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Old 10-11-2014, 06:59   #1
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Buying a boat

Hello everybody!

I hope some of you have some time to give a hand with this issue I have... I want to buy a sailboat, in fact, I found one in an excelent price and in very good condition, BUT, its inboard engine has to be changed or given a very expensive mainteinance, so my questions are, How good/bad is to have an outboard engine in a 29ft sailboat? in that case, if a put a electric generator, do you think it'll be a good solution? like this it becomes 10 times cheaper I think, or getting a new/used inboard is the answer?
Thanks a lot for your help!
Fair winds...

Jose
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Old 10-11-2014, 07:37   #2
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Re: Buying a boat

Depends completely on your intended use, I think.
If you are just going to day sail, why not? But if you plan on world travelling, that's a different thing.
The motor she came with is of course the best solution, usually, but an outboard may be workable if you have a good way to mount it and accept that it won't be usable in larger waves
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Old 10-11-2014, 08:10   #3
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Re: Buying a boat

I agree with the answers from A64pilot.

The practicality of outboard or electric will depend on your planned use. I have done a lot of research on electric power for a sailboat and my conclusion is that it is only practical and cost effective for very limited use.

So if you will never travel rivers or canals and only use the motor to get from the dock to the ocean or lake where you will sail then electric or outboard could work. If you plan to travel more than a couple of hours under power then batteries will not be sufficient and you will need to install a generator. Then if you plan to travel more than a few hours with a generator to power the electric motor you will need a continuous duty generator and not a small portable unit.

Add all this up and you will end up spending more than you would to overhaul or replace the existing engine.

The outboard might be a better option but they have problems if the water is not calm. In waves the outboard tends to come out of the water as the stern pitches up and down. You also have to consider the risks of carrying more gasoline on the boat. It can be very safe but you do need to be careful and follow proper safety or it can go boom.
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Old 10-11-2014, 08:24   #4
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Re: Buying a boat

I don't think he considering electric propulsion, just has thought it out enough to realize that an outboard may not meet his electrical generation needs, and that a something is needed to produce the electricity?

To make what I was trying to say more clear, an outboard will be fine for getting in and out of a slip and the marina, but if you want or need engine propulsion for much else, look into replacing or fixing the current engine.
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Old 10-11-2014, 08:29   #5
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Re: Buying a boat

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I don't think he considering electric propulsion, just has thought it out enough to realize that an outboard may not meet his electrical generation needs, and that a something is needed to produce the electricity?

To make what I was trying to say more clear, an outboard will be fine for getting in and out of a slip and the marina, but if you want or need engine propulsion for much else, look into replacing or fixing the current engine.
OK. Reading more carefully I think you're right. Must be a Monday morning effect. Brain not yet in gear.

So Jose, ignore the comments about electric and read only the parts about the outboard.

And by the way, welcome to the forum.
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Old 10-11-2014, 08:47   #6
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Re: Buying a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe2784 View Post
...I want to buy a sailboat, in fact, I found one in an excelent price and in very good condition, BUT, its inboard engine has to be changed or given a very expensive mainteinance, so my questions are, How good/bad is to have an outboard engine in a 29ft sailboat? in that case, if a put a electric generator, do you think it'll be a good solution? like this it becomes 10 times cheaper I think, or getting a new/used inboard is the answer?...
If you are going to use this boat only on a protected body of water, where there is seldom any wave action, then you might get by with an outboard. Otherwise forget about it. Stay with the inboard.
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Old 10-11-2014, 09:06   #7
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Re: Buying a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe2784 View Post
Hello everybody!

I hope some of you have some time to give a hand with this issue I have... I want to buy a sailboat, in fact, I found one in an excelent price and in very good condition, BUT, its inboard engine has to be changed or given a very expensive mainteinance, so my questions are, How good/bad is to have an outboard engine in a 29ft sailboat? in that case, if a put a electric generator, do you think it'll be a good solution? like this it becomes 10 times cheaper I think, or getting a new/used inboard is the answer?
Thanks a lot for your help!
Fair winds...

Jose
Can you elaborate on what kind of inboard does the boat have now? Some are easier to replace as there many newer versions available where you have to do minimal, if any, refit of the shaft, mounts, etc. Others may be more difficult (read - more expensive) to replace.
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Old 10-11-2014, 09:23   #8
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Re: Buying a boat

Depending on the boat and how you use it.

New inboard diesel has many pros.

