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Old 09-09-2011, 20:37   #16
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Re: PDQs with Outboards

Westerbeke 274 lbs. plus the weight of the outdrive, prop, outdrive oil etc.
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Old 09-09-2011, 22:18   #17
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Re: PDQs with Outboards

a. You can get PDQs with deisels. The LRC models. They were less popular.
b. Yes, the Yamahas do have access issues, but so do inboards. I don't think they are worse, just different. If I had a diesel, I would have writen something scathing and comical about that.
c. Yeah, I went swimming, but only for 20 minutes. It was 100 degrees and the water was better. I could have pulled the engine, but I chose not to. Can you service the drive end of another engine more easily? I doubt it.
d. Charging. Really, using the engine to charge is silly; that's what solar pannels are for. No problem, whether I,m moving today or will simply swing on the hook. You need enough pannels for lay days, so what does engine charging matter.
e. Fuel. Deisel can get infected (on my blog). Gas can be plagued by ethanol (on my blog). It's a wash. Both work well if care is taken.
f. 2 engines manuver better, but I had a 1-engine cat, so it's OK.
g. Read the Gemini Yahoo pages if you want to read about drive issues.
h. Outboard mileage sucks. Yes, they are loud.
i. Would I prefer a diesel? Maybe. I would NOT want an engine that kept the prop in the water. You loose at least 1/2-knot. I would also be happy with new Yamahas.
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Old 11-09-2011, 15:16   #18
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Re: PDQs with Outboards

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Originally Posted by Tropic Cat View Post
maintenance vs frequency of maintenance
Yamaha tune ups and carburetor rebuilds
Westerbeke none ( no wires, no plugs, no distributor)
So you're saying a Westerbeke diesel requires ZERO maintenance? I've never seen an outboard that had a distributor...

From my own experience with a single diesel in a monohull and twin outboards, Honda 20's which DO work on a cat (although it's always amusing to hear "experts" say they don't) maintaining two outboards is less hassle than one diesel.

Basically everything is easier. I never have to antifoul my props, never have to worry about barnacles on them, don't have to use crap antifoul around saildrive legs to avoid electrolysis, can do oil changes (leg and engine) in the fresh air and sunshine, can drain water from the fuel systems in the fresh air underway, could hand start if the batteries failed....

TBH, I wouldn't swap for diesels if someone paid me.
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Old 11-09-2011, 16:14   #19
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Re: PDQs with Outboards

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
From my own experience with a single diesel in a monohull and twin outboards, Honda 20's which DO work on a cat (although it's always amusing to hear "experts" say they don't) maintaining two outboards is less hassle than one diesel.

Basically everything is easier. I never have to antifoul my props, never have to worry about barnacles on them, don't have to use crap antifoul around saildrive legs to avoid electrolysis, can do oil changes (leg and engine) in the fresh air and sunshine, can drain water from the fuel systems in the fresh air underway, could hand start if the batteries failed....

TBH, I wouldn't swap for diesels if someone paid me.
So you have twin honda 20s on a 44' cruising cat? Interesting. What kind of cat is it?
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Old 11-09-2011, 17:09   #20
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Re: PDQs with Outboards

The arguement about outboards versus diesels is always interesting. A lot depends on if one is primarily a sailor or a motor sailor. The Yamahas will give you 2500 hours if you use them a lot. If you let them sit a lot you'll probably get about 1500. I've got a friend with a Mainecat 30. He spends about 4 months a year cruising. The remainder of the year he's pretty much a day sailor, using the motors only to get in and out of the Marina. His Yamaha's were toast at 1500. During the 8 months he wasn't cruising his gas always went bad because he didn't use very much. Gasoline ages and goes bad way faster than diesel. Stale gas keeps outboard mechanics in business. The plusses have pretty much already been mentioned. The small alternators don't give you much of an auxillary charging source for those strings of cloudy days or a solar panel failure. The Yamahas also tend to spin a lot of props. My buddy seems to spin one every 2 years or so. The advantage is they're cheap and easy to change. The bad news is it's really hard to get the large diameter high thrust props in the Bahamas. They pretty much stock high speed outboard props. The large diameter props and high torque of the low gear ratio Yamahas may in fact be the problem. If the same hubs are used as with a low torque engine it could explain the apparent short life of the props.

