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Author Topic:   50hp too small?
Reese posted 10-06-2003 09:23 PM ET (US)   Profile for Reese   Send Email to Reese  
This is a repost from the General section. Is a 1999 2 stroke Johnson 50hp too small for a 17' Sakonnet with 2 men on the Chesapeake Bay?
Lakelanier does your boat run ok with your 50hp?
Thanks Reese
Bigshot posted 10-07-2003 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I will say yes only because the 50 is a 2cyl and the 2cyl does not have a lot of grunt. If you find a 3cyl 50hp then OK.
SteveFC posted 10-07-2003 01:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for SteveFC  Send Email to SteveFC     
I have a 40 hp 2cyl Johnson on my 1965 Sakonnet. With a h.d. prop, it gets 20-21 mph with 1-2 people. (Won't plane with a stock prop.) I don't suspect that a 50 would do much better. If you're a fisherman and spend all your time trolling, it will do fine. But if you want to get from point A to point B, better pack a lunch.

I have the 40 because it came with the boat. I was an impoverished college parent who wanted a Whaler, and the package was cheap. Based on my experience, I won't repower with less than a 70.

elaelap posted 10-07-2003 04:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
I've answered this question half-a-dozen times since repowering my '71 Katama 16/17 with a 50 hp Yamaha four stroke "High Thrust" (similar to a "Big Foot"), 13" pitch aluminum prop, this past March. What follows is only the opinion of a novice, first time motor boat owner. I've owned several sailboats in my life, but other than small outboard kickers, I can make no knowledgable comparisons between my experience and any other, since my Yami is the first "big" outboard I've used extensively.

My old Katama came with an ancient Evinrude 55 hp two stroke, which ran OK but made me very nervous for two reasons: 1) it had that dreaded push-button shifting which several CW members told horror stories about; and 2) my boat, when I bought her, was poorly maintained, and I feared that the motor was similarly neglected.

I was fortunate enough to exchange work for my new 50 hp Yami this past March, but I had no choice in motors; it was take that one or put up with the old dog. I say this (again) to underline the fact that if I'd had my choice, and with the good advice of many helpful folks at this site, I probably would have gone with the Suzuki/Johnson 70...I certainly would have preferred more horses than 50, from all I heard here.

All that being said, I've been very pleased with my little Yami. I mainly fish the fairly challenging waters 35-80 miles north of San Francisco, where 6-8 ft swells with windwaves on top are not uncommon. I occasionally venture offshore 14 or 15 miles, alone or with one other person on board. So far I've run into no problems due to lack of power. My boat, with a full 12 gallon main gas tank, Johnson Seahorse kicker and its 3/4 full tank, 40 or 50 lbs of weights, 2 anchors, fishing gear, and 200 lb me, jumps up onto plane swiftly, barely reaches 30 mph at 5900 rpm WOT, but I very rarely go faster than 22-24 mph. Pounding uphill into a stiff breeze and swells I sometimes hold my speed down to 8-12 mph. Most of my time at sea is spent trolling at 2-3.5 mph or drifting with the motor on.
I never water ski or wake board, so I have no idea what the performance would be like there, but I strongly suspect I'd be grossly underpowered.

My motor starts instantly with the first turn of the key, weighs in at a very light (for a 4-stroke) 245 lbs, and is incredibly efficient at cruising speeds...I burn only 1.25 gallons of gas per hour at 20 mph; I truly can't measure fuel consumption when trolling for hours at a time...the crappy gas guage on top of the fuel tank doesn't move at all.

I'll leave it at that. If I could wave a magic wand, I'd probably add 20 hp to my rig, but I'd certainly stay with a four stroke for the quiet operation, efficient trolling and fuel economy. I've got over 260 hours on my motor in the past seven months without any problems at all, so I guess I should tip my hat to its reliability also. Good luck with your choice, but don't automatically be scared away from a fifty on a 16/17 hull.

Tony

Reese posted 10-07-2003 08:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Reese  Send Email to Reese     
Thanks for everyones post. I will be purchasing a new Suzuki 65hp. Thanks Reese
scaleplane posted 10-09-2003 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for scaleplane  Send Email to scaleplane     
Reese,

I think the 65 is a good choice for your Whaler.

As I've mentioned before, I just repowered my 1976 15' Sport with a 40 HP Johnson two-stroke. It's great for me - I get a little over 30MPH by GPS with one person, 28-29 with two. It JUMPS up on plane easily, and I back it off for cruise. It purrs like a kitten and gas mileage is great!

For a larger boat, however, you'd want a little more.

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