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View Poll Results: What Horsepower outboard do you have ?
3hp 16 15.38%
4hp 9 8.65%
5hp 9 8.65%
6hp 6 5.77%
8hp 10 9.62%
9hp 4 3.85%
10hp 8 7.69%
15hp 26 25.00%
2 HP 5 4.81%
18 HP 3 2.88%
Other ... 13 12.50%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 104. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 14-01-2008, 19:40   #31
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During my first 2 years of live-aboard and cruising the Eastern Carib we could not afford an inflatable dink, or an outboard.

The big boat came with a 9' Dyer Dhow sailing dink and a pair of oars.
We used those tools and enjoyed life being rain or shine.
(2 years of free exercise and free sailing lessons)

After a while I could afford a kicker and we bought a new 2 HP Yamaha 2-stroke in St. Croix. Lightweight engine it was and the price was around $300.00 back then. (1987)
We thought we had died and went to heaven: No more rowing into the wind with water and diesel jugs as well as groceries. No more rigging mast, sails and rudder for a trip to the next island.

Since then I have had a few boats and a few outboards but never ever will I appreciate anything more than that little 2 HP Yamaha we could barely afford back then.

I guess todays cruisers are in too much of a hurry if they have to run a 15 HP to get 4 people on the plane.
Almost like the current high caffeine powerboaters with a 21 foot T-top fishing boat equipped with two 250 HP outboards..Hurry up to get out there and kill a few fish and down a few Bud Light, then full speed back to the dock so ya can go to the bar and brag for a few hours, then back to the house to watch TV for a hours to have a full day.

So, uh what dinghy horsepower....?

Depends how much of a hurry ya are in.

For the last 9 years I have had a 9 foot Avon with a 4 HP Evinrude.
Top speed is/was 3.9 knots.

Now I have a 10.2 Mercury dink, but looking for a small outboard for it.
Found new 8 HP Yammies around here, but they weigh 60 lbs and cost $1,600.00.
I bet a 4 HP would push me just fine all day and all night...To bad they don't make 'em as 2 cylinder motors anymore...The singles vibrate too much for comfort and style, 4 strokes especially...Guess they are too heavy to add a counter-balance shaft.
Wish I could find my old 2 HP Yammie from the old days, no vibration, no gas-guzzling, no problems just pure joy.
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Old 14-01-2008, 20:58   #32
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Originally Posted by Topazken View Post
I think you are reading my posts wrong... or maybe I am writing them wrong. This thread was started by a survey asking how many horsepower your dinghy motor should be. It was not about having a motor or not.

My last post was in response to another who said that getting on plane was "hazardous" and not needed.

If you are going to pay money for an outboard, why not get one that is big enough to do all you need it to do. I never said you have to have an outboard. I cruised all of the way from Venezuela to San Diego without one after mine was stolen.
Then I apologize. I'm one of the people who posted that I have a two horse engine, so I figured I am going to resemble your pathetic scenario. Admittedly one of the reasons I bought was due to weight, but it was also cheap. I threw in the comment about rowing because I thought about not having an engine at all and the 2 hp is one step above rowing. The 2 hp is light enough to sling around without halyard assistance, no tranny, low fuel use, and fits on my stern tube inflatable which a 4 hp won't. I have borrowed a more modern plywood transom inflatable with a 4 hp, and the weight of both was a pain, and the inflatable doesn't fold up nearly as small as the one I have with the stern tube. Each little upgrade creates a cascade of other upgrades. I have to choose what I can fit and what I can afford.

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Old 14-01-2008, 21:19   #33
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I think that this discussion has taken a wrong turn.

As a person with an "Overpowered and oversize" dinghy I will be the first to say that this isn't a NEED.

We all have our own definitions of what is necessary and what is luxury. When you decided to set out cruising you make choices based on YOUR preferences, experience, budget, taste... whatever!

I used to swim ashore when I had my San Juan 21. You could conceivably argue that you don't need a dinghy at all. Then again, some yachts carry 25++ foot launches that can cruise upwards of 50 knots with cold drinks in the onboard refer.

What anybody NEEDS is best determined by them- I am not a big fan of "Cruising by consensus". To say that because someone is not doing the "Right" thing using a 2hp motor is just stupid. To say that having 15 or more horsepower isn't "Right" is equally stupid.

When I had my Catalina 27 I had an ancient Avon Redcrest 8' with a Nissan 3.5B engine- I thought I had died and gone to heaven, as I could load my wife and kids into it and go ashore from the moorings on Catalina Island. Now I am sailing a slightly larger boat, with up to four adults plus two children- I am anchoring out in remote locations and carrying EVERYTHING in the dinghy (not just a couple of grocery bags).

