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Old 30-10-2020, 14:23   #1
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Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

Hey Guys,

I'm looking to buy new outboard for 10.5 inflatable dinghy, and have been researching or leaning towards the Tohatsu 6hp SailPro extra long shaft.
I like the idea of the extra long shaft should I get caught in a pinch offshore and need to temporarily repower my Mariner 28 sailboat, or should I get stuck on a sandbar I hopefully would get enough torque from the deeper shaft on the dinghy to free sailboat's keel from bottom.

Question #1: What are your thoughts in terms of pro's/con's for this particular make and model for the intended size dinghy?

Question #2: Is there another make, model, size, of equal specifications and efficiency? If so, let's hear it.

George
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Old 30-10-2020, 15:03   #2
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Re: Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

I think the multi use idea of such an outboard as a redundancy / emergency tool is fine. However for the very rare occasion that you need it for this (assuming no assistance is available) you will grow to find dinghy use with such a motor a constant irritant. It draws another foot, which will make dinghy beach landings, traveling over shallows etc tedious. It is not propped for dinghy use and will be comparatively slow and being heavier and longer will add drag to dinghy performance. In my view the engine should be for what will be used 99% of the time, i.e. a short shaft light weight dinghy motor that will plane the dinghy easily. In fact for a 10.5 I would get a 9.9 or 15 SS. This will be 50% to 100% more powerful and better suited to your emergency situation. Instead of taking the engine off, side tie the dinghy and use it to push the main boat in an emergency. On the other hand if dinghy use is extremely limited the long shaft 6HP will obviously do the job albeit annoying.
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Old 30-10-2020, 15:05   #3
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Re: Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

If you stick an extra long shaft outboard on a dinghy you will most likely regret it. It will never plane, and the torsional force of the longer leg might even damage the transom in time. It will also be a pain to handle and to lift the leg up for beaching.
Use a short shaft and either hip tow the mothership should you ever need to with the dinghy, or make a sliding mount to allow smooth water attachment of a short shaft outboard to the transom.
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Old 30-10-2020, 15:20   #4
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Re: Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

Used a Tohatsu 5hp extra long shaft as the main engine for my 26 foot keeler for several years whilst I saved to buy a new inboard. Tohatsu was brilliant; never missed a beat. Consistently achieved 6 nm on a tank of petrol and pushed the boat at about 4.5 knots. Fantastic motors, it did so much work.
But I couldn't use it with success on the dinghy. It was just too deep and awkward.
Today that little motor stands leaning against a wall, unloved and unused in my garage, no doubt gently rusting away too, perhaps dreaming of sun, sand and sea.
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Old 30-10-2020, 15:51   #5
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Re: Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

A dinghy doe not benefit from the sail ultra long shaft and special prop.


Get the same engine just not 'Sail' version. Normally a short shaft is fine but some dinghies have very high transons - then get the longer shaft version.


T6 - good engine.



b.
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Old 30-10-2020, 17:38   #6
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Re: Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
If you stick an extra long shaft outboard on a dinghy you will most likely regret it. It will never plane, and the torsional force of the longer leg might even damage the transom in time. It will also be a pain to handle and to lift the leg up for beaching.
Use a short shaft and either hip tow the mothership should you ever need to with the dinghy, or make a sliding mount to allow smooth water attachment of a short shaft outboard to the transom.
Good advice.
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Old 30-10-2020, 17:53   #7
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Re: Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

You will regret being under powered and I share the same concerns above with a long shaft
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Old 30-10-2020, 18:38   #8
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Re: Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

We just bought a Merc. OB 4hp 4 stroke short shaft for our 9' 6" Achilles , inflatable floor hard transom . We have had the engine for one year .
First it's a Tohatsu , Merc rebrands it and charges an extra $200 . I bought it from Westmarine . West , obviously is not a warranty service center and we needed that . West gives you a list of centers , half of which are out of business other half , well not that good . OK , we have a weird problem where the motor makes a very irritating whistling noise and the warranty centers don't know what it is .
Anyway , I'm saying if you want the Tohatsu buy it from a dealer that does the warranty work .
You have good recommendations from all the previous posts . I would say for your dink
min. 6hp maybe the 9.9 , and 4 stroke
Another thing , where will you store it and how will you get it on the dink ?
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Old 30-10-2020, 19:11   #9
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Re: Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

A borrowed (8hp) long shaft was tried (once) on my 10 ft inflatable.

At speeds of about 5 kts and greater, a geyser of water traveled up the leg of the outboard, poured over the transom and into the boat. Flooding occured at a rate of many gallons per minute.

This was caused by the "fat" part of the outboard leg being immersed.

Steve
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Old 30-10-2020, 22:46   #10
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Re: Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

We bought a new 6hp 4 stroke Tohatsu 18 mths ago. Never again.


1. difficult to start - tried all sorts of procedures. No correlation to ambient air temp.

2. the 'in gear' interlock to prevent starting in gear is badly designed and locks when out of gear - so cover off and move it by hand. It actually happened during the presales demo at the tohatsu dealer. We should have walked away then.
3. starter cord 'kicks' occasionally, hurts the arm. My wife very reluctant to use it.


Actively considering taking a loss and buying a Yamaha - 2 stroke if I can get one.


On the matter of long shaft, I'm with the majority - if it's mainly for the dinghy then stick to standard.
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Old 31-10-2020, 07:38   #11
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Re: Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

Not sure what your use case is for your dinghy, but if you plan on using it to go ashore in areas without a dock, a long shaft as you motor into a beach or (god help you) a rocky shore will be a massive PITA. Even with a conventional shaft, an outboard on a lightweight inflatable often has to be canted forward as you approach the shore before you expect it. Adding another foot of depth would make the motor in those situations - not unusable, but it will be directing propulsion more downwards than forwards for a lot of the way in. Avoid.

We have an EPropulsion Spirit, and while electric outboards really require the right set of circumstance (we mostly daysail with one or two longer cruises a year in yacht-friendly harbors, so it's really just to get from the dock to the mooring and back or to a nearby shore), the fact that we have to do exactly zero maintenance, and can just press a button to start it, is worth the extra cost and inability to plane.
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Old 31-10-2020, 08:41   #12
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Re: Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

I replaced my 9.9 Merc with a 6.0 Merc. It literally lost 50% of the power and speed. If I could go back, I'd go with the 9.9 Merc again. I got the standard, not the long.
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Old 31-10-2020, 09:09   #13
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Re: Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

We had a tohatsu for years and it never let us down. Great outrboard.
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Old 31-10-2020, 09:30   #14
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Re: Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

I have a Tohatsu 6 hp Sail Pro sitting in a well on my Rob Roy 23' yawl. It does fine for that boat, especially because it has a generator for the battery. But it's heavy to lift, and you'd be paying extra for a generator you don't need.
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Old 31-10-2020, 09:44   #15
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Re: Looking to buy outboard for dinghy

On a 28' sailboat you are not going to store the dinghy and motor on deck conveniently. I have seen many cruisers leave their dinghy with motor tied to their boat while at anchor. I have also witnessed wind gusts pick up the dinghy and motor and place them back in the water up side down. I recommend taking the motor off when at anchor. Then you will want a light motor such as 2-3 HP that you can lift with one hand.
On my 40' sailboat I carried a 3.3 HP motor and a 15 HP motor, both 2 stroke for light weight. I used the 3.3 95% of the time to go short distances. I used the 15 HP to plane and go long distances.
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