On the other hand I have a pair of diesels with feathering props. Need to work on the outdrive... haul the boat. Need to change the prop...haul the boat. The later is a result of the complex assembly proceedure for my props, not inherently a problem with diesels. Change the oil...flip a switch (I like that one) and only every 250 hours. Change the water pump impeller, 4 screws, 1 puller and it's done. No need to remove the lower unit or pull the engine out of it's well. If you're going with the outboard make engine lifting tackle part of you onboard equipment. By the way if I run my diesels I make hot water for showers etc., you just don't get that with an outboard. Another downside of diesels is exhaust maintenance. Exhaust elbows are a regular maintenance item, and their not cheap. I'm not really sure why a water cooled exhaust and muffler are considered a good idea, as they seem to be a major source of problems on small diesels. I personally don't find the outboard noise on my buddy's Mainecat any more obnoxious than the noise of my diesels. It is a higher pitch, but then again I've reached an age where much of my high frequency hearing is gone anyway, so maybe that's why I don't have much of a problem with it.

All in all I'ld say the plusses and minuses pretty much cancel each other out and it pretty much becomes personal preference.
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Old 11-09-2011, 17:09   #21
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Re: PDQs with Outboards

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I've never seen an outboard that had a distributor...
And I was just about to go look for those....

I recall electronic ignition, wires will last the life of the motor, and sparks that last a good 10 years. My last outboard (Nissan) got zero maintenance for 12 years. Just sayin'.

Apparently there is a new sort of diesel out there with no raw water impeller, no fuel filters, and that is immune to bugs. It sets on-deck so you don't have to crawl under it to do said maintenance. Very cool.

(Sorry--couldn't help myself. I blog about simple work on outboards, just for fun, but closer reading would reveal I bought them second-hand, after another sailor declared them done. Of course these have been more work. However, until my kid clears college, the money is a bit tight. THEN I'll see new engines, installed by someone else!)
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Old 13-09-2011, 15:43   #22
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Re: PDQs with Outboards

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So you have twin honda 20s on a 44' cruising cat? Interesting. What kind of cat is it?
It's a Bob Oram designed 44C. In Australia you see a lot of cruising catamarans with outboards, there doesn't seem to be the degree of prejudice against them here that there is in the US. (Like cats in general I guess)

I was recently anchored at Gloucester passage and at one time, of 8 cats there, 4 were outboard powered, including a near 60 foot Schionning, also with 20hp Hondas, and one other was powered by electric outboards. Only 3 with diesels, and they were all older heavy production boats built for the charter market.
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Old 13-09-2011, 16:45   #23
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Re: PDQs with Outboards

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...Apparently there is a new sort of diesel out there with no raw water impeller, no fuel filters, and that is immune to bugs. It sets on-deck so you don't have to crawl under it to do said maintenance. Very cool....
Awe..... There isn't a boat in our marina, that when comes time to use the dinghy isn't swearing and cussing at the outboard that refuses to start. I've never seen or heard of so many carburetor rebuilds in my life!!
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Old 13-09-2011, 18:03   #24
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44'cruising cat, which 20 hp Honda OBs do you have? What is the gear ratio? What are the pros and cons of your OB selection so far? We have twin Yamaha 8 hp on our Kelsall 40 and are thinking about going bigger. With both engines and no wind we do 6 knots but with 30 knots and 3 m waves on the nose our speed drops to 1 knot.
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Old 13-09-2011, 18:17   #25
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Re: PDQs with Outboards

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Awe..... There isn't a boat in our marina, that when comes time to use the dinghy isn't swearing and cussing at the outboard that refuses to start. I've never seen or heard of so many carburetor rebuilds in my life!!
Honest, it's not my fault they havn't leanred how to treat e-10:
  • Keep the tank full. Fill it when you return, not when you start. Fill every night if possible, but at least close it before the temperature drops; that's when it breaths in. Easy.
  • Keep the vent closed when finished.
  • Sail as often as possible. Every 3 weeks should do.
I haven't rebuilt a carb in 25 years, though I have done many for others or on used engines I have purchased. Fact. I've never bothered to run engines dry or dump old gas or use additives.

