What is a good proven dingy motor...?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by paularey, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. paularey
    Joined: Oct 2005
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    Location: Panama

    paularey Junior Member

    Not sure this is the best forum for this but I’m looking for a good dingy outboard for an 8-foot aluminum dingy that came with a sailboat I bought. I’m new to this whole sailing realm so I would be grateful for any good advice on a good quality and proven motor. Ease of maintenance a factor also. Any help in narrowing my search would be appreciated.
  2. TimClark
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    TimClark Senior Member

    Well if you didn't mind going slow, you could always buy a trolling motor. Or you can buy a small Mercury.

  3. Packeteer
    Joined: May 2005
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    Packeteer Junior Member

    i reckon a 5hp would be enough

    dunno about brands tho
  4. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Big fan of the Honda BF series outboards, myself.... they're light, quiet, insanely reliable and use almost no fuel. You won't find any used ones, you'd have to buy new. Another option is the Briggs&Stratton air-cooled outboards, they're noisier but they're dirt-cheap and run for 20+ years with little more than basic maintenance. Most outboard makers have at least a couple of small gas outboards in this size range. Electric is an option too, if you don't mind carrying batteries.
    2-3 hp would move your dinghy nicely at displacement speeds with a full load; a 6hp would probably plane it fairly well (check the dinghy's capacity plate to see what it can handle).
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    "you could always buy a trolling motor. "

    This option has much to recomend it as many lady friends get intiminated by having to start a gas outboard alone.
    This traps them on the vessel , even in the smallest anchorages , as many can not row.

    The electric motors push a dink very well and most will put out 40 to 80 lbs of thrust. That's equivelant to a 2 to 4hp outboard (1hp = 20 lb thrust).

    The electric trolling motor also is quite light for storing underway, unlike the frequently 80 to 100lb 4 strokes. Gas cans , fire extinguishers ect can also be left ashore.

    Sealed or AGM batts have no problem if the fall over , but are expensive , and require great care in recharging. Dedicated solar would even work.

    For most anchorages it is a delightfull way to go.

    If coupled with a nice sailing dink , range issues for longer excursions dissapear.

  6. paularey
    Joined: Oct 2005
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    Location: Panama

    paularey Junior Member

    Thanks for the input folks. I'll probably stick with something in the 2-5 hp range and stay away from electric. I need something I can pop on and off to stow with ease sense I'm in Panama and petty thief is just something you have to get used to here. Batteries are out they’d disappear in a flash. I’m a fan of Hondas but I’m looking for something used and inexpensive for the time being. Any advice towards a good light wt. proven 2-stroke appreciated.
  7. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    The '70s-'90s Johnson Sea-Horse is one, they last ages and are cheap (my grandfather's just went in to the shop for the first time in 25 years). Even simpler are the Briggs & Stratton, these are air cooled and run about $600 new if I recall. A chain and padlock (5lbs, about $15 at the corner store) will deter 90% of petty thieves, and will also save the motor if you don't tighten the clamps enough and it falls off.
  8. paularey
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    paularey Junior Member

    Starting to lean towards the Honda BF2. It has very good reviews is light, air-cooled, has a clutch and don’t need to mix gas! Was looking at the Briggs & Stratton but for just a bit more money you can get a Honda with a warranty and it’s proven reliability! Only question now is does anybody know of a good online stores for buying a small Honda outboard. I have not had much luck with finding a online Honda supplier.
  9. kenJ
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    kenJ Senior Member


    I have great luck with my 1990 Nissan 5 hp. It's 2 cycle so it is lighter than a 4 stroke. 50:1 mix is easy. Seem to be quite a few avail due to the move toward 4 stroke (EPA mandate in some states). Online manuals if you need one. I picked one up used for $200, changed the spark plug, lower end oil & impellor. Been running great for 5 years. Will plane my 9ft inflatable with just me in it, not quite enought power to plane with 2 adults. An older motor might be less inviting to a thief, and it's so simple it is a good motor to learn on if you are new to outboard maintenance.

  10. mattotoole
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    mattotoole Senior Member

    I can't heap enough praise on the 2 HP 4 stroke Honda I use. On top of all the other good points, it weighs only 28 LB. I like that it's self-contained, with a built-in fuel tank that gives a couple hours' runtime.

    I've considered trolling motors. I'm sure they do a great job, and the silent operation would be neat. But what do they weigh with battery? Also, if you run out of juice you're stuck. You can always find someone to give you some gas. Newer battery technology could make these quite promising though.
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