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Old Yesterday, 05:26   #46
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Re: Recommendation on outboard for small dinghy

Adding to my first post in this thread, we never use ethanol gas in our Honda 2.3.
We had a Tohatsu 3.5 and ethanol reaped havoc on it. We used additives, ran it dry, drained the bowl, went thru two carbs etc etc, that was one unhappy outboard. Like stated up post buying non ethanol gas is worth the price. Luckily most southeast states have non ethanol gas so while cruising there it is not a problem, we keep a five gallon Gas Gerry jug on the Rail, it lasts a long time, handy when in the ethanol states.

Fair winds,
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Old Yesterday, 06:05   #47
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Re: Recommendation on outboard for small dinghy

It isn't too difficult to de-alcohol fuel by adding water and then decanting the fuel from the water/alcohol mix that has phase separated to the bottom. Look it up on YouTube.

It is a little messy and time consuming but for a gallon or two at a time not too difficult. I've done it a few times now in the ethanol states when I just couldn't find ethanol-free fuel as a cruiser. When you don't have a car and are constantly on the move a special gas station or airport a few miles away might as well be on the moon. I keep around a couple of used 1.75l clear rum bottles for the job.

It can be a PITA to do in the cockpit but not as much as tearing the carburetor apart on your tiny outboard or rowing home against the current because the motor just won't start.

We love our little 2hp Yamaha 2-stroke that I can carry in one hand while I step over the rail and into the dinghy with the other. But it sure hates the alcohol fuel.
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Old Yesterday, 06:49   #48
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Re: Recommendation on outboard for small dinghy

First season with our Honda 2.3, and agree that it is loud but don't think it's that bad. I do like the following about this engine:
  • Light - I can lift this off my pushpit and carry it into the dinghy with one arm. You don't need an engine lift to get it to your boat. And it takes me under a minute to get it attached to our dinghy.
  • Simple - With no water pump or transmission it's really easy to maintain. Only need to worry about oil changes which are super easy and the oil level indicator on the side just requires a quick glance to check oil level.
  • Shallow - Going into shallow waters or even mucky waters isn't an issue as all that water stays out of the engine.
  • Fuel - No separate fuel tank to connect. Again, simple.
  • Powerful Enough - You won't be planing your boat like your neighbours with the 15HP but it's fast enough for short trips.

One down side. It gets hot. When you are ready to lift it back up into your boat you need to give it a few mins to cool down before trying to pick it up.

All of this really depends on your scenario. For us, the motor spends most of it's time on our pushpit. It's used at anchor when we want to visit another boat in the same protected anchorage or get to a dock close by. If I had to travel more than 10 mins or needed the boat in big open water I would have a completely different boat and engine.

Another option with similar power would be a Torquedo electric outboard. But these are still too expensive for us.
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Old Yesterday, 08:44   #49
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Re: Recommendation on outboard for small dinghy

We have an EPropolsion Spirit, which fits in somewhere between the two lower-end Torqeedo models. It works very well for our purposes: light, reliable, simple, zero maintenance. But it’s expensive, requires a bit more day-to-day care than an average four-stroke (e.g., instructions say to rinse with fresh water after every use in salt water, so we end up dismounting it, wiping it down in the head shower and storing in the aft cabin), and can’t come close to getting our 9’ inflatable onto a plane (5 knots is about terminal velocity). Our dinghy is purely ship-to-shore when there’s no launch available in small New England harbors. I don’t think electrics are for everyone yet.
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