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Old 30-09-2018, 08:39   #1
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Outboard Puzzles

A few years ago, I downgraded my dinghy from a wheel-steered Avon 340 with a 25 hp Mariner, to a folding Avon 3.1 meter RIB with an Italian Selva 8 hp motor.


The switch was necessary because it just wasn't feasible to carry the big heavy wheel steered RIB in davits on rough ocean passage, and the windage was unacceptable. Although it was a big step down in seaworthiness and speed and load carrying ability, I have been very, very pleased with the change. The new dinghy folds up almost to surfboard size for excellent storage on the foredeck on passage, and it is surprisingly little trouble to deflate, fold and store it, so much so that I don't actually put it in davits all that much.



The motor has been ok -- it's quite light for its size, 27kg, and will plane the dinghy with two people on board.



HOWEVER, the Selva motor's shaft seized in the power head last spring, taking it out of action for the summer, a royal PITA which forced me to urgently buy a new outboard and have it shipped at considerable expense to the Orkney islands. I ended up buying a Mercury (actually Tohatsu AFAIK) 3.5 hp. It served well on our great adventure in the Arctic, not powerful enough to plane even with only one person on board, but it got us everywhere we needed to go even loaded down with climbing gear. A little tedious over long distances.


But this one is 17kg vs 27kg for the Selva, which means I can lift it with one hand. A crucial difference which means I don't have to crane it on and off the dinghy with the boom. I can just lift it off its storage bracket and carry it with me into the dinghy -- this is great. The Selva is awkward to handle, and really risky single handed, and I am often single handed.



I've heard a lot of bad things about this motor, but I have had no trouble with it so far. It was slightly hard to start when new, but now well broken in, it starts fine. Makes a somewhat annoying lawnmower like sound, but in general it's ok. It lacks a reverse gear which is a minor PITA, but it's not unacceptable.


So now what do I do? Sell the Selva and keep the Mercury? Or sell the Mercury and repair the Selva, being careful to anti-seize the shaft this time?



Or sell them both and start over again?




Now that I know that it's quite ok in 90% of cases not to need to plane (where I cruise), I wonder whether I might just skip all this hassle and buy a Torqueedo.



Maybe I should sell the Mercury, repair the Selva, and buy a Torqueedo. Use the electric one for every day short distance stuff but keep the Selva handy for any long distance work.


Or maybe even buy a 10 hp something for that -- the maximum rated for my folding-transom dink.


I feel a little lost in this so I will be grateful for any tips.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:00   #2
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Re: Outboard Puzzles

I like the Torqeedo more and more, the more I think about it.


* Trivial to carry, store, mount -- breaks into two lightweight pieces
* Can store it inside the hull volume
* No fuel
* No maintenance
* Completely waterproof
* Lay them down any which way


Downside compared to small gas outboard:


* limited range
* need to keep the batts charged


That's about it.


If you don't need to plane your dink -- and it's not even allowed in a large proportion of places (harbors, estuaries) where I use my dink -- a couple of HP is plenty.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:07   #3
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Outboard Puzzles

I keep thinking I’m going to get a little 2.5 HP Suzuki.
Watercooled, has a real transmission, reverse and neutral, and can be had for less than $800.
Torquedo’s are insanely priced for what you get in my opinion.

As far as storage, I think we underestimate the dangers or Lipo batteries, our rechargeable drills etc.

Sell the Selva if you can, it’s going to be more and more troublesome I think.
The little Merc, always run it dry. That has always been the rule for outboards, even in the early 70’s when we got the first 100 HP outboard around, my Father would only run Amaco “white gas” and we carbs dry every time. I think it had six carburetors if memory serves.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:10   #4
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Re: Outboard Puzzles

There is also now an alternative to Torqeedo:


https://nestawayboats.com/shop/e-pro...tric-outboard/


About the same price, but with several advantages, including a 2.5 hour charger, which could be very important to those of us who would be recharging with a generator.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:11   #5
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Re: Outboard Puzzles

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I keep thinking I’m going to get a little 2.5 HP Suzuki.
Watercooled, has a real transmission, reverse and neutral, and can be had for less than $800.
Torquedo’s are insanely priced for what you get in my opinion.

As far as storage, I think we underestimate the dangers or Lipo batteries, our rechargeable drills etc.

Aren't the dangers during charging, not storage?


The little Suzy is awesome in terms of weight -- only 13kg! Wow!


But does not have a reverse gear.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:17   #6
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Re: Outboard Puzzles

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Aren't the dangers during charging, not storage?


No, likely they have more issues during recharge, but all it takes is for you to drop one, and it can later “go off” rather spectacularly.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:27   #7
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Re: Outboard Puzzles

I firmly believe the dinghy/outboard combination should be able to serve as a towboat for the mothership should the need arise. Buy the largest 2 stroke that’ll fit on your inflatable.

