very laid back and is mostly an excuse to get out on the water and socialize after. However, even the JAM racing can be very exciting, especially as you improve and begin passing those boats in front of you. That might get your teenage son (and you) hooked.

Also, I really enjoy anchoring out after a day of sailing, and catfishing through the night. Which also might be fun for your teenage son and get him to want to get out on the boat more often.

Congrats on the new boat!
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-13-2019
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Re: New sailor

3 HP would be ok in flat calm water. Look for a 6 to 8 HP they are the same size and weight. 8 hp is over kill but might be easier to find and won't be a problem on that boat

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post #6 of 12 Old 05-13-2019
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Re: New sailor

3 hp will be fine in the marina, but might be a bit frustrating in a chop/headwind. I would likely look for 5-6 hp. That way it should have reverse too, which is nice to have for docking.

No point in over powering the boat though, not like you can get a boat like that up on plane
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Re: New sailor

I appreciate all of the input. That helps a lot. I'm sure I'll be seeking plenty more advice!
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-13-2019
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Re: New sailor

I live in Branford and have sailed your area extensively and have owned a 20 foot Ensenada and am familiar with your boat. 3 horse is too small, 5-6 horse is fine. The manufacturers use the same outboard for a horse power range (such as 6-8hp). They simply change the carburetion, timing, etc. You can tell because they will weigh almost exactly the same. For a given weight penalty, you might as well get the larger hp if you can. Also get the longest shaft you can so that the prop stays in the water during rough water and wakes. You can also get a set of controls for the engine mounted on the tiller 1ft or more from the inboard end or in the cockpit to facilitate engine control and avoid leaning over the back of the boat. If the boat has a roller reefing boom where you rotate the boom to shorten the sail, get two slab reefs in the main sail and Google Harken to purchase and install the hardware you will need to buy from West Marine. The reefing boom is a nightmare in chop and wind. I am a USCGA instructor and a Auto/Marine technology teacher. Contact me if you need advice or help.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-13-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: New sailor

CreekerSailor,
Many thanks for the input. I know I have some coursework to take before I try to put her in the water. I took a USCGA safety course back in the mid-80's when I had a ski boat in PA but definitely need to take it again. Is the course something my 17-year-old can take or does he need to be 18?
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-13-2019
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Re: New sailor

The current in the CT River can be pretty strong, so I would not want to be underpowered. Could be a long trip up the river after sailing if the wind an current are against you. I had an 8HP extra long shaft (25 inch) on a Pearson 26 I had many years ago and it was fine. I would think a 6 would be plenty for your boat. Find a nice used 2-stroke if you can.

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