I figure an outboard doubles the expense and hassle of having a dinghy, so I'm shying away from an outboard.
The expense will depend on the dinghy you get and the cost of the motor you select.* But you can be right--- in our case the Livingston (at the time) cost about $700 new and the outboard we bought a year or so later cost about the same or a bit more.
There is no hassle that I have seen in having a motor.* We keep our motor on the dinghy at all times.* It is on a swivel mount so it is stored in an upright position when the dinghy is stowed, and when we deploy it we swivel the motor into its running position.
I agree that if you have to mount and dismount the motor every time you use the dinghy, that can certainly become a hassle in terms of time and the effort you have to make--- often using a davit--- to deploy and retrieve the motor.* And this can be even more of a hassle in rough water.
If one carries the dinghy on the aft cabin top--- something I don't advocate but a lot of people do it and some boats don't give you a choice--- then the motor can be left in place and all that needs to happen (or not) is to tilt it down after the dinghy is in the water and up before you retrieve it.
I've posted these before but here are shots of our motor in the stowed position on its simple swivel mount.
PS--- After reading Scott's post below I will second that the ownership/operating expense of an outboard like ours is just about nil.
-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 3rd of January 2012 07:42:49 PM