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Old 05-02-2016, 19:03   #61
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

I think Snowpetrel (and others) have summed it up pretty well -- it's a trade off and to each their own. On my previous Vancouver 25 the Yanmar 1gm was dependable and sipped fuel...but it wouldn't push that hull through chop any better than my current setup (a 20" 6 hp 4-stroke with high thrust prop in an outboard well on a Pearson Triton).

As others mentioned, the diesel was hot and stunk down below and took up space on a small boat. But it held 15 gallons (50+ hours of motoring at 5 knots) and had a decent alternator -- big pluses for most cruisers! In reverse I would just flip a coin as I never knew which way it would turn -- full keel and transom hung rudder with prop in small aperture, but probably more a me problem than the boat. The outboard, on the other hand, swivels and gives you total control in reverse as there's no way "prop wash" is as helpful as being able to rotate the motor 90 degrees and apply thrust.

One thing I don't miss that hasn't been mentioned is wrapping things around the prop shaft -- which seemed to happen too often on the inboard diesel. For some reason it happens pretty infrequently with the outboard, maybe because the aperture is filled in and the prop's behind the rudder (or more likely because I motor less with the better sailing Triton)? Also, the outboard lifts clear for less drag when sailing, and less marine growth at anchor, but if it does foul when under power it's easy to tilt it, clear it, and you're back in business. No swimming required!

But with only 6 gallons I'm waiting for wind after 15ish hours of motoring and all my charging comes from solar -- meaning if it's cloudy for a few days I turn off the fridge.

Also, as you can see in the video, there's more to it than just pushing a start/stop button. On mine I have to open the hatch, kill the motor, remove the fuel line, tilt, slide the splash boards together (if it's rough out), and close the hatch. Not really a huge process but we're back to personal preferences.

I'm rambling, and the OP asked about crossing an ocean...and while that's the "plan" with my Triton, I can't say I've done that yet so I must defer to wiser souls!

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Old 05-02-2016, 21:08   #62
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanachie View Post
Diesels are much easier to work on than outboards. Especially if they don't have any electronics..
there are a lot of people that would disagree. inboards have poor access. an outboard is easy to get to and, if you need to get it professionally looked at, you can just carry it to a shop.


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If you do go with an outboard, please remove the inboard and glass up the holes. There's no reason to sail a junk sailboat. Plus, you get plenty of storage space.
I definitely agree with that opinion. not only do you not need to be sailing a 'junk' boat but, less holes in the boat is better than more.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:09   #63
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

There is a 35 foot yacht parked next to us for sale for 30000 USD, it has new engine, good sails, is in really good nick plus you get the dive compressor and gear as well, it has already done a lap and looks to me like another wouldnt be too much of a problem, only problem its in Phuket, not to bad a problem though.
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Old 06-02-2016, 03:46   #64
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

I have done the same as Thom. The pros and cons are well covered; the only thing I'd add is that when you're on a long passage, and a squall line hits, you'll get slapped around like a fifth step child when the wind disappears but the sea state is still violent. At least until the wind fills in again.

With a diesel, you can motor along and the forward motion would make it much more comfortable. Not so with the cavitation outboard.

I also have a very high transom, and dropping the outboard usually involves some footwork, hanging outside the pushpit, and a skinned arm. But I'm young.


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Old 06-02-2016, 04:16   #65
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

Speaking of boats, it's definitely easier if your boat is designed or modified to use the outboard.

In my case, the outboard leg precisely replaces the saildrive. Same exact location, so the cavitation is the same as with an inboard.

Yet... it slides up and clear of the water for sailing... assuming I can ever get a rig on this boat.

Currently still in power boat mode.

Boat is 50' long and I get 7 knots on a single 30hp outboard at 7/8 throttle.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:01   #66
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

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Originally Posted by brownoarsman View Post
I have done the same as Thom. The pros and cons are well covered; the only thing I'd add is that when you're on a long passage, and a squall line hits, you'll get slapped around like a fifth step child when the wind disappears but the sea state is still violent. At least until the wind fills in again.

With a diesel, you can motor along and the forward motion would make it much more comfortable. Not so with the cavitation outboard.

I also have a very high transom, and dropping the outboard usually involves some footwork, hanging outside the pushpit, and a skinned arm. But I'm young.


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Good point about the violent sea state after the wind suddenly drops off.

I happen to be at a unique place for experiencing many types of wind and wave conditions which is where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. We have lots of weather systems come through here from multiple directions

We had a front with winds in the mid 30's finally pass. I was anchored under cover on the North side of the Bay still needing to cross to come home.

The wind dropped making my anchorage very pleasant but trying to cross was another story.

