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Old 11-03-2015, 21:08   #1
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Outboard on a 40ish'er?

Hi All!

I'm a brand new newbie here, in the midst of a divorce, with the house on the market, and plans to jump into the liveaboard lifestyle within the next few weeks. The biggest and most complex boat I've ever owned is a Hobie16, but I figured the best way to learn is immersion, so I'm all in. I work a weekday 9-5 (more like 8-7 most days), so won't be out on open water more than a couple of times a month and have no plans to cruise more than a night or two away from home base, which will be Dinner Key in Coconut Grove, FL. With my newbieness and limited plans to be away from the dock, I was wondering if it might not be a crazy idea to buy a boat that's missing its inboard, install an outboard on a raisable/lowerable bracket, and use the engine room for storage and/or tankage. It seems like the extra space might be really useful and I gather that outboard maintenance is both easier and less expensive. But then again, I don't see this configuration very often, so I wonder if there might be some major drawback for which I'm not accounting. Whatdayasay?

Thanks!
Michael
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Old 11-03-2015, 21:20   #2
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Re: Outboard on a 40ish'er?

In our area there is a local 40' racing boat with a bracket-hung outboard. A 10 horsepower outboard makes it motor in flat water just fine and can manouver the boat as needed (but it is, I'll grant, a very light 40' racer). The first big downside is that you can't use your engine to charge the batteries. But if you are planning to be alongside in a marina, with access to shore power, that need not be a deal breaker. Or if you have plenty of passive generation (solar and wind), again it may not be an issue. Second downside is that in any decent sea and wind condition - say 4' chop and 25 knots on the nose, for example, the outboard probably won't push you worth a damn. IF it were me, I'd find a boat with a working diesel inboard.
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Old 11-03-2015, 21:27   #3
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Re: Outboard on a 40ish'er?

If you were an experienced sailor I would say go for it but since your not I would say keep looking.

I assume you want to get out on the water as a boat is a bunch of money per- square foot relative to other shelters.

If you do get out an outboard is on my list too but only as a backup since they can be overwhelmed by conditions as the previous poster mentioned.
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Old 12-03-2015, 16:49   #4
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Re: Outboard on a 40ish'er?

You didn't mention power or sail, or the size of the motor.

If you are thinking about putting an outboard on a 40' sailboat, you may have problems with the transom being too high. Also, it will be completely useless in any weather. With a sailboat you are better off replacing the inboard.

If you are talking about power, specifically an older twin-gas that isn't desirable in the market anymore, then it is a little easier. You can put a larger motor on the boat, say 60+ HP and be able to travel at hull speed.

Some things to consider though are that you want the prop below the bottom of the hull. This may limit the size of the boat you can get. A 40' boat may have too deep of a hull for the outboard to be effective.

Also, forget resale value. You should have a plan on how to dispose of the boat when you want to get rid of it. If you are thinking such a weird concoction as a 40' boat powered by an outboard motor is a desirable, well you said it yourself regarding how many you have seen.

I have a 32' fiberglass twin gas boat here in the yard you can have for free. Also an X-long 9.9 4 stroke Yamaha for $600.
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Old 12-03-2015, 17:04   #5
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Re: Outboard on a 40ish'er?

On a boat that big, you will likely loose control in most any wind with an OB. Steerage is difficult etc. If you just need to move it from point A to point B a short ways it will likely work but has it's drawbacks for sure. Once moving in flat water it will be ok. Stopping, getting moving if you need to steer etc will be dicey.
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Old 12-03-2015, 17:35   #6
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Re: Outboard on a 40ish'er?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulliams View Post
........ I don't see this configuration very often, so I wonder if there might be some major drawback for which I'm not accounting.
You don't see it very often (you've probably never seen it) because, as others have said, it's not going to work very well.

You will do far better buying a boat that's in working condition, especially since you don't have a lot of experience.
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Old 13-03-2015, 19:10   #7
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Re: Outboard on a 40ish'er?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
On a boat that big, you will likely loose control in most any wind with an OB. Steerage is difficult etc. If you just need to move it from point A to point B a short ways it will likely work but has it's drawbacks for sure. Once moving in flat water it will be ok. Stopping, getting moving if you need to steer etc will be dicey.
+1.. on that.. you've already stated that you want to use the boat ..even for short trips having that setup isn't safe.. let's call it what it is.. its an accident waiting to happen.. if you get a hull for cheap and want to park it in a slip, fine, I hear ya, but I wouldn't recommend you use it the way you want.
Bottom line, to use a boat the way you want, find a different boat.. or get that boat and spend the 5-10k on a re-build (motor)..
I'm not familiar with rates in Fla.. but the acronym for BOAT is bust out another thousand.. for a reason.. unless you're "handy" and do repairs yourself, it's expensive..

