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Old 26-01-2022, 19:18   #1
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Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

I have not followed outboard powered boats for the last 10 years. So my question is what pocket cruisers now have outboard power. What boats compete with a Regal 26 XO? What is a good power for this type of boat. Is a 300HP outboard enough?

I only want to deal with one outboard and the boat would be used on inland lakes and maybe the ICW.
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Old 26-01-2022, 20:06   #2
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Re: Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

Not sure on specific makes and models but everything Iíve seen and been hearing is that the industry is leaning away from inboards and going to outboards with some shops simply refusing to work on inboards anymore. Just too much of a pain to work in or pull from cramped messy oily engine rooms. Outboards are just so much easier from manufacturing to sales to maintenance and repair.
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Old 26-01-2022, 20:23   #3
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Re: Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

That is what I am thinking. An outboard will be easier to maintain. Another advantage is an outboard will come out of the water too. I have only seen a Regal 26 XO. It was nice but I am wondering what other boats are like the Regal.

I want to boat to be trailerable so 26' is about as big as I want.
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Old 26-01-2022, 21:23   #4
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Re: Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

Since you are in florida already, just go wander the marinas and you will quickly get a good idea.

Also, keep an eye on if the outboards are really out of the water. I've seen some that are still partly in the water when fully retracted.

We had an outboard on our catamaran and loved it (only 25hp and much slower than you are thinking). We were able to keep it fully out of the water when not in use and the prop and lower unit was like new with no growth when doing the ICW for a few years.

We are currently on the great lakes and I/O boats are pretty much the standard for small cuddy cabin cruisers. I would say 300hp should be fine as that's what a lot of the I/O boats have.
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Old 27-01-2022, 06:50   #5
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Re: Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

I'd guess maybe many of the center console makers might offer other deck configurations. Boston Whaler, Grady White, Pursuit, Regulator, Robalo, Blackfin, Sea Hunt, Mako, etc etc etc. Even some of the center consoles have decent (if small) interiors.

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Old 27-01-2022, 07:24   #6
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Re: Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

For trailerable pocket cruisers with legitimate cruising accommodations (though with speeds in the 15-20 kt range), you may want to look at Rosborough 26. They come in all three propulsion flavors (OB, IO and IB). Most are OBs. C-Dory also make trailerable cruisers.

Others that are small cruisers though not OB are Atlas ("Acadia") built in Cape Coral FL.

Good luck - please update as you learn more!

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Old 27-01-2022, 09:04   #7
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Re: Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

The size of outboard needed for a planing hull depends on hull design and weight.If you want smaller lighter and very easy to tow, the C-Dory 22 Cruiser works well with 90-115hp. C-Dory's in 23', 25', and 26' work well with 150-200hp. C-Dory Tomcat 255, a catamaran capable of much higher speeds, works well with a pair of 150hp. All are well-designed small cruisers, packing carefully thought out features into a small space. Simple and seaworthy - we cruised SE Alaska for two months in our 22.

You might also consider Ranger Tug 23, 25 and 27 outboard models.
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Old 27-01-2022, 09:58   #8
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Re: Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

Outboards are renowned gas guzzlers..I speak from experience.....I got twin 150 Yammies on a 23' fishing boat. At cruise, I'm burning about 15 gal (US)/hr....At $4.60 for non-ethanol gas ( gotta have that) equates to about $70/hr ....when I put the hammer down, that jumps up to about 45 gal/hr....$207/hr...
A half-day's fishing is easily a $300 plus adventure...

It doesn't really help to go slow.....at slow speeds, I'm burning more fuel than on plane, outboards like to run at 3,000 rpm plus...I find that around 3,500 rpm plus gives best bang for the buck...

Engine service is not cheap either...typically done every 100 hours or so....figure on $750 per engine...

My boat is around 6,000 lbs all up...it requires a tandem axle trailer. You can pull it with a 6 cylinder, but you really need 4 wheel drive at the ramp......
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Old 27-01-2022, 13:52   #9
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Re: Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

Thanks for the insight and trying to bring me up to speed on trailerable cabin boats. I have been looking at Ranger Tugs on-line. That is an option. Also looking on-line at some I/O boats but really want an outboard. Owning a boat with a cabin is on my bucket list.

