Originally Posted by Black Diamond
would spend half its time free-spinning in large swell or choppy conditions and not give you what you need at the very time you need it. I've seen boats in Narragansett Bay (where you rarely see more than 2-3' chop) struggling with outboards all the time.
SabreKai is well on his way to a decision, but how the O/B performs in sea conditions, etc deserves more attention. This is a real Achilles Heel.
 Modest waves keep lifting the prop, and cause cavitation and over-revving. That gets worse the closer to the stern that you mount it.
 Heeling or rolling will also lift
the prop on designs with a flat-ish stern, exacerbating  and making motor
sailing awkward in gusty conditions.
 Many outboards, particularly older ones, are WAY underpropped relative to their horsepower (for displacement
vessels) and therefore fail to deliver what you might expect from their power rating. Prop pitch
will also be wrong if the O/B was set up for planing craft (a lesser issue).
 Prop issues in  really limit braking ability going astern. You have to rethink how you manoeuvre into docks, etc in high winds.
 The harder it is to sail your boat out of snarly wave action, the more you should worry about  to .
 A fuel tank
that would keep a small diesel going for 30 hours kept my outboard going for perhaps 5. Fuel
is more explosive and expensive.
is a PITA, particularly in wells. Not flushing
kills the O/B.
The only positives I remember are that I could use the O/B as a "stern thruster" in docking
manoeuvres, and what friends have paid to repair old diesels would have paid for four new outboards!