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Kennneee

Using Dinghy as Yawl Boat?

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Hi Yawl- My Outerbanks 26 has one means of propulsion, a Yamaha 90. I know this is a reliable motor but all mechanical things can fail. If I had a sail I wouldn’t be overly concerned about the possibility of the motor crapping out. So, the logical thing is to have a kicker motor, right? A kicker is great if you are going to use it regularly for slow speed trolling and as a reliable back up if the main motor fails. In my case, I don’t expect to do much trolling and a kicker would only have value as a back up motor. If motors sit unused they are not always reliable. So, spending a couple of thousand dollars for a kicker for the rare occurrence of a motor failure is a tough one to swallow.

I will start building a Spindrift 9 as a dinghy for Rosie.  I plan to have a lifting crane to get the dinghy and small motor off and on the pilot house quickly. I have had engineless sailing friends that used their dinghies as a “yawl boat”.  Lash the dinghy along side and use the small motor to push the boat along.

Any thought on my using the Spindrift in this way?  Am I being pennywise and pound foolish?  Any input appreciated.

Ken

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I've done that a few times. That is, pushing the mothership with the dinghy lashed behind against the transom not beside. I am skeptical that lashing along side is feasible but have not tried it. lashed behind works great BUT. It's fairly difficult to get setup and all steering is done from the dinghy since there is so much leverage. We would call back to the poor sap sitting back there to make course corrections as they couldn't see worth squat. I think I would just mount a small outboard bracket (perhaps a quickly removable one) on the main transom and if you ever do need a kicker, just take the small outboard off the dinghy and put it on the back of the mother-ship and perhaps have a connecting rod setup ready to go OR just be able to tiller steer it somehow. It may be hard to do that if there is some rough water but I'd say it's easier that than trying to set up the pusher configuration and deal with 2 boats bouncing around. Other options I could think of would be an electric backup. Could be a bolt on trolling pod like the kind that clamps to the outboards leg or cav plate. just bolt it on and your good to go. Probably not much umph or range but might be just enough to get the boat tucked away and on the hook so you can wait for a tow or work on the mechanical issues of the main motor. 

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Alan- Any guess how much horsepower would it would take to move her under reasonable conditions? If I could have a motor that is not to large for the dinghy but big enough to move Rosie I would be pleased, An electric motor is intriguing. 

Ken

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Ken,

 

I feel the same as you, I feel nervous if I cannot hoist a sail. You cannot put enough Hp on the Kendrift to be adequate for Rosie but a 2 1/2 horse kicker will move her in a calm. I have been planning to put my 2 1/2 off of Carlita on my OB20. I will do it over the next month or so and I will tell you how it goes. 

 

A couple of years ago I said to Alan after work on a pretty day " I want to burn up the rest of the fuel in the tank, wanner come for a ride". I did a good job of emptying out the tank. The trouble was we were over half a mile from home in the next bay. We might still be out there if it was not for a good samaritan who was the only boat out there. It was calm and the 2.5 would have have brought us home.

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Graham- I see that Yamaha and Suzuki have 2.5hp engines that are around 40lbs. One of those sound like a good compromise solution. There are 15”and 20” shafts available. The 20’ would probably be best for Rosie and I would guess the 15”for the Kendrift. Which one makes sense to you?

Ken 

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I used a 1.75 hp outboard on dinghy as a yawl boat for a 3000 pound santana 22 some years ago.  It pushed it along fine, maybe 3 or 4 mph on fairly flat water.  I tied the dinghy on the quarter

  Someone sat in the dinghy to run the outboard, but we we steered with the big boat rudder from the cockpit.  This was a stopgap measure when the regular outboard crapped out, but it was good for the 6 mile trek we needed to make.

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I have a 6hp Tohatsu I use for both my Spindrift and my J/24 sailboat. Obviously we sail whenever we can on the J/24 but there have been plenty of times when the wind has died coming back from Catalina and we would rather motor than drift for hours. We can easily motor at 5-6 knots with the 6hp Tohatsu. It's a 15" shaft which is great on the Spindrift. On the J/24 we have a height adjustable auxillary motor mount that also works for a 15" motor. On a sailboat you can lock the tiller on the outboard and steer with the sailboat tiller- I'm not sure how that would work on a powerboat.

 

I picked up the Tohatsu on Craisglist for about $500- it's a 2005 4 stroke, and I made sure to get a high thrust prop for it- sometimes they're called elephant ear props. It's meant to push slow heavy loads that won't be planing, which is perfect for the J/24. I accept that maybe the Spindrift will be a little slower as well, but it's not really a planing hull either.

 

I recently acquired an old Boston Whaler 15 Sport, and you better believe I'll be rigging it with an aux motor mount for the 6hp Tohatsu. Just knowing that you won't be stuck out there is worth a lot.

 

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According to the specs the Tohatsu 4 stroke is 59 pounds. The 4hp is identical to the 6hp- mine started as a 4hp but I swapped the carb for the 6hp version, which has a slightly wider throttle. It's still a bit of a handful getting it from the J/24 bracket to the stern of the Spindrift- but next time I may build a hoisting bridle and use the halyard to support some of the weight. I previously used a 5hp 2 stroke which was about 45-48 pounds with on board fuel. It was still a challenge to move it around.

 

I really like the idea of having one outboard serve two purposes. I really don't use it often for sailing, but knowing it will get used on the dinghy gives it double the value.

 

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Moving it around from Rosie’s stern might be a challenge but I am sure I can come up with a way to do it. I would love to be able to use a 2.5HP for both purposes but have some doubts that it will be enough grunt to move the OB26. When Graham has some input on how the 2.5 works on the OB20, I might feel more confident going that route.

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What Ken has not told you is that he is building a 9 which has a lot less stability than the 10. Also it is built from 4mm instead of 6mm ply because a light boat was important to him. I hate to see so much HP on that boat.

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Starboard,

 

I am glad to hear that you are getting such good service from the boat. I agree with you on forward flotation tanks. I tried out the prototype S10 without those tanks thinking that no one would need to sit there. The first capsize test showed the error in my thinking. Like you found, with the forward compartment full, plus the free surface effect of the water sloshing from side to side encouraged a recapsize. I put the tanks in and the next test was night and day.

 

Because the daggerboard is slightly forward of the capsized center of buoyancy, I found that if I put an aft twist as I pushed down on the board, I could keep all of the water out of the boat except for the bit that sits inside the gunwales. Typically with a standard layout I could get it up with about two gallons in the boat, which meant that I could sail on and leave it to the bailer to remove. The nesting version is not as good but if the bow section is dry it will be a lot easier to self rescue.

 

A lot of laser rigs have ended up on Spindrifts and have given good service. Unless you are very good sailors I recommend cutting about 2 feet off of the bottom of the sail and maybe about 14" to 18" off the of the lower mast to get the right boom clearance.

 

We developed the sleeve luff single line reefing system for cruisers because the day might start out light but it can get very strong by the time you need to return.

 

I love the picture of the boat on the beach at Catalina Island.

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