It was rough and the wave direction was such that the roll of the boat brought the engine out of the water. My engine has an overrev governor but you do get tired of that after a while. Btw, I was running my engine around 1/3rd throttle.

Having anticipated this I had my largest jib up and was under full main so I changed my heading a bit to relieve the roll and motor sailed maybe 40 degrees off the direction I wanted to go until I could change course without rolling the motor out

So I got lucky that time.

Again I'm a Coastal Cruising Weekend Warrior at the moment. If I were crossing oceans, I'm thinking a 33' with diesel but we'll see. I'd hate to put a newish boat on a reef or shoal due to lack of experience so I may cruise with this boat for a while when the time comes if I haven't destroyed it before then.

I got a bit close to the CBBT once with an extreme tide and very light to no wind. One of the Islands almost jump out in front of me with it's huge rocks

Another extreme tide night. (see video) The poles on the fish net traps were moving about a foot from side to side due to the current. You can see the current going by them in the video. The Atlantic is behind me. I also had hit bottom 30 minutes before which would have been bad if I had gotten stuck due to the outgoing tide. (engine is maxed out) The water is about 35' deep where I am and less than 3' near the nets/poles

The winds would come up to 25-30 knots in about 5 hours which was around midnite. My anchorage was totally exposed

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Old 06-02-2016, 05:43   #67
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

You're on a beautiful part of the bay, Thom! I had a lovely sail up from Norfolk, and even ducked into the quietest little inlet for a day of sleep when the bay itself was splashing water all over. The only downside of the bay is it can be so narrow-short tacking into a headwind does get a bit old, and is the only time (besides those squall lines) when I feel like I am missing something without a diesel.

I don't think anyone has mentioned the crab pot advantage to an outboard yet, have they? A concern to us bay sailors.

Also, especially with older boats, you really don't lose much power shifting to a sailpro type outboard. The universal 11 I had, once accounting for its age, wear, offset prop, and shaft angle probably only put out 6-7 horses. My 6 horse outboard lost only about a half a knot in a flat water comparison to the universal.

Thom-I have an over rev limiter on mine as well. But do you know if the constant bouncing out of the water can have any effect on the cooling system? I guess it runs a bit dry every so often when it comes out? My biggest pain with the cavitation is that the one cylinder tohatsu likes to turn sideways without the water flow keeping it straight, even with the friction screw tight.


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Old 06-02-2016, 06:33   #68
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

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Originally Posted by brownoarsman View Post
Thom-I have an over rev limiter on mine as well. But do you know if the constant bouncing out of the water can have any effect on the cooling system? I guess it runs a bit dry every so often when it comes out? My biggest pain with the cavitation is that the one cylinder tohatsu likes to turn sideways without the water flow keeping it straight, even with the friction screw tight.
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I destroyed my friction screw mechanism on like day one. I tie my engine to keep it straight. The tiller hits one of the stern railing sections when it's straight then I just tie it against that on the other side of the boat.

I also use that line to hold the engine up after use. I raise the bracket, rotate the engine up and tie it off. It will not tilt enough for the uplock. Also when I' moving the engine to the stern railing mount I tie the line to the stern railing in case I were to drop the motor overboard

As far as, cooling I don't worry about those details because I have treated outboards so rough and found out just how tough they can be at least the old 2 strokes

On my first one I got at age 17, I didn't know about impellers etc. My experience was what I had done to make a "living" from age 10 to maybe 14 and that was mowing lawns. I knew lawn mowers

So after I bought this boat, motor, and trailer I immediately took it over to the bayside and launched it. After finally getting it to start took off out the creek ....

After a bit the motor stopped. So after a time it would start again. Stop after a bit, etc

The impeller had long ago worn out, but we made it back in with the engine. So I learned about impellers and outboard telltale water streams......

Btw, my boat came from up your way with the Skipper having left it near Deep Creek on his return after a two year cruise south. See attached.

Here's another situation where the outboard was totally useless had I needed to change course into this. Winds peaked at 30 mph for about 4 hour (24-30) I caught a ride down the bay from Onancock on a passing front. Wind increased more than forecasted. Winds are at about 22 here and increasing

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Old 06-02-2016, 13:19   #69
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

My experience is that outboards are better for boats in the 27 or under and good diesel is best over ..weight is a good factor most 27 footers are well under 10000 fully loaded and 35ft is going to be 15000 or more.. shorter boats will behave and respond well under outboard and as things get heavier inboard will be better suited for the type of power a diesel has..ie torque to turn o good sized prop..newer outboards are very reliable as well as smaller diesels IF they are maintained..
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Old 06-02-2016, 14:40   #70
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

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I think Snowpetrel (and others) have summed it up pretty well -- it's a trade off and to each their own. On my previous Vancouver 25 the Yanmar 1gm was dependable and sipped fuel...but it wouldn't push that hull through chop any better than my current setup (a 20" 6 hp 4-stroke with high thrust prop in an outboard well on a Pearson Triton).

