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Old 08-07-2015, 01:20 PM   #1
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Outboard trawlers

We got into a discussion of pods in another thread, not really an issue on most boats that would be chosen by owners here. However, it made me think about outboard trawlers. I know there have been some smaller ones such as Nimble, Atlas, Marozov, Seawolf and Aerocat. Then you can go to a Rosborough RIB.

The limitations at one time were hp although that long ago ceased to be an issue with the 80 hp fans and now really isn't for any sizes we normally talk about.

So what are the limitations today? Is it load with the weight of a displacement hull? Is it the fact they are gasoline fueled? Is it weight distribution? Is it loss of swim platform?

Seems to me that if I take a 36-50' boat and I hang 1, 2, or 3 outboards on the back instead of an inboard engine, that I've picked up a lot of internal space, I have reduced my draft problems, I have reduced repair costs and challenges. I'm not talking Nordhavn or KK replacements, but I'm certainly talking the typical person here doing coastal cruising and those taking the loop.

At one time you saw fishing boats for coastal use, largely inboard. You wouldn't have thought of a 42' Center Console with outboards, but much has changed. There is a 47' Intrepid. Sea Ray even has a 37' outboard, the Venture 370.

Metroship has 48' houseboats powered by outboards. Sailabration does/did go up to 65' with outboards and has built an 80' powered by outboards. Now those are still lighter and more bouyant than most of the boats here.

These aren't your grandfather's outboards. What is the practical limit?

Oh and for another use of outboards. Get home engines, although this might call for a diesel outboard for most boats. Mount it on the swim platform. There was a 65' flybridge yacht moved a few years ago from Florida to Texas with three 2.5 hp outboards. This was done by an owner wanting to get the boat back to Texas to make repairs.

I am not technical enough to have the answers, just to pose the question. Until a few months ago, I'd never owned an outboard in my life.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:38 PM   #2
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Can be done. Not very fuel efficient, though.

One issue is on larger boats, when the engine is tilted up it does not clear the water. That could be handled a few different ways. Also if maintenance or repair is needed, hard to change an impeller in the water.

Lots of other little reasons, but back to work.
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:10 PM   #3
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No such thing as an OB trawler.
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:31 PM   #4
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We're just putting the final touches on our swim platform and transom access doors. The plan is to integrate an outboard bracket into the ladder setup to mount a 9.9 or 15 HP get-home. We'll probably do some trials with it in the next month or so, hoping we can achieve 4 knots with the 9.9 in calm water. Outside of adjusting for weight distribution, I don't see why outboards arent a reasonable option for trawler style vessels as main or get-home power. EPA regs keep us out of the diesel versions right now in the US, but mfgrs. and military are working on changing that. That could really alter Outboard considerations in cruising boat designs for the future.
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:31 PM   #5
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Using Marin's standard, couldn't the nets get tangled in an outboard trawler?
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Old 08-07-2015, 06:21 PM   #6
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We saw this Carver last year at Dinner Key Marina. The owner was not around and his neighbors didn't know the story. Some interesting mods to the swim platform. I wish we knew the rest of the story since the boat was from California.
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:06 PM   #7
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moving a large vessel from Florida to Texas with 3 - 2.5 hp outboards is a pretty big gamble and a good trick beating the weather.


I would love to hear the whole story on that one.....
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THD View Post
Using Marin's standard, couldn't the nets get tangled in an outboard trawler?
And using his standard, we'd change the name of this forum to "diesel cruiser" forum. Just kidding, Marin.

Perhaps the outboard in this photo is simply a "get home" motor?
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
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moving a large vessel from Florida to Texas with 3 - 2.5 hp outboards is a pretty big gamble and a good trick beating the weather.
I would love to hear the whole story on that one.....
Have to agree with you on that one. Must be a great story having three 2.5's cranked up against the governor all day. Gives me a whole new outlook on using my mighty 9.9 for get-home.

Even if there's some manufacturer out there that would dare build a sizable cruising boat design for outboards, say 34' or more, they'd be crazy not to build it semi-displacement or planing. Instead of trying to appeal to the tiny slow-poke croud, they could have a whole spectrum of buyers by simply designing the boat offer a range of speed possibilities, dependent on the outboard power, including twins. How about a Nordic Tug or Grand Banks with slightly inset diesel outboards. Maybe a great big Rosborough. FD Krogens and Nordy's .....I doubt it.
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:22 PM   #10
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Vashon Trawler,
I'm quite sure the 2nd pic shows a 40hp outboard engine.
Slow cruising on protected waters could be done w this OB.
But it's an OB Cruiser, not a trawler.
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:34 PM   #11
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This guy passed us up not far from Ft Myers a couple of years ago that is a 225 hp on the swim platform I guess the platform is well reinforced.
Just for the heck of it, a couple of sailboats one with two OBs the other with THREE, what are they thinking???
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:56 PM   #12
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I think this is the 65' boat being referenced. The motors are not 2.5 hp, more like 250.

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Old 08-07-2015, 11:06 PM   #13
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Craig look at that fuel tank above. Yup 3 2.5hp OBs driving a 65' boat #########

Steve the first of the sailboats looks like an OK motorsailer. Not fussy about engine brands. Looks like h's runn'in whatever he can find.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:07 PM   #14
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I'm a bit boggled that nobody has mentioned C-Dorys - lots of them cruise at trawler speeds.
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:06 AM   #15
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I think this is the 65' boat being referenced. The motors are not 2.5 hp, more like 250.

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That makes a lot more sense. Not sure if that's the same boat. Just saw the story and I'm guessing misreported. Shocking...lol. Definitely not 2.5 hp outboards on that.
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:11 AM   #16
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2.5 liter. About 200-250hp. High speed lower units on those, too. Not really appropriate for a big 65 footer.
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:12 AM   #17
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2.5 liter. About 200-250hp. High speed lower units on those, too. Not really appropriate for a big 65 footer.
Sounds to me like he went to a lot of trouble and I can't imagine the whole routine saving him money. I sure wouldn't want to be the one he sold those motors to later.
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:21 AM   #18
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Any boat with outboards can travel at trawler speeds. A lot of C-Dories cruise at 6-7 knots. On the other hand my 90hp Honda outboard can move my C-Dory at 30 mph if I want.

Rosborough makes a cruiser that is available with outboards.

With an outboard there are no through hulls, not shaft alignments, cutlass bearings, risers, and a few other things that are maintenance issues and can cause serious problems if they go wrong. If you have a major problem with an outboard, they are cheaper to repair, and the whole thing can be easily replaced in about an hour if necessary. In a pinch, you are more likely to find someone to repair an outboard than a diesel mechanic.
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:54 AM   #19
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If I don't smell diesel, I'm not on a trawler.
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Old 08-08-2015, 01:20 AM   #20
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Outboard trawlers

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Sounds to me like he went to a lot of trouble and I can't imagine the whole routine saving him money. I sure wouldn't want to be the one he sold those motors to later.

It's a bit of an old story so I could easily be misremembering details but apparently the yacht owner owned a yard in Texas and tore the running gear off in Florida. Pitched a fit about the quote, called his people to bring their tools and his outboards out from Texas and make it happen.

It definitely made it part way then I lost interest and stopped following the saga. This stunt was more about hubris then saving money.

ssobol, 4 bolt overhauls are the best thing about outboard motors IMO.
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