Which outboard to use?

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Chumpy36
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Which outboard to use?

Post by Chumpy36 »

Ok, so the boat I just purchased (92 26s) came with two outboards. The first is a 2006 Tohatsu 8hp manual start long shaft (I think) no electric start or battery charging. Running status is unknown. It was blown over in one of the recent hurricanes and have a small amount of damage to the cowl.

Motor 2 is a 2017 Mercury 20hp electric start long shaft. Presumably with battery charging capability but I'm not positive about that. I see a rectifier so I guess so? Any idea to find out?

Weight for Tohatsu is about 90 lbs the Mercurty is 107lbs

The question is which motor should I use? The 20hp is valued at around 2k and looks like it's hardly been run. The Tohatsu is valued around $600 and looks well loved.

The 20hp seems like overkill but I would like to do some coastal cruising at some point. So being a little offshore, it might be good to have more power?

Any thoughts?

In any case I'm going to go through each motor and replace all fluids and do as much of a tune up as I can since there is no maintenance history and such.
Chumpy36
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Re: Which outboard to use?

Post by Chumpy36 »

I meant to ask if there's a good place to find the clamp screws for the transom. Both of these motors have frozen screws (I had to cut the mercury's to get the motor off.

The Oem parts are EXPENSIVE (116$ for two screws essentially), Anyone know of a cheaper replacement? Or the size? (I believe the Mercury is 14mm)

Thanks!
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NiceAft
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Re: Which outboard to use?

Post by NiceAft »

Owning an M, and not an S, means I am not familiar with your particular craft, but, seeing as you mention coastal cruising, I would rather have the 20, than the 8. I have a Merc 6 for my inflatable dinghy, many use a 2hp.

If you ever come across strong tides, or try to outrace a storm while on a lake, or if you’re on a 40 mile leg of a journey, you will want the 20 instead of the 8; otherwise, the 8 is fine. Electric start is also nicer.

Why is it you mention the price of each motor; do they come with the boat, or, are you trying to decide which to purchase from the previous owner?

Also, 30305 is your location; what is that :?
Ray ~~_/)~~
Chumpy36
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Re: Which outboard to use?

Post by Chumpy36 »

I put the values of the motors because I could, if I decided to keep the 8hp, sell the 20hp to fund upgrades etc to the boat. Just a data point.


Do we think the weight of the 20 on the transom will be an issue?

Thanks for the reply!
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NiceAft
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Re: Which outboard to use?

Post by NiceAft »

Is the previous owner available to answer the weight question? If not, now that you zeroed in on that, hopefully an S owner will answer.

:macx: and :macm: owners who have put much larger than recommended motors on their boats have reinforced the transom.
Ray ~~_/)~~
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Starscream
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Re: Which outboard to use?

Post by Starscream »

My recommendation:

Weight of 20 HP: irrelevant.
Reliability of motor chosen: very important


Why is the weight irrelevant? Because my personal opinion is that the weight of a 20HP is no big deal for a classic 26. This coming from a guy with a 90HP on a 50-HP-rated 26X. Others are very concerned about going with higher weight/higher HP than the boat is rated for. Based on my personal experience: I'm not worried.


Your boat, your rules. If I was you I'd go with the 20.
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NiceAft
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Re: Which outboard to use?

Post by NiceAft »

Here is an enlarged section of the 26S brochure. The recommended HP is 10. The weight difference seem negligible.

I’m sure this will create controversy, or at least posts from those who take it personally, and that is not why I’m saying it, but whenever I see “your boat, your rules” it makes me cringe.
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Be Free
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Re: Which outboard to use?

Post by Be Free »

I'd keep the Mercury. The extra weight is negligible but the reliability of a newer engine is priceless. The new engine may use a little more fuel developing the 8-10 hp you can actually use. There is no requirement or even practical reason why you would run this engine full-throttle on your boat (which may extend its useful life).

There are four reasons I can think of why MacGregor would have a 10hp max recommendation.

1. Avoid legal liability if something goes wrong. This is always on the table.

2. Weight of the engine affecting the sailing characteristics and/or transom integrity. Advances in engine design have moved this line much higher as evidenced by the small difference in weight between the smaller, older engine and the larger, newer engine.