An outboard may be sufficient in some cases too, but may derate your resale value.

b.
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Old 10-11-2014, 09:49   #9
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Re: Buying a boat

I had a heavy 26-footer that I repowered with an outboard when the inboard died. I cruised the Florida Keys and Bahamas with both, so will give you my impressions based on that. I used a 10 horse 2-stroke, with electric start, extra long shaft, small alternator and no remote controls on that boat.

Positives:

Much cheaper than installing a new inboard.
Much lighter, my boat came up an inch on the water line
Opened up more space - nice on a small about.
Reduced through hulls.
Could remove it and throw it in my vehicle for winterizing, to get tuned up, etc.
Had a common fuel system for both my dinghy outboard and boat engine.
Could easily pull start if if the battery was dead and start producing power.
Can put the dinghy outboard on the mount if the motor fails, so have a backup


Negatives:

Probably would have had a much shorter life - I had it for about 4 years
Worse fuel economy
More difficult to operate (without remote controls)
More prone to damage - bumping against dock etc.
Prop came out of the water coming in and out of inlets with standing waves
I never submerged the head, but was always worried I might.
When heeled sailing, there was quite a force on the shaft
Produced much, much less power.


It got me across the gulf stream and around, the Abacos and Exumas a few times as well as a trip through the Great Lakes, with no actual problem, so I can't really complain, but I felt like I was always pushing it, that when in bigger seas, it could plunge or have some problem at any time. Overall, I much prefer an inboard for cruising, but it can be a less expensive viable option in some circumstances.

In addition to that change on that monohull, I've owned two other inboard boats, as well as an outboard powered trimaran I also took over to the Bahamas. The outboard on the trimaran was great under calm conditions, horrible in any sea state at all.
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:06   #10
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Re: Buying a boat

When after 4 seasons the inboard, MD5 on my 27' died during the spring comissioning we took it out thinking to overhaul it and installed a bracket and a 9.9 older 2-stroke as a temp fix. Well it turned out that after calculating the price of parts, overhaul and re-installation it wasn't worth it for a 30 year old boat so I kept the outboard for another season. It wasn't remote control or electric start so I hated it and did a lot less sailing as result. Also the prop cavitated at the first sign of even small waves and was PITA to tinker with in the water. Also hated the smell of gas onboard as I prefer oars and/or Minkota for a dinghy.

May be a newish 4-stroke with all the bells and whistles would work fine but I was planning to go a few feet bigger anyway so didn't want to sink any $$ which I won't easily recoup.

A little off-topic. Back than while doing research trying to figure out what motor to install came across outboard diesels. But for whatever reasons they are not allowed in US and are very limited and quite expensive (per HP) in Europe. May be someone here knows more about them as it seems the technology is there to lighten and make them more eco-friendly. Now that would be an interesting concept.
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:07   #11
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Re: Buying a boat

New to "Sailing," but the wave issue, with an outboard seems mute as waves = Wind. Outboard leaves no drag when out of the water, whereas the prop of the inboard creates drag, even if minimized. Fuel for either would change the waterline and change drag. All are trade offs that are either acceptable, or not. I do believe torsion on the Transom caused by an outboard bouncing in higher wave conditions will become an issue, spend now or spend later.
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:16   #12
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Re: Buying a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonesoldier0408 View Post
New to "Sailing," but the wave issue, with an outboard seems mute as waves = Wind. Outboard leaves no drag when out of the water, whereas the prop of the inboard creates drag, even if minimized. Fuel for either would change the waterline and change drag. All are trade offs that are either acceptable, or not. I do believe torsion on the Transom caused by an outboard bouncing in higher wave conditions will become an issue, spend now or spend later.
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Except when the wind is taking you to lee shore.
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Old 12-11-2014, 16:22   #13
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Re: Buying a boat

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Except when the wind is taking you to lee shore.
Oooops.. showing how new again. How about anchoring out until the weather improves.?
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Old 12-11-2014, 16:42   #14
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Re: Buying a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
If you are going to use this boat only on a protected body of water, where there is seldom any wave action, then you might get by with an outboard. Otherwise forget about it. Stay with the inboard.
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Old 12-11-2014, 16:50   #15
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Re: Buying a boat

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New to "Sailing," but the wave issue, with an outboard seems mute as waves = Wind.
There are not always conditions that allow one to sail against the wind. Rivers, the California Delta coming west, others may have many other examples.

We had a 7.5 hp 2 stroke outboard on our 25, used to come out of the water all the time even with a long shaft.

It was howlin' even before dawn when I came back in June with our inboard 34 footer that I felt even the prop would come out. Knarly trip that was...
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