As others mentioned, the diesel was hot and stunk down below and took up space on a small boat. But it held 15 gallons (50+ hours of motoring at 5 knots) and had a decent alternator -- big pluses for most cruisers! In reverse I would just flip a coin as I never knew which way it would turn -- full keel and transom hung rudder with prop in small aperture, but probably more a me problem than the boat. The outboard, on the other hand, swivels and gives you total control in reverse as there's no way "prop wash" is as helpful as being able to rotate the motor 90 degrees and apply thrust.

One thing I don't miss that hasn't been mentioned is wrapping things around the prop shaft -- which seemed to happen too often on the inboard diesel. For some reason it happens pretty infrequently with the outboard, maybe because the aperture is filled in and the prop's behind the rudder (or more likely because I motor less with the better sailing Triton)? Also, the outboard lifts clear for less drag when sailing, and less marine growth at anchor, but if it does foul when under power it's easy to tilt it, clear it, and you're back in business. No swimming required!

But with only 6 gallons I'm waiting for wind after 15ish hours of motoring and all my charging comes from solar -- meaning if it's cloudy for a few days I turn off the fridge.

Also, as you can see in the video, there's more to it than just pushing a start/stop button. On mine I have to open the hatch, kill the motor, remove the fuel line, tilt, slide the splash boards together (if it's rough out), and close the hatch. Not really a huge process but we're back to personal preferences.

I'm rambling, and the OP asked about crossing an ocean...and while that's the "plan" with my Triton, I can't say I've done that yet so I must defer to wiser souls!

That's a seriously good outboard setup.

I guess I have a few questions about it.

Can the outboard be steered?

What's the offshore plan? Does the outboard stay in the outboard well or does it get stored below?

I guess if it's in the well what's the waterproofing plan, or is the cowling enough, and suppose most of us have no issues with leaving an outboard on the rail. I guess it would only be an issue in really nasty stuff when the cockpit is getting the odd wavetop land in it.

How does the lost watertight buoyancy aft work. Looks like there is some extra partitions in there to reduce the volume of the space. Is there a really big drain to help it empty quickly when the flaps are shut? I guess if the fuel tanks are lashed in place very well they also help reduce the volume.

Can the outboard be used on a dinghy, or is the gearing, prop leg length and ratios all wrong? I suppose it's also handy if a smaller 2 or 3hp outboard would fit in there at a pinch.

It's certainly one of the best setups I've seen, and I wouldn't have any real concerns offshore other than the fact that in extreme conditions the motor might end up getting some water inside the cowling. I wonder if a carby cover or air intake plug and exhaust plugs could be made to stop water getting inside the engine if the worst, say a full capsize or something happened.

As an aside I sailed on a 60 footer that had been knocked down on the way back from South Georgia to the Falklands. I joined her in the Falklands with some serious rigging damage. We got the mast (and chainplates) repaired, but found out to late that both outboards (that were stored on the rail) were full of salt water. Amazingly we got one sort of running after about 15 days full of salt water. Not sure what the chances are of water driving up the outboard exhaust and flooding the engine?

Thanks for sharing the video. I take it she's your boat, and James Baldwin did some of the refit? Certainly a very smart and seamanlike job.

Oh one last plus for the outboard. Emergency steering system if it can be steered.
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:33   #71
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

I think it is worth repeating:
- If your boat was designed for an outboard, it's a great option and the downsides of 30yr old 2 stroke motors have largely been eliminated.
- If your boat was not designed for an outboard, at best expect a lot of cost and complication to get a reliable system. On many boats even with cost and complication, it won't be a satisfactory solution.
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:53   #72
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
That's a seriously good outboard setup.

I guess I have a few questions about it.

Can the outboard be steered?

Yes...with the tiller arm flipped up it can go past 90 degrees in either direction, with the tiller down it swings about 30 degrees. I've only used this for tight quarter manuevering and with such limited range I don't think it would be much help for a lost rudder at sea.

What's the offshore plan? Does the outboard stay in the outboard well or does it get stored below?

With limited storage I think it stays. I've thought about the weight of the outboard, 6 gallons of gas, 2 solar panels, and windvane concentrated at the extreme aft end but I think it's balanced by anchor, chain, and forward water tank--at least it seems alright.

I guess if it's in the well what's the waterproofing plan, or is the cowling enough, and suppose most of us have no issues with leaving an outboard on the rail. I guess it would only be an issue in really nasty stuff when the cockpit is getting the odd wavetop land in it.

