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Old 14-02-2015, 23:21   #1
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Am I being cheap and/or stupid?

I recently bought a Pearson 323 without an inboard engine. I have read extensively about the drawbacks of having an outboard engine on a sailboat. However, money is tight and I cannot afford the $6k-$10k to install an inboard engine.

I am in Palm Beach trying to prep my boat for an open ended (probably a year) sail around the Caribbean. I am considering buying a new(ish) 9.9 hp outboard to mount on the transom. I understand that this makes things more difficult without having an engine to charge my batteries.

My idea is to use the outboard only to navigate in and out of marinas. Time is not an issue so I don't think I need to be concerned about beating into the wind for extensive periods of time.

I am considering wind and solar to supply my meager battery requirements. I really only need power for running lights, vhf, charging electronics (phone, handheld vhf, etc.) I don't have a refrigerator, windlass, autopilot, or any other power suckers.

Am I being cheap and/or stupid? Any thoughts, advice or musings are appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 14-02-2015, 23:58   #2
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Re: Am I being cheap and/or stupid?

James Baldwin, here Atom Voyages - Home is a highly experienced sailor and an exponent of fitting outboards to older Pearsons, Ahlbergs, etc.. His site takes a bit of wading through, but you may get some ideas from his accounts and experiences.

Lee
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Old 15-02-2015, 00:08   #3
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Re: Am I being cheap and/or stupid?

AFAIK most newish outboards come with charging ability. But if you get 300-400 watts of solar this should be plenty to keep your batteries charged. Ebay has good options for flexible panels at roughly $1/watt or less. So you could even be running your fridge 24/7 without the need to top up by using the engine.
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Old 15-02-2015, 00:31   #4
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Re: Am I being cheap and/or stupid?

Ever sailed with a kicker on a boat that size? Ten horses and ~13000 lbs.

To me, what a major pain in the ass trying to steer, shift, and throttle with the shifter several feet from the wheel down off the stern. Would not even consider it without remote controls on the outboard. Me, I wouldn't consider it under any circumstance, but would respect your decision to do so without calling it stupid. Others have done it and will be here soon with "easy as pie" comments.

Safety concerns are there. Helming without remote controls will have you scrambling to perform operations in a timely fashion. When things get hectic, with wind and current in close quarters, lack of efficient operation will be trouble. Having two crew with one on the motor and one on the wheel isn't much better. The motor man won't be able to hear word one from the wheel man with his or her head hanging off the stern looking for the shifter because of wind and engine noise.

I'm sure you know stopping distances will be loong, especially with wind or current astern.

I'm sure you know how the prop likes to pop up for a breath of air in any seas of consequence. Inshore not so much. But a year in the Caribbean....

When someone says it's not that hard, ask them what size boat the did it on. And how many miles.

Been out many times on two 26 footers of my friends. Trying to help them gain experience on the water. I don't enjoy it at all with a kicker and no remote controls.
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Old 15-02-2015, 00:38   #5
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Re: Am I being cheap and/or stupid?

[QUOTE=four winds;1749198]Ever sailed with a kicker on a boat that size? Ten horses and ~13000 lbs.

To me, what a major pain in the ass trying to steer, shift, and throttle with the shifter several feet from the wheel down off the stern. Would not even consider it without remote controls on the outboard. Me, I wouldn't consider it under any circumstance, but would respect your decision to do so without calling it stupid. Others have done it and will be here soon with "easy as pie" comments.

Safety concerns are there. Helming without remote controls will have you scrambling to perform operations in a timely fashion. When things get hectic with wind a current in close quarters lack of efficient operation will be trouble. Have two crew with one on the motor and one on the wheel isn't much better. The motor man won't be able to hear a word one from the wheel man with his or her head hanging off the stern looking for the shifter because of wind and engine noise.

I'm sure you know stopping distances will be loong, especially with wind or current astern.

I'm sure you know how the prop likes to pop up for a breath of air in any seas of consequence. Inshore not so much. But a year in the Caribbean....

When someone says it's not that hard, ask them what size boat the did it on. And how many miles.[/QUO




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Old 15-02-2015, 02:08   #6
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Re: Am I being cheap and/or stupid?

