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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After first doing it by accident I have lately been starting my 5hp tohatsu 2-stroke when it is already in Forward gear...is there anything inherently wrong with doing that? Other than it seems like a bad habit that may get the boat going forward quicker than I want to some day (like if I were to somehow hit the throttle at the same time.)...normally all one does is grab the metal handle with one hand and pull cord with other so this is unlikely. Doing it this way avoids having to shift when every once in a while we all get that shifting clunk sound that makes one wince.This is rare but every once in awhile it seems to not want to back down to a good easy idle.
 

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Hinterhoeller HR28
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163 Posts
Won't hurt the motor, but depending on the weight of the boat, may surprise you as you suddenly surge forward. I always did that with an old OMC on my sailboat. Worked fine. Some of the older small OB's didn't even have a shifter -- they always started in gear.

These Tohatsu/Nissan 4 hp motors have a cable-operated neutral safety lockout on the top of the recoil housing (for government-mandated consumer safety reasons). Sounds like yours is either disabled or mal-adjusted.

As for the clunk going into gear, that happens if you have the throttle too high when shifting. It's recommended to always return to idle when shifting. In a motor that has a shear pin style prop (yours does not), that can shear the pin. It's also a bit hard on the gear train.
 

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Telstar 28
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Sounds like you have an older Tohatsu 5 HP two-stroke. While it won't really hurt the engine, it isn't a good idea IMHO, since you could get injured by it. You're much better off starting any boat with the transmission in NEUTRAL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Its a 1993 model... I see where SD is coming from...sitting here at my comp it seems like it could dangerous..however "out there" over the last week or two it has made it simpler and faster to get underway . Interesting as well what Pvan said as my boat comes in at around 2000 lbs even lightly loaded as I am 230 lbs alone. The 5hp being in forward at idle at the pull is not always even noticeable at first that one is underway. I will have to weigh this one some more...as SD said it could be dangerous..probably not with my motor...on my boat...me thinks... but it would not be a good habit to have ingrained into your "hard drive" if someday I needed to operate a friend's boat or moved up in hp. The tendency to start in forward might be ingrained in my noggin somewhere and I dont know if I want that tendency in the long run....
 

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From another angle.

Don't you think that little motor might like to be warmed up a little before having to push all that weight around?

It is also a good idea to let the motor cool by running it in neutral a couple of min. at an idle before shuting it off.
 
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