I am surprised that the newer 4 stroke outboards use a lot of gasoline. I thought they were as efficient as the same HP I/O.
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Old 27-01-2022, 13:57   #10
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Re: Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I am surprised that the newer 4 stroke outboards use a lot of gasoline. I thought they were as efficient as the same HP I/O.

They're comparable. But all gas powered boats are inefficient. Diesels will typically burn 30 - 40% less fuel at higher speeds and 50 - 60% less when going slow. Gas engines lose more efficiency as you slow down and load gets lighter. On very light boats, this can be so extreme that you get better mpg on plane compared to going slow (that won't happen on heavier boats though).


In particular, outboards and I/Os tend to be more efficient than straight shaft inboards at higher speeds (better thrust angle and often less drag), but because they're more limited in prop size, they're often less efficient at low speed than a straight shaft.
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Old 27-01-2022, 14:07   #11
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Re: Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

I know the lower units of an I/O or outboard have a lot of drag from the lower unit. I have had smaller boats in the past about 12 years ago. I now want to get back into boats with a cabin to offer more comfort.

I will add the boats mentioned above to a list to check out. Also I saw Cut Water boats on-line. They seem a bit different than Ranger Tugs

Oh - I saw an outboard powered Glastron 259 that looks interesting. But that boat has an above cabin sink and cook top which takes away from a sleeping area.
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Old 27-01-2022, 14:40   #12
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Re: Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

I just got off Boattrader.com and there weren't many outboard powered boats available in my area of 200 miles. I will keep checking and expanding my area.
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Old 27-01-2022, 16:29   #13
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Re: Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

Well, my 150 hp Yammie is a 2.7 litre engine....4 cyinder....fuel injected...but it operates in a very high rpm range.
If a 2.7 litre engine in a car were to operated at 3-5,000 rpm, it would also burn a lot of fuel..
most cars " cruise" at around 2,200 rpm....and very few drivers spool the engine up to the redline between gears...

The drag of an outboard lower unit is considerable, and it increases with speed. Outboard manufactures have conducted tests on this and the one engine vs. two engine option....ie, two 150's vs. a single 300 hp. You can google Youtube and find this.

I know guys at the marina that run their engines at full clip...5-6,000 rpm, their fuel consumption is laughable...they need to take 4-5 people out fishing just to share the fuel costs...

I don't often see inboard engines.....but those that have 'em...they are usually
V-8's....5-6 litres...not sure how fuel efficient they would be, but I can imagine, probably not so good.

Sea state is another thing....you might achieve...say 25 knots in calm conditions, but any waves, you won't...and may have to amply substantial more throttle...

There's no free ride here...
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Old 27-01-2022, 17:07   #14
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Re: Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

Any way you power it, going fast costs a ton of fuel. And the heavier the boat gets, the worse the penalty (compared to optimizing for slow speeds).


For perspective, my boat (straight shaft inboards) with twin 340hp 7.4 liter V8s of 1980s technology has a fast cruise of about 17 kts at 3300 RPM. At that speed, fuel burn is about 30 gallons/hour (total). Slow down to a nice, easy pace of 6.5 - 7 kts (1300 rpm) and fuel burn drops to about 5 gallons/hour. Put a pair of modern diesels in the same boat and 17 kts will burn no more than 20 gallons/hour, the 6.5 kt slow cruise would burn not much over 2 gallons/hour.
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Old 27-01-2022, 17:35   #15
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Re: Help - outboard powered pocket cruisers

Some years back I got an opportunity to drive a Lamborghini.....I had to fill the gas tank, which I gladly did for this once in a lifetime opportunity.....somewhere around 20 gallons as I recall.

Putting your foot into it, and why wouldn't you...emptied that gas tank in the space of about 45 minutes..at full tap, you're getting about 3 mpg......
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