Interesting that some people sit on the port and some on stbd. Fully aware of the risk of starting a flame war here let me submit this.
Outboard engines with tiller arms are designed to be run and operated with the left hand. The operators mass is on the Stbd pontoon to counteract the propeller
torque as most single
outboards are clockwise in ahead. If you sit on the left there are two forces pushing the dink down on that side. Take note next time you will see how the dink crabs with about 10 - 20 degrees of heading course difference, then change sides and compare. The manufacturers standardized on that arrangement for many reasons, here are some more. If you sit on the port pontoon, the tiller is on the same side of the motor and you have no space to turn hard to stbd because you are there in the corner. The majority of people are RHanded. The strong right hand is to hold on to the boat, providing a controlled stable operator to steer with his left hand. All twist throttle applications, motorcycles, snowmobiles (older) etc open the throttle towards the operator not away.
Having said that. Some people have learned the "other" way and probably are safer with what they are used to, however, new owners and dink drivers should be encouraged to sit the "right" way. Certainly its not as dangerous as standing in the dink, as we all do m'self included, especially when negotiating bommies, but if the going gets really tough and the water
is shallow, I usually tilt the motor to shallow water drive, and reverse through the maze steering
the motor backwards with two hands, you can be very precise so as not to harm the coral
Two more safety
tips....Remove your throttle friction screw entirely, when the throttle is let go it must snap back to idle.
Completely slack the steering
friction screw so that the idling motor, by torque reaction will turn into a hard starboard turn and idle there if the start lanyard was forgotten.
Reading the BoatUS story, none of that would have happened if he ws sitting on the right side...
Ok let me have it