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Old 03 May 2021, 13:14   #1
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Outboard for an Excel Volante 390?

Afternoon all.

Dropped in to this forum repeatedly over the years but never had a reason to post.

To give a bit of a background, I grew up on boats back in the 80s and have sunk a Laser 1 off The Isle of Wight, crossed the Solent many times in a Topper as well as a Dell Quay Dory, a 13' with a 20 and an 11'6" with a 40. And generally spent my childhood paddling up creeks and mucking about in boats.

Sitting on a shelf in my garage is an Avon Redcrest and a 4hp Yamaha that was the emergency tender bought in the early 80s and living most of its life in a locker.

Had much fun with it, especially after working out that wedging the oars under the seat and rear of the boat allowed you to get it on the plane. It's been infallible over the years, getting dusted off and used once in a blue moon and with bulletproof reliability.

Fast forward to 2021 and the weird summer we are all going to have and with two children aged 9&10 I decided they would have some fun with the Avon. I made some new boards for it, bought a lock windlass, gave the Yamaha its first ever service and we've had a few fun days out.

So, long story short, it's all grown arms and legs and I ended up having a look for a 6m rib so that we can much about around the Solent, before coming to my senses and realising a Sib would be a smarter way to start.

I've bought an Excel 390 after umming and ahhing over the 360. And this'll be transported on their tow hitch carrier to save me lifting it in and out of the boot. For the Thames and Avon I'll use the old Yamaha, it weighs nothing and just works perfectly.

The real question is what outboard for use around Chichester, Poole and the Solent in general?

A 15 will probably be OK but things like the Tohatsu 20 is the same weight so that would be the default choice. I've always liked the old 2 stroke 18 Tohatsu. Same power, similar weight but I'd feel confident spannering a 2 stroke while bobbing on salt water but reckon I'd be lost with a modern 4 stroke.

I also suspect the old 18s are like hen's teeth so I'm coming back to a new or newish 20 with efi.

Scouring the Internet has shown up Bill Higham and Chas Newans but not a lot in between.

Would you be so kind as to educate me as to whether Google is relatively exhaustive for what's on sale or are there a lot of vendors I need to call for details of stock?

Thanks.
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Old 03 May 2021, 13:49   #2
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Welcome to the forum as a poster.

From your comments a new Tohatsu 18hp 2-stroke might suit and they are available... make loads of phone calls round dealers!

If that is too complicated buy a 20hp 4-stroke Efi from the maker you prefer as there is no point in carrying the same weight as a 20hp but with only 15hp.
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Old 03 May 2021, 14:37   #3
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Hi Tim, agree with Fenlander, unless you can get a 18hp Tohatsu then a 20hp efi is the way to go. Two reasons 1/ same weight as a 15hp but more power 2/ 65 kg SIB, yourself, 2 growing kids, partner plus kit would probably struggle to stay on the plane with a 15hp.
I've got a SD360 with a 15hp Merc efi, great with 2 up, dog and kit, but is heavy going with an extra adult passenger.
Is your Volaire 390 new? Could Terry source you a 20hp efi?
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Old 03 May 2021, 15:02   #4
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Hi Tim, agree with Fenlander, unless you can get a 18hp Tohatsu then a 20hp efi is the way to go. Two reasons 1/ same weight as a 15hp but more power 2/ 65 kg SIB, yourself, 2 growing kids, partner plus kit would probably struggle to stay on the plane with a 15hp.
I've got a SD360 with a 15hp Merc efi, great with 2 up, dog and kit, but is heavy going with an extra adult passenger.
Is your Volaire 390 new? Could Terry source you a 20hp efi?
Thanks Gents.

The boat is new. They have very few 20s available, just a couple of Suzuki's at the moment. A 15 would probably be fine most of the time as it'll just be myself and the two children but I'm pretty sure they will want to use a donut and if a I get a bit of a turn in the weather when out the. It might struggle to stay on the plane easily. Plus as they are the same weight then the 20 ultimately makes the most sense.

It's more a matter of whether ringing around might get a better price or find me a year old one but I'm guessing there is a lot of demand this season?
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Old 03 May 2021, 16:16   #5
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Thanks Gents.

The boat is new. They have very few 20s available, just a couple of Suzuki's at the moment. A 15 would probably be fine most of the time as it'll just be myself and the two children but I'm pretty sure they will want to use a donut and if a I get a bit of a turn in the weather when out the. It might struggle to stay on the plane easily. Plus as they are the same weight then the 20 ultimately makes the most sense.

It's more a matter of whether ringing around might get a better price or find me a year old one but I'm guessing there is a lot of demand this season?
I struggled last July to get a 20hp efi. I must have called at least 12 - 15 dealers and Terry tried all his contacts, neither of us could find one. It was the choice of a 15hp Tohatsu, 15hp Merc, or some clones. I went for the Merc as I liked the idea of the multi function tiller. As it turns out it was a good choice, however I would have preferred a 20hp Susi.
If you can, I would try to get a 20hp efi from the nearest dealer to where you live at the best price you can, or buy one from Terry. I doubt you will find many competitive prices, it's a case of supply and demand.
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Old 03 May 2021, 16:45   #6
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Outboard for an Excel Volante 390?

My 390 Volaire with a DF20 tonks along quite nicely with 2 adults & associated gubbins for a day out. Add another adult & the engine is noticeably working harder, still gets there but the difference is plain. With 3 up & all the kit/fuel etc, a 15hp might be on the edge.
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Old 04 May 2021, 06:41   #7
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Any particular reason why parts of this post appear to have disappeared?
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Old 04 May 2021, 06:44   #8
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Moderating.

