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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

I recently bought a San Juan 24, and I need to get a outboard for it. I'm wondering what is the best horsepower, while also easily fitting on the transom motor mount. I was thinking about a 5hp outboard, but I was concerned that it maybe too heavy for the mount.

Thanks for any help!
 

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Hello,

I recently bought a San Juan 24, and I need to get a outboard for it. I'm wondering what is the best horsepower, while also easily fitting on the transom motor mount. I was thinking about a 5hp outboard, but I was concerned that it maybe too heavy for the mount.

Thanks for any help!
My first boat was an SJ 24. I had a 6hp on the motor mount and it was fine. Where do you live?
 

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I would get the Tohatsu Sailpro. 6hp, pretty light, 25" shaft that will stay in the water even if you are in waves, a high thrust prop, and it has a low power alternator to charge your battery.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Start with one that runs well already... Give it a year on ethanol gas, and it won't... Either buy another one that runs well, or have it serviced for half the price of replacing it...

REPEAT.

Sadly, that's been my experience... the SJ 24 would do well with anything from 3hp to 8hp... get what's lightest, because ultimately YOU have to move it. Long shaft is better, just from prop wanting to pop out of the water in chop (and its not like the prop will be the thing deepest in the water anyway, keel/rudder come to mind for that).

I run a 3.5hp Johnson... short shaft... the shortie isn't really ideal... but it does allow it to swing well clear of the water when I tilt it up, it's a trade-off. My 2950lb boat will do 6 knots in calm water WOT, and easily keep up 4-5 WOT with a 20mph headwind and chop... so anything more than 3.5, should be sufficient for your SJ.

The 4hp is usually the cutoff point for internal tanks... usually at 4hp, they have an internal and external connections... Also at 4hp they come in various shaft lengths, and that's also when you first can buy an alternator for them. It's not a honking large alternator, but can provide bursts of 6A. So you know 8 hours of running, at 3/4 throttle you might be able to charge your battery back from 1/2 dead.
 

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I like yamaha but they are heavier. A mercury 6 hp weighs 56 pounds. Get the extra long shaft if you can. The longer the shaft the better. There is a sj24 for sale here and the mentioned reinforcing the transom for the slightly bigger outboard they put on. I'm not sure if the sj24 is made to support much wight back there. Most of the outboards I see on them are pretty small. But the mercury sox four stroke isn't too heavy. Common and easy to get parts and service.
 

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Captain Obvious
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I have the Merc 6. Its okay but a PITA with the carb. Have to clean the carb 2-3 times a season. The idle jets are just too small.

You want the external tank, trust me. The internal tank is about a liter - only good for half an hour of running time. With a 3 gallon external tank, its more than a month before I need gas.
 

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It is probably worth a little web research to find the weight-rating for the bracket on the transom. They are built to hold a specified maximum engine weight (or sometimes rated in horsepower). While it is unlikely yours won't support the smaller engines you're considering, it is still worth a few minutes of easy research to be certain.

And older ones that may be rated in HP were presuming 2-strokes... generally 15-20% lighter then their more modern 4-stroke counterparts of identical HP. If rated for a 5 HP 2-stroke, and you put on a 5 HP 4-stroke, you'll probably be OK but could be exceeding the design.
 

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98% of cruisers (read people who use their outboards almost every single day of the year) have Yamaha outboards. Unless you are operating your boat exclusively in fresh water, do not purchase any other outboard.
Size wise, I'm sorry, I can't be of any help.
 
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We had a Coronado 25 in & out of San Francisco Bay, which can be really rough. 6HP was OK in dead flat conditions but marginal the rough stuff. Went to 15 HP which "got it done"

Long shaft is a must, especially transom mounted. Drain the carb after each use. Catch the gas in a rag so you don't end up in the EPA slammer. :D

Paul T
 

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I had a 5 hp honda longshaft with a charging unit on my 26 footer never missed a beat great mileage would buy one again in a heartbeat.heaps enough power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the feedback guys! I'm kind of siding with the Tohatsu. I like the 25 inch shaft, and it's only 50 pounds. I found one online for $1,525, with free shipping, and no tax. Good Deal?
 

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You might want to consider the Lehr 5hp. It runs on propane so it avoids the carburetor problems of gasoline engines. No need to drain the gas each time. It can sit for months without use but will start right up when you want it. It will run about half an hour on one of those 1 pound bottles or ten hours on a 20 lb. barbeque tank at wide open throttle.
 

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Thanks for the feedback guys! I'm kind of siding with the Tohatsu. I like the 25 inch shaft, and it's only 50 pounds. I found one online for $1,525, with free shipping, and no tax. Good Deal?
Sounds about right for a 25" long shaft. Buying new avoids the problems that can come with buying used.
 

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You might want to consider the Lehr 5hp. It runs on propane so it avoids the carburetor problems of gasoline engines. No need to drain the gas each time. It can sit for months without use but will start right up when you want it. It will run about half an hour on one of those 1 pound bottles or ten hours on a 20 lb. barbeque tank at wide open throttle.
My father had a 1974 Chevy K5 Blazer that ran off of propane. It had a 40 gallon tank behind the rear seats. It was a fairly common setup during the 1970's gas crisis. No modifications were needed, just some tweaking of the carb jets. In fact, it would run on regular gas, just not as smooth.

I test drove a Lehr outboard at last year's Long Beach Boat Show. It's nothing but a re-tuned Tohatsu, meaning that it is a great little engine. However, Lehr seems to have the attitude that they have reinvented the wheel, and are charging accordingly. When they realize that readjusting carb jets doesn't warrant a $500 mark up, I would consider buying one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My dad has been trying to get me onto Lehr outboards. It def has it's advantages, and there is only a $300 difference between a 6hp Tohatsu, and a 5hp Lehr.
 

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The Lehr is a Chinese copy of a Yamaha and has pretty mixed reliability reviews. There is not a good supply chain for small parts. It doesn't come in a 25" shaft either.

The Tohatsu is Japanese made and rebranded under other labels (Nissan and Mercury), parts are widely available and pretty affordable.

I like the idea of propane powered outboards, I'm just waiting for someone else to do a better job at implementing it.
 

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Thanks for the feedback guys! I'm kind of siding with the Tohatsu. I like the 25 inch shaft, and it's only 50 pounds. I found one online for $1,525, with free shipping, and no tax. Good Deal?
The specs for a 6HP 25" shaft show 59 lbs. We bought a new 6HP Tohatsu 4 stroke about 2 years ago for our fishing boat:

Tohatsu Outboard Motor 6hp 4-Stroke

Even at 6,000 feet elevation, it ran/runs perfectly right out of the box.

Paul T
 

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"No modifications were needed, just some tweaking of the carb jets. In fact, it would run on regular gas, just not as smooth."

While it's possible to make a gasoline engine run on propane, the Lehr engines won't run on gasoline. Propane has a higher octane rating than gasoline. The Lehr runs at a higher compression ratio than a gasoline engine can. It is designed specifically for propane.
 
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