Interesting thread. I've had my Zodiac 7-Man Pro for over a year now. It's powered by a 2-stroke Yamaha 40hp Autolube which is perfect for cruising and fishing with 3 people on board in Moray Firth (NE Scotland). We usually hug the coast or venture 2-3 miles offshore.
Been caught off-guard once before with a force 6/7 but the boat performed well. However if the engine had been swamped or had developed fault we'd have been in trouble.
I'm seriously considering fitting an auxilliary engine this year for piece of mind, because let's face it, using Zodiac paddles just isn't an option. I have flares, GPS, compass, fire-extinguisher, and an anchor for back-up. Although I service the engine myself and I'm meticulous about regular maintenace intervals, engines can still fail.
I've seen one other 7-man Pro with a custom-built auxilliary transom bracket with a Tohatsu 2.5hp. See attached.
My boat is the one moored offshore (west coast of Lewis).
I'm considering a 2-stroke Tohatsu 3.5hp long-shaft becuase space is a premium.