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Old 25-02-2017, 16:03   #1
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Retractable outboards

Anyone have experience with retractable outboards on a cat like the Seawind 1160 lite? Good idea or bad? They're out of the living areas, out of the water, less drag, two less holes thru the hull(s)... but what are the tradeoff(s)?
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Old 25-02-2017, 16:43   #2
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Re: Retractable outboards

My favorite propulsion setup


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Old 25-02-2017, 19:17   #3
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Re: Retractable outboards

Tradeoffs are:


Outboards have small generators. You'll need alternate energy sources for battery charging.


You'll also need or want a hot water system.


You need to organise fuel storage so it's above the waterline in self-draining lockers.


Outboards are a bit noisier.


They're ultimately unlikely to last as long. Although a friend's 19 year old Honda is going well. (I know, lots of diesels last well beyond 19 years, but many don't.)


Some loss of manoeuvring power in strong winds.


That's about all I can think of, after 7 years and nearly 33,000 miles on an outboard powered cat".
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Old 25-02-2017, 19:22   #4
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Re: Retractable outboards

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Tradeoffs are:


Outboards have small generators. You'll need alternate energy sources for battery charging.


You'll also need or want a hot water system.


You need to organise fuel storage so it's above the waterline in self-draining lockers.


Outboards are a bit noisier.


They're ultimately unlikely to last as long. Although a friend's 19 year old Honda is going well. (I know, lots of diesels last well beyond 19 years, but many don't.)


Some loss of manoeuvring power in strong winds.


That's about all I can think of, after 7 years and nearly 33,000 miles on an outboard powered cat".

Let's see, 33,000 miles motoring 100% of the time....
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Old 25-02-2017, 19:23   #5
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Re: Retractable outboards

700% of the time.
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Old 26-02-2017, 02:32   #6
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Re: Retractable outboards

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700% of the time.
So is that pro rata per annum, best thing is your sails hold up really well, prolly get 118,000 miles/25 years out of the sails & only need to replace the covers a couple of times.
I've got a 23 year old tohatsu on my 24' cat... not many hours though... never been flushed & on it's second impellor... but very noisy

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Old 26-02-2017, 04:23   #7
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Re: Retractable outboards

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Originally Posted by gittist View Post
Anyone have experience with retractable outboards on a cat like the Seawind 1160 lite? Good idea or bad? They're out of the living areas, out of the water, less drag, two less holes thru the hull(s)... but what are the tradeoff(s)?

We have a Seawind 1160 Lite, the outboard systems on these boats is the best I have seen, had no problems doing an 800nm Offshore passage last year. You will need to think about Gas for hot water , (but could also probable achieve the same with an elect power shower) and an inverter or small Honda genset , also charging on the Yamahas 25hp gives out more amps than the Honda 20hp,.

Outboards are also easier/cheaper to service, just did both engines a few weeks back, was able to lift them both out via the boom system and then drop them off for a full service......total cost of SGD 200. Just making a phone call to a Diesel Mechanic would cost you more than that.

Cons:
More noise when under way compared to inboard diesel
Require Freshwater flushing each time after use
Its more difficult to service the oil strainer on the Hondas than the Yamahas
Often you need to slow the boat down as you are sailing too fast.......

Andrew
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Old 26-02-2017, 04:40   #8
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Re: Retractable outboards

As a new owner of the 1160 Lite (just took delivery a month ago), the only downside I've noticed that isn't easily addressed is the loss of cockpit storage space. The outboards reside in what were lockers on the inboard version. I do gain significant storage area below deck however.

The propane hot water system works well and with 800W of solar, I am so far able to offset the smaller alternators on the Yamahas.
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Old 26-02-2017, 04:55   #9
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Re: Retractable outboards

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Tradeoffs are:


Outboards have small generators. You'll need alternate energy sources for battery charging.

Which is pretty much standard on cats with cheap and easy to install solar.


You'll also need or want a hot water system.
Agreed, though not a big issue in tropical conditions.

You need to organise fuel storage so it's above the waterline in self-draining lockers.

Easily done on a cat.

Outboards are a bit noisier.

Maybe old 2 strokes. Our 25hp Fuel injected Merc was so quiet at idle you had to look for the water coming out. At normal cruise speed its about the same as the diesel boat we have now.

They're ultimately unlikely to last as long. Although a friend's 19 year old Honda is going well. (I know, lots of diesels last well beyond 19 years, but many don't.)

Again, I think this is old school thinking. We had 10yrs and well over 1000 hrs with nothing but lube/oil/filter type maintenance.

Some loss of manoeuvring power in strong winds.

Huh? For equal power, it will be almost the same. Particulalry if they are in wells thru the hull.