I'm a big supporter of jumping in head first.. but that's a tough call.. you know your abilities.. if you feel you can handle it, go for it..

I bought my boat from an insurance auction and rebuilt it myself.. which took several months of working on it 8hrs a day.. Google.. Cooperss.com .. check it out .. my opinion? With boats , you can afford one if you have deep pockets or if you have lots of free time and lots of skills.. but just parts and materials are expensive

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Old 22-03-2015, 03:14   #8
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Re: Outboard on a 40ish'er?

Outboard is an option for me as a backup in a tight anchorage or harbor to move a boat if winds are not favorable and the main engine shuts down and won't restart.

As a primary especially on a power boat it's not a good plan - if you do it make sure you have lots of chain and a few really overkill anchors to keep you off the rocks !
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Old 22-03-2015, 04:10   #9
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Re: Outboard on a 40ish'er?

"some drawback for which I'm not accounting..." if other experienced sailors aren't already doing what you suggest, you could start by assuming its not a good idea, instead of assuming they're all too dumb to think of it...
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Old 22-03-2015, 04:40   #10
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Re: Outboard on a 40ish'er?

40 might be a bit long for an OB. I have a high-thrust 8-hp OB on my 31' ten-ton cutter and it gets me around just fine. Lots of other boats that size do it too, and I know a few 40+ foot racers that have one, but they're pretty light. Give it a try and let us know! The mentality that "This must not work because no-one else is doing it" is pretty stupid--it's just that people lack either the imagination or the stones to break free of the herd.
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Old 22-03-2015, 05:33   #11
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pirate Re: Outboard on a 40ish'er?

Don't do it.. unless you have the skills to do 95% of your boat movements under sail.
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Old 22-03-2015, 05:58   #12
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Re: Outboard on a 40ish'er?

my neighbours just skull their 50 ft morcambe bay prawner around,either with a skull off the back,or 2 sweeps from the cockpit............

the boat is a 150 years old,has a gaff rig,and they didn't make out boards in those days..........,it has done 2 atlantic crossing as well.

amazing that for thousands of years sailors survived with out engines.........
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Old 22-03-2015, 06:41   #13
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Re: Outboard on a 40ish'er?

Outboards can certainly provide the power but if the boat wasn't designed to accomodate an outboard, getting it to work with reliable control in anything but glass calm conditions is problematic.
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Old 22-03-2015, 07:10   #14
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Re: Outboard on a 40ish'er?

Don't pay heed to the Nay-sayers! My only thought is that you will not have rudder until you have way.. as opposed to having the prop in FRONT of the rudder which directs the thrust in the desired direction. Otherwise for your stated use, you'd probably be fine. Of course, for other uses (like real cruising) the Nay-sayers are correct.
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Old 22-03-2015, 08:15   #15
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Re: Outboard on a 40ish'er?

My 34 foot, 9500 pound sailboat is difficult to maneuver in close quarters even with the diesel, and I have decades of experience with large powerboats. There is so much current where my slip is, I don't try to go in and out of the slip without planning for slack tide- but I am close to the inlet. If the tide is running I use the transient slip which is oriented with the current. There is no way I would try to maneuver her with outboard power- I would rather pull her out of the slip to a safe place to anchor with an outboard dinghy.

You are going to work, this is very difficult if you aren't in a marina especially when the weather is bad. Being out on a mooring and maneuvering to the hook is more doable if you are experienced, but with no experience even getting to your mooring under sail is tricky. Much less putting the boat into a narrow slip with other boats in close proximity. What can happen? Someone rented the slip next to me recently and put the bow through their deck box, which cost $700 to replace. That would be a cheap accident comparing to crashing into someone's nice hull, or having someone crush their hand between your boat and a piling trying to keep you off the dock.

Then there are the situations you might get yourself into due to lack of experience that having more power and directional control would save the bacon... getting too close to a navigational hazard, navigating the inlet, clawing off a leeward shore in a squall...
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