3. Actual testing and/or engineering that indicates that this is the maximum that the boat can handle. I don't believe that any of us would expect that there was much in the way of actual naval engineering in the design of any of our boats. They are wonderful machines but it's my opinion that most of the engineering decisions were made empirically - try it and see how it works. There is nothing wrong with this approach when it is done correctly. I suspect that the designs of our boats involved more sweat than mathematics (and the results were amazing).

4. A pragmatic realization (the math is easy) that more than 10hp would have almost no affect on the top speed of the boat.

So, #1- not our problem; #2- 20 is the new 10 so N/A; #3- probably never applicable; #4- still true (physics of hull speed have not changed).

FYI: Tohatsu has made most of the small (under 30hp) engines for Mercury for many years so they are both Tohatsus under the cowl.
Bill
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Honda BF40D
"If I were in a hurry I would not have bought a sailboat." Me
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WinSome
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Re: Which outboard to use?

Post by WinSome »

Personnel experience agrees with using the 20 (Being as you have it AND it sounds reliable) You won’t require full throttle to reach hull speed. But you’ll be able to combat some large headwinds! Our S with 8hp reached hull speed easily at 7/8th throttle. Buddy with his 15 hp never used over half throttle but his was quieter than our 8 at revs.
Your 20 will have charging -due to the electric start. If you lucky you might have power tilt!
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dlandersson
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Re: Which outboard to use?

Post by dlandersson »

Go with the 20HP 8)
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Russ
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Re: Which outboard to use?

Post by Russ »

The 20 will give a lot of reserve in headwinds.
Charging and an electric start is a big plus.

Is the Merc a 2 or 4 stroke?

You mentioned you had to cut off the bolts. Was the Merc on the boat when you got it? I would assume a stainless bolt could replace. Pictures might help as I'm not familiar with what you describe.

Your location is listed as 30305. I assume that is Atlanta. Maybe update your profile to the name not the zip code.
--Russ
Chumpy36
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Re: Which outboard to use?

Post by Chumpy36 »

Merc is a four stroke.
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Be Free
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Re: Which outboard to use?

Post by Be Free »

Chumpy36 wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:30 am Merc is a four stroke.
Another plus for the Merc. New four stroke vs. old two stroke is a strong vote for the four stroke.
Bill
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Chumpy36
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Re: Which outboard to use?

Post by Chumpy36 »

I do believe the tohatsu is 4 stroke as well. But I’m made up. I’ll fix up and sell Tohatsu and fix the merc for use.

Thanks for the opinions everyone!
Chumpy36
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Re: Which outboard to use?

Post by Chumpy36 »

Updating this to reflect the crash course I had in small motor outboard repair.

I fixed the Tohatsu and I'll be selling it soon. It needed the carb cleaned and regular service (lower unit oil change, oil change, fuel filter, spark plugs etc.). It's running fine now and I'll be listing soon.

The Mercury, though newer was a little more of a challenge. I had to cut off the transom clamps and it was a pain to find an affordable replacement as Mercury wanted over $100 for EACH screw. I finally found a pair on Ebay that fit for 26$ for the two. Then I did the tuneup and oil changes along with an oil filter change. I also took the carb apart as it was obvious it needed to be repaired when I charged the fuel line. Fuel was spilling out the air intake so I suspected the needle valve and seat was knackered. I bought the carb repair kit from Mercury ($137!!!!!) and used that on the carb but when I put it back together I found it had the same problem of the fuel leak from intake and it would not idle right etc.

I decided to buy a new carb but told Mercury to sit and spin when they told me a new carb would be $500. I ended up getting a cheap chinese unit off amazon that was well reviewed. Looked like an exact clone. It was at this point I discovered I had the wrong carb on my motor. Looks like someone put in the remote version on my tiller handle version. I wondered if this was the reason I was having problems. Either way, I put it on and the motor fired up right away and after a little adjustment it also ran great.

The last challenge was getting the merc to shift into gear. It has a gear shift integrated into the throttle on the handle. I couldn't get it to budge and I suspected something was frozen or jammed. My first attempt to fix it was to spray down all exposed parts of the system with penetrating oil and slowly work the shift mechanism back and forth taking care not to break it and after a minute or two it started moving a bit more each way until finally it broke loose. Some more lubricant and it seems to be working.

So both motors now work and considering their worth is more than what I paid for the boat, I'm glad I went through the trouble of learning how to fix them. Hoping the 20hp Merc will be a reliable motor for many years.


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