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Old 09-08-2013, 15:10   #1
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Alternatives to a gas powered OB on a dinghy ?

Unfortunately, due to a torn shoulder, I've had to give up on starting OB's by using a starter cord and pulling. Consequently I've sold the OB and my 9' wooden sections bottomed inflatable dinghy is idle.

Looking at alternatives, I'm wondering if I could add a sail to the inflatable ? If so what kind ? e.g. junk sail ? How would I mount it ? I have a seat through which I could put a mast, but it's not that close to the bow.

The inflatable is a pig to row, but if I had a sail, at least the return trip from the shore to the boat would be easier in an anchorage with the wind behind me !

Any other bright ideas ? Thanks.
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Old 09-08-2013, 15:27   #2
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Originally Posted by macbeth View Post
Unfortunately, due to a torn shoulder, I've had to give up on starting OB's by using a starter cord and pulling. Consequently I've sold the OB and my 9' wooden sections bottomed inflatable dinghy is idle.

Looking at alternatives, I'm wondering if I could add a sail to the inflatable ? If so what kind ? e.g. junk sail ? How would I mount it ? I have a seat through which I could put a mast, but it's not that close to the bow.

The inflatable is a pig to row, but if I had a sail, at least the return trip from the shore to the boat would be easier in an anchorage with the wind behind me !

Any other bright ideas ? Thanks.
Electric motor attached to jet drive or outboard foot...
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Old 09-08-2013, 15:59   #3
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Re: Alternatives to a gas powered OB on a dinghy ?

electric trolling motor--either cheapo or torqueedo...
propane outboard
those pigs dont sail.
good luck. i use a walker bay 8 or kayaks , i have a redcrest i will make into my favorite toy..lol.....
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Old 09-08-2013, 16:09   #4
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Re: Alternatives to a gas powered OB on a dinghy ?

electric start outboard? a bit of overkill and weight
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Old 09-08-2013, 16:19   #5
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Re: Alternatives to a gas powered OB on a dinghy ?

My view is electric is good unless you want to go fast and far often.

I'm really thinking i need to patent that spring start system.
Electric start requires a battery, don't even think they are available for smaller ob's.
You need that wind-up spring starter I've mentioned before.
Sounds like I should built it.. you can be the first customer!
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Old 09-08-2013, 16:22   #6
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Re: Alternatives to a gas powered OB on a dinghy ?

I've used a small electric trolling motor to power my 8' Avon. It doesn't set any speed records but for getting from boat to shore it's fine.

Lehr showed an electric start propane outboard that had a small battery under the engine cover. It was a very slick clean installation. Unfortunately I don't think they ever produced it.
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Old 09-08-2013, 16:40   #7
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Re: Alternatives to a gas powered OB on a dinghy ?

The inflatable Tinker is the only one I've sailed and it did pretty well. Not as fast as a hard dinghy but ok to and from shore.

I've used a MinnKota electric and a Torqueedo. For dinghy travel the MinnKota is by far much less expensive but will not submerge and come out very well. They also last about 4 years at the most without having to be replaced. You can get a used one on craigslist for about $100 and it is well worth the experiment. A fully charged car battery will keep them running a few hours and if you put that on a solar panel when not it use then you've got free power (until you need a new battery or solar panels).
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Old 09-08-2013, 16:57   #8
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Re: Alternatives to a gas powered OB on a dinghy ?

You can always redneck start it.

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Old 09-08-2013, 17:06   #9
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Re: Alternatives to a gas powered OB on a dinghy ?

There is a number of electric outboards out there as well as trolling motors. But, you could build your own too:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: BUILD YOUR OWN ELECTRIC OUTBOARD
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Old 09-08-2013, 20:39   #10
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Re: Alternatives to a gas powered OB on a dinghy ?

This is similiar to what I was thinking. You pull the cord to wind up the spring and then it releases itself spinning the engine. I just don't understand why this isn't used everywhere?