Last June, I found a Mercury 15hp 2 stroke in like new condition for $700. It’s lightweight, and I’m now looking to upgrade to 25hp 2 stroke Mercury. The nice thing about a 2 stroke is that you can place it down in a locker without worrying about oil spilage and they’re bulletproof.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:33   #8
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Re: Outboard Puzzles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I firmly believe the dinghy/outboard combination should be able to serve as a towboat for the mothership should the need arise. Buy the largest 2 stroke that’ll fit on your inflatable.

Last June, I found a Mercury 15hp 2 stroke in like new condition for $700. It’s lightweight.

I like two strokes, but 15hp is beyond the rating of my dink, because of the relatively flimsy folding transom. And 42kg is pretty massive -- I would need an outboard crane to handle it. I don't believe the Merc 15 two stroke is actually lighter than the 15hp Suzuki four stroke.



Towboat for mother ship is definitely a great thing to have, but sometimes you have to sacrifice one function, to fulfill another more important need.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:36   #9
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Re: Outboard Puzzles

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I like two strokes, but 15hp is beyond the rating of my dink, because of the relatively flimsy folding transom. And 42kg is pretty massive -- I would need an outboard crane to handle it. I don't believe the Merc 15 two stroke is actually lighter than the 15hp Suzuki four stroke.



Towboat for mother ship is definitely a great thing to have, but sometimes you have to sacrifice one function, to fulfill another more important need.
Use the davit to crane up the outboard then swing it onboard... it’s easy, no lifting. If we can do it on the 62 without a problem, I should be even easier on your 54. Just attach the davit clip to the outboard lifting ring while the boats in the water, loosen the bolts then crank. Or in our case... push a button.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:41   #10
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Re: Outboard Puzzles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
We use the davit to crane up the outboard then swing it onboard... it’s easy, no lifting. If we can do it on the 62 without a problem, I should be even easier on your 54.

My davits don't lift that high.


I used to have a Mercury 15 in fact, on our old boat in the U.S. We used a Garhauer outboard crane. We used it for about 5 years, but it was kind of a PITA to handle it, even with the davit crane, and so we eventually changed the outboard to a Merc 5hp and were much happier, if rather slower.


Thread drift, but both those Merc two strokes gave excellent service -- bulletproof. People complain about them, but they were flawless in our ownership.
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Old 30-09-2018, 21:37   #11
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Re: Outboard Puzzles

I have the same Avon Lite 3.10 rib as you, but with a 2008 Yamaha 8 HP two-stroke. It's a light setup. With just my wife and I it planes very easy. Add my daughter and it takes more runway to plane. The downside to this rib is tube size, and not upturned bow as much as others, which makes for wetter ride. Otherwise it is a nice, very lightweight setup.
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Old 30-09-2018, 23:46   #12
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Re: Outboard Puzzles

It appears that the Selva gave good service and you were satisfied with it until the shaft seized up. You already own it and am familiar with it's quirks and it will get onto the plane with the dingy you have. Since you won't get much for a second hand motor I'd tend to fix it and keep it.

As to whether you should replace a 2 stroke petrol with an electric I'd tend to resist the urge and wear the 2 stroke out and then make the choice of another petrol or change to the electric. The small 2 strokes are hard to beat for practicality.
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Old 01-10-2018, 00:08   #13
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Re: Outboard Puzzles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I firmly believe the dinghy/outboard combination should be able to serve as a towboat for the mothership should the need arise. Buy the largest 2 stroke that’ll fit on your inflatable.

Last June, I found a Mercury 15hp 2 stroke in like new condition for $700. It’s lightweight, and I’m now looking to upgrade to 25hp 2 stroke Mercury. The nice thing about a 2 stroke is that you can place it down in a locker without worrying about oil spilage and they’re bulletproof.
Sadly, I've found our 15 hp mercury 2 stroke the farthest thing from bulletproof... After several tries to make it good without gutting it, tuned it up as best as possible, stuffed it on the rail in the transom locker as a spare, and bought a 4 stroke yamaha 20hp. Maybe I'll switch them in places where people like to steal yammies but that's about it.
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Old 01-10-2018, 00:12   #14
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Re: Outboard Puzzles

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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
Sadly, I've found our 15 hp mercury 2 stroke the farthest thing from bulletproof... After several tries to make it good without gutting it, tuned it up as best as possible, stuffed it on the rail in the transom locker as a spare, and bought a 4 stroke yamaha 20hp. Maybe I'll switch them in places where people like to steal yammies but that's about it.
You girls appear to be putting the old men on this forum to shame, lifting those heavy 2 stoke and 4 stroke motors around without any issues.
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Old 01-10-2018, 00:30   #15
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Re: Outboard Puzzles

9.8Hp 2 stroke Tohatsu if they still make them, great power to weight.
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