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Discussion Starter #1
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Hi, first post and all. I just acquired this VN23 and she needs a motor. I have a new 4 stroke motor mount picked out - but need some help in the motor department. This boat will be on Bull Shoals lake in Arkansas, and the motor will be used alot. I don't even plan on stepping the mast this year, just hitting the lake and using it as a swim/party platform. I am looking at the 5hp Tohatsu Sail Pro Propane engines - I love propane motors. My previous boat was a wing keel Catalina 22 on Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana and I put a new 4 stroke Tohatsu 6 hp gas motor on it, I liked the motor, but I only used that motor to get in and out of the marina, I plan to use this one much more. Is this enough motor for putting around all day, with up to four people and stuff? No hurry getting anywhere... Do I need to go bigger? The main pro of a 9.9 for me is available electric start, my arthritis is only getting worse - but then I lose the propane option. Decisions, decisions.

The boat weighs 2000#'s by the way.

Thanks in advance.

OZ
 

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Your new boat appears to be a Venture and pretty much the same as your Catalina. So the motor performance would be similar. 9 hp would give you some more speed particularly when bucking a head wind and seas.
 

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I think 5 would be fine. I use a 2.3 on my 900 pound 21 foot boat with 4 on board. I live by a canal, so lots of mast down motoring. It pushes close to hull speed most of the time and makes adequate headway in snotty conditions.
 

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My sailing club's J/24s (3100# back when they were new, frequently with 5 on board) have 5hp motors. This is in the Hudson; flat water, but up to 3kt of current. They do okay with those motors.
 

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I don't know that lake at all, but if memory serves (I've gone by on the Miss) it's a pretty big lake with flat land around it. If the wind were to come up and you needed to punch your way home against it with up to four people and stuff, do you think it best to have a smaller motor or one with a little extra power?
 
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With sailboats, it's as much about thrust as it is power. The Tohatsu you mention has an extra long shaft and a high thrust prop. Looks like a good engine for your boat to me.
 

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Barquito
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I think motor power slides along this scale: Most powerful you could possibly need would keep good pace into a strong headwind and chop. Least powerful you could only make a few knots in dead calm. In your case i'm guessing that would be a range of about 20 hp down to 2 hp.
 

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Venture Newport. I remember having a 6 hp on the school boat we had in the early 70s. some came with a 7 hp inboard. it was plenty of power even when we cruised the Newport Harbor in what we called the Captain's Hook with as many college friends as we could get aboard. if they brought beer then they sailed with us. fun boat and sailed pretty good too. we used the boat to teach cutter sailing to may perspective buyers and owners. many a late night sailing with prettier crew than the old old perspective buyers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all your replies, this lake is nestled in the Ozark mountains, and isn't very wide but almost 100 miles long, made from damming the white river. It's real pretty because houses can't be built on the Corp strip. I guess I'll go with the 5hp. It's a pretty calm lake. I bought my last Tohatsu from online outboards, and had no trouble. I called the local dealer and seemed shocked he was listed as a dealer, so no buying local.

Thanks again
OZ
 

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The Horsepower is probably ok but if you plan on "putting around all day" I would look into how much propane you'll need to take with you. I'm not sure of how many hours you can get per propane canister but might be something you want to think about. With gasoline you can get jerry cans which store better than round bottles.

I don't have much experience with propane motors so I don't know what the efficiency is but it's just something that came to mind.

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi Dave, The Tohatsu website says:

"Our innovative LPG outboard will run for a full 5 hours at WOT on a single 11lb propane tank, without sacrificing performance."

I plan on using a 20lb tank at less then WOT so one tank will be plenty to last an entire day. They sell an 11lb nonmetal tank for around $200 bucks, no thanks. :)

I can't post the link because I have less than 5 posts.
It's at tohatsu.youknowwhatgoeshere.
 

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I have a 23' oDay, lots of windage weighing in at 3600lb empty and easily punch through a chop in SF bay and 30+kn winds at slightly less than full throttle with a Tohatsu 6hp gas. I think you'll be fine if the hp rating are equivalent, and will be hamstrung more by the motor popping out of the water or the prop pitch than the hp unless you're dealing with > 40 knots of wind. I'm guessing that's not your plan :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well here is a little update, the Tohatsu was backordered a few weeks so I got the Mercury, both are the same motor made by Tohatsu. Here is a pic of the motor on a roll around stand I made, I did the first hour of break in on the stand - better control that way and I don't want to be out on the lake and not have access to more than 1/2 throttle if I need it. This motor starts super easy and minimal effort is required. I was worried if my worn out shoulder could take it, but it's no problem. It runs very quiet, I will give another update some day in the future after
boat motor.jpg
we hit the lake a few times.

Oz
 

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We have the Tahatsu Propane 5 hp short shaft for our dinghies motor. It’s a great engine. Starts first time always. Zero ethanol. I get about 6-7 hours out of an 11 lb fiberglass tank. Really lightweight. I would buy the 22 or 36 lb tanks for a boat engine though.

love the engine and how quiet it is


 

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We have the Tahatsu Propane 5 hp short shaft for our dinghies motor. It’s a great engine. Starts first time always. Zero ethanol. I get about 6-7 hours out of an 11 lb fiberglass tank. Really lightweight. I would buy the 22 or 36 lb tanks for a boat engine though.

love the engine and how quiet it is


I thought you had the Lehr Propane?
 

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Maybe propane is different, but in order to break-in a cylinder of diesel or gasoline, the engine needs to be under load. It's also common to require full throttle, for intervals, with back pressure creating wear. Essentially, you're intentionally wearing the rings into the cylinder walls, so they become well matched up. Then you stop the harsh treatment, so they don't continue to wear prematurely.

Failing to properly seat the rings with a good break-in, can cause combustion by-product to glaze the cylinder walls and you get slight combustion blowby, reduced HP, etc. Perhaps propane doesn't do this.
 

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I'm not in this game any more as I sold my Oday 23 last year, but I'm still interested in the outboards that folks use on these kinds of boats. I've had my ups and downs with Johnson, Nissan and Tohatsu. I swore at the time that if I ever needed another outboard, I would only buy a Yamaha. Very interested to know how you make out with the Merc.

Btw, had I seen this thread earlier, I would have said 6 hp is probably enough for you.
 

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I thought you had the Lehr Propane?
I did for 5 years. Sold it when Tahatsu came out with their propane engines 3 years ago

changing to propane was best move I made
 
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