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Originally Posted by Steve509926 View Post
Any particular reason why parts of this post appear to have disappeared?
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Old 04 May 2021, 07:45   #9
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Correct. It doesn't happen very often but I've deleted some posts in this thread that were more heat than light. I hope that normal service will now continue.
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Old 04 May 2021, 17:24   #10
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Hi Tim, I was looking for something on ebay and came across this which may be of interest to you.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/294102668058

Bit of a trek away from you.
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Old 05 May 2021, 01:54   #11
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Hi Tim, I was looking for something on ebay and came across this which may be of interest to you.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/294102668058

Bit of a trek away from you.
Morning Steve.

Thanks for that. I did find that one a while back but the seller hasn't responded to the questions which triggers one of my golden rules for Ebay

There's one of those bullet proof 90s Yamaha 20s on there also but that really is a long drive.

The 15 Merc efi that's up at the moment looks interesting but the pre efi was easy to convert to 20 via a carb change but with efi there could be a whole load of things that need doing. It could be a simple and easy chip change or jets, cam and all sorts. Given the two identical engines have differing peak revs and power then that suggests they have different cams.

It's all slim pickings online which is why I was wondering if there was generally a lot of outboard stock with chandlers that wasn't online or if what is online is pretty representative of what's out there as a whole.
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Old 05 May 2021, 04:23   #12
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Always good to have a heads up on something Steve but that Tohatsu looked tired and more like 750... it would have been 18mths ago anyway.
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Old 05 May 2021, 04:27   #13
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Always good to have a heads up on something Steve but that Tohatsu looked tired and more like 750... it would have been 18mths ago anyway.
That's why I'm better off sticking to shiny and new
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Old 05 May 2021, 04:34   #14
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Always good to have a heads up on something Steve but that Tohatsu looked tired and more like 750... it would have been 18mths ago anyway.

It has the look of an engine that has spent its life sitting on the back of a tender, bobbing about in a pontoon all season or working every day on a fishing boat with clapped out internals being the only reason the owner capitulated and replaced.

Our old outboards were left on the Dory for years on end on a pontoon, only coming off for the annual service or when they were eventually cut off in the dead of night and taken away. The cowling would get very weather beaten and knocked about but they still ran and started perfectly.
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Old 05 May 2021, 04:50   #15
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I spent my younger years about the water where outboards were a means to an end and often well abused or as you say looked abused but great runners. However we're now in an era of premium prices where stuff has to tick every box. I think you're right re its previous use seeing the remote brackets and missing transom clamp parts.
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Old 05 May 2021, 06:56   #16
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And we were younger so cared less.

I remember the idea of going out into the solent being quite a big deal when I was a lad sailing dinghies - a day trip from Langstone Harbour to Priory Bay for a Barbecue was one of the highlights of the season.

And the 14' Dory that used to be the rescue boat - 18hp Evinrude pull start on it. With the twin levers for throttle and gear. So inevitably, multiple times per season, rather than fast idle and neutral, someone would pull start it in almost full throttle reverse, with no latch on that motor. That was an incredibly old and abused motor, but always reliable. Don't recall it ever breaking down.

The last time I ran my Hydrolift CR24 for some testing I was doing multiple laps between Langstone Fairway and Nab Tower.

Our perception and expectations change as we get older.
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Old 05 May 2021, 11:19   #17
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I have a Suzuki 20HP on my Volante 390. Plenty good enough at Chichester (even with tide off East Head). Good fun with two adults and two children on donuts, although it takes a while to get on plane. In a nutshell, I would go for 20 rather than 15 if you can...
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Old 05 May 2021, 11:56   #18
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I have a Suzuki 20HP on my Volante 390. Plenty good enough at Chichester (even with tide off East Head). Good fun with two adults and two children on donuts, although it takes a while to get on plane. In a nutshell, I would go for 20 rather than 15 if you can...
Thanks. That's good info. Struggling to find a 20 at the moment. I've a line on a couple of 15s.

With modern efi it's no longer a quick carb change to convert the 15 to a 20 either.
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Old 06 May 2021, 14:01   #19
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So just to update. I found a couple of options for 20hp Suzuki's and Hondas but not much else.

There seem to be more 15s about but as they are too all intents and purposes the exacts same outboard as the 20 and pretty much the same price I was reluctant to spend that amount on something I didn't really want. The final straw was a conversation with one vendor who was just a schmuck.

End result was that if I was going to end up with a 15 then I'd prefer to spend much less and try and get hold of an old 2 stroke Yamaha. Cracking engines and only 34kg.

Found one today. A 2012. Went to see it. Brought it home. A couple of hours later I had the telltale cleared and running very strongly, the carb fully cleaned, both cylinders compression tested at 120 and just a tiny bit of carb tuning and it was back together, firing on a half pull, idling very smoothly and with a quick pick up.

There's something lovely about those old 2 strokes and the fact that they are so simple to work on.

I'm not going to replace the water impeller as the telltale is so strong but I'm waiting on some oil so as to flush the gearbox and replace.

It also needs an anode. Lord knows when the last one was depleted but you can see notable oxidisation where the steel of the remote steering and controls were mounted as well as on the transom bracket.
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Old 06 May 2021, 14:30   #20
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Nice one Tim enjoy your new Volaire 390 and your new to you Yam.
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