Besides, it's really not a rebuild they generally need, just a 10-minute cleaning.

My kid runs the dingy and she can start the engine every time. It aint a new engine either (12 years). She also runs the engines on the big boat. No swearing... though I suspect she's learned how.

It is SO simple.
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Old 13-09-2011, 18:30   #26
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Re: PDQs with Outboards

We have a 40 hp efi honda on our Endeavour cat. The 35 hp we yanked had 2800 hours and looked, ran like new. I just found a deal I could not refuse on anew crate motor w 5 year warr. I had twin honda 225's on a ex tow boat that had over 5600 hours without being torn down. 2 strokes definitely last less, but it does come down to maintenance on any engine.
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Old 14-09-2011, 05:21   #27
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Re: PDQs with Outboards

A few other tips to keep your outboards running right:

-- If you won't be using it for a week or more, while the motor is running, disconnect the gas line at the motor and run the fuel out.

-- Add Seafoam to every tankful.

-- If you're laying it up over the winter or for any other month+ period, run out the fuel, pull the plugs and spray in fogging oil. Spray the plug tips, too. Cycle the motor a few times slowly, then replace plugs. When you restart, you'll get a puff of blue smoke for a few seconds, but she'll start right up.
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Old 14-09-2011, 06:06   #28
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Re: PDQs with Outboards

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A few other tips to keep your outboards running right:

-- If you won't be using it for a week or more, while the motor is running, disconnect the gas line at the motor and run the fuel out.

-- Add Seafoam to every tankful.

-- If you're laying it up over the winter or for any other month+ period, run out the fuel, pull the plugs and spray in fogging oil. Spray the plug tips, too. Cycle the motor a few times slowly, then replace plugs. When you restart, you'll get a puff of blue smoke for a few seconds, but she'll start right up.
Also drain the bowl on the carburetor.
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Old 14-09-2011, 14:59   #29
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Re: PDQs with Outboards

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44'cruising cat, which 20 hp Honda OBs do you have? What is the gear ratio? What are the pros and cons of your OB selection so far? We have twin Yamaha 8 hp on our Kelsall 40 and are thinking about going bigger. With both engines and no wind we do 6 knots but with 30 knots and 3 m waves on the nose our speed drops to 1 knot.
I have the 20hp extra long shaft, with the "Powerthrust" props. They're a bigger diameter, lower pitch prop, with no "cup" in th eblades so they work in reverse too.

The motors have power tilt and a 703mm shaft. Weigh around 65kg.
Gear ratio is the standard one for the BF20. The different props mean we still hit the recommended rpm range though. Both motors flat out reach around 5600rpm.

On our boat they work great. Flat out with both motors we hit around 9.5 knots, fast cruise at around 7.5 - 8, (4400rpm) economical cruise at around 6. (3600rpm)

On one motor we can do a little under 6.5, and for economy a little over 5.

In the type of conditions you describe, we'd usually throttle back to around 4 knots for comfort, but the motors could certainly push us faster.

We're a light boat with slim hulls, launched at 4800kg with some gear+fuel and near full water but no rig (at launch). In that state we saw 10 knots both motors full throttle.
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Old 14-09-2011, 15:02   #30
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Re: PDQs with Outboards

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Awe..... There isn't a boat in our marina, that when comes time to use the dinghy isn't swearing and cussing at the outboard that refuses to start. I've never seen or heard of so many carburetor rebuilds in my life!!
Our dinghy has a Tohatsu 18. Fires first pull every time - if i'm quick enough to get the choke in it keeps running. If not, it starts next pull, every time.

You do find some people find everything to be difficult.
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