My wife and I were having a rather pleasant dinnertime conversation,
about sailing of course, and the topic of outboard motors came up.
While discussing the pro and cons of four stroke versus two-stroke,
5hp versus 8hp, etc, she asked, "Why not just get a large electric
trolling motor?" I'm ashamed to say that I didn't have a good answer
Her logic was that we would only need a motor to move to and from the
launching area and since we'll be on a lake, currents would not be a
problem. I'm not sure if that kind of motor can actually move a
Rhodes 22. Also, the four-stroke 5hp Honda carried a rather hefty
price tag. I think sticker shock prompted the question. Any comments?
Did you happen to find the right size prop for the Honda 8 in your
|9 x 10||light load||Michigan PJ-16
|9 x 8||medium load||Michigan PJ-21
|9.25 x 7||heavy load||Michigan SMC-39
|9.5 x 8.625|| ||stock
I used the stock and felt a little over-propped (throttle lost half
its range). The problem is the stock is the largest but it seems to
fall into the medium-light range on the chart (which is not a Rhodes
22). I also used the 9.25 x 7, which slowed things down around the
dock and the boat/motor had more "torque" but lost some of the top
speed. That made passages longer with more engine noise (but did get
the HP into the water, we proved that with 30+ knot head winds).
When I asked Michigan, they said to use the 9.25 x 7, but I would be
tempted to try the 9 x 8. It will cost about 60 dollars each to play
around. PLEASE double-check with Michigan Wheel, a mistake can cost
you the motor. Be sure to save the old one for a spare.
BTW Did anyone have any luck with the Canadian Honda guy? Any more
After re-reading your magnificent post on the "motor subject" , I
went shopping at the Washington, DC area boat shows this weekend and
narrowed my choices to the following:
1) Mercury 8 hp 2-stroke - Great shift and throttle in tiller, 73lbs,
but only 20' shaft and the 2006 problem.
2) Honda 8 hp 4-stroke - I now see why this is favored by so many
Rhodies. Easy access shift lever on front, 82 lbs, Extra Long Shaft
25.5' and 9-1/2 X 8-5/8 prop.
I have the 6:1 motor bracket and it seems that the extra length is a
real advantage. Anyway, I'm sold. The Honda will be on Buygones -
95 this spring
Most people use the long shaft. Roger likes the extra-long shaft very
much. On the Honda 8 hp the difference is only 3 inches (double check
with www.hondamarine.com). You will have to tilt it out and it might
drag on a starboard tack. The prop recommendation comes from the shop
manuals, I'll check tonight.
My ignorance is showing again, but I have little practical experience
with O/B's. What does a typical O/B burn in fuel? I know this is
relevant to engine size and throttle settings, but I am looking for a
SWAG. I would assume most use a 6-10 H.P. unit. Some of my plans
call for some medium distance cruising, and as we all know the wind
doesn't always cooperate.
The rule of thumb is 1 hp /0.1 gal/per hour. I think this is for the
four-stoke for two-stokes, double the rate, and this is for the power
that the motor is set at, not the rated hp.
As far as the motor, the rule of thumb 2 hp per 1000 pounds or about
6 - 7 hp for a Rhodes22.
Now some experiences from the list (and other sources).
Electric: good for docking (very slow speed), limited battery run
time (hour or two on a full charge), recharge problems
2 hp cruise and carry: does not make it.
4-5 hp two-stokes: used by lake sailors, limited need for power
through wind and waves, seems as a group to think they are a little
5 hp Honda (4-stoke): nice motor, has a vibration problem from being
one cylinder, will be running at WOT a lot.
8 hp Honda, most common 4-stoke on the boat; will get to hull speed;
can handle some waves and the wind that goes with it; has a charging
source; change to a "high thrust prop" for better reverse and slow
8-9.9 hp two-stokes: used by a lot of people, lighter than the 8hp
Honda; some fresh water lakes are banning them.
9.9 (really a de-rated 15hp) Honda: over kill and heavy; needs the
"high thrust prop"; available with a remote control kit and electric
start; if the motor is in the water it should move the boat.
9.9 Yamaha high thrust: looks like a very nice motor, almost brought
15 hp Honda: same as the 9.9 with two different parts; biggest I've
seen on the boat; reverse could rip the motor off the boat.
All of the above are LONG SHAFT!!!!!
Plan on two tanks for the boat, the one in use and the next one.
Right now I have 3 tanks, 2 six gallons and a spare 3 gallon with its
own complete fuel line setup. It is sized for an overnight power run
at Wide Open Throttle with some to spare (or used before).
Last issue, depending on the conditions, the boat can be sailed in
worse conditions than motored, the motor will be out of the water in
about 4-5 foot seas (depending on course, seas conditions etc.).
I am curious how the Rhodes owners handle their fuel storage on board.
Gas tank under the seats? In the lazarette? Are remote controls
for o/b common? Fuel lines through the transom or over?
