blueachilles 8:04pm, 19 April 2009
We have just had our first weekend on Blue for this year. Spent a pleasant night in Falmouth Yacht Haven, but the following morning we cast off under engine, and just when it was too late to get back to the pontoon, we realised the engine wasn't turning the propellor.

A quick hoist of the genoa enabled us to sail out through the moored boats, get the main up, and get our breath back. We sailed onto a spare mooring and investigated the engine (Evinrude 2 stroke 8hp)

When you turn the propellor by hand in reverse, it turns the engine, but in forward it just spins. The shear pin is intact, but given that the engine will work in reverse led me to discount the shear pin as being the cause anyway.

We have left the engine in the care of the Harbour Office and will ask the local outboard expert to collect it and check it over.

In the meantime, we used our new (to us) Suzuki DF2, 2.5hp 4 stroke, bought for the dinghy, to move Blue, and with a lot of churning of water in the well, it had enough oomph to get us back onto, and off the Yacht Haven pontoon.

For the rest of the weekend, we got on and off moorings under sail.

Any thoughts?
pjbharrison Posted 10 years ago. Edited by pjbharrison (member) 10 years ago
Sounds like the gear change/selector is at fault. Take off the cover and check selector is moving fully into slots.
What make and model is the engine?
busy home [deleted] 10 years ago
Gear box ,,, Selection ,,,, Do you want to borrow an engine?
blueachilles 10 years ago
I'm told its terminal; wear and tear got to the gearbox, and it'll cost about £800 to repair. The engine was about 16 years old, so I suppose it has done well. We have owned it since 2003.

Robin Curnow (outboard dealer in Penryn) has a second hand Mercury 4hp, with sailpower prop, integral fuel tank but a remote connector, and battery charging, for £450. Its about 5 years old, will have a 3 month guarantee.

Or they have the same thing brand new, for £675 inc VAT, 5 year warranty.

Two questions:-
1) Will it be powerful enough?
2) Is it worth buying the new one?

They also have a 5hp for £770 incl VAT, no integral fuel tank, but a remote tank and line are included.

We only use the engine for getting on and off moorings and pontoons, or if becalmed, and tend not to stray beyond the Falmouth area.

My inclination is to go for the second hand 4hp, but would appreciate some input from the brains on this site!
Amrum 9171Y 10 years ago
Not sure i qualify regarding the brains, but my limited experience of outboards on Achilles 24s is that a Tohatsu 3.5hp 2 stroke is perfectly adequate for getting on and off my mooring. The boat came with a 5hp 4st Honda, which I intend to fit when I go cruising, but it weighs 27kgs, so can't easily be removed for racing etc. The Tohatsu weighs 13kgs, so is easy to lift out and store below, and it pushes the boat along at 4.5 knots at about 2/3rds throttle. It only has forward and neutral, so to reverse it has to be spun round in the well, but so far (twice!) I've got on and off the mooring easily, including in a difficult cross channel westerly last night.
Another A24 at Thornbury uses the same outboard all the time, and swears by it. Also a J80 at the club has used one for the last 4 years, and that's quite a heavy boat.
You can still buy them new on Boats and Outboards for about £420, but I found mine for £295, a couple of years old, but with little use.
I think a 4hp should do what you need, and battery charging is a useful extra.
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
MMMMMM I appreciate your dilema especially as 3 months isn't a long warranty for an outboard when you consider how often that you will use it in that time, that was one of the reasons that bought new, but then I will use mine a lot more, and with the strength of currents around here you really do need a reliable engine.
I would have thought that for your use a 4 hp would be enough.
Ron has a very RELIABLE johnson I believe that he might want to sell....haha, but I think Snoopy mentioned that he had an engine for sale. so too did Neil, but Snoopy is nearer to you.
What does Ron think... Does he know the Dealer, do you know the Dealer, you may get a bargain, but then you may find in four months you are back to square one £450 down..... difficult
busy home [deleted] 10 years ago
Ive known Robin for 30 plus years, 100% Reliable the best..
I bought my Merc 4 new from him ,, his recomendation ,,easer to work on , all the hire boats use them .. Im very happy with it,, Not too heavy (but the 2t tohasu is 8 hp same weight)
I would go new but have no doubt the SH is fine ..
No mixing oil is a bonus ,, and no smoke in cockpit..
No problem with power,
Make sure you stow it right way up and dont raise the leg higher than the head when transporting..
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
there you go Blue knew Ron would have the answer!!!!!!!
pjbharrison 10 years ago
What make and model is the engine?
I know an outboard agent and he may have a second hand gearbox if you want to try that route. I'll be seeing him tomorrow and ask him if he has anything suitable. I'll get a postage quote too if he can supply something. He has a large stockroom of old engines and parts.
Mike A1 10 years ago
My two cents worth...

