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RL24 (Rob Legg)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took out our 1981 RL24 for the first time yesterday. Was a rather windy day. Sails were down and we started up the 4hp outboard to back us out into the water. It became apparent that the engine was not good enough. We were full bore in reverse and fighting to stay off the beach. Eventually got just far enough out that we could turn her around and get the engine running forward.

I know we may have to get a bit larger of an engine (looking for an 8hp) but what I was wanting to know is if getting a larger prop would make much of an impact? Or if there is such thing as a prop that can increase reverse efficiency?

Wind was between 9-22 mph.
Weather History for Stevens Point, WI | Weather Underground
 

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Senior Member
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This is an issue with many outboards.. the major problem is that the prop is often running in exhaust gases, as well as an inefficient reverse rotation.

Is it possible to fully rotate this engine? Our 3.5 has no reverse, we simply spin it around to 'back up'. The prop is always working in 'forward'.

In any event you will almost always find outboards somewhat ineffective in reverse, with some brands worse than others depending on how the exhaust is designed.

Which engine is it??
 

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One of None
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I guess you mean the wind was hitting the stern and pushing back to the beach? The boat would act like a wind scoop. The first thing to do even when rowing off a beach is to get the bow into the wind and in your case wind and waves.
 

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RL24 (Rob Legg)
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@ Faster, it is a 4hp Mercury, I don't have specifics at the moment. That makes sense about the exhaust, never though of that. Unfortunately the way it is setup rotating it all the way around is not possible.

@Denise yeah the launching point was pretty bad, no dock, just the concrete ramp into the water, and let me tell you, the water was COLD. With the current and wind it kept trying to push the boat up sideways on the beach. We'll have to find a better landing and have the boat face out next time.
 

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One of None
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Bad choice of day. Wind will be low in early am or at sunset, not always but often

Not many boats let alone sail boats can be launched off a beach with wind an waves in your face! and you have a 24ft boat.. not really a dinghy so you can't muscle it like smaller boats.

but to be inspired.... I'd love to be rescued by these guys!
 

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I run a 4HP on my RL24 and have not ever had a problem, even in high winds. The only time I thought I was having a problem was when the centerboard was dragging on the ground. The boat was very slow out of the marina. All of a sudden the boat and the motor picked up speed, and I realized what was wrong. We had 3 more people in the boat than before, so i was dragging. I've been out when the winds were peaking around 25 or so. No problem motoring against the wind. No I wasn't fast, but good enough to be controlled and safe.
I would check the prop pitch. It could very well be that your prop pitch is too tall, so the motor is not able to use the power you have. The RL does not have a lot of buoyancy in the rear, so you need to be careful about motor weight. With 4 people in the cockpit, I have to remove the engine completely and put it down in the cabin. Otherwise the engine well is scooping up large amounts of water and slowing the boat down.
 
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