On my boat the gas tank will almost fit under the seat (I can get
most of it there). However I saw something last night in EB Marine
that I thought was neat. It was a 14-gallon gas tank with a low
profile that would easily slide under and out from under our seats.
The only problem is that 14 gallons of gas would last me 3 years! I
only have a 7.5 hp outboard, which works fine for me, but I don't use
that much gas.
My husband and I are outfitting a (new to us) used Rhodes 22 and are
looking for recommendations and the experience of owners about
horsepower and manufacturers. We want a four-stroke and a long shaft
has been recommended.
We'll be sailing mostly on the Chesapeake. We want enough motor to
power against occasional high winds and the ever-present powerboat
chop and enough to get us through places where the currents are
strong BUT we don't want to lug around more than we need. Looking for
the voice(s) of experience. Which outboard do you use?
Mary Lou Troy
Our 1976 Rhodes 22 came with a 6 bhp long shaft (20" shaft) Evinrude
outboard. We sailed with that engine for 9 years. 6 bhp was always
plenty of power, when you could couple it to the water - prop
cavitation when motoring into a chop was a problem. In 1996, we
bought a 10' inflatable sport dingy, converted the Evinrude back to
standard shaft length (15"), transferred the Evinrude to the
inflatable, and re-powered the Rhodes 22 with a Honda 4-cycle 8 bhp
extra long shaft (25") outboard. We went with the Honda for several
1. We wanted a 4-cycle engine for the reduced pollution and better
fuel economy. Our fuel mileage roughly doubled from 6 to 12 mpg. I
don't worry about fouling spark plugs anymore. There is no annoying
2 cycle smoke or oily film in our wake anymore either.
2. We wanted a 25" long shaft to reduce the propeller cavitation
sometimes encountered when motoring in any chop greater than 3-4'
high. This size wave is very common the Great Lakes. The 25" shaft
delays the onset of propeller cavitation until the waves are 4-5'
high, a useful improvement.
However, keep in mind the Rhodes 22 can be sailed very nicely in sea
conditions much rougher than it can be motored in. Take your boat
out on windy days and get used to how it handles in big waves. Don't
depend on your motor to save you in a squall!
3. Our Evinrude did not have an alternator and it would have been
difficult to retrofit one. Our new Honda has the alternator &
voltage regulation system.
4. Our old Evinrude was a two-cylinder engine and we wanted to
stick with a twin for the increased smoothness of operation.
The Honda 8 bhp outboard was the smallest outboard which offered all
of the above in the spring of 1996. We considered the 9.9 bhp
outboards from Honda, Evinrude, and Mercury; but their extra weight
turned us off.
We had a bit of a problem with the local Honda dealer in figuring out
the right pieces/parts to make the cockpit mounted engine controls
work properly. My sense is that Evinrude and Mercury do a better job
of figuring out the details of remote engine control installations at
the factory. Honda leaves it up to their dealerships and the
In 2 years, I've had one catastrophic failure of the single lever
remote engine controls. However, that may have been due to a bad
installation. The remote engine control assembly was replaced under
warranty. We changed the geometry of the installation as well as
modified a few other details, and I haven't had any problems since.
The Honda outboard itself has been absolutely reliable and a
delightfully engineered piece of machinery. It's about 15 lbs
heavier than our old Evinrude outboard. The extra weight is
noticeable but not objectionable when you haul up the engine mount.
Honda outboards are definitely more expensive & the repair shops &
dealerships are nowhere near as common as Evinrude or Mercury. At
the time I bought my Honda, Evinrude & Mercury didn't make any
comparable engine. I have the Autohelm ST-50 knotlog on Dynamic
Equilibrium. I calibrate it every year against a measured mile near
my home. The Honda 8 bhp will push our Rhodes 22 at 5.7 knots full
throttle on smooth water. Broad reaching in a 20 knot wind with a
double reef in the mainsail & the full 150% genoa, I've motor sailed
the boat at 6.2 knots (We were trying to make a drawbridge opening).
However, the boat starts to climb the bow wave & tends to drown the
motor in a following sea! Not recommended!
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium
I hear a lot of good things about the Honda 8, but am concerned that
when it becomes time to replace my almost 15 yr-old Mariner 8, (2-
stroke), the additional weight and bulk of any of the new four-
strokes hanging off my stern will throw the balance off on my light
displacement Rhodes 22.
I've heard that the new four-strokes give more "PUSH" than the
traditional two-strokes, which implies that I could drop down on the
outboard HP (to save some weight on balance) and still get the same
propulsion power I'm used to. Stan commented to me once that he
thinks we Rhodes owners tend to over-power our beloved boats, but I
disagree. I've had several instances where I've been very thankful
that I'd opted for the bigger HP in my outboard. This is probably
the one and only instance where I've disagreed with Stan and felt
that I'm still right in my opinion! In ALL OTHER CASES (and there
have been several), I agree that Stan's advice was right on the mark!
So, my question is: anyone out there with a Rhodes 22 who's using a
new four-stroke engine less than an 8 HP and has some comments to
contribute about how well it works on our favorite sailing vessel?