If you buy the new engine, then in 5 years time you could have an engine that is worth £450. That seeme quite good to me.

On the other hand, the 5 year warranty is only valid if you have the engine serviced by a Merc service center, so you will need to budget for the cost of this. You may be able to negotiate to get the first one included in the price.

I also note that Seamark Nunn are selling a Mariner 4hp Saildrive for £589 and apparently this is exactly the same engine under the cover...
Snoopy463 10 years ago
Snoopy had a Mariner 4 sailmate for many years. The Mercury and mariner are the same, I think. The general discription of the engine sounds like what i have sat in the garage, should prove to have enough power. I managed to tow a Macwester 27 several years back against the tide with this engine!
busy home [deleted] 10 years ago
Mercury and Mariner are made by Tohatsu, Paying a little extra at your local dealer helps support the local economy , and ensures preferential service when in need !
blueachilles Posted 10 years ago. Edited by blueachilles (member) 10 years ago
We have decided to go for the new one; because Andy and I share the boat, the difference between new and second hand is only about £100 each. We will have the 5 year warranty, and as Andy says, you need reliability with an engine and we don't know how the second hand one has been looked after.

Pjb, the current engine is an Evinrude 8hp, 2 stroke, dating back to 2003 apparently. If the gearbox problem is due to wear & tear, then it can be assumed that even if we get it fixed this time something else could fail. And its noisy and smelly....

Thanks also to Mike; I agree about the second hand value point. And also I agree with Ron about supporting the local economy - we have had sterling service from Robin Curnow since we've had the boat.

Thanks to all for your help - just what this site is about!
busy home [deleted] 10 years ago
Get the new plastic tank and right connectors ,Robin will sort it.
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
My engine came complete with new 20 litre fuel tank as standard.
I agree with Mike about budgeting in the extra servicing costs, it all adds up but at least goes a long way to ensuring reliability.
Glad that the site has helped you to come to a decision.

Just a note regarding Rons comments on supporting local dealers. My local dealer couldn't get a 6 HP long shaft mercury as his supplier was out of stock, he quoted over £1000 for one with no definate delivery date..... Online I saved £150 on that price and could have had the engine the next day!!!!!
If you have a good dealer that you can rely on for good service then great support them by all means.... but if they are not able to provide a competitive service... well I am afraid that those who can will get my hard earned folding stuff.....
Anyway BLue good luck with the new purchase I am sure that you have made the right decision
Andrew Curry 10 years ago
Guys make sure you buy the flushing attachment and flush the engine out as often as possible. Take a look at my pictures and you will see a easy way of doing this using a bit of hose and a one way hose lock connector.
busy home [deleted] 10 years ago
The problem we have is that we are on a swinging mooring ..
Getting the outboard ashore is a big job ,, Ive not had to much corrosion problems over the years , flushing well at the end of the season, I sense that you have??
blueachilles 10 years ago

Funny you should say that; having told the dealer we would go for the new one, he then said he had none in stock, and didn't know when he could get one!!!

They have a new non-saildrive model, and can supply it for £655 with a saildrive prop, but it won't have the battery charge facility - this would be another £150.......

We also have the problem that, being the start of the season, we have a full tank of 50:1 2 stroke on board, about 15 litres. This will have to be drained, and replaced, which is tricky on a swinging mooring!

We can get the boat to a nearby marina and Robin Curnow will do the operation for us, but its an added complication.

I think we'll still go for the new one; battery charging is a "nice to have" rather than a "must have".
busy home [deleted] 10 years ago
My Merc 4 saildrive has charging ,, long shaft ,, £ 650 odd ,,
Throw the fuel my way I have a 2t now Chille willhave the merc Snowgoose the Johnson... I would still buy a new Plastic tank (looking at the dirt in the tohatsu tank ,, rusty gauge mechanism )
Then every thing is new,,, you can relax then,
Seriously tho i would buy your 2t,, petrol,
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
the dealer told me that the old unit was only capable of approx .33 of an amp charge rate as it only had a single coil, the new ones have a separate solid state external coil for ignition which allows two charging coils which would still only just produce about 1 amp charge so they advised me that it wouldn't really be worth the hassle or expense of fitting the kit at a similar price that you were quoted.
So i have gone for no charging circuit too

Re flushing tool this came with the tool kit and is intended for use whilst the engine is NOT running to flush the power head waterways , they are available as an aftermarket purchase but retail for about £7 a lot of money for a threaded bit of tube . I have a spare one if somebody needs it.
busy home [deleted] 10 years ago
I wouldent mind it , IOU now ,,, Two chineese next time,,
No I think a solar panel is the best bet ,,I have a new one that came with Snow Goose, Flexible thing ,, Looks OK .. We will see,,,,
Andrew Curry 10 years ago
The dealer is right. I have a charging coil on my engine and it runs through a amp meter and i get from memory just under 1 amp when motoring at 1/2 to 2/3 throttle. Its not allot but does help when using autopilot.
blueachilles 10 years ago

Have emailed you about the fuel.

Skykomish E29 10 years ago
ok Ron it will be in the post next week. If you find it doesn't fit your engine just pop it back in the post.
The screw that you undo is next to the tell tale on my engine make sure you don't loose it as it is very short. Screw in the tube connect the hose then turn on the tap DON't try and run the engine whilst you do this, water should shoot out of the tell tale hole showing that the waterways are flushed through... really easy, but easy to loose that screw also!!!!
DAN @ CO. 10 years ago
Guys, gear selector on my 20 years old Yamaha 5 2st, has broke.
Engine still running, but only forward, no neutral or reverse. Any advice?
Any second hand outboard for sale?
thank you Danny
Skykomish E29 Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Skykomish E29 (member) 10 years ago
whoops looks like I have started something.... still 20 years is pretty good for an outboard, presumably you have checked the selector shaft? I am not sure about the Yamaha but I took an Evinrude apart and there was a plate on the leg that allowed acces to the selector rod connector which consisted of a small block the the rod was clamped into this may be your problem worth a quick look before dropping the gearbox.

I think Neil is a bit of a whizzzzz on fixing outboards he may have a more constructive solution

By the way Ron forgot to pick up the flushing adaptor when I was at the boat yesterday... Linda's fault for not reminding me
DAN @ CO. 10 years ago
It is actualy 1979, so 30 years old, but still very powerfull, starts first time, but very very very noisy and very, very juicy. I will try on monday if my dinghy 2.3 Mercury OB has power to take me out and in of my mooring.
And I can still use my Yamaha if necesary [ strong tide, long distance] as it still works forward but I need to buy something soon. I am thinking about Tohatsu 3.5 2st, because of the light weight and easy storage. I am usualy taking engine out of the well, when I am sailing
rothwell_neil 10 years ago
I have a very low hours Evinrude 6Hp 2 cylinder 2 stroke for sale. Was the engine for a friends Drascombe Lugger that never saw the water. 1996 was when it was bought and stored dry for the past 10 years.
DAN @ CO. 10 years ago
to rothwell-neil
Can you flickermail me more info [price, weight, tank, propeller. location,photo if available]?
thank you Danny
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