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Old 15 August 2018, 13:08   #1
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Trad 2.5hp or Torqueedo etc for dinghy

Hi all - I share a small dinghy with a friend in the harbour which we use to get out to our moorings. It's only a small (and rather bendy) inflatable and recently our old engine failed and was too expensive to bother repairing.

We are looking for a replacement that is low cost to run and maintain and which won't see a great deal of use - poss only 5 hours per year in total spread over many short trips. It will be in covered lock-up for 9 months of the year (spread across 3 blocks).

Clearly the price of electric engines is 2.5x a trad petrol but the maintenance, ease of storage and reliability are all attractive.

Any real-world experiences? Any advice appreciated.
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Old 15 August 2018, 17:23   #2
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John Kennett tried a torquedo for a spell. You should be able to search for his views. You’ll be lucky to use a gallon of fuel in a year with that usage though - the payback for an electric will possibly not even be in your lifetime!

Have you considered just rowing?
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Old 16 August 2018, 03:03   #3
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Thanks Poly. Will do.

It’s more about servicing than fuel - and the fact that fuel will get old with so little use.

Have done plenty of rowing but it’s about 0.5km each way and when the weather gets up it’s not safe as there can be some good sized chop in the mouth of the harbour.
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Old 16 August 2018, 03:50   #4
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Trad 2.5hp or Torqueedo etc for dinghy

Well a four stroke will be less susceptible to fuel going stale than premixed. If you really want to be “different” and avoid stale fuel have a look at the propane engines.

At that size I’d just service it myself. I suspect most tender o/boards never get serviced until something goes wrong. If you went with the air cooled Honda you’d have even less to worry about - change the oil every year* if you want to be thorough and drain the fuel, pop some oil in the cylinder when you check the plug, lube the steering/throttle links, wipe it with an oily rag before putting it away for Christmas.

*the hardest part about that is getting the engine properly level so you don’t add too much; if you do it will smoke like a two stroke.
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Old 16 August 2018, 05:32   #5
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I have an old school 2 stroke Suzuki/Yamaha 2hp engine that I use on our inflatable yacht tender, and personally think they are the ideal occasional tender engines. So small and light, very little maintenance (no oil changes, etc.), and so simple they just keep on going. I did have to strip it down this winter to clean out the cooling passages (despite fairly regular fresh water flushes), but after 25 years of usage from grandfather and now us can't really complain at that!


Rather than buying a new 4 stroke, if my Suzuki DT2 died tomorrow, I'd be looking on Ebay for another similar one in good condition. Certainly a fraction of the price of a Torqueedo (could buy quite a few of these for one of those!), and cheaper than a new 4 stroke too.
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Old 16 August 2018, 09:06   #6
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Originally Posted by paulbrown22 View Post
I have an old school 2 stroke Suzuki/Yamaha 2hp engine that I use on our inflatable yacht tender, and personally think they are the ideal occasional tender engines. So small and light, very little maintenance (no oil changes, etc.), and so simple they just keep on going. I did have to strip it down this winter to clean out the cooling passages (despite fairly regular fresh water flushes), but after 25 years of usage from grandfather and now us can't really complain at that!


Rather than buying a new 4 stroke, if my Suzuki DT2 died tomorrow, I'd be looking on Ebay for another similar one in good condition. Certainly a fraction of the price of a Torqueedo (could buy quite a few of these for one of those!), and cheaper than a new 4 stroke too.
That would be my thoughts a lightweight 2 stroke will be least bother. 4 strokes are a pain if they stand any length of time the carbs fur up and block the tiny jets and are hard to clean as the orifices are so small and the carbs in general are more complex than the two strokes
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Old 16 August 2018, 12:32   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willbank View Post
Hi all - I share a small dinghy with a friend in the harbour which we use to get out to our moorings. It's only a small (and rather bendy) inflatable and recently our old engine failed and was too expensive to bother repairing.

We are looking for a replacement that is low cost to run and maintain and which won't see a great deal of use - poss only 5 hours per year in total spread over many short trips. It will be in covered lock-up for 9 months of the year (spread across 3 blocks).

Clearly the price of electric engines is 2.5x a trad petrol but the maintenance, ease of storage and reliability are all attractive.

Any real-world experiences? Any advice appreciated.
We carry a zodiac cadet on our rib and have run a torqeedo 1003 the last two seasons to push it along, obviously it doesn't leak fuel or oil into a locker like a petrol outboard - which most do to some degree in my experience!

The torqeedo is about the same performance as a 3hp, extremely simple to use, will last a few hours with medium throttle - just twist and go
Only criticism is they seem a little fragile and probably not as durable as a traditional outboard, I had a couple of areas on the body of the torqeedo that started to corrode with a few months of ownership - torqeedo were very good and addressed the issue, now I religiously wash and oil the unit every time it’s been used in salt water.

To sum up I’ve also got a fairly new 3.5hp 4 stroke tohatsu sat in my garage covered in dust, it’s not seen water for a long time!!
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Old 17 August 2018, 16:31   #8
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If you’ve got the budget then I reckon this would be a good application for a Torqeedo.

It’s main disadvantages are lack of power and limited range, but these won’t matter too much. Ease of use and lack of maintenance are what you want, and a Torqeedo should deliver well.
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