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Old 02-11-2014, 16:01   #1
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Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

Hello, I have just got an old 24' helms boat on lake Norman in North Carolina.
It come with 2 stroke 4 HP outboard Tohatsu. While the engine seems to be strong enough to push the boat forward it is rather weak on reverse. Our dock require us to get out in reverse, sometimes against strong wind.

I am considering buing another engine but at the sametime I as thinking if ot would make sense to keep the other one on as a safety backup. Is it compeletely crazy?

Or is there a possibility to mount it in such a way that i steat of switching to reverse I could actually turn the whole engine around? It seems that when it is going forward it has much more thrust!

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Old 02-11-2014, 16:15   #2
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Re: Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

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Originally Posted by pskudlarski View Post
Hello, I have just got an old 24' helms boat on lake Norman in North Carolina.
It come with 2 stroke 4 HP outboard Tohatsu. While the engine seems to be strong enough to push the boat forward it is rather weak on reverse. Our dock require us to get out in reverse, sometimes against strong wind.

I am considering buing another engine but at the sametime I as thinking if ot would make sense to keep the other one on as a safety backup. Is it compeletely crazy?

Or is there a possibility to mount it in such a way that i steat of switching to reverse I could actually turn the whole engine around? It seems that when it is going forward it has much more thrust!

Thanks

Pawel



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some of the old 2 stroke 2HP engines had only forward, no neutral or reverse and spun to go backwards. Lack of neutral made things interesting on occasion.

the prop is probably optimized for forward thrust not reverse or the gear ratios might be different
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Old 02-11-2014, 16:21   #3
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Re: Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

all normal props work better in forward, in reverse the trailing edge of the prop becomes the leading edge and as you can see from the shape thats inefficient
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Old 02-11-2014, 18:01   #4
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Re: Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

Another idea is to see if you can get a special low rev optimised prop. They can be had for some engines as after market parts (as well as direct from some makers like e.g. Tohatsu).

Most outboards are optimised for lighter boats, very little kick in reverse unless you do rev it up.

Re 360 degs mount - yes, possible, but difficult in sailboats.

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Old 02-11-2014, 18:40   #5
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Re: Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

It does not make sense to keep two outboards on a 4200 pound Sailboat. I doubt you need much more power then that 4hp can give and don't forget it is a sailboat and can sail. Now if you asked how to build a collapsible sculling oar I would say that is an excellent backup and much quieter when the wind dies.

edit add: Could you back in? If the wind can be enough on the stern to prevent your 4hp from pulling you out your bow might be better facing out.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:20   #6
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Re: Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

Not to worry my boat is for sailing. I simple do not trust engines yet at some point I feel it is safer to dock on engine, especially that my docking is surrounded by those dance powerboat parked all the time and waiting to be hit.
The question about two engines is because of this lack of trust. If I would get another one I would be tempted to keep current one as a backup.
How about getting electric backup? I would use it few minutes at a time if ever so battery shoul be able to handle it?


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Old 03-11-2014, 07:56   #7
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Re: Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

I can maneuver my 7600 lb boat with a 4hp 2 stroke. Practice, practice, practice. Yes you always have some performance loss in reverse. Be glad you even have reverse at all. Really, with a small boat you should be able to simply shove out with the engine standing by. Do you sail solo? What wind speed and relative direction are you usually dealing with? Would backing in be easier than backing out? I think if your outboard is running okay, no upgrade is needed unless you just want to spend some money on a new 6hp 4stroke Nissan or similar. I had one of them as backup propulsion to my old Atomic until I re powered with an electric motor. I had plenty of backing power and way more fwd power than I needed.

An outboard already offers tremendous maneuverability advantages over inboard power because you can direct your reverse thrust and overcome side force. I think you would do better by rethinking your maneuvering methods and refining your undocking technique. Your current setup should work fine. But if you really want to upgrade and you buy a new motor, no sense keeping the 2 stroke. It would make someone a fine kicker for a large dinghy or a daysailer, and new electronic 4 strokes are very dependable in my recent experience.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:59   #8
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Re: Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

Your outboard is much too small for your boat. Need about twice that hp. Forget about two motors.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:12   #9
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Re: Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

My engine is transom mounted without possibility to turn. Makes maneuvering difficult when it barely pushes me against wind in reverse.

I guess maybe best option would be do modify the mount or add a backup Electric with turning possibility


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Old 03-11-2014, 08:31   #10
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Re: Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

Oh, and as to electric, yes it works quite well with certain limitations. If you only need power for maneuvering, it is far superior to internal combustion. For that, on a small boat, 4 group 31 batteries would be more than enough power at 280 lbs, and actually I would consider 4 group 27s which would be i guess less than 200 lbs. That is for ordinary flooded lead acid batteries. For a lot more money but significantly less weight, you could go with AGM or Lithium based batteries. The group 27s should give you full power for 20 to 30 minutes with a 5kw motor. 5kw is a bit over 6hp. I believe Thunderstruck has some 5kw Parsun outboards, or you could convert an old 20hp long shaft outboard with a blown engine to electric. Or go inboard if you are up to it.

Torqueedo makes some electric outboards but the most popular, the Travel and Ultralight, are nowhere near powerful enough for you if 4hp isn't enough. The bigger ones are worth looking into.

If you are talking about a trolling motor, forget it. Nowhere near the power you are looking for.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:42   #11
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Re: Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

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My engine is transom mounted without possibility to turn. Makes maneuvering difficult when it barely pushes me against wind in reverse.

I guess maybe best option would be do modify the mount or add a backup Electric with turning possibility


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An outboard that doesn't turn? I don't see how you could possibly mount an outboard so that it can't turn. Yes, by all means, add a proper outboard mount so that the motor turns freely. Could you post a pic of your motor on your boat? I simply can't visualize it in my head because an outboard motor has its own pivot and is meant to be fixed to a solid, non pivoting mount.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:44   #12
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Re: Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

How close is the propeller to the surface of the water? Are you sucking air into the prop in reverse? That would greatly diminish effectiveness in reverse.

I disagree about needing a bigger engine. I have used a Bristol 22 with a 4 hp and an Excalibur 26 with a 6 hp. Both did hull speed, both had the prop out of the water in waves making a larger engine useless at a time when you could use the extra hp to maintain speed.
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Old 04-11-2014, 17:37   #13
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Re: Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

Yes is does suck air in reverse, does it mean I should lower it so it is deeper under water.?


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Old 05-11-2014, 06:17   #14
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Re: Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

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Yes is does suck air in reverse, does it mean I should lower it so it is deeper under water.?


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YES ABSOLUTELY! Also, make sure the motor isn't tilting up freely when in reverse. The outboard should be able to lock in the upright position. There should be a release that allows you to tilt it up out of the water. You want it locked when in use, especially in reverse. You may have just found your problem. The prop must be well down into the water for proper operation. Either mounting the outboard too high or allowing it to tilt freely in reverse, either one, robs you of thrust.

If the catch that holds the motor upright is broken, improvise with something.
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:23   #15
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Re: Problems with reverse gear, does it make sense to have two ooutboards.

Pics would help.
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