Electric start or easy start outboard for 21 foot sailboat - SailNet Community
 8Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 46 Old 07-18-2017 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
ZionsRodeVos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Woodbridge, VA
Posts: 12
Thanks: 25
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Electric start or easy start outboard for 21 foot sailboat

For my 21 foot sailboat I currently have a 1979 Penta Vovlo 3.5 or 4 HP 2 stroke outboard. It has a number of problems but the one that is most frustrating too me is that I have trouble starting it. Others who have gone sailing with me do not have trouble starting it. It is the pulling of the cord that gives me problems.

I would prefer to find a different outboard. So here are some questions I have.

Are some outboards easier to start than others? For example is a 4 stroke outboard easier to start than a 2 stroke?

I have tried to find a 4 to 6 HP electric start outboard but searches don't turn up anything. Are there any 4 to 6 HP electric start outboards? The lowest HP I think I have found or heard of with electric start is 8 or 9 HP.

If I decided to get a 9 HP electric start outboard for my 21 foot aquarius what would be the problems I would face? Would the stern be too low in the water due to the weight? At its lowest speed setting would the 9 HP run at 6 HP. One of my main worries besides it being too heavy would be that it is simply too powerful and I could not run it at a slow enough speed for leaving and returning to dock. If I don't use it for docking would the sailboat move fine with the 9 HP outboard?

Another thing I have considered is just getting an electric motor. That would probably be fine if I only use it for docking but if I am unfortunate enough to be in a storm or with no wind and need it then I would be worried it simply wouldn't last more than 30 minutes to an hour on a fully charged battery.

A cheap option I have considered is getting 2 $100 trolling motors and connect them and use that for docking until I can get something better? I suspect though that such a setup would only work in calm water.

For now, I simply don't rely on the outboard and have 4 paddles on board and have learned to hold the tiller with my legs while paddling if going out alone.

Robert

My boat is a 1978 Aquarius 21.
ZionsRodeVos is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 46 Old 07-18-2017
Moderator
 
Arcb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 4,019
Thanks: 214
Thanked 201 Times in 197 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Re: Electric start or easy start outboard for 21 foot sailboat

My 21 foot boat came with a trolling motor with a good size AGM (I don't have the model in front of me). I wasn't impressed.

The power was adequate for launching and retrieving (maybe 1.5-2 knots tops). But the endurance was pretty poor. 25 minutes maybe. Not adequate for my usage, that's for sure. And my boat is half the weight of yours.

I used it once and went out and bought a small outboard, which actually weighs less than a decent sized battery + trolling motor. The one I bought was pull start though.
Arcb is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Arcb For This Useful Post:
ZionsRodeVos (07-18-2017)
post #3 of 46 Old 07-18-2017
Senior Member
 
krisscross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,174
Thanks: 40
Thanked 225 Times in 224 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Re: Electric start or easy start outboard for 21 foot sailboat

In one word: Honda. The 2.3 HP motor should be fine. No need for electric start - it gets too complicated.
https://www.maxtool.com/honda-marine...outboard-motor
Minnesail likes this.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Plato

Last edited by krisscross; 07-18-2017 at 02:05 PM.
krisscross is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to krisscross For This Useful Post:
ZionsRodeVos (07-18-2017)
 
post #4 of 46 Old 07-18-2017
Senior Member
 
Minnesail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 2,951
Thanks: 167
Thanked 119 Times in 115 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Re: Electric start or easy start outboard for 21 foot sailboat

The lake near my house where I have my boat moored doesn't allow gasoline engines, so my only choice was electric. I have a 74 lb thrust trolling motor that pushes my boat at 3-4 knots. I've motored into a 25 knot headwind and it didn't have any problem.

I have a stupid complicated electric setup for such a small boat. The trolling motor is 24 volt, so I have two group 31 batteries in series (this is more amp hours than on some 40 foot boats I've been on). Then I have a DC to DC converter to give me 12 volts for the house. I have a 50 watt solar panel and a step up charge controller to keep things charged.

