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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the process of buying my first sailboat after learning to sail about 15 years ago. My wife and I have enjoyed other "silent sports" as a sport shop in Wisconsin used to refer to things like cross country skiing, canoeing, hiking, sailing, ice boating, biking, etc. Only after moving to Boston was I in a position to learn sailing at the local Community Boating.
About a year ago we agree that a sailboat would be a great idea as a retirement activity and that we didn't have to wait to make it a reality. Since then I started to investigate what sailing could be for us. I started thinking tailerable, and small to keep costs down. However, it didn't take too long to realize that if we lived in Boston the water to take advantage of what the Atlantic and not lakes, etc. The challenge as I saw it was to keep recurring costs down. So finding a place to keep the boat was my first issue. My solution was to locate a marina on Narragansett bay which is further away but actually easier to get to than some of the marinas north and south of Boston.
In any case, I am now very close to purchasing what will probably be a 30ft. sloop with an outboard engine. It has been difficult to find boats that have outboards but are at least 27 or 28 ft. loa. The objective here is to keep it simple and sail, not motor around. The objectives I've heard seem primarily issues of convenience and not safety.
So that's my ice breaker introduction to this group. I've already done a great deal of reading on the site so it seemed time to say hello.
 

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Welcome aboard Bill,

Narragansett Bay is very nice to sail, usually plenty of wind. Been to Newport a couple of times in my O'Day 302 and will be there again in July. Sailed Narragansett bay area from Fall River down to the ocean twice on a 200ft schooner.

Sailnet is a great place, a lot of knowledgeable people here and also alot of fun.
 

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Picnic Sailor
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Welcome to Sailnet Billdre, best of luck with buying your boat.

Can I ask why are you so locked into an Outboard??

In the size range your looking at a good simple diesel is just as good a proposition if not better, you can still keep it simple and stick to a sail not motor around motto, but outboards especially older ones can be unreliable pains in the ass. A good simple diesel will go forever. I used to think like you did until my first boat had an outboard, my current boat does not :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Chall03 I appreciate the comments.
My concern with inboard motors is that if they need something I have to call a mechanic. If it's any outboard I might be able to "look under the hood" and do something or failing that put in the trunk of my car and take it to a small engine shop. I guess I'm just more familiar with lawn mowers and snow blowers so this seems like a good way to go. Most everybody I have talked to argued for convenience of operation. I didn't think that held up.
 

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Chall03 I appreciate the comments.
My concern with inboard motors is that if they need something I have to call a mechanic. If it's any outboard I might be able to "look under the hood" and do something or failing that put in the trunk of my car and take it to a small engine shop. I guess I'm just more familiar with lawn mowers and snow blowers so this seems like a good way to go. Most everybody I have talked to argued for convenience of operation. I didn't think that held up.
If you stick with diesels - you will be fine. 90% of the issues with them is bleeding the air out of the fuel line. I am no mechanic and hate mechanical stuff. But I own a C-27 as well with an Atomic 4 (gas) that is dead (no idea why). But - outboards are just as difficult. I installed one on the C-27 when the atomic died as I didn't want to pay to fix it. For a 27-30 footer you need at least a 9 hp motor - long shaft. Its no easy task installing it or removing it. I had to use my halyards to get it in and with two people.

So - don't kid yourself on the ease of "if something happens - I'll just pack it up"...

A inboard diesel is what you should look for. More durable - more forgiving on maintenance, and nothing beat having the prop down below the waterline. Outboards are great for sheltered areas like a lake or something - but for your area you'll want to make sure you have movement. Follow-on seas have a tendency to kick the outboard up and you lose alot of effective power out of it in seas over 2 foot (and you'll see that I am sure)... This is my experience - outboards have their place for lakes and protected waters (and docking)... otherwise should be considered just aux power...

Just my opinion - but don't lock yourself into an outboard equipped boat....
 

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Welcome to Sailnet and sailing. Hope you find the boat that 'speaks' to you and your Admiral. I'd encourage you to consider boats with diesel engines. As has been said, they're tough buggers that seem to run and run with proper maintenance. My boat is a '77 with it's original Vovlo 23hp engine and about all that's been done is routine maintenance. You'd have to maintain an outboard too so the only advantage as I see it is you could take the outboard to the mechanic if needed. With an outboard, you're probably going to have to do that. With a diesel...maybe notl.

Anyhow, ahoy and welcome...MGM
 

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Picnic Sailor
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Billdre,

I do understand what your saying, but you can see i'm not alone here in saying that inboard diesels can be just as easy to service yourself and are generally pretty darn reliable in the first place.....

Having said that we all have our own little preferences and quirks, if your dead stuck on having an outboard on your boat then go for it.
 

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Additional 1/2 Cent

I agree with the various posts on the benefits of an inboard diesel vs. a gas outboard, especially since you will be in a coastal environment. My wife and I have an older Tanzer 27 with a gas outboard and we love the simplicity and bonus clean storage space under the cockpit since the boat never had a diesel inboard installed - BUT we are on a 15 sq. mile inland lake. We also charter/coastal sail as much as possible and have been in various coastal wind/current/tide situations where I would not have wanted to be limited to an outboard. Whatever you end up with, all the best to you - enjoy the process and God speed!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Reality strikes...

As I have been reading the various comments about inboard diesels I realized there is one other big issue that has been pushing me toward to outboard. Price. Thousands of dollars more for the inboard. Right now I hoping this weekend to see a 30 ft. boat built with an outboard well. It has a 9.9hp long shaft engine that is 3 years old. As MGM suggests, I hoping it "speaks to me" since it seems to have most of what I have been looking for. If that one doesn't play out. I'll probably be back to step one and reconsider what's possible.
 

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Bill-
Basically, if you have an outboard engine on a sailboat more than 24-26 feet long, you have a problem. Sailboats pitch and rock, and when they do, any heavy weight at the far ends makes that motion MUCH WORSE. Then if there is a propellor at the extreme end, it pops up and down out of the water, making the engine ineffective and potentially damaging it as the prop keeps popping out of the water.

In short, a 30' sailboat with an outboard engine is a VERY BAD IDEA. I doubt that 1/2 of 1% of the boats in that range have an outboard engine, and those usually are boats that are in horrible shape with owners who are trying to cheap out on everything else--not designed that way.

Is that what you found? A boat where someone got rid of the original inboard and bolted on an outboard? If so, RUN AWAY.

Part of owning a used boat--any used boat--is going to be putting the working parts into proper order, and keeping them that way. You'll need to learn the engine (gasoline or diesel) and find a mechanic (inboard OR outboard) if you need help with it. The good news is that IF you have an engine survey (mechanics survey) and the engine is in good shape, they're not hard to keep in good shape.

Diesel engines can be nightmares IF there are air leaks in the fuel lines, or crud in the fuel tank. And those are just two really simple areas that most owners neglect. Find out how to tend to them, keep them up properly, and a diesel can be a very reliable engine.

But an outboard on a 30' sailboat...no no no, you will soon regret that if you really do any sailing.
 
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