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Old 21-09-2019, 11:25   #1
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Putting an outboard on a sailboat: I'm clueless!

I want to put a small outboard motor on a 30-ft sailboat. There is already an outboard bracket on the boat, but I need to know about setting up controls. I've never even operated an outboard motor on a sailboat before, so I just don't know how these things are set up. Do outboard motors have some way of locking the tiller, so you don't have to lean way out over the stern to keep the motor pointed straight, and you just steer with the boat's rudder? Is there some way of connecting the throttle to a remote throttle (or even just a cord that I can pull on)? Do I need a motor that's specifically designed for sailboats, or will any small outboard do? This is only going to be a temporary setup, so just making it work good enough will do!
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Old 21-09-2019, 11:30   #2
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Re: Putting an outboard on a sailboat: I'm clueless!

There is an adjustment on the steering that increases the drag so it is hard to steer ( essentially locking the steering so you utilize the vessels rudder .
As to remote throttle and shifting they are available for most outboard . Just do a Google search for remote controls for your make and model of outboard motor .
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Old 21-09-2019, 11:43   #3
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Re: Putting an outboard on a sailboat: I'm clueless!

Since there is already a mount on the boat, you can measure from that mount to determine how long your outboard shaft needs to be. If the mount raises for sailing, measure from the lower position.
Beyond shaft length it really becomes what you want to spend. How 'temporary' do you realistically think the setup will be in place?
As newhaul stated most outboard engines can accept remote controls (hard cables). I believe the outboards designed with sailboats in mind might have these controls more readily available.
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Old 21-09-2019, 16:48   #4
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Re: Putting an outboard on a sailboat: I'm clueless!

I've sailed quite a few raceboats/day sailers with an outboard on a bracket. Sometimes with a tiller extension that is a tight fit over the tiller/throttle lever so that you can more easily control direction and throttle. But most of them have just been a case of some sort of drag screws to keep the throttle and direction of the boat constant until you practice a bit of boat yoga, leaning over the transom to adjust something.
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Old 22-09-2019, 09:25   #5
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Re: Putting an outboard on a sailboat: I'm clueless!

Make sure it's electric start!!!!!!
Make sure you can lock it down so it doesn't kick up in reverse
Keep fuel tank on deck for safety and re-fuelling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Water Dragon View Post
I want to put a small outboard motor on a 30-ft sailboat. There is already an outboard bracket on the boat, but I need to know about setting up controls. I've never even operated an outboard motor on a sailboat before, so I just don't know how these things are set up. Do outboard motors have some way of locking the tiller, so you don't have to lean way out over the stern to keep the motor pointed straight, and you just steer with the boat's rudder? Is there some way of connecting the throttle to a remote throttle (or even just a cord that I can pull on)? Do I need a motor that's specifically designed for sailboats, or will any small outboard do? This is only going to be a temporary setup, so just making it work good enough will do!
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Old 22-09-2019, 09:25   #6
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Re: Putting an outboard on a sailboat: I'm clueless!

If you want to do this correctly then watch this channel:





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Old 22-09-2019, 12:18   #7
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Re: Putting an outboard on a sailboat: I'm clueless!

I would look into a 4 stroke, long shaft, (25 in) 6 - 9.9hp, high thrust outboard. If you can access the bracket easily from the cockpit you may think about simply using the tiller controls as that is much simpler then setting up remote controls on that size boat.
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Old 22-09-2019, 12:25   #8
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Re: Putting an outboard on a sailboat: I'm clueless!

You can do all the steering with the tiller by leaving the outboard in a straight forward position. You can also steer with the outboard to make tighter turns but will have to also adjust with the tiller. make sure your outboard has reverse or you will need to turn the motor around 180 degrees to go in reverse. It's all pretty simple and you will get used to it in no time.
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Old 22-09-2019, 12:43   #9
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Re: Putting an outboard on a sailboat: I'm clueless!

Just one thing that is not obvious. The stern of the boat if it is a sail boat goes up and down when the boat is stopped with any head sea. The propeller of a transom situated outboard will often lift out of the water when the boat bow is in the trough of the wave--- the motor will race and no propulsive force--
Once you are moving the stern wave will perhaps immerse the motor too much. Get as long a shaft with extensions if possible. I years ago had a 27 C&C that one had to let the boat pickup a little speed drifting down wind before you could turn to head down wind and put the motor in gear and then head to wind ward with the motor happy in the stern wave. It was OK but you had to be choosy about where you anchored. leave lots of room! 9.9 Hp with a high thrust prop will be all you need Popemichael.
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Old 22-09-2019, 13:09   #10
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Re: Putting an outboard on a sailboat: I'm clueless!

Absolutely get the longest shaft you can.

One night in Inati Bay a small sailboat with an outboard motor came in to anchor. Backing down to set the anchor he found himself with substantial sternway on close to a boat astern. He put his outboard into forward, at a high speed, to prevent a collision. Finally the boat stopped just in time and began to go forward, quickly. To stop the next potential collision at his bow he put the motor in reverse again, also at high throttle but he could see that he wouldn't stop in time. So he ran to the bow to fend off, leaving his motor in reverse at full throttle. As he reached his bow the propeller of his outboard was raised out of the water and the engine began to scream. It was really loud for a few seconds then...silence.

Our friend drifted out of the bay into the night, with no motor.
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Old 22-09-2019, 13:33   #11
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Re: Putting an outboard on a sailboat: I'm clueless!

This is the video that shows you how to build a drywell and do it right.
With a long shaft 4cycle Yamaha you'll have a great setup.
This gentleman really has it down!
Try to watch all his video's. I have seldom seen such quality work!


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Old 22-09-2019, 13:33   #12
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Re: Putting an outboard on a sailboat: I'm clueless!

I have an outboard on my 29' because my boat was not built for an inboard. First I would ask what kind of boat are we talking about? If a bracket is there already, is it fixed or does it hoist the engine? Typically boats with outboards don't have the controls run to the cockpit as the engines are primarily used just to get into and out of a slip or harbor. In such cases one has to lean over the stern to start the engine and put it in gear and set the throttle as desired and then return to steering by the tiller. It is much easier and safer to be able to lean over the stern quickly and easily to make adjustments to speed, so be sure things (like things mounted on the pushpit that can be removed) are out of the way as much as possible As to locking the engine in place, unless it is very loose, this will probably not be a problem, and in fact, being able turn the engine easily can be an enormous asset to using an outboard on a sailboat. I have actually rafted up with another sailboat, larger than my own, to power it into a slip and that was only possible because I was able to steer with the engine.
If you are only using it for a short time in a harbor, to move to a slip or something, then a regular short shaft 6 hp or so should be fine. If you will be heading out where there will be swells then I recommend the longest shaft possible and an outboard designed for use as a sailboat auxilliary, with a designation like "high thrust" or "power prop" or something like that. And for a 30' a 9.9hp is best. Getting an electric start is a good idea if you can rig it up well and safely, but not necessary IMO. Some boat designs, with a good deal of rocker and transoms high off the water, don't lend themselves well to using an outboard. In my own case I am lucky; it works well as the transom is fairly low and I don't have the problem while under way of the engine coming out or cavitating in swells unless they are very steep, but I know others do have this problem.
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Old 22-09-2019, 13:46   #13
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Re: Putting an outboard on a sailboat: I'm clueless!

I keep putting the wrong video link here...this is finally the one showing the complete installation.

Like I said you should watch them all.
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