You may not agree with my choices, but that doesn't make them "Wrong".
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Old 14-01-2008, 21:23   #34
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As with this thread, I seem to be riling people up. It is mostly a matter of perspective. I went years without every tying up to a dock for the night. Whenever friends and I wanted to go snorkeling or surfing, my dinghy and 9.9hp Johnson was the ferry. I have pushed and fellow sailors' boats into port when their engines died. And I have rescued people trying to make it back to their boats when a sudden storm had the surf riled up.

I just seems to me that if you are going to be crossing oceans, it makes sens to have something a bit more serious. It is just my opinion and it is intended for those that are trying to decide what to do.
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Old 15-01-2008, 04:00   #35
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I bought a new 2.5 Yamaha and small Zodic about 1 year ago (in the Med) and have decided to go with a 15 Hp Yamaha and 11 ft dik, Im switching because I sometimes have 4-6 people onboard and its nice to be able to get everyone to the dock with 1 trip
By the way if anyone needs the dink & Zodic both for sale $1000
must be picked up in Greece
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Old 15-01-2008, 05:28   #36
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sure David M ask away. The problem with dingys hanging from davits is that you have dingys hanging from davits ! A very large, not very well constrained, buoyant object on the transom of your boat. The davits can also increase your "boat length" according to some marinas. As a guess going on what I do , the dingy gets towed, in a cruising ground and gets put on board when passage making. I have had the "pleasure"of sinking my dingy while towing it with the engine on. Brand new engine. I now take it off every time because if its a short distance why not just row ? Dingy outboards for cruising boats are another one of hassels. My outboard is the smallest i could buy. No gear box or clutch, turn it around to go backwards. I guess it depends on your world. My 30 footer yacht has 7 hp........
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Old 15-01-2008, 12:15   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topazken View Post
If we are talking about serious cruising, not a trip to Catalina Island, you want a large inflatable with a large enough dinghy to get on plane.

It is not just a way to get to the dock. It carries all of your supplies, it takes you to that great dive spot out on the reef and it can be a tug or tow boat when needed.

There are few things more pathetic than seeing some poor couple trying to fight their way through the chop with a 2hp toy.
There are a lot of things that are more pathetic IMO. Like, some guy in an inflatable planing through an anchorage, with little regard for others, just because he can.

The fact is, a 2 or 3hp OB will take most dinghies to hull speed and make very little wake. I had both a 15hp and a 2hp OB. I chose the 2hp when using the dink as a tender everytime out of concern for others.

If there was a chop running and I had my 15hp on, I surely wouldn't go ripping through the anchorage. It would not only annoy others, it would be very rough on myself and my passengers. In most cases, I would simply push the dink at what was comfortable and dry, just like if I had the 2hp on.

For going exploring, the 15hp was a must IMO. We often found ourselves miles away from the boat and a breeze rising. That was the time that the 15hp was a safety issue. I could get up to 25kts and be back to the boat in minutes as apposed to hours, struggling back in a building sea.

As far as using the dink for a tug-boat......you don't need a lot of HP to move a vessel. I towed my 20 ton yacht with my 2hp OB for 2 miles @ 3kts one time. I was in Darwin and my engine oil cooler on my main engine failed (filling the engine with sea water) when I was moving the boat from the customs dock to the yacht club anchorage. I was in a busy shipping channel and there was a current running and zero wind. I was towing the dinghy with the 2hp on it so I jumped in the dinghy and pulled my boat for 2 miles, to get it to a safe place to drop the hook so that I could deal with my main engine failure on the boat. I pulled the 20 ton) yacht @ 3kts. My 15hp may have pulled it @ 4 or 5 kts but I don't see the difference as being a safety issue.

What is a safety issue IMO is lifting a 75# motor, far away from medical aid and risking the mobility of the skipper of the boat.

To answer the OP question.....I think the ideal OB is one that the skipper can lift off of the transom with one hand and have enough HP to do everything that you want to do. Probably a 15hp that weighs 20#. Seeing that no one makes such an OB, I would say a 4-5HP weighing under 30# (closer to 20# for most people).
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Old 15-01-2008, 15:26   #38
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2 years ago we upgraded from a 2 stroke 6 to a 4 stroke 8. The new Honda is very heavy so we got a fabulous Garhauer demountable lifting davit. Getting the motor on and off the dink to the rail is no prob whatsoever.

We had trouble with the 4 stroke carb due to ethoanol and we were about to do a 10 day cruise so I picked up a 2 stroke 3hp and it is simple and works fine! Love the little motor! Since it is so light I am more afraid of someone stealing it as opposed to the 4 stroke which weighs over 90#s.

