We have a Crowther 46 sailing cat with twin Yamaha T9.9 (high thrust/low gear
ratio/special props). Works great 85% of the time.... She pivots on a dime with tiny outboards in low wind
situations and gets up to 6 knots for hours on end no problem under power.
That said, the other 15% of the time is a work
in progress: headwinds at low speed and turning with no speed into a heavy wind
is a bitch due to windage. Creativity usually provides a solution (heading downwind to gain speed or using an extra line to pivot off the mooring) ... but ... we are absolutely upgrading to Yamaha T25Xwtc engines. Extra long shafts (25" for low cavitation) and high thrust prop/gearing version, and also looking at installing jackplates with a 6.8 inch vertical drop electro/hydrolic quick raise (made by several companies including seastar and Atlas / H-C Marine).
Either way, we currently get up to an extra 2 knots sailing when we raise the 9.9 engines and not a big deal to lift
them. Super easy maintenance
on OBs and only $3k a pop for the 9.9 high thrust versus much more for diesel
. Also, Yamaha 25s are EFI (no carb) and very fuel
Regarding theft, the 25hp engine
weighs 154.8 lbs and will be through bolted in three places with locking lug nuts. Not too worried about theft with bigger OBs. The 9.9s are only 98 lbs and more vulnerable. I would further note that cats usually are at anchor
or a mooring
when travelling (at least we are) and it would be more difficult to float up and muscle off engines compared to when at the dock
. (Yes, I am sure somebody has had this happen but just saying, more difficult to remove an outboard
while balancing in a dinghy
I have owned my fair share of diesels on prior boats. I really like the obs for the following reasons - weight, interior
space, cost, easy maintenance
. Throw in the EFI and the fuel
go up even further. Today's outboards are not the same as those our fathers owned.