That's about all I can think of, after 7 years and nearly 33,000 miles on an outboard powered cat".
With a cat and modern 4 stroke Fuel Injected engines, diesels have realy lost their big advantage.
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Old 26-02-2017, 06:12   #10
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Re: Retractable outboards

Quote:
Originally Posted by indimini View Post
As a new owner of the 1160 Lite (just took delivery a month ago), the only downside I've noticed that isn't easily addressed is the loss of cockpit storage space. The outboards reside in what were lockers on the inboard version. I do gain significant storage area below deck however.

The propane hot water system works well and with 800W of solar, I am so far able to offset the smaller alternators on the Yamahas.
So you've brought her up from the Miami show? We looked for you, but missed you, so we chatted with Gordy and Don Wigston from Windcraft. We are making plans, and think that we'll sell our C36 trimaran and move to a cat - most likely, the 1160 Lite, but we're some time off yet.
Hope to see you this spring!

Lee & Laura (Hartge Marina, if you recall meeting when you had your mono!)
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Old 26-02-2017, 07:21   #11
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Re: Retractable outboards

Lee,

The boat is still down in Miami. She's on her first of two booked charters at the moment. We'll be moving her up end of March or early April.

Sorry we missed you in Miami. We were on the boat a fair amount of time, but also running around on the first and last days of the show. Let's definitely plan on catching up this Spring.
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Old 26-02-2017, 09:14   #12
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Re: Retractable outboards

My problem is that I love the dual outboard system so much, that it really limits boat maker when we eventually choose to upsize! Although I've been really happy with the Seawind, and an 1160 Lite or an 1190 appears to be the most likely next boat. Or maybe the larger Maine Cat, if that has an outboard option.

Our 9.9 hp Yamaha's were abused by charterers for about three years prior to us buying the boat. Had 750 hrs on each motor. I suspect they were motoring from Miami to Bahamas more than sailing. After ten years and about 1500 hrs, one of the motors had a failure that made it more cost efficient to replace than repair. So at that time, I replaced them both. (Sold the working one to a fisherman to use as a kicker, and gave him the other parts motor, all for $1000.) Replaced with same Yamaha 9.9 hp high thrust engines. Better fuel economy, quieter than previous model, and have flush fittings. Cost about $5000 to buy the two engines, and the swap-out took a day to do (by myself, using the boom).

Oil changes are pretty easy with a suction pump and hose. Lower unit lube and water pumps can be done by disconnecting and raising the motor up and out of the box using the boom. Or I have also done sitting in a kayak, and just tilting the motor and removing the lower unit, take it to a work bench, and servicing it there. They key is to remove and grease up the lower unit threads and spindle very well with heavy grease when it is new, and then every 2-3 years, so it all slides on and off. I've also found that the bottom paint only lasts about 3 years, and when the boat is in the yard, it is a great time for water pump changeout and lower unit lube. Very easy DIY project.

The only other issue is carb cleanout if you are using ethanol fuel. I had to do that annually, until I switched over to non-ethanol fuel. That said, I can lean over, remove the cowling, and take the carb off for service with the motor still attached in operating position. One time I even removed and cleaned the carb on the second motor while underway.

As mentioned before, alternators are smaller. That is fine with me though, as the solar panels cover our usage fully. In fact, when we motor, I usually turn on lights and fans in the boat, plug in the inverter, and generally try to charge all electronics that need it, because I'm trying to keep the batteries from being overcharged by the motor alternators.

For hot water, we have a Bosch on-demand hot water heater than runs on propane. I wouldn't want a hot water tank taking up space onboard.

For fresh water, we have a Spectra 150D watermaker than runs off the solar panels as well. We consume about 10 gals fresh water per day, and run the WM every 2-3 days to keep up with consumption.
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Old 26-02-2017, 09:30   #13
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Re: Retractable outboards

By "retractable", do you mean on outboard brackets or in wells? The reason I ask is when I was researching a trailerable mono and looking them, I discovered that many owners dis like outboards in wells. The salt water splashes and fill the well a lot, everything is constantly doused with salt, The well with a cover doesn't dry out readily so stays wet, the engine ends up looking like it's been submerged, etc.
With todays smaller power tilt models, I would think stationary brackets would work well, just using the power tilt maybe?
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Old 26-02-2017, 10:36   #14
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Re: Retractable outboards

Thank you for all of the responses. A few of you have gone off on welcome tangents, water makers, hot water etc.. That info is also very useful.
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Old 26-02-2017, 14:32   #15
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Re: Retractable outboards

Having given the "cons", how about the "pro's"?


They're cheaper.


Easier to service.


Take up less space


They're lighter


There's less drag.


Your boat sails better, so you motor less, so you can carry less fuel, so you're lighter so you sail better....


Getting fishing lines/crab trap floats etc caught in a prop is simple to fix. If necessary you can even remove a prop at sea while under sail. I've done it.


The outboard/daggerboard/kickup rudder combination gives you extreme shallow draught. We float in less than 0.5 metres of water. Not even knee deep.


Drying out is easy, no worry about saildrives burying in sand.


Even in very remote pacific island villages, petrol is almost always available. The locals use outboard motors too.
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