It works great for me, and I love the quiet and ease of the electric. But it's a stupid complicated setup.

The boat I chartered in March had a Lehr propane outboard on the dinghy. That thing was great! No gasoline smell and it always started right up. You might want to consider propane.

Catalina 22
on a starboard tack
Minnesail is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Minnesail For This Useful Post:
ZionsRodeVos (07-18-2017)
post #5 of 46 Old 07-18-2017 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
ZionsRodeVos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Woodbridge, VA
Posts: 12
Thanks: 25
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Electric start or easy start outboard for 21 foot sailboat

Complicated will be okay as long as it makes so I can start the outboard.

My concern with an electric motor is if I needed an outboard to run for 7 or more hours I would expect the electric motor to be inadequate. I am looking at learning for my current needs but also for future needs and if I ever get to the point that I am sailing from the US to Europe I would think that an electric motor wouldn't be good enough for during an unexpected storm. This may be faulty logic on my part due to my lack of experience. I've only ever sailed in a river and small bays near that river.

Propane is something I have not thought about. I'll give that some thought.

That Honda outboard is one that came up in a search before. I don't see where the pull cord is. Or does it start differently? How easy is it to start? In the specs it says "Easy starting, maintenance free transistor ignition" How does that work?

Robert

My boat is a 1978 Aquarius 21.
ZionsRodeVos is offline  
post #6 of 46 Old 07-18-2017
Senior Member
 
krisscross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,174
Thanks: 40
Thanked 225 Times in 224 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Re: Electric start or easy start outboard for 21 foot sailboat

Honda outboards start very easy, 1-2 pulls on the cord and choke on. But if you want to run motor for hours, you will need one with an external fuel tank. If you get an electric start model, make sure it can also be started with a cord. Electric starter adds a lot of complexity to both the motor design (starter, alternator) and installation (battery, cabling).

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Plato
krisscross is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to krisscross For This Useful Post:
ZionsRodeVos (07-18-2017)
post #7 of 46 Old 07-18-2017
Senior Member
 
mstern's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,549
Thanks: 65
Thanked 54 Times in 51 Posts
Rep Power: 18
 
Re: Electric start or easy start outboard for 21 foot sailboat

Z:

I think you are correct in that it will be difficult to impossible to find an outboard with electric start smaller than an 8hp. I have an electric start 8hp for my 23 foot sailboat, and it is plenty powerful; it pushes the boat at hull speed at about 3/4 of full throttle.

For your boat, you could do with a 6 or maybe even a 4 hp engine, depending on the prevailing conditions. If there is a strong local current, or if the tides are strong, you should go with the bigger engine. You don't want to buy too big an engine; but according to sailboatdata.com, your boat weighs 1900 lbs. It can certainly handle an 8 or 9 hp engine on the back. And for what it's worth, I love it the electric start feature on my engine. But there are a few things to consider that you didn't mention:

First, you have a two stroke engine now. If you buy a factory new engine, it will be a four stroke. No one makes small two stroke engines anymore. They phased them out about ten years ago. Four stroke engines have some advantages over two stroke engines: they are quieter. Much quieter. They pollute less. You don't have to mix oil into the gas. And for a given HP, they generate more torque so you can get more oomph at a lower cost. All good stuff. But the flip side is they are heavier than their two stroke counterparts. So, given the extra weight (how much extra depends completely on the brand and size) and torque, you may need to upgrade your transom outboard mount too. This can be simple or difficult, again depending on the mount you already have.

One more thing to consider: always get the long shaft model. The "standard" shaft length on an outboard is 15". The long shaft models are usually 20". Some come with an "extra long shaft" option of 25". The proper model for you depends on your mounting set up. Do you have a moveable outboard mount that lets you raise the outboard out of the water, or is it fixed? If you raise the outboard mount or tilt the outboard up, will a 20" shaft be clear of the water? Will a 25" shaft? Take some measurements before you go shopping. Generally speaking, the deeper the prop, the more efficient it will be, and the less likely it is the prop will come out of the water in rough conditions or when making sharp turns.

