Lightweight outboard for 10' sailing dinghy

Discussion in 'Outboards' started by mcg, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. mcg
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    mcg Junior Member

    Wondering if there are some outboards well suited to a 10' sailing dinghy. Honda used to make a 2 hp lightweight, but the current model is more powerful and heavier. The idea of hanging 30 lbs on a motor mount projecting behind the transom of this tiny boat, which you sail from the stern anyway, does not seem like the best solution.

    On the net I found some small, probably Chinese manufactured outboards here:

    http://www.smalloutboardengines.com/

    and here:

    http://www.ioutboardmotors.com/20hp-4-cycle.html

    These might be sites from the same company. The motors are small and light at about 18 lbs, but I wonder about their track record, reliability.

    I also looked at Torqueedo (too costly) and Electric Paddle, which is more reasonable but still a substantial expense. The beauty of the Electric paddle is that it only weighs about 8 lbs.

    Finally, I have thought about using a trolling motor, either with a battery or in combination with a small generator mounted forward in the boat. Here is one example.

    http://salestores.com/sunpen172.html?gclid=CNCsnI3PkLYCFYje4AodkwEA6g

    In effect, the 2 stroke gas generator plus trolling motor distributes forward the weight of the powerplant, might add some range, and doesn't cost much. (Incidentally, I have another application for the 12 volt generator on shore.)

    Not clear to me if a trolling motor with a gasoline powered generator would require a battery in the circuit as well, though in principle I suspect it could be avoided.

    The last thing I thought of is to buy and restore an old Seagull.

    Net, there are lot of improvised solutions aloft here, but the reason seems to be there aren't any new lightweight outboards in the 2 hp range from established manufacturers.

    Seems like such a basic problem, powering a rigid dinghy, but maybe the market is too small, or maybe I am missing something important.

    Thank you for your recommendations and insights.

    Michael
     
  2. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Seems like an electric outboard is just right for that boat.
    After all, you won't need the motor often, just to get back when the wind dies. They are very light and the battery can go anywhere.
    I wouldn't complicate things by using a generator. For years I've sailed my 1300 lb 15 footer without a motor. I use oars sometimes but I wouldn't have a motor of even the complication of a batter/troller. Even the oars are often left behind.
    Keep things simple as you can, though I understand you may have a unique situation with currents or wind (too much or too little) in your location.
     
  3. mcg
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    mcg Junior Member

    Hello Alan, thank you for your help. The boat is sailed from the beach of Lake Michigan in a northern, fairly wild part of the state. It is unprotected water and it is good to have a couple of fallbacks, e.g. oars or a paddle plus a motor.

    The simplicity and weight distribution of an electric motor and battery are really appealing but I have never used one so I am not sure what to expect. With a gas engine you get a nice pop of horsepower and a good long run. I guess I kind of lean toward those little Chinese 2 hp motors, but I don't know anyone who has one. Some gear from China is fine but some of it has not been fully debugged. Michael
     
  4. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    There is a brand of Chinese OB that is sold locally...cant remember the name....Black colour scheme, all small hp motors . They Look OK, integral tanks, and lightweight.

    Find a supplier of one of the new electric OBs and give it a test. You will be impressed. Lightweight and powerful

    On a price decision the chinese gas will be cheaper.
     
  5. Warrior193
    Joined: Mar 2013
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    Location: London UK

    Warrior193 New Member

    power for sailing dinghy

    Hi MCG, can I offer a solution I came up with when I built an 11 foot dinghy?
    I mounted the outboard on the centerline of the transom - this was partly to keep it clear of the water, no matter what heel angle or tack. I also calculated that in the event of capsize, the engine should not submerge unless she inverted fully (she had bouyancy tanks fore and aft) I mounted twin rudders, angled rather like you see on the R-T-W racers, with a simple catamaran style linkage for the tillers. I started with a Johnson 4 HP short-shaft, which was plenty light enough - but I eventually ended up putting a Chrysler 9.9 HP on her, weight was no problem at all (especially as I never had to un-ship it) and she would plane like hell! Great fun. I used a Mirror dinghy rig (gunter) with the addition of a short bow-sprit, a fairly narrow, aerofoil dagger board (in a shaped slot/case) and just used the original Mirror rudder as the pattern for the second one.
    For a cobble up, she sailed, rowed - and especially motored, very well indeed.
    Warrior193
     
  6. mcg
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    mcg Junior Member

    Elegant solution. Outboards on sailboats are often an afterthought. Make it the centerpiece and you solve a lot of problems, no question. Double rudders might not work for me, however. I launch from the beach, sometimes nose first into the breakers, and an extra rudder might complicate things.

    Electric Paddle has a video, here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VV3VRXWR3As

    With a motor this incredibly light, I think you could just stow it forward, on the floorboards, and mount it only if needed. Seems small to me, though. They suggest it for dinghies up to 8 feet, mine is a 10 footer.

    Michael
     
  7. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

  8. Warrior193
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    Warrior193 New Member

    Hi Michael, yes I grant that the transom of such a small boat as this tended to be a little crowded with this rig (especially with the Chrysler) - but the rudder blades were pivoted at the top and could be still used to steer in the retracted position. The blades were pulled down with fixed bungee cords and retracted with light line/jam cleats. The dinghy hull was very similar to Bateau's 11 foot flat skiff, but I added a small skeg for beaching and a little directional control while rowing - it also gave me a fixing for a transom wheel to drag her over "hard bits" without scuffing up her bottom. She was light enough for one person to carry, but this meant unloading everything - and I tended to travel "loaded for bear". I also fitted a substantial knee brace at the transom (must have been expecting to experiment with bigger engines!) Warrior193.
     

  9. keysdisease
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    For less than $500 those 18lb Chinese outboards look hard to beat. The Torquedo is way cool but you could probably buy 3 of the Chinese OB's for the price of one fine German crafted Torquedo

    Steve
     
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