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Old 09-08-2013, 20:49   #11
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Re: Alternatives to a gas powered OB on a dinghy ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
There is a number of electric outboards out there as well as trolling motors. But, you could build your own too:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: BUILD YOUR OWN ELECTRIC OUTBOARD
Ingenius but more expensive than a used MinnKota and would not last as long on those little drill batteries.
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Old 09-08-2013, 21:49   #12
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Re: Alternatives to a gas powered OB on a dinghy ?

I've used a Minn Kota 12 volt electric as a trolling motor to push a 22 foot power boat. It was a "totally calm" sunny day. We didn't go very fast. Storage battery wasn't very light either but would last around 5-6 hours of pretty continuous use. I've also used it as a primary motor in a 12 foot wooden dinghy on a calm lake. It moves faster but nothing to brag about. I wouldn't want to depend on one with any wind or chop even to push a small hard dinghy. For a cruising dinghy it sounds more like an accident waiting to happen.
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Old 09-08-2013, 22:55   #13
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For several years I used a Minn Kota 12v trolling motor with 40lb thrust to push my high pressure floor inflatable. It worked fine even with a loaded dinghy. And it was light enough to lift on and off the boat easily. Problem was recharging while on the hook. I used two golf cart batteries which lasted a good week of active use. Recharging in the slip was no problem but eventually I bought a Honda 2000 generator which allowed me to recharge at anchor. The dinghy was light. The motor was light. The batteries were NOT light. It was tough to drag the dinghy up the beach with the batteries on board. We rigged a block and tackle from the boom to lift the batteries from the boat to the dink and back. It was workable but not easy. The main reason I went with an electric motor was to avoid having to carry gasoline on board but since I bought the Honda generator I have gasoline anyway. So this year I bought a Tohatsu 3.5 four stroke outboard that weighs less than one golf cart battery. I am very happy with it so far. Starts easily without a lot of hard pulling.
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Old 09-08-2013, 23:10   #14
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Re: Alternatives to a gas powered OB on a dinghy ?

With lithium batteries at 1/4 the weight, they would be good for an electric dinghy. While they are expensive, you don't need a lot of them.
$250 for 60Ah at 12lbs, more usable capacity than an Optima 55ah AGM yellow top at 45lbs. A trolling motor is pretty weak, maybe try two of them? I made my own more powerful electric outboard using a surplus hydraulic pump motor.

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For several years I used a Minn Kota 12v trolling motor with 40lb thrust to push my high pressure floor inflatable. It worked fine even with a loaded dinghy. And it was light enough to lift on and off the boat easily. Problem was recharging while on the hook. I used two golf cart batteries which lasted a good week of active use. Recharging in the slip was no problem but eventually I bought a Honda 2000 generator which allowed me to recharge at anchor. The dinghy was light. The motor was light. The batteries were NOT light. It was tough to drag the dinghy up the beach with the batteries on board. We rigged a block and tackle from the boom to lift the batteries from the boat to the dink and back. It was workable but not easy. The main reason I went with an electric motor was to avoid having to carry gasoline on board but since I bought the Honda generator I have gasoline anyway. So this year I bought a Tohatsu 3.5 four stroke outboard that weighs less than one golf cart battery. I am very happy with it so far. Starts easily without a lot of hard pulling.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:56   #15
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Re: Alternatives to a gas powered OB on a dinghy ?

research torqueedo. they have electric propulsion outboards without need for extra battery as the battery is built into motor... try it--i have one.
and there are many styles and they arent that heavy--i can lift them ..... lol
and doesnt take much room in my walker bay8.

electric start outboards donot happen under 8 horsepower. i looked when i found i dont have the ability to pull; start most engines, ie, any honda.....

so,now i row....the torqueedo is a good motor but i got one with a problem in the battery--wont charge, so i will fix it and use later.

btw--for your bad shoulder--the very best thing you can do is strengthen it and row... oops..is what i do--kayak and row. you hurt it when you do not have the strength muscles need to support the levers which are your bones.
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