So, we have a 3.5hp Tohatsu 4 stroke which we will look to use for launch and retrieval. The prevailing wind is South Westerly so across the launch ramp and with no pontoon available, we will need to drop the boat in the water and then pull it off to the side of the ramp to the gravelly beach while we get the car and trailer put away.
The plan will be to pootle out into the open water under motor, get into wind, raise the main, deploy the furling jib and crack on!
First things first, make sure that the outboard fits the bracket, that the leg is long enough – it is a long shaft so I’m sure is more than enough – and check the weight.
Too much weight to far back will affect the balance with the long narrow hull so the outboard bracket is on the starboard side – this also make sit easier to reach the tiller and as long as the prop is under the transom/main hull then there should be no problems.
3.5hp will be more than enough with the boat being pretty light – it is more about being able to contend with the famous Solent chop and the windage from 3 hulls and trampolines.
Len has used a 3.5hp lightweight 2 stroke which only weighs around 10kg all in, but the racket they make really puts me off and I’ve always felt they are generally less reliable and trustworthy than their 4 stroke brethren.
So, grabbed the outboard, topped up the onboard little tank and whacked it on the scales:
20.6kg – 10kg heavier than the 2 stroke but I know this engine is extremely reliable both to start and in use so we’ll use this initially at least.
We are going to be interested in looking at some electric alternatives later on eg the Torqueedo and E-Propulsion amongst others but I need to do a lot more research around this first and understand how our known, tried and tested petrol unit performs first to get a baseline.
So, now time to try fitting the uniton Skippy:
Yes, not bad, but unfortunately the tiller handle is catching slightly on the rear hull – not a show stopper but will need addressing.
The long shaft is definitely more than enough – a standard looks like it will actually do fine in fact which would save a couple of kilos for sure.
Just space to tilt the engine up and lock it but it looks like it might drag a little due to the long shaft – we’ll soon find out!
The spacer on the shaft can be taken off fairly easily I think if we want / need to.
Due to the larger head size, with the outboard locked up it also looks like it will get in the way of the tiller a little bit, preventing full movement to turn to port but again hopefully that is not a show stopper.