I don't have a waterproof plan other than the canvas cover I put over it...so no plan really. I'm hoping the cowling is sealed enough to protect from spray and if there's enough water to submerge the motor I have bigger problems!

How does the lost watertight buoyancy aft work. Looks like there is some extra partitions in there to reduce the volume of the space. Is there a really big drain to help it empty quickly when the flaps are shut? I guess if the fuel tanks are lashed in place very well they also help reduce the volume.

The entire locker is sealed from the boat...so the only opening is what you see into the cockpit. The "flaps" are not sealed with gaskets or, to be honest, even tight fitting, so water rushes out almost instantly. I consider the "flaps" more to stop a following wave from shooting up the opening but I'd say they let water out (and in, if the stern is submerged) at about the rate of a 3 inch scupper. The tanks are tied down on each side and mounted on small airtight shelves that further reduce the volume.

Can the outboard be used on a dinghy, or is the gearing, prop leg length and ratios all wrong? I suppose it's also handy if a smaller 2 or 3hp outboard would fit in there at a pinch.

Outboard is 20" shaft so some will say the world is ending if I put it on my inflatable dinghy...but I think it works just fine. The only change is the high thrust prop (I carry the original as a spare). To be fair, I've never tried to plane the dinghy and since we're in full disclosure, I prefer to row the nesting dinghy I carry on the fore deck. Also, I'm reluctant to use the mother ship's primary engine on the dinghy for fear of damage, theft, loss, etc.

I am trying to find a small 2 or 3 hp for just this purpose that could serve as a backup to the 6 hp in a pinch but I haven't decided what brand/model or where to store it? I like the idea of a Torquedo but am still hearing mixed reviews and I don't think I could keep it charged on 100 watts of solar panels.


It's certainly one of the best setups I've seen, and I wouldn't have any real concerns offshore other than the fact that in extreme conditions the motor might end up getting some water inside the cowling. I wonder if a carby cover or air intake plug and exhaust plugs could be made to stop water getting inside the engine if the worst, say a full capsize or something happened.

As an aside I sailed on a 60 footer that had been knocked down on the way back from South Georgia to the Falklands. I joined her in the Falklands with some serious rigging damage. We got the mast (and chainplates) repaired, but found out to late that both outboards (that were stored on the rail) were full of salt water. Amazingly we got one sort of running after about 15 days full of salt water. Not sure what the chances are of water driving up the outboard exhaust and flooding the engine?

Not had anything as extreme but did put the starboard sheet winch in the water for about 5 seconds -- I knew I was over-canvased but with only a half mile to the harbor entrance I just got lazy! Anyway, took water into the cockpit over the coaming but by the time I recovered and took a look around the cockpit was pretty much fully drained and I didn't notice any water in the aft motor well.

Thanks for sharing the video. I take it she's your boat, and James Baldwin did some of the refit? Certainly a very smart and seamanlike job.

Yep. So many contrary opinions on here I'm reluctant to fess up but it's mine...and James did the refit including the aft well. He's doing them a little different now, as you can see on his own boat, and the well is completely enclosed and isolated even from the cockpit. The new version also let's him leave the fuel line connected when tilting it up which is the one "downside" I see with my setup--not just a little inconvenient but I always spill a little gas no matter how careful I am.

Oh one last plus for the outboard. Emergency steering system if it can be steered.

Thanks for the thoughtful questions and comments!
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Old 07-02-2016, 13:00   #73
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

Well, I've only had large 4 strokes so cant speak for the little ones, but the large ones are superb. Smooth, quiet, clean burning, easy to fresh flush and easy to change oil in. Idle like a dream.
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Old 07-02-2016, 13:05   #74
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

That's a nice well setup on that Van25 for sure.
I was looking at small/mini sailboats a couple years ago. (20-23 ft types) The oft repeated problems with an outboard well were:
- The engine is continually doused with salt water, the well opening often scoops water into and up inside the well. The engine parts become corroded fast.
-Wells often wont allow the engine to be tilted out of the water. Some apparatus allow the engine to be raised straight up, but then the cover/hatch lid must be up
also.
-No room in the well to hand start the engine, so you better have electric start.
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Old 07-02-2016, 14:56   #75
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Re: Pro/Con of outboard for blue water cruising

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Thanks Vancouver, I really like the simple way James rebuilds those tough old classics. I had a good look at all his other videos. It so refreshing seeing people with simple boats and gear going sailing.

On the engine and corrosion thing, we USD to use a waxy type of spray on fire pumps and the like that were exposed to salt water. Maybe something like that would help keep the outboard alive?

On the emergency steering, I guess I was thinking more inshore, or the last bit getting into port. And for short bursts offshore to get her pointed the right way, such as to help tacking and gybing then your drogue or sweep can take over for the straight bits.
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