One other issue you raised: will a higher hp engine run "slow" enough for you to get in and out of your marina? The short answer is yes. Even those monsterous 300hp outboards can run slowly.
mstern is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to mstern For This Useful Post:
ZionsRodeVos (07-18-2017)
post #8 of 46 Old 07-18-2017 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
ZionsRodeVos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Woodbridge, VA
Posts: 12
Thanks: 25
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Electric start or easy start outboard for 21 foot sailboat

I won't mind the extra battery and cabling if I can just hit a button and the motor starts.

If I go with an 8 or 9 HP outboard I would probably get a used one. I like the idea of not having to mix gas and oil which is why I would prefer a 4 stroke; one less thing for me to do wrong. I am aware of the long shaft outboards and my current one is a long shaft. I didn't realize there were two different lengths.

One thing I did not think about at all was if the movable outboard mount could handle the weight of an 8 or 9 HP outboard. Would I need to worry about reinforcing the fiberglass transom(stern?) or just get a different movable outboard mount if the current one can't handle the weight? The one I have now doesn't always stay locked into place so it may be good to replace it and the propeller is never all the way out of the water unless I put a piece of wood attached to the bolt that keeps the shaft the highest when the outboard mount is up.

Robert

My boat is a 1978 Aquarius 21.
ZionsRodeVos is offline  
post #9 of 46 Old 07-18-2017
Moderator
 
Arcb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 4,019
Thanks: 214
Thanked 201 Times in 197 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Re: Electric start or easy start outboard for 21 foot sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZionsRodeVos View Post

That Honda outboard is one that came up in a search before. I don't see where the pull cord is. Or does it start differently? How easy is it to start? In the specs it says "Easy starting, maintenance free transistor ignition" How does that work?
The Honda 2.3 is very easy to start when it starts, my wife can start ours seated with one pull. It would push your boat pretty well, although I doubt hull speed unless conditions were benign. I am guessing you could reliably get about 4 knots at %75. I posted these vids to another thread, but I guess there is no harm in posting them again here.



Last edited by Arcb; 07-19-2017 at 10:09 AM.
Arcb is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Arcb For This Useful Post:
ZionsRodeVos (07-18-2017)
post #10 of 46 Old 07-18-2017
Senior Member
 
mstern's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,549
Thanks: 65
Thanked 54 Times in 51 Posts
Rep Power: 18
 
Re: Electric start or easy start outboard for 21 foot sailboat

I doubt your transom needs reinforcement; my guess is that it was made to handle an engine that weighs about 100lbs. The newer 6-8 hp four strokes weigh significantly less than that. Not all mounts are made to handle the extra torque of a four stroke though. I've never been able to tell if the mount rating is based on weight, torque, or some combination of the two. If your mount isn't "four stroke certified" but can handle up to 125 lbs., can it handle an 80lb. four stroke engine? I doubt you will be able to get a straight answer on that one. The conservative approach is to get a mount that specifically says it can handle a four stroke. But a quick look on line shows that those mounts are much beefier, and much more expensive. When I bought my engine new about 15 years ago, I specifically went with another two stroke, just so I wouldn't have to upgrade the mount too, as for my boat, that would have required a lot more work than just buying a drop-in replacement mounting bracket.

And for what it's worth, I stopped trying to lift the engine on the mounting bracket. It was just too difficult to get leverage from the cockpit. I leave the mounting bracket at its lowest setting and tilt the engine out of the water.
mstern is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to mstern For This Useful Post:
ZionsRodeVos (07-19-2017)
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Outboard start with Electric motor? rcoles General Discussion (sailing related) 16 07-09-2012 03:58 PM
Re: Electric start outboard motors NewsReader Mass Bay Sailors 0 07-20-2007 10:15 AM
Electric start outboard motors NewsReader Mass Bay Sailors 0 07-20-2007 07:15 AM
Small Electric Start Outboard FRRizzo111 Gear & Maintenance 1 07-06-2005 07:13 AM
Good electric start outboard? rhoehn General Discussion (sailing related) 2 04-05-2005 09:23 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome