G4NLA1 8:12am, 24 March 2010
If everything goes according to plan (and there is no reason why it shouldn't ! ) I will be the new owner of Little Plum - ( Sail Number 362 ) next week.

At present she is moored at Portishead Marina - but I am planning on moving her to Penarth.

Most of my sailing this year will be in Cardiff Bay as I need to teach both my wife and my friend to sail.

Little Plum is not equipped with an outboard yet. The broker suggested something around the 4 - 5 HP (Long shaft) as a reasonable compromise between power and manual handling.

Any advise would be much appreciated, especially if you know anyone who might have a suitable second hand unit available for sale !


rothwell_neil Posted 9 years ago. Edited by rothwell_neil (member) 9 years ago
I have no doubt you will enjoy the Achilles and you should meet a few others as plenty sail around that part of the coast and are on this forum. I went for a Honda 5Hp long shaft with charging socket. This is only because I like Hondas and have had good experience with them and like the charging option to help top us the battery. The weight is important as lifting in and out is a pain, also the 8Hp that mine came with only just fitted and needed care to get it in the well. 5Hp will push it along at 5+k in flat water and the previous 8Hp didn't seem to be much faster although acceleration was better. So my advise is the lightest 5/6Hp you can get. I know that 4Hp works but if you get any strong tides you may want more power. If there is an option then sail drive on any outboard gives better gearing for displacement boats. Other than that I don't know of any issues with any of the standard manufacturers. A second hand 2 stroke is an option but personally I hate the fumes and as in the well in the cockpit you will notice them.
NormanKlipspringer 9 years ago
Welcome to the group. You may find the links on the following page of some use to you. The links refer to previous discussions we have had on Flickr. Hope you find what you are looking for.
Andrew Curry 9 years ago
I would be looking to try and find a Mercury/Mariner/Tohatsu 6hp 4 stroke (these are the same engine) and are probably the lightest of the 4 stroke engines. Easy on fuel and will easly push the Achilles at hull speed in flat water.
blueachilles 9 years ago
Another vote for a 6hp Mercury 4 stroke, which is what we have, with a saildrive prop.

Previous engine was an 8hp 2 stroke Evinrude which was big, smelly, noisy, and didn't seem to have as much power as the new engine. Apart from that it was ok......!

Don't know what the tides are like in Penarth but as an ex member of Portishead Sailing Club I would get the most powerful engine I could for those tides!
Skykomish E29 9 years ago
I agree with all that has been said, we had a 6 h.p. four stroke mercury which, against a strong tide made the going very slow, but anything bigger would be too heavy to lift out of the well, smaller would not have coped. The tohatsu would be a good choice as it is the same engine as the mercury as Andrew said but a lot cheaper.
pjbharrison 9 years ago
Welcome to the group, G4NLA1
I've found it a great source of info, inspiration etc over the last year.
I have a 6hp 4 stroke Honda. It pushes the boat well at over 5knts. I wouldn't like anything heavier. I sometimes use the main sheet to lift the engine after securing the boom with the topping lift and putting a strap around the engine.
Vidwatts 9 years ago
I've found Malcolm's choice of the 6hp Mercury to have been just right for Aeolus - I wouldn't want anything any bigger but it's manageable to move from the interior to the cockpit well by one person. It sufficiently powerful to push her against strong tides. It's economical, reliable and not too noisy.
G4NLA1 9 years ago
Thank you everyone for all the very helpful advice - at least I know roughly what I should be looking for. Hopefully I may find a suitable second hand unit - however I am bracing myself for the cost of a new engine..

There is plenty of advice in this group, so I will try to dig out an answer before asking other questions.

Thanks again.
Skykomish E29 9 years ago
feel free to ask whatever we are all here to help
willscarlet2009 9 years ago
Just to add to the post and give my opinion and to confuse you even further, i had to replace my engine a couple of years ago, and went for the Suzuki DP6 , because at 26kg was the lightest and most powerful i could find, i paid £830 brand new with 3 year warranty, buying a secondhand engine is very risky as i have found out in the past with them ineveitably going wrong and having to buy a new one in the end. A 2 stroke is definately a no no as the fumes are grim. On a second note, my heavy weather Dacron mainsail is from Little Plum and still has the 362 sail number on it which causes much confusion to the starting deck at my local club, Good luck with her i remember her from Pembrokeshire, she's a nice little boat.
Andrew Curry 9 years ago
New Tohatsu 6hp long shaft for £850
Dont think i have seen them much cheaper.
Skykomish E29 9 years ago
That is cheap!!!!! I am inclined to Agree with Will about second hand engines especially as it will be your main means of propulsion, worth buying new .
pjbharrison 9 years ago
A Parsun engine got "best budget buy in PBO". They're basically a Yamaha. A new 5hp 4 stroke long shaft is available in NI for £644 on apolloduck. They should be available in Wales too
pjbharrison Posted 9 years ago. Edited by pjbharrison (member) 9 years ago
Can be bought online at
£629 + £15 delivery
busy home [deleted] 9 years ago
Be carefull... if this parson is made in India as were the Jet outboards
its a very unreliable unit,, Ask a good outboard repair man for his opinion ..(Robin Curnow Penryn)
I love my Tohatsu 8 2stroke .. so easy to start .. same weight as my merc 4 and my Johnson 5 4strokes ,, and when fuel oil mix is correct... no smoke (except when stationary at tick over) the performance is unbeliveable !
pjbharrison 9 years ago
Hi Ron
They're Chinese. They have a 2 yr warranty and PBO recommend them. They're Yamaha copies, I believe.
No, I'm not on commission!
busy home [deleted] 9 years ago
Yes the Jets were yams .. but used copy electrics etc,,
PBO ... Not a long term test!
G4NLA1 9 years ago
I have decided to purchase a new 6HP Tohatsu sail drive. I gave some consideration to the Parsun, but it does represent a bit more of a risk in terms of a significant investment on a new product. I will let someone else be more brave !!.

As an aside, part of my job is within recyling - and my business partner has no shortage of UPS batteries - I am testing a few dozen at the moment. If you might be interested do let me know...
busy home [deleted] 9 years ago
Good move,
pjbharrison 9 years ago
I refurbish computers for schools and use UPS batteries in my boat They're 12v 17 Amp/hr. Found them fine last year, had 4 linked up. Adding a couple more this year as I'll have some more electrics on board. I get them from an electronic recycling firm in Dublin. They're handy to bring an extra one along when needed.
I may try a Parsun engine later this year for a tender though maybe an electric one as I have the batteries!
Mike A1 Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Mike A1 (member) 9 years ago
I'm interested in getting some ex-UPS batteries. Do they need to be kept upright?
pjbharrison 9 years ago
They are a sealed unit and it says non spillable on the batteries. It doesn't say to keep upright on them but I'd try to anyway.
Skykomish E29 9 years ago
ok guys I have to plead ignorant here what are UPS batteries?
pjbharrison 9 years ago
Uninterruptable power supplies.

To keep a computer server live when mains power goes off.
I'll post some pictures in a new thread as we've gone a bit off outboards now....sorry
G4NLA1 9 years ago
Next time I go to the recycling unit I will pick up as many units as I can. I will need to extract the batteries and test them. I will let the group know how many good batteries I end up with. I will find out how much post and packing is when I remember !!..
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