Yves at CapeHorn Self Steering added an outboard to push his previously engineless Alberg 30. Will work to get you in and out of the harbor and powering in smoothish seas. Not the ideal way to go but will get you out there. A new diesel could easily equal a year or more cruising. You might even think about going engineless. The Pardeys for one swear by cruising with no engine. Should be easy to do in the Caribbean but wouldn't want to try and get into a marina without an engine. Cruising isn't about Marinas in any case.
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Old 15-02-2015, 08:31   #7
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Re: Am I being cheap and/or stupid?

FWIW, I think all outboards in the last ten years of 9.9 or more have at least a 6 amp charging system. Honda is 12. Remote controls are a must. Nothing like coming into a marina with a little cross breeze, abandoning the wheel to throw the motor into reverse, and it dies. Do you steer, try and restart, throw your body or someone else's between the boat and the hard object you are coasting toward?

Ask me how I know.
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Old 15-02-2015, 08:46   #8
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Re: Am I being cheap and/or stupid?

I am in the middle camp. Outboard is doable, but get some inboard controls to use it (right next to the wheel). I don't know how many times having the engine controls right at the wheel has saved my bacon. But it is more than a few.
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Old 15-02-2015, 08:48   #9
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Re: Am I being cheap and/or stupid?

Put an electric motor in the boat, and get a portable generator to charge the batteries. Used golf-cart parts are cheap and effective, plenty of them in florida!

$250 for cart that needs batteries

Ezgo Marathon Golf Cart!!

And maybe just $80 to rob the motor and controller from this beauty..
3 wheel golf cart 80$!!
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Old 15-02-2015, 08:57   #10
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Re: Am I being cheap and/or stupid?

From a pure cost perspective, Nimble motors makes a lot of sense, assuming of course you only use the motor for close quarters maneuvering and assuming you have a stuffing box and shaft already
The side benefit of course is you have the electrical system that gives you power to waste


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Old 15-02-2015, 09:01   #11
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Re: Am I being cheap and/or stupid?

Your boat is about 12,800. And you will be using a 10hp engine.

My Bristol 27 is about 6700-7000 loaded and I use a 5hp 4stroke Mercury Outboard with extra long shaft without an alternator. The only controls are on the engine itself. The engine is mounted on a Panther Adjustable Bracket with 14" of up/down movement.

The engine is also light enough where I can mount it on the stern railing on long trips etc or stow it below.

I have 100 watts of solar through a $12.00 controller charging two 12 volt batteries hooked up in parallel. This provides power for a 1500 watt inverter, laptop, Verizon jet pack for 4G, 2 GPS, autopilot, depth, radio(s), lights, fan, wet/dry vac (if needed), power drill, etc.

I was planning on only using my engine to come and go from the slip but have used it to push me back 18 miles home and/or for aid when sailing if needed. I have also found it's best just to go ahead and motor (rather than sail) all the way out the creek to the bay unless the wind in up and in the right direction due to boat traffic:

Steamin' home: (on autopilot)

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Old 15-02-2015, 09:24   #12
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OT, but Thommm

What kind of service do you get from the jet pack when not near urban areas? I am just up the Bay from you about 40 miles and have been thinking about trying a jet pack.
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Old 15-02-2015, 09:42   #13
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Re: OT, but Thommm

Quote:
Originally Posted by RebinVa View Post
What kind of service do you get from the jet pack when not near urban areas? I am just up the Bay from you about 40 miles and have been thinking about trying a jet pack.
I haven't used it too much except at Kiptopeke, Smith's Beach, Onancock Creek etc where there are towers nearby. (I guess you could call those places urban :-) )

Once when sailing dead down the center of the bay I tried it without much success. It was really slow. I was considering running the jetpack to the top of the mast to see if it would help next time.
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Old 15-02-2015, 09:47   #14
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OT, but Thommm

Thanks, about as I expected. Better than nothing I guess.

Thanks again.
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Old 15-02-2015, 10:37   #15
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Re: Am I being cheap and/or stupid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogiyo42 View Post
Am I being cheap and/or stupid? Any thoughts, advice or musings are appreciated. Thanks.
If you're ready to go & the only thing stopping you is not having an ICE,
no brainer. Spend a couple grand on a new outboard, toss it on the transom & go. You can cruise for quite sometime for what it'll cost you to repower with a diesel inboard. I wouldn't call that being cheap or stupid, it's smart.
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