The 8HP 4 stroke is great long runs when we anchor way out (and the sea isn't too choppy), but the 2 stroke is fine for most anchorages. I like the honda but it is too heavy and if I had my druthers I would have gotten a smaller HP but I thought it would make sense with a bigger motor to push the RIB. I was wrong.
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Old 15-01-2008, 17:29   #39
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2 years ago we upgraded from a 2 stroke 6 to a 4 stroke 8. The new Honda is very heavy so we got a fabulous Garhauer demountable lifting davit. Getting the motor on and off the dink to the rail is no prob whatsoever.

We had trouble with the 4 stroke carb due to ethoanol and we were about to do a 10 day cruise so I picked up a 2 stroke 3hp and it is simple and works fine! Love the little motor! Since it is so light I am more afraid of someone stealing it as opposed to the 4 stroke which weighs over 90#s.

The 8HP 4 stroke is great long runs when we anchor way out (and the sea isn't too choppy), but the 2 stroke is fine for most anchorages. I like the honda but it is too heavy and if I had my druthers I would have gotten a smaller HP but I thought it would make sense with a bigger motor to push the RIB. I was wrong.
8HP is kind of an awkward size. It weighs as much as the 15HP and just doesn't have enough umph to really get the job done IMHO.

You may want to check out getting a bigger carb. I know that the only difference is a lot of OB motors between the 8 and 15 is the size of the carb. I'm not sure about the Honda 4 strokes though. They may have more CCs on the higher HP motor.

However, I agree with you, it's really handy having both OBs. I found the same as you, the small ones are much handier to use in most areas and do a good job (and use less fuel).
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Old 15-01-2008, 18:36   #40
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Kanani,

I don't think added HP for my purpose makes sense. Wifey can't stand when we plane... she gets scared of the speed. The 8 planes our dink with me and some stores which is fine. We can plane with wifey, but it takes calm water and a little weight shifting... but as soon as we are screaming through the water she tells me to slow down. What would I do with a 15? Nada!

In fact, the 8 goes awful fast at times when in full throttle and I don't think faster would be safe.
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Old 15-01-2008, 18:41   #41
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Kanani,

I don't think added HP for my purpose makes sense. Wifey can't stand when we plane... she gets scared of the speed. The 8 planes our dink with me and some stores which is fine. We can plane with wifey, but it takes calm water and a little weight shifting... but as soon as we are screaming through the water she tells me to slow down. What would I do with a 15? Nada!
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Old 15-01-2008, 18:50   #42
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Kanani,

I don't think added HP for my purpose makes sense. Wifey can't stand when we plane... she gets scared of the speed. The 8 planes our dink with me and some stores which is fine. We can plane with wifey, but it takes calm water and a little weight shifting... but as soon as we are screaming through the water she tells me to slow down. What would I do with a 15? Nada!
The idea of more hp is more for load carrying, not speed. However, if what you have works for you, that's a good thing.

I mainly brought it up for others info. A lot of people don't realize that the only difference ih HP on a lot of engines is the carb. In fact, on our little 2hp, it was just a matter of removing a venturi restricter plate to increase it to 3hp.
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Old 15-01-2008, 22:23   #43
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I have a 6hp. Tohatsu. I'm in my 50's now and due to old motorcycle injuries, I have to be carefull of how much I pick up. Otherwise have a Chiropractor as crew. It still requires caution to pick up. It pushes my Livingston 7 1/2 ft. dinghy and planes easily. Scarry actually with such a short dinghy to keep it on a straight course. I'm sure if I lost attention even for a moment. I would be in the water.
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Old 16-01-2008, 05:04   #44
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Wink

With this discussion, it is also important to keep in mind that a RIB will require more HP to do the job, it's heavier and has more hydrodynamic resistance.
When I was choosing the dink, money was not at issue, performance, load carrying, weight AND the rowing ability(think engine failure). The reason that I built my own dink was that I couldn't find one with a high free-board with the low weight until I found plans from Dudley Dix. This dink fits MY requirements and is easily pushed with the 2.5 hp, can tow the large boat (when lashed along side) at about 3 knots, is very dry due to the freeboard,will last a long time, rows well, light, and travels about 6 knots with two adults and stores/dog.
In short, you can't choose an engine until you choose your dinghy and dinghy choice is a personal issue. Some like to go fast, some like to take more time to enjoy the scenery
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Old 16-01-2008, 07:18   #45
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I am running an 11 foot Zodiac with a 55 lb thrust electric motor. I am at a mooring that is 1/4 mile from the dingy dock. I just did not want to have gasoline or another engine on board. Niether my wife or me are light wieghts and we carry a lot of stuff back and forth to the boat and it carrys us very well. Certainly not as fast as some of